Unit of competency details

ACMBEH405 - Provide individual advice on animal behaviour management and training (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes ACMCAS409 - Provide training advice to companion animal ownersTitle changed. Elements 4 and 5 merged. Changes to performance criteria for clarity. New performance criteria added. Assessment requirements updated 12/Apr/2021

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 13/Apr/2021


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Unit Of competency

Modification History



Release 1

This version released with ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package Version 4.0.


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to develop, conduct and review behaviour management and training plans/programs for individual animals and for their owners or carers. Consultations may be conducted in one-on-one sessions with animals and their owners or carers (clients) in a variety of contexts and in suitable venues/environments.

This unit applies to individuals working in the animal industry sector where management and training is required to establish appropriate behaviour, modify undesired behaviour and provide clients with skills and knowledge to enable the client to contribute to the animal's training program. They analyse information and exercise judgement to complete a range of skilled activities and demonstrate in-depth knowledge in a specific technical area. They develop and communicate solutions for a range of commonly encountered training or behaviour problems and jointly agreed goals.

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures according to Commonwealth and state/territory health and safety and animal welfare regulations, legislation and standards that apply to the workplace.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit


Unit Sector

Behaviour and Training (BEH)

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Determine client’s needs

1.1 Obtain information from the client about the animal's history and the client's goals and expectations

1.2 Assess information provided and determine personal competency to begin and continue working with the client

1.3 Offer referral to an appropriate professional colleague with more specialised skills if the case is beyond personal expertise

1.4 Discuss options and determine management and training needs with client, considering the behavioural impact on other affected people and animals

1.5 Conduct an assessment of the animal, client and animal relationship and environment in which the behaviour occurs

1.6 Discuss with client proposed training and behaviour program

1.7 Prioritise short-term and medium-term goals in conjunction with client

2. Develop management and training plans

2.1 Select appropriate management and training strategies to achieve behaviours appropriate for species and where relevant, the breed

2.2 Develop a management and training plan, in consultation with the client or carer, to achieve outcomes for individual animal

2.3 Consult with appropriate professional colleagues to obtain specialised advice, including referral to a veterinarian for medical issues, if required

2.4 Discuss options and implement agreed plan that addresses the client’s goals and individual animal’s needs

2.5 Provide advice to client on management strategies, behavioural conditioning, enrichment and maintenance

2.6 Maintain record of client communications

3. Conduct training session with animal and client

3.1 Select, prepare and use appropriate training equipment, and personal protective equipment if required, according to management and training plan, and animal welfare and ethics

3.2 Conduct initial training according to current scientifically validated training methodology, animal welfare and ethics requirements

3.3 Set appropriate activities for client to implement with animal

3.4 Assist client with strategies to implement management changes

3.5 Provide client with individualised and general information about the session using appropriate media, in a timely manner

3.6 Maintain, clean and store training equipment according to workplace procedures and manufacturer guidelines

4. Review management and training plan and conduct ongoing training and assessments

4.1 Review progress of client and animal according to management and training plan, and discuss with client

4.2 Update management and training plan in consultation with client as required

4.3 Provide training in further approximations of exercises outlined in the plan

4.4 Discuss strategies with the client to achieve and maintain longer-term management and training objectives

4.5 Maintain training and client records according to workplace practices

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential for performance in this unit of competency but are not explicit in the performance criteria.




  • Interpret information relating to animal behaviour and training


  • Write clearly sequenced training plans that can be followed by clients

Oral communication

  • Use terminology appropriate to audience when explaining animal behaviour
  • Use open-ended questioning, active listening, paraphrasing and summarising to determine client requirements
  • Sequence information logically for ease of understanding

Unit Mapping Information

Code and title current version

Code and title previous version


Equivalence status

ACMBEH405 Provide individual advice on animal behaviour management and training

ACMCAS409 Provide training advice to companion animal owners

Title changed

Elements 4 and 5 merged

Changes to performance criteria for clarity

New performance criteria added

Assessment requirements updated

Not equivalent


Companion Volumes, including Implementation Guides, are available at VETNet: - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=b75f4b23-54c9-4cc9-a5db-d3502d154103


Assessment requirements

Modification History



Release 1

This version released with ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package Version 4.0.

Performance Evidence

An individual demonstrating competency must satisfy all of the elements and performance criteria in this unit.

There must be evidence that the individual has:

  • provided animal management and training advice and a documented plan to three different clients, incorporating:
  • current, scientifically validated behaviour management and training techniques
  • positive reinforcement strategies to achieve desirable behaviours
  • prepared resources and equipment required to undertake consultations
  • communicated effectively with each client to determine animal and client needs and to provide advice and assistance
  • supervised the management and training of each animal according to agreed plan
  • used safe and humane, low stress animal handling techniques and equipment.

Knowledge Evidence

An individual must be able to demonstrate the knowledge required to perform the tasks outlined in the elements and performance criteria of this unit. This includes knowledge of:

  • strategies for obtaining information about the client and the animal, including:
  • verbal questioning and interview techniques
  • written surveys/questionnaires
  • range of qualified professionals with specialised skills, including:
  • behaviour veterinarian, including a veterinarian with an interest in animal behaviour or a veterinarian with Membership to Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (MANZCVS)
  • registered Specialist in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine (SVBM)
  • animal physiotherapist
  • range of common animal species or breed groups relevant to role or workplace
  • species and/or breed specific behaviour for animals the trainer is working with, including:
  • indicators of normal, healthy behaviour
  • characteristics impacting on behaviour, including age, health status and social needs
  • how to recognise body language and likely emotional state for species
  • signs of stress and the effect on behaviour and management
  • signs of undesirable or maladaptive behaviours
  • key features of species-specific animal anatomy, physiology and exercise requirements relevant to animal training and behaviour management
  • key concepts of animal learning theory, conditioning and training, including:
  • associative learning – operant and classical conditioning
  • non-associative learning – habituation and sensitisation
  • primary and secondary reinforcers
  • schedules of reinforcement
  • desensitisation and counter conditioning
  • positive reinforcement training techniques and items, including for luring, targeting and shaping
  • key features, benefits and limitation of guidelines for animal trainers, including:
  • Least Intrusive Effective Behaviour Intervention (LIEBI model)
  • Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) training
  • Hierarchy of Procedures for Humane and Effective Practice
  • formats for behaviour management and training plans
  • safe, low stress animal handling and humane restraint techniques and procedures, including:
  • personal protective equipment
  • common species-specific reinforcers, shaping items, targeting items, bridging items (clicker/whistle)
  • key principles of animal welfare and ethics.

Assessment Conditions

Assessment of the skills in this unit of competency must take place under the following conditions:

  • physical conditions:
  • a workplace or an environment that accurately represents workplace conditions
  • resources, equipment and materials:
  • live animals as specified in the performance evidence
  • species-specific reinforcers, shaping items, targeting items, bridging items (clicker/whistle)
  • formats for behaviour management and training plans
  • relationships:
  • clients (owners/carers) as specified in the performance evidence.

Assessors of this unit must satisfy the requirements for assessors in applicable vocational education and training legislation, frameworks and/or standards.


Companion Volumes, including Implementation Guides, are available at VETNet: - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=b75f4b23-54c9-4cc9-a5db-d3502d154103