Unit of competency details

ACMGAS301A - Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMGAS301 - Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeingUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 28/Nov/2017
Supersedes and is equivalent to RUV3303A - Monitor and maintain animal health and wellbeingNew unit replacing and equivalent to each of the industry sector units 10/Nov/2010
Supersedes and is equivalent to RUV3409A - Monitor and maintain animal healthNew unit replacing and equivalent to each of the industry sector units 10/Nov/2010
Supersedes and is equivalent to RUV3504A - Monitor and maintain health of companion animalsNew unit replacing and equivalent to each of the industry sector units 10/Nov/2010

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

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
AHC30116 - Certificate III in AgricultureCertificate III in Agriculture1-2 
ACM30410 - Certificate III in Companion Animal ServicesCertificate III in Companion Animal Services1-2 
ACM50110 - Diploma of Animal TechnologyDiploma of Animal Technology
ACM40210 - Certificate IV in Captive AnimalsCertificate IV in Captive Animals1-2 
RGR40408 - Certificate IV in Racing (Greyhound Trainer)Certificate IV in Racing (Greyhound Trainer)
ACM30612 - Certificate III in Pet GroomingCertificate III in Pet Grooming
ACM40612 - Certificate IV in Pet StylingCertificate IV in Pet Styling
ACM30110 - Certificate III in Animal StudiesCertificate III in Animal Studies1-2 
ACM30310 - Certificate III in Captive AnimalsCertificate III in Captive Animals1-2 
ACM30210 - Certificate III in Animal TechnologyCertificate III in Animal Technology1-2 
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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 following animal health management practices to monitor animal health via daily observations of behaviour and condition.

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 those working in animal care industry sectors where it may be necessary to care for a range of animal species and to monitor the wellbeing of healthy, ill or injured animals by observing and measuring indicators of ideal and poor development or response to treatments. These animals may be being kept long term in the workplace or being raised or prepared for sale, rehousing or release to their native habitat.

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. Follow animal  health management practices

1.1. Personal health and hygiene standards  are maintained in accordance with occupational health and safety  (OHS ) and organisation policies and procedures.

1.2. Animal diseases  and their impact on animals and humans are identified.

1.3. Broad categories of parasitic infestations  are identified.

1.4. Quarantine  areas are prepared and maintained in accordance with quarantine protocols

1.5. Animals requiring quarantine are identified and isolated.

1.6. Quarantine records are maintained in accordance with organisation policies and procedures.

2. Monitor and maintain the physical wellbeing of animals

2.1. Different types of animal's anatomy and physiology are identified, compared and examined to determine physical appearance, particular body structures and observation recording requirements.

2.2. Indicators of animal health  are regularly monitored and tested in accordance with organisation standard operating procedures and facility demarcation/quarantine requirements involving movement of animals within or between facilities.

2.3. The physical environment of animals  is assessed for evidence of problems that may affect the physical wellbeing of animals

2.4. Animal activity monitoring and health information and records are maintained in accordance with organisation standard operating procedures.

3. Identify and report signs of ill health or injury in animals

3.1. Signs of illness or injury  are recognised and reported to supervisor.

3.2. Abnormal animal behaviour and conditions  are recognised and reported to supervisor.

3.3. Samples  are collected correctly and recorded as directed in accordance with organisation policies and procedures.

3.4. Sick or injured animals are separated from other animals, as required, and cared for in accordance with supervisor or veterinary advice.

3.5. Animals that are ill or injured are handled in accordance with OHS and legislative requirements, relevant codes of practice and organisation policies and procedures.

4. Administer and record animal treatments

4.1. Authorised animal treatments  are administered under supervision and dosages recorded in accordance with organisation policies and procedures.

4.2. Routine preventative health treatments  are regularly monitored, administered and recorded in accordance with organisation standard operating procedures.

4.3. Appropriate storage of treatments is identified and used in accordance with organisation policies and procedures.

4.4. Records relating to animal health status, before and after treatment, and to the specific nature of treatment provided are completed in accordance with organisation policies and procedures.

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 personal and workplace hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and cross-infection
  • participate in arrangements for maintaining the health and safety of all people and animals in the workplace
  • take and record animals temperature, pulse, respiration and hydration indicators where appropriate
  • literacy skills to read and follow organisational policies and procedures, including OHS and animal welfare; follow sequenced written instructions; and record information accurately and legibly
  • oral communication skills/language to fulfil 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
  • problem-solving skills to assess appropriate practices and prioritise daily tasks
  • use personal protective clothing and equipment correctly
  • use safe manual handling techniques and/or equipment
  • use safe waste handling and disposal procedures.

Required knowledge 

  • anatomical and physiological terminology and glossary of terms
  • anatomical and physiological structures and functions related to animal health and wellbeing
  • broad categories of parasitic infestations
  • common diseases, ailments, injuries and other impacts on animal health and wellbeing
  • housing, exercise, social and activity needs of animals
  • indicators of poor response to treatment or management of young, ill, injured or compromised animals
  • indicators of recovery from illness or injury
  • methods used to measure, interpret and record animals weight and other objective measures of animal health
  • principles of animal welfare and ethics
  • relevant OHS and animal welfare legislative requirements and codes of practice
  • quarantine protocols
  • safe work practices
  • terminology used to describe and document health and behavioural signs and symptoms
  • 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:

  • carry out routine, consistent monitoring of animal health and physical wellbeing
  • maintain personal health and a hygienic work environment
  • follow quarantine protocols as required
  • identify good health, illness, injury and abnormal behaviour in animals and report to supervisor
  • administer authorised animal treatments and implement routine preventative health programs as directed
  • maintain accurate animal activity monitoring, health, treatment and quarantine records.

The skills and knowledge required to maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing 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 industry sector workplace in which candidates are working 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, wildlife parks, mobile animal facilities and animal technology facilities.

There must be access in either situation to a range of animals as well as relevant information, equipment and/or resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.Assessment must be relevant to the industry sector in which candidates are working and must cover a minimum of one species from at least two of the six major animal groups OR at least three breeds from within one of the six major animal groups (mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, 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 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).

Personal health and hygiene standards  may include:

  • appropriate handling reprocessing of reusable equipment
  • aseptic technique
  • cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressing and change as necessary
  • maintain personal immunisation/vaccination requirements for working with animals where required
  • 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
  • use of personal protective clothing and equipment and change as appropriate for the intended use.

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.

Animal diseases  may include:

  • infectious diseases:
  • bacteria
  • fungi
  • internal and external parasites
  • virus
  • zoonoses
  • non-infectious diseases:
  • allergies
  • chemical toxicities
  • genetic
  • metabolic
  • neoplastic
  • nutritional
  • physical traumas.

Parasitic infestations  may include:

  • external parasites:
  • fleas, mites, lice or ticks
  • flies and midges
  • classes of internal parasites:
  • cetoda
  • nemotoda
  • trematoda.

Quarantine  requirements may include:

  • procedures and hygiene standards applied
  • reasons for quarantine
  • maintaining required records
  • quarantine periods for various species.

Indicators of animal health  monitoring may include:

  • observing and reporting unusual behaviour for nominated animal:
  • aggression or docility (depending on animal)
  • disinterest in surroundings, other animals, people or usual stimuli
  • excessive licking, scratching and rubbing
  • lethargy
  • nest building
  • self mutilation
  • trembling
  • vocalising
  • observing and reporting indicators of illness or injury:
  • bleeding
  • changes in drinking or eating patterns
  • lameness or reluctance to move and vocalising when attempting to move
  • swelling
  • unusual amounts, colour or texture of faeces.

Physical environment of animals  may include:

  • absence or presence of vermin and pests
  • ability to maintain appropriate hygiene standards to ensure animal health
  • ability to maintain enclosure security
  • access to sunlight,
  • air flow and draught
  • construction materials of enclosure, housing, bedding, feed and water containers, behaviour enrichment items and floor surface
  • location of enclosure and construction materials that may provide for or hinder positive behavioural stimulation
  • location of enclosure in regard to other animals, noise and other potentially threatening or challenging stimuli
  • protection from weather extremes (e.g. heat, cold, precipitation and wind)
  • temperature range in enclosure and in housing area

Signs of illness or injury  may include:

  • chewing or licking own body excessively
  • defensive behaviours
  • drooling and regurgitating food
  • excessive drinking
  • excessive rolling
  • general changes in normal behaviour or routines
  • lameness
  • listlessness or disinterest in surroundings
  • presence of blood, swelling, excessive heat
  • reluctance or refusal to eat or drink
  • reluctance to move
  • sweating
  • yelping or other vocalising when touched or if animal attempts to move or perform particular tasks or grooming.

Abnormal animal behaviour and conditions  may include:

  • aggression in non-aggressive species
  • cannibalism
  • reluctance to eat and drink, socialise or move in relation to the usual patterns for nominated species
  • repetitive movements or behaviours that prevent the animal from functioning normally or lead to injury.

Samples  may include:

  • blood
  • faeces
  • hair
  • muscle
  • saliva
  • semen
  • skin
  • uterine secretions.

Authorised animal treatments  may include:

  • treatments used in the routine preventative health care of animals that are available over the counter and have been approved by supervisor or are part of the approved animal care plan
  • treatments prescribed by a veterinarian.

Routine preventative health treatments  may include:

  • control of parasites
  • grooming
  • immunisation/vaccinations as required
  • insect control
  • quarantine
  • routine health check-up
  • routine observation of waste elimination and faecal examination.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

General animal studies

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units