Unit of competency details

ACMGAS206A - Provide basic first aid for animals (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMGAS206 - Provide basic first aid for animalsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 28/Nov/2017
Supersedes RUV2107A - Provide basic first aid for animalsUnit revised and equivalent RUV2107A 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 061103 Veterinary Assisting  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061103 Veterinary Assisting  11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the process of providing essential first aid for animals by recognising and responding to an emergency using basic first aid measures. The first aider is not expected to deal with complex casualties or incidents, but to provide an initial response where first aid is required.

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. Assess the situation

1.1. Emergency situation  is recognised.

1.2. Physical hazards  to self, bystanders, the public and the animal are identified.

1.3. Action is taken to minimise the immediate risk  to self, bystanders, the public and the animal .

1.4. Physical condition and vital signs  of the animal are assessed.

2. Assist in assessment of animals

2.1. Animal is reassured in a caring manner and made comfortable using available resources.

2.2. Animal is handled safely and humanely to minimise pain and further injuries.

2.3. Basic first aid care  is provided in accordance with established animal first aid principles

2.4. First aid assistance  is sought from others as appropriate and required.

2.5. Occupational health and safety  (OHS ) procedures  and personal protective equipment  are used at all times when handling animals.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • complete relevant work-related documents
  • employ safe and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when handling animals
  • maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and cross-infection
  • respond to emergencies in line with practised actions
  • literacy skills to read and follow organisational policies and procedures, including OHS; follow sequenced written instructions; and record the information accurately and legible
  • 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 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
  • use personal protective clothing and equipment correctly
  • problem-solving skills to use available resources and determine who to contact for assistance
  • use safe manual handling techniques and/or equipment.

Required knowledge 

  • animal emergency network
  • animal temperaments and behaviours related to the associated hazards and risks to animals and staff during animal capture, restraint, inspection and treatment
  • basic animal care and hygiene principles
  • basic first aid techniques
  • first aid casualty management principles
  • first aid sources for assistance
  • communication procedures and systems, and technology relevant to the organisation and the individual's work responsibilities
  • examination techniques for health status
  • methods used to capture, restrain and examine animals
  • organisation policies and procedures, including OHS and emergency procedures
  • physical conditions and vital signs of animals
  • physiological features of animals
  • relevant OHS and animal welfare legislative requirements and codes of practice
  • safe animal handling techniques and procedures
  • safe work practices
  • zoonotic diseases.

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:

  • assess an emergency situation
  • determine hazards and minimise risk to self, bystanders, the public and the animal
  • apply basic first aid and care to animals
  • seek assistance during the application of first aid
  • communicate effectively with others and follow instructions.

The skills and knowledge required to provide basic first aid for 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.

Emergency situations  may include:

  • natural or human disasters:
  • building destruction
  • drought, flood or earthquakes
  • fire, fuel and/or chemical spillage
  • life threatening disease or biohazard
  • trauma:
  • cardiac arrest
  • exhaustion due to exercise or workload
  • exposure to climatic conditions
  • electrocution
  • fight or flight response
  • non-infectious diseases (e.g. diabetes and respiratory)
  • poisoning
  • respiratory distress
  • road accidents.

Hazards  may include:

  • animal:
  • size
  • number
  • temperament
  • behaviour
  • fire, gas, fumes and electrical situations
  • injuries
  • lack of oxygen
  • proximity of other people and animals
  • vehicles and machinery.

Risks  may include:

  • risks to self, bystanders and public:
  • animal attempting to escape
  • bites, scratches and wounds associated with animal handling
  • envenomation
  • kicks and crushes associated with animal handling
  • lifting and moving animals
  • zoonoses
  • risks to animals:
  • animal being harmed further (going into shock) as a result of human intervention
  • animal trying to escape and causing itself further injuries.

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).

Physical condition and vital signs  may include:

  • physical condition:
  • broken bones
  • burns
  • lacerations
  • other injuries, trauma and medical conditions
  • scratches
  • vital signs:
  • hydration status
  • pulse rates
  • respiration
  • temperature.

Basic first aid care  may include:

  • stop bleeding
  • administer oxygen
  • minimise impact of shock by keeping animal quiet, warm and away from activity or noise
  • immobilise limb injuries, if soft tissue damage or fractures are suspected, if possible
  • hose or apply water, if available, in cases of burns or heat exhaustion
  • administration of emetics or antidotes under instruction if appropriate
  • feeding or watering as advised
  • transporting animal to veterinary assistance as soon as possible.

First aid assistance  may include:

  • veterinarian
  • wildlife carer
  • ranger or supervisor.

OHS procedures  may include:

  • safe work method statements (SWMS) covering:
  • cleaning, removal of waste and spillage, containment or elimination of risk
  • emergency procedures:
  • potential escape of an animal
  • injury to an animal or other animals, staff and potentially the public
  • handling animals
  • hazard identification and risk minimisation
  • procedures for the handling, use, storage, transport and disposal of chemicals
  • manual handling techniques
  • procedures for the handling and disposal of biological wastes
  • controlling the spread of disease, infection control and biohazard management
  • incident reporting
  • seeking advice from supervisors
  • referring to material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • use of personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment  may include:

  • animal restraint devices:
  • collars
  • halters
  • harnesses
  • leads
  • communication equipment
  • infection control equipment
  • protective clothing i:
  • animal handling gauntlets
  • boots, gloves, goggles and helmet
  • sun or wet weather protection from heat or cold
  • protection from animal scratches and bites
  • protection from terrain, chemical spills or other hazards
  • safety lines and harnesses.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

General animal studies

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units