Unit of competency details

ACMGRM403 - Enhance companion animal coat and skin condition (Release 1)


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1 1 (this release) 13/Apr/2021


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Unit Of competency

Modification History



Release 1

This version released with ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package Version 4.0.


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to identify and evaluate the condition of companion animal coat and skin and provide appropriate products and services in consultation with clients.

The unit applies to pet groomers and animal carers who work in the companion animal industry sector where specialist grooming services and/or products are provided. They analyse information and exercise judgement to complete a range of skilled grooming activities and demonstrate deep knowledge in a specific technical area.

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures according to Commonwealth and state/territory health and safety and animal welfare regulations, legislation and standards that apply to the workplace.

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

Pre-requisite Unit


Unit Sector

Grooming (GRM)

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Assess health and status of animal coat and skin

1.1 Follow workplace hygiene and infection control procedures when conducting initial assessment and grooming activities

1.2 Conduct a visual and physical examination and analyse animal coat and skin as part of pre-grooming assessment

1.3 Apply knowledge of skin anatomy, hair shaft and growth phases to identify health and status of skin and coat

1.4 Discuss signs of animal coat or skin condition with client, and previous history where applicable

1.5 Explain benefits of grooming for coat or skin care to client

2. Recognise clinical signs of coat and skin conditions

2.1 Recognise abnormal conditions and report to client

2.2 Refer client to veterinarian to seek treatment advice, where required

2.3 Identify common coat and skin conditions, and consider suitable product options to enhance skin and coat

2.4 Discuss suitable products and obtain client agreement to proceed with recommendations

3. Apply products to enhance coat and skin

3.1 Review product ingredients and select products based on coat and skin analysis

3.2 Determine appropriate water temperature for bathing

3.3 Prepare, apply and remove products according to product instructions

3.4 Select drying process to aid compromised or damaged skin and/or coat

3.5 Use resources efficiently and dispose of waste safely according to workplace hygiene and environmental procedures

4. Provide follow-up service

4.1 Advise client of ongoing grooming schedules required

4.2 Advise on home care routines, including products and equipment

4.3 Update animal records to include full details of service

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential for performance in this unit of competency but are not explicit in the performance criteria.




  • Interpret product ingredients and content from labels and manufacturer information
  • Interpret product information and instructions on grooming products and equipment accurately


  • Use industry terminology when completing grooming documents

Oral communication

  • Determine client and animal requirements through open-ended questioning, active listening, paraphrasing and summarising


  • Calculate quantities and dilution ratios for shampoos, grooming products and disinfectants

Unit Mapping Information

Code and title current version

Code and title previous version


Equivalence status

ACMGRM403 Enhance companion animal coat and skin condition

Not applicable

Unit created to address an emerging skill required by industry

Newly created


Companion Volumes, including Implementation Guides, are available at VETNet: - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=b75f4b23-54c9-4cc9-a5db-d3502d154103


Assessment requirements

Modification History



Release 1

This version released with ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package Version 4.0.

Performance Evidence

An individual demonstrating competency must satisfy all of the elements and performance criteria in this unit.

There must be evidence that the individual has:

  • independently completed an assessment of the health and status of three different companion animal coats and skins to determine suitable grooming products options
  • identified at least ten active ingredients in grooming products (shampoo and/or conditioner) and their purpose/role
  • accurately recognised at least five clinical signs of common animal skin or coat conditions, from the following list:
  • hair loss
  • redness
  • pustules
  • dryness
  • flaky skin
  • excess production of sebum
  • thin or fragile skin
  • ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, mites)
  • staining (tear, saliva or urine stains).

In doing the above, the individual must have:

  • handled each animal in a safe and humane manner
  • communicated effectively with at least two clients to obtain information relevant to the animal's condition
  • identified one condition requiring a referral to a veterinarian
  • implemented personal and workplace hygiene standards
  • selected, fitted and correctly used personal protective equipment
  • maintained records for each animal assessed.

Knowledge Evidence

An individual must be able to demonstrate the knowledge required to perform the tasks outlined in the elements and performance criteria of this unit. This includes knowledge of:

  • types of animal coats, including:
  • long/drop coat
  • double/heavy coat
  • combination/silky coat
  • fluffy/curly coat
  • short/smooth coat
  • basic skin biology, including:
  • main structure, functions and role of skin
  • layers of skin, epidermis, dermis, hypodermis
  • subcutaneous tissue
  • basement membrane
  • sebaceous gland, papilla and muscle types
  • pH of skin
  • hair shaft structure and features, including:
  • cuticle, medulla, cortex, apocrine, sweat gland
  • pigment types – tyrosine, melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin
  • hair types – guard hairs, under hairs, tactile hairs
  • hair growth phases, including telogen, catagen, anagen
  • clinical signs of common companion animal skin or coat conditions, including:
  • hair loss
  • redness
  • pustules
  • dryness
  • flaky skin
  • excess production of sebum
  • thin or fragile skin
  • staining (tear, saliva or urine stains)
  • conditions requiring referral to a veterinarian or other animal health practitioner
  • scope of practice and state/territory restrictions on the administration of specific medications
  • safety of products used on animals, including:
  • approved for use on animals
  • awareness of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)
  • potential consequences of unsafe/non-approved products used on animals
  • types and purpose of companion animal grooming products (including safety data sheets), including:
  • shampoos and coat conditioning/finishing products
  • health treatment products
  • internal supplements/nutriments
  • topical applications
  • types of bathing systems/equipment and their effects on skin or hair condition
  • types and role of shampoo/product ingredients, including:
  • pH value
  • sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate
  • tar
  • cocamide
  • propylene glycol
  • parabens
  • ethyl alcohol
  • personal protective equipment, including protection for hands, face, eyes, ears and feet
  • impact of water temperature and pH and drying processes on skin and coat condition
  • reasons for and key features of standard infection-control precautions.

Assessment Conditions

Assessment of the skills in this unit of competency must take place under the following conditions:

  • physical conditions:
  • an animal care workplace or an environment that accurately represents workplace conditions
  • resources, equipment and materials:
  • live companion animals specified in the performance evidence
  • range of grooming products
  • manufacturer product information and support materials, including safety data sheets
  • personal protective equipment required to handle and assess animal coat and skin condition
  • workplace record-keeping/information system
  • relationships:
  • clients specified in the performance evidence.

Assessors of this unit must satisfy the requirements for assessors in applicable vocational education and training legislation, frameworks and/or standards.


Companion Volumes, including Implementation Guides, are available at VETNet: - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=b75f4b23-54c9-4cc9-a5db-d3502d154103