Unit of competency details

ACMCAS306A - Provide grooming services for companion animal comfort (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMCAS306 - Provide grooming services for companion animal comfortUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 28/Nov/2017

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 07/Dec/2012
(View details for release 1) 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


TP Version 




Range statement updated

Reference to OHS legislation replaced with generic terminology



Initial release

Unit Descriptor

This Unit of Competency covers the process of providing animal grooming services for companion animals to maintain/restore animal comfort within an established grooming environment.

Application of the Unit

This Unit is applicable to those working in the companion animal industry sector where grooming services are provided 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

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



Employability Skills Information

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. Establish client requirements

1.1 Breed type grooming characteristics  are identified.

1.2 Animal profile  is established.

1.3 Animal condition is evaluated.

1.4 Owner's desired outcome is established.

2. Plan grooming routine

2.1 Risks  associated with grooming nominated animals are determined and minimised in accordance with workplace health and safety  and animal welfare requirements.

2.2 Time limitations, budget and available facilities are considered in preparing grooming plan.

2.3 Grooming plan is confirmed with supervisor based on animal and client needs.

2.4 Grooming equipment  and supplies are prepared.

2.5 Order of grooming activities is determined.

3. Groom animals

3.1 Animals are restrained for grooming and monitored for signs of distress .

3.2 Grooming techniques  used to address matted or knotted coat are implemented.

3.3 Grooming techniques to treat external parasites are implemented.

3.4 Coat is groomed.

3.5 Techniques used to clip or file nails are implemented.

4. Trim coat for animal comfort

4.1 Tools used for coat trimming  are selected and prepared.

4.2 Risks associated with using coat trimming equipment are identified and minimised in accordance with workplace health and safety and animal welfare requirements.

4.3 Techniques used to trim coat to restore animal comfort are implemented.

4.4 Techniques used to remove hair from ears are justified and implemented.

5. Complete grooming and trimming procedures

5.1 Animal is housed safely and monitored until owners arrival.

5.2 Grooming equipment and area is cleaned and returned to storage, supplies audited and documented.

5.3 Waste material is collected and disposed of in accordance with environmental and legislative requirements.

5.4 Grooming services are documented for invoicing.

5.5 Animals are returned to owner, grooming plan is reviewed  with supervisor and any follow-up requirements are discussed.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills include:

Ability to: 

  • apply a range of industry recognised grooming procedures to maintain animal comfort in consultation with supervisor
  • apply problem-solving skills to use available resources and prioritise daily tasks
  • complete relevant work-related documents
  • employ 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
  • employ safe and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when working with and handling animals
  • follow organisation policies, procedures and requirements
  • follow sequenced written instructions; record accurately and legibly information collected; and select and apply procedures to a range of defined tasks
  • identify animals using common names
  • maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and cross-infection
  • operate and maintain a range of grooming equipment
  • use literacy skills to read and follow organisation policies and procedures, including workplace health and safety, infection control and waste management procedures
  • use oral communication skills/language to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation, including questioning techniques, active listening, asking for clarification and consulting with supervisors
  • use numeracy skills to complete basic arithmetic calculations and measure volumes
  • use safe manual handling techniques and/or equipment
  • use safe waste handling and disposal procedures.

Required knowledge includes:

Knowledge of: 

  • basic animal anatomy and physiology related to grooming procedures
  • industry recognised maintenance and restoration animal grooming techniques, procedures and equipment
  • normal and abnormal animal behaviour and traits for relevant species
  • organisation policies, procedures and requirements, including workplace health and safety and emergency procedures, hygiene standards and waste disposal regulations
  • principles of animal ethics and welfare
  • relevant grooming products and services
  • relevant recordkeeping systems
  • relevant workplace health and safetyand animal welfare legislative requirements and codes of practice
  • safe animal handling and restraint techniques and procedures
  • safe work practices
  • signs of abnormalities and health concerns in animals, including parasitic infections
  • transmission of diseases between animals
  • usage and maintenance of a range of grooming equipment
  • 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 competency 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:

  • assess health and condition of animal's coat and determine grooming requirements with client/owner
  • follow workplace instructions to apply industry recognised grooming methods and procedures for different breeds of companion animals to maintain/restore animal comfort
  • handle animals in a safe and humane manner
  • use and maintain grooming equipment and supplies in accordance with organisational standards and manufacturers' specifications under supervision
  • build relationships and communicate effectively with clients regarding appropriate grooming requirements
  • maintain records and follow-up with clients as required.

The skills and knowledge required to provide grooming services for companion animal comfort 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 companion animal organisations that offer grooming services or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.

There must be access to a range of companion animal breeds as well as relevant information, equipment and/or resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.

Method of assessment

To ensure consistency of 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, cases and responsibilities, and over a number of assessment activities.

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

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

Breed type grooming characteristics  may include:

  • breed-specific clipping regulations and standards for competition animals
  • metabolic and other animal health issues that may be impacted by coat condition, grooming methods and equipment
  • techniques used to groom animals to ensure their comfort in various climatic and lifestyle conditions.

Animal profile  information may include:

  • breed or type
  • age, sex and reproductive status
  • contact details for owner
  • current body, skin and coat condition
  • known allergies or other health problems
  • history of previous grooming experience
  • injuries or other issues either reported or observed
  • vaccination status.


Risks in capture, handling and grooming animals may include:

  • aggressive animal behaviour
  • escape of animals and subsequent threat to safety of humans and other animals
  • heat stress and reaction to dryers/dryer stress
  • potential anxiety of animal when being handled by strangers
  • potential injuries to humans during capture, handling and grooming processes
  • potential stress and injury to animals during handling and grooming such as:
  • brush burns
  • clipper rash
  • dryer burn
  • heat stroke
  • nail bleeding
  • reaction to washing and grooming chemicals
  • transmission of disease and infection to humans and other animals
  • unfamiliarity of animal to grooming and washing equipment and processes to animals
  • use of water in close vicinity of electrical equipment.

Workplace health and safety risks  when handling animals may include: 

  • animal bites, kicks, scratches and crush injuries
  • biological hazardous waste and sharps disposal
  • handling of chemicals and medicines
  • gas leakage
  • 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.

Grooming Equipment  may include:

  • brushes, combs, files, polishing pads and towels
  • coat cleaning and conditioning products
  • detangling and debris removing products
  • grooming stands
  • restraining equipment (e.g. collars, leads, muzzles and harnesses)
  • scissors, clippers, tweezers and stripping knives.

Signs of distress  may include:

  • aggressive behaviour
  • inappetence
  • subdued behaviour
  • trembling
  • vocalisation.

Grooming techniques  may include:

  • clean ears, eyes and teeth
  • detangle coat or hair
  • file or clip nails and horns
  • inspect animals for parasites and other health issues
  • remove and control external parasites
  • remove dander or scurf from skin
  • remove dirt, debris and contaminants from the coat and skin
  • remove old coat
  • restrain animal during grooming
  • stimulate skin and coat health by brushing and basic massage.

Coat trimming  and equipment may include:

  • clipping techniques:
  • for ease of animal care
  • to remove excess hair in ears
  • to remove knots and contaminants in coat
  • equipment:
  • coat clippers, including electric, rechargeable, hand operated and assorted clipping blades
  • scissor and shears or various sizes
  • stripping knives and tweezers.

Grooming plan review  may include:

  • further parasite control requirements
  • identifying follow-up grooming schedule to maintain coat and skin in optimal condition
  • reporting on animal behaviour during grooming to supervisor
  • reporting any injury or illness issues that have occurred during grooming to supervisor
  • reporting any health issues noticed during grooming or inspection of animal to supervisor
  • suggesting grooming or care products for home use.

Unit Sector(s)

Companion animal services