Unit of competency details

ACMCAN311A - Care for young animals (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMCAN311 - Care for young animalsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 28/Nov/2017
Supersedes RUV3411A - Care for young animalsUnit revised and equivalent RUV3411A 10/Nov/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Nov/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050105 Animal Husbandry  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050105 Animal Husbandry  11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the process of monitoring the general health and wellbeing of young animals that may be either rescued native wildlife or captive animals being naturally or artificially reared.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

The unit is applicable to wildlife animal keepers or carers who are expected to perform tasks under supervision.

In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all units of competency in the ACM10 Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for animals so that stress and discomfort is minimised.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify and assist with animal care needs

1.1. Suitable environment  for rearing young animals is prepared and maintained in accordance with occupational health and safety  (OHS ) requirements.

1.2. Appropriate care program  is developed to ensure the health and wellbeing of animals.

1.3. Assistance is provided in operating and maintaining controlled environments  in accordance with facility policies and procedures.

1.4. Risks to animals  associated with artificial rearing are identified and minimised.

2. Monitor health and nutrition requirements for young animals

2.1. Dietary and feeding requirements of young animals are prepared and stored in accordance with facility policies and procedures.

2.2. Growth and general condition  of animals are monitored.

2.3. Weaning  procedures are followed for nominated species where appropriate.

2.4. Pre-release activities are conducted under supervision, where appropriate.

2.5. Records  are maintained in accordance with facility policies and procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • employ safe, humane and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when handling and working with young animals
  • identify signs and symptoms of disease and ill thrift in young animals
  • implement facility policies and procedures
  • maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and cross-infection
  • maintain records
  • monitor animal health and condition and recognise abnormalities
  • literacy skills to read and follow facility policies and procedures, including OHS and waste management; follow treatment instructions; record accurately and legibly information collected; and select and apply procedures to a range of defined tasks
  • oral communication skills/language to fulfil the job role as specified by the facility, including questioning techniques, active listening, asking for clarification from supervisors and consulting with supervisors
  • numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace measures
  • interpersonal skills to work with others and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities
  • problem-solving skills to use available resources and prioritise daily tasks
  • use safe manual handling techniques and/or equipment
  • use safe waste handling and disposal procedures.

Required knowledge 

  • anatomy structure and physiology features of the relevant animal groups related to caring for young animals
  • concepts of imprinting and socialisation
  • feeding and husbandry requirements for artificially raised animals
  • formula types for common species
  • housing requirements for mother and young where relevant
  • normal and abnormal animal behaviour
  • pre-release activities
  • range of risks to animals being artificially fed
  • release strategies
  • relevant facility policies and procedures, including OHS, animal welfare, ethics, hygiene standards and other industry guidelines
  • relevant federal and state or territory legislation and codes of practice
  • safe animal handling techniques and procedures
  • safe work practices
  • weaning management
  • workplace hygiene standards, disinfectants, cleaning agents, cleaning techniques and cleaning equipment and materials.

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit. Assessors should ensure that candidates can:

  • provide appropriate environments and care programs to meet the needs of a range of young animals
  • assist in artificially rearing animals
  • monitor the health and nutrition of young animals to ensure their overall growth and wellbeing
  • prepare animals for release into a captive or natural habitat environment.

The skills and knowledge required to care for young animals must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment of this unit is to be practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in a captive animal workplace.

There must be access in this situation to a range of young animals as well as the appropriate equipment and/or resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.

Method of assessment 

To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated, to industry defined standards, on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances and where possible, over a number of assessment activities.

The assessment strategy must include practical skills assessment. Suggested strategies for this unit are:

  • written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge
  • observed, documented and first-hand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks
  • simulation exercises that reproduce normal work conditions
  • third-party evidence
  • workplace documentation
  • portfolio.

This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds).

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Suitable environments  may include:

  • appropriate level of barrier nursing
  • consideration of appropriate housing for the mother
  • reduced noise or light
  • screening or privacy from the public
  • separation of the young from other animals or mate
  • simulated natural habitats.

OHS  risks when working with animals may include:

  • animal bites, envenomation, kicks, scratches and crush injuries
  • biological hazardous waste and sharps disposal
  • handling of chemicals and medicines
  • inhalation of aerosol particles
  • intraocular contamination
  • manual handling, including carrying, lifting and shifting
  • needle pricks and cuts from other sharps
  • release of infective agents (animal and human)
  • slippery or uneven work surfaces
  • zoonoses.

Care program  may include:

  • appropriate environment
  • nutritional requirements
  • teaching animals to catch their own food
  • providing animals with materials to create their own living environment
  • providing socialisation opportunities with other animals.

Controlled environment  may include:

  • brooders
  • food dictated by breeding and growth patterns
  • heat pads
  • hospital cages
  • humidicribs
  • incubators
  • invertebrate breeding cages.

Risks to animals  during artificial feeding may include:

  • acquisition of aberrant behaviours
  • aspiration
  • imprinting
  • infection
  • lack of socialisation
  • pneumonia.

Growth and general condition  monitoring may include:

  • appearance of the body or coat
  • body measurements
  • monitoring weight
  • temperature.

Weaning  may involve:

  • changing the diet
  • introducing alternative feeding strategies
  • weaning from human contact.

Records  may include:

  • those required by legislation and facility policies and procedures:
  • animal identification and health records
  • facility breeding program records, if applicable
  • yearly returns to relevant state or territory bodies detailing the survival of all wildlife held, if required.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Captive animals

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units