Unit of competency details

ACMGAS201A - Work in the animal care industry (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 11/Nov/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMGAS201 - Work in the animal care industryUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 28/Nov/2017
Supersedes RUV2101A - Work in the animal care industryUnit substantially revised with OHS element removed. Not equivalent 10/Nov/2010

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the terminology, culture and working conditions of an animal care workplace when working on an individual basis and with others.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit is applicable to new entrants to the animal care and management industry. Animal care may occur in a wide variety of workplaces, including retail pet stores, kennels and catteries, shelters, veterinary practices, zoos, animal research facilities and others.

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. Contribute to a productive work environment

1.1. Information  on working in the industry, including employment terms and conditions is collected and interpreted.

1.2. Personal work practices are performed to contribute positively to quality, productivity and effective relationships in the work environment.

1.3. Industry and workplace-specific management structures and lines of reporting are complied with.

1.4. Work schedule is followed in accordance with organisational policies and procedures 

1.5. Job-specific work practices are performed to comply with the principles of ethical conduct, occupational health and safety  (OHS ) guidelines, environmental processes and industry best practice.

1.6. The need for workplace confidentiality is understood and observed.

2. Recognise animals in the workplace

2.1. A range of animals  commonly found in the workplace is identified in accordance with organisational requirements.

2.2. Animals are described using identifiable characteristics .

3. Use industry terminology

3.1. Industry terminology related to work personnel, equipment and work practices is interpreted and used in work activities

3.2. Language style, terminology and manner used are appropriate to those being communicated with.

4. Incorporate animal needs in conduct of work practices

4.1. Animal facilities and workplace protocols are evaluated in relation to animal needs.

4.2. Work routines  are completed with consideration of animal health and wellbeing priorities.

4.3. Animal handling and interaction is conducted with consideration of the social and behavioural characteristics of animals.

4.4. Hygiene protocols  are completed to ensure animal health.

4.5. Security protocols  are completed to ensure animal safety.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • comply with hygiene practices to ensure human and animal health
  • comply with OHS and animal welfare legislations and regulations
  • comply with workplace confidentiality requirements
  • follow sequenced written instructions, and record information accurately and legibly
  • interpret and use industry terminology in a range of situations
  • interpret workplace duties and conditions of employment
  • literacy skills to read and follow organisational policies and procedures, including OHS
  • oral communication skills/language to fulfill the job role as specified by the organisation, including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and seeking advice from supervisor
  • interpersonal skills to work with and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds
  • problem-solving skills to select required materials and equipment and prioritise tasks
  • use safe and approved animal handling techniques.

Required knowledge 

  • animal temperaments and behaviours in order to develop an understanding of the associated hazards and risks
  • appropriate behaviour relating to anti-discrimination and sexual harassment
  • basic legislative and regulatory compliance requirements in animal care workplaces
  • common diseases, ailments, injuries and other impacts on animal health and wellbeing
  • communication procedures, systems, and technology relevant to the organisation and the individual's work responsibilities
  • effective communication in a work team
  • environmental impacts on animal health and wellbeing
  • general job responsibilities in a range of animal care sectors
  • hazards associated with handling animals and control measures
  • housing, exercise, social and activity needs of animals
  • industry employment terms and conditions and career pathways
  • industry expectations of conduct, presentation and work performance, including quality and productivity
  • terminology and language variations used by workplace staff and the public to describe animals, their behaviour, status, health and treatments
  • workplace hygiene standards, disinfectants, cleaning agents, cleaning techniques and cleaning equipment and materials
  • zoonotic diseases associated with animal care and methods of prevention and control.

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:

  • conduct animal care work practices with consideration to animal needs in an ethical and humane manner
  • comply with relevant legislation, regulations and codes of practice, including animal welfare and OHS legislation
  • communicate effectively with supervisor and other staff using industry related terminology and follow task instructions to complete work activities.

The skills and knowledge required to work in the animal care industry 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 ananimal care workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions. Workplaces can include pet shops, breeding or boarding kennels and catteries, aviaries, companion animal training, grooming establishments, animal shelters, zoos, mobile animal facilities, veterinary practices.

There must be access to a range of animals as well as relevant information, 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
  • 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.

Industry information  may include:

  • services available in each sector:
  • animal technology, including biomedical research
  • animal control and regulation
  • captive animals
  • companion animal services
  • veterinary practices
  • relationships between sectors and other industries
  • industry work conditions
  • legislation that affects the industry
  • industrial relations and employment terms and conditions
  • career opportunities within the industry
  • appropriate industry work ethics
  • industry quality assurance standards.

Policies and procedures  may include:

  • animal welfare, including ethical use of animals for scientific or teaching purposes
  • environmental sustainability practices
  • infection control plans
  • quality assurance systems
  • standard operating procedures.

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
  • 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.

Range of animals  may include:

  • animals commonly encountered within the industry workplace and may cover both native and introduced species.

Identifiable animal characteristics  may include:

  • age, sex and size
  • coat or skin colours and texture
  • eye colour
  • markings, patterns and permanent scars
  • toe nail colour
  • microchip, ear tags, tattoos and markings and leg bands
  • movement and behaviour of animals.

Work routines  may include:

  • assisting others in completion of tasks within limits of current level of competence
  • catching and handling animals under supervision
  • checking animals for signs of distress, illness and injury
  • checking security and repair of animal housing, equipment and general facility
  • cleaning and grooming animals under supervision
  • cleaning and preparation of animal cages, enclosures, exhibits, displays, general work areas, office, reception and customer service areas
  • confirming all animals are in their cages or enclosures
  • documenting work tasks in accordance with workplace procedures
  • operating general equipment used to complete workplace cleaning routines
  • picking up rubbish, removing branches or other unsightly items not part of exhibit or animal housing
  • reporting animal health concerns to supervisor
  • stocktaking and re-supply of items
  • timeframes for completing tasks.

Hygiene protocols  may include:

  • appropriate reprocessing of reusable equipment
  • aseptic technique
  • housing and work area cleaning and disinfecting standards
  • personal hygiene practices especially washing and drying hands before and after animal contact and/or any activity likely to cause cross-contamination
  • safe handling and disposal of sharps and other clinical, related and general waste
  • surface cleaning and management of blood and bodily fluid spills
  • use of personal protective clothing and equipment and change as appropriate for the intended use.

Security protocols  may include:

  • checking for pests within animal housing or enclosures
  • checking there are no unauthorised people in animal enclosures
  • checking that locks and slides are in good working order
  • ensuring animals are safe and secure in their housing
  • ensuring medications and treatments are stored in accordance with legislative requirements
  • identifying any animal housing faults that may result in escape
  • maintaining structures in good order.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Animal studies

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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