Unit of competency details

ACMBEH406 - Conduct group training classes for animal owners or carers (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes ACMCAS410 - Conduct companion animal training classesTitle changed. Changes to elements and performance criteria to reflect current industry practice and for clarity. 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 training classes for animals and their owners or carers. Training is generally conducted in group sessions in suitable venues/environments.

This unit applies to individuals who conduct group classes to assist and teach owners/carers with the training of desirable behaviours commonly required in domestic and community environments. These individuals 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 and behaviour problems and 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. Develop group training program

1.1 Research community and legislative requirements for conducting animal training classes

1.2 Research normal behaviour and common training issues owners experience for relevant breed groups and species

1.3 Determine appropriate training strategies for species based on current scientifically validated animal learning theory and methodology

1.4 Develop a training program to meet the needs of the client group

1.5 Prepare and sequence class training plans to achieve measurable goals

1.6 Select suitable venue to conduct classes based on safety, group size, and availability

1.7 Assess the health and safety risks and take appropriate actions

2. Promote and organise group training program

2.1 Determine costings for classes and prepare information on prices to be charged

2.2 Prepare promotional materials and distribute according to workplace requirements

2.3 Take bookings for classes and respond to enquiries professionally

2.4 Gather background information about animals, address behaviour suitability or training concerns, and finalise class arrangements

3. Conduct group training classes

3.1 Set up venue and select and use appropriate training equipment according to training plans

3.2 Conduct classes according to training plans, industry standards, and workplace health and safety and animal welfare and ethics requirements

3.3 Provide clear instructions and respond to queries using appropriate terminology and tone for the group and individuals

3.4 Monitor and manage behaviour and interactions between animals and people

3.5 Provide individual assistance and feedback, and discuss progress with class participants

3.6 Adjust training plans to address identified behaviour or training needs and set out-of-class follow-up activities

3.7 Restore physical environment at conclusion of the classes, and collect, store, clean and sanitise training equipment according to workplace requirements

3.8 Maintain class and client records according to workplace requirements

4. Provide follow-up advice to clients

4.1 Advise clients on suitable training or enrichment activities for their animal

4.2 Advise clients on longer-term management strategies suitable for their animal

4.3 Advise on a range of relevant companion animal activities available in the area, including clubs, shows and sports

5. Review and update group training plans

5.1 Gather feedback from class participants according to workplace requirements

5.2 Review group feedback and incorporate personal observations to make modifications or improvements to the training plans

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 current scientifically validated information to maintain knowledge of animal behaviour and training techniques


  • Structure and document training plans logically using workplace formats and terminology

Oral communication

  • Determine client requirements through open-ended questioning, active listening, paraphrasing and summarising


  • Calculate and sequence timing of activities when planning sessions
  • Perform calculations related to costs, including percentage, average and ratio

Unit Mapping Information

Code and title current version

Code and title previous version


Equivalence status

ACMBEH406 Conduct group training classes for animal owners or carers

ACMCAS410 Conduct companion animal training classes

Title changed

Changes to elements and performance criteria to reflect current industry practice and for clarity

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:

  • researched training strategies to achieve at least four desirable behaviours or specific training outcomes
  • documented a training program, comprising at least four classes of 30–60-minute duration, to address client group needs
  • conducted at least two group training programs with animals of different life stages or different species – each program must have at least four classes (with at least four animals in each class), covering:
  • training new exercises
  • revising previously trained exercises
  • provided clear instructions to clients and responded to queries or requests for assistance
  • monitored and interpreted the behaviour and interactions of animals and owners to ensure a safe training environment
  • provided feedback on progress and individual assistance to participants and animals using effective communication techniques
  • reviewed and updated at least one training program based on participant feedback and personal observations.

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:

  • range of common breeds or species relevant to workplace, and characteristics of their stages of development, health requirements and social needs
  • types of species and activities covered in group training classes
  • breed or species-specific behaviour, including:
  • normal, healthy behaviour
  • how to recognise body language and determine the likely emotional state
  • how to recognise signs of stress and its effect on behaviour and management
  • signs of undesirable or maladaptive behaviours
  • animal enrichment requirements
  • basic animal anatomy, physiology and exercise requirements related to animal's life-stage and physical ability
  • key concepts of animal learning theory, training and conditioning, 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 conditioning techniques and tools, including:
  • luring
  • targeting
  • capturing and shaping (prompted and free)
  • 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 
  • strategies to promote or advertise classes
  • criteria for suitable and safe physical training environments and/or venues
  • methods for obtaining client and animal information
  • formats for training programs and class or lesson plans
  • techniques for delivering information to groups
  • types, purpose and safe use of species-specific reinforcers
  • safe, low stress animal handling and humane restraint techniques and procedures.

Assessment Conditions

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

  • physical conditions:
  • an animal training workplace or an environment that accurately represents workplace conditions
  • resources, equipment and materials:
  • live animals as specified in the performance evidence
  • species-specific equipment and resources that reflect the animal training classes specified in the performance evidence
  • relationships:
  • clients.

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