Unit of competency details

ACMGAS204A - Feed and water animals (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMGAS204 - Feed and water animalsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Assessment requirements revised. 28/Nov/2017

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 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the process of preparing, presenting and distributing food and water for animals under supervision and according to workplace diet requirements.

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. Prepare for feeding

1.1. Basic nutritional needs of common companion animals  are identified.

1.2. Food and food supplements  are identified and prepared in line with feeding plans .

1.3. Food temperature requirements for preparation and storage are followed.

1.4. Hazards to human and animal health  in food preparation and distribution are identified and reported to supervisor.

1.5. Food and water containers appropriate to the animal and situation are checked for cleanliness before use.

2. Feed and water animals

2.1. Food and food supplements are provided in accordance with feeding plans and organisational policies and procedures.

2.2. Food and water supply are checked and maintained according to feeding plans.

2.3. Feeding process is monitored to ensure animals are feeding effectively in accordance with feeding plans.

2.4. Variations to individual eating and drinking patterns are noted and reported to supervisor.

3. Complete the feeding and watering process

3.1. Feeding and watering process is recorded in accordance with organisational procedures.

3.2. Eating and drinking abnormalities  are recorded and reported to the supervisor according to organisational policies and procedures.

3.3. Feeding equipment and supplies are hygienically cleaned and stored according to organisational policies and procedures.

3.4. Food and food supplement stock levels are recorded and reported to supervisor.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • complete relevant work-related documents
  • comply with basic legislative and regulatory compliance requirements in animal care workplaces
  • employ safe and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when handling animals and feed
  • identify common feedstuffs and relate these to animal dietary requirements
  • maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and cross-infection
  • use chemicals and cleaning agents to clean feeding equipment and workplace in accordance with state or territory legislation and organisational policies and procedures
  • use equipment and machinery correctly and safely
  • literacy skills to read and follow organisational policies and procedures, including occupational health and safety (OHS); follow sequenced written instructions; and record information accurately and legibly
  • 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
  • numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace measures
  • interpersonal skills to relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities
  • use personal protective clothing and equipment correctly
  • 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 

  • animal care and hygiene principles
  • animal temperaments and behaviours related to the associated hazards and risks to animals and staff during animal feeding
  • basic nutritional needs, including water of animals and feedstuffs suitable to provide these nutrients to a range of animals of various ages, status and conditions
  • communication procedures and systems, and technology relevant to the organisation and the individual's work responsibilities
  • hazards to animals and humans in the preparation, distribution and storage of feedstuffs
  • methods of transmission of disease and infection
  • methods used to prepare and present feedstuff to animals according to dietary, physiological and behavioural needs
  • organisational policies, procedures and requirements, including OHS, emergency procedures and feeding animals
  • physiological features of animals
  • principles of animal welfare and ethics
  • protocols and ethical considerations in the relay of information to others
  • regulations relating to the disposal of hazardous waste
  • relevant OHS and animal welfare legislative requirements and codes of practice
  • safe animal handling techniques and procedures
  • safe use of chemicals and cleaning agents
  • storage requirements for food
  • terminology used to identify animals and describe their behaviour
  • types of mould and bacteria in food preparation areas
  • 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:

  • follow feeding plan to meet the nutritional requirements of animals and report variations
  • handle and store feed to maintain nutritional value and safe-to-feed status
  • provide appropriately prepared and presented food and water to animal
  • document feed supplies usage and feeding habits of animals, including eating and drinking abnormalities, and report to supervisor.

The skills and knowledge required to feed and water 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 an animal 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 and 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.Assessment must cover a minimum of one species from at least two of the six major animal groups (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates).

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.

Animals  may include:

  • animals commonly encountered within the industry workplace and may cover both native and introduced species
  • animals from the six major animal groups (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates).

Food supplements  may include:

  • trace elements, vitamins, minerals and sources of specific-purpose nutrients that cannot be adequately provided in feedstuffs for specific dietary requirements.

Feeding plans  may consider:

  • available food sources
  • feeding frequency and rates
  • feeding methods and procedures
  • how to introduce animals to dietary changes
  • nutrient requirements for particular animal status and condition
  • presentation of food that stimulates activity and allows animal to mimic normal wild activity
  • reporting and recording requirements
  • supervisor's instructions
  • target weights
  • weed and pest control strategy.

Hazards to animals and humans  in food preparation and distribution may include:

  • animal movement and handling
  • contamination of foodstuffs from vermin, bacteria, fungus, virus and other sources
  • excessive noise
  • manual handling and general food preparation, storage and distribution equipment
  • organic and other dusts
  • possibility of zoonotic infection
  • shelf life of foodstuffs.

Eating and drinking abnormalities  may include:

  • changes in feeding behaviours:
  • gorging
  • increased water intake
  • reluctance to eat
  • reluctance to eat previously accepted feedstuffs
  • general observation of sick animals, weight loss, scouring and ill thrift.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Animal studies

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units