Unit of competency details

ACMINF304 - Promote environmental health and safety for companion animals in remote communities (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Dec/2018


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  01/Feb/2019 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History



Release 1

This version released with ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package Version 2.0.


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to promote health and safety related to companion animals in remote Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) communities. It focuses on basic infection prevention and control for companion animals (mainly dogs and cats) and humans and covers knowledge of cultural issues and the need to work collaboratively within remote communities.

The unit applies to individuals who provide advice related to human health, veterinary, animal management or education services in remote Indigenous communities. They work under broad direction, take responsibility for their own work, solve problems and use discretion and judgement in the use of available resources.

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

Pre-requisite Unit


Unit Sector

Infection control (INF)

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

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

1. Identify a remote community's basic animal environmental health and infection control requirements

1.1 Confirm the community's attitude and relationship to companion animals

1.2 Carry out a basic assessment of human and animal disease risk and access to preventatives or treatment options within the community

1.3 Confirm applicable regulations relating to the keeping and management of companion animals in the community and their relationship to environmental health and infection control

1.4 Identify key issues related to the health and condition of animals and local community priorities

1.5 Establish rapport and trust with the local community to be able to carry out animal welfare activities within the community

2. Handle or interact with companion animals safely within a remote community

2.1 Observe animal behaviour before approaching or handling to assess risks to safety of self or other people or animals

2.2 Select, fit and use personal protective equipment before contact with animals and animal body fluids and excrement

2.3 Use appropriate personal hygiene practices when handling or interacting with companion animals

2.4 Apply basic animal training and behaviour principles when approaching or handling animals to ensure safety

2.5 Apply behaviours and techniques to behaviours to prevent attacks, bites and perceived threats to animals

3. Provide animal environmental health and infection control advice to community members

3.1 Check general condition and look for signs of health and diseases in individual companion animals within a community

3.2 Provide advice on how to access treatments and treat common animal skin and parasitic infections to individual community members, including medications which can only be administered by a veterinarian

3.3 Explain how to contact a veterinarian or local council or regional services for more serious animal health conditions

3.4 Explain the benefits to the community and promote the use of available population control and treatment services

4. Provide hygiene and infection control advice to community members

4.1 Identify opportunities to build awareness of the link between animal and human health and the adoption of good hygiene relating to animal care

4.2 Model appropriate personal hygiene and safety when handling or interacting with animals according to health standards

4.3 Provide advice to individual community members on basic hygiene and infection control for self and family members

4.4 Provide advice on seeking medical assistance for signs of zoonotic diseases according to available services in the region

5. Consult to provide ongoing culturally appropriate community awareness activities

5.1 Seek permission to interact with or handle animals according to community requirements and practices

5.2 Involve community members in activities to improve care for animals, prevent and minimise the transmission of diseases and promote responsible animal ownership

5.3 Use communication techniques and work practices that show respect for the culture of the community and other team members according to community standards

5.4 Provide feedback to supervisor and service providers to increase cross-cultural awareness in animal environmental health and management services

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 instructions on product labels and packaging
  • Interpret veterinary terminology and instructions received in various formats including emails and text messages (SMS)

Oral communication

  • Explain information in culturally appropriate language and terms for community audience
  • Use questioning and active listening techniques to obtain and provide information to veterinarians, health workers and others


  • Estimate the number of community animals and changes over time
  • Calculate medication doses from instructions on labels for routine animal treatments and/or veterinarian prescribed medications

Navigate the world of work

  • Recognise the need to incorporate and respect the cultural views of different communities
  • Understand the nature and purpose of own role and associated responsibilities relating to safety and animal welfare within the community context

Getting the work done

  • Plan and prioritise work tasks, adapting to contingencies and changing circumstances to achieve outcomes, targets and timelines
  • Use basic technologies to report and record information related to work role

Unit Mapping Information

Code and title current version 

Code and title previous version 


Equivalence status 

ACMINF304 Promote environmental health and safety for companion animals in remote communities

Not applicable

New unit

No equivalent unit


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 2.0.

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:

  • interacted with and/or handled at least two companion animals safely and humanely, modelling personal hygiene and use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • identified and provided information to Indigenous community members about improving the health and condition of individual dogs or other companion animals on at least two occasions
  • provided basic advice on hygiene and infection control to at least two individual community members including one child and one adult
  • consulted with community members and other stakeholders about appropriate strategies to use in delivering a community awareness activity
  • delivered at least one basic education or community awareness activity to two individuals or one group on the importance of healthy animals to the health of people.

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:

  • cultural significance and attitude to companion animals (particularly dogs), in Indigenous communities, including:
  • dreaming and creation knowledge, sacred/totem animals, 'skin names'
  • physical security and spiritual protection
  • companionship and friendship bonds
  • assist with hunting
  • differences between dingoes and domestic dogs
  • importance of understanding Indigenous community context:
  • impact of cultural beliefs on uptake of animal care services
  • cultural events that can impact on timing of services
  • limited access to veterinary services
  • adjustment to loss of traditional lifestyle and legacy animal control programs
  • geographic isolation and climatic conditions
  • common areas and areas of difference between remote community attitudes, prevalent social attitudes and personal attitudes
  • issues associated with unmanaged animals, including:
  • overpopulation including reproductive cycles and capacity/potential of dogs and cats
  • dealing with unwanted animals and strays, including overview of humane euthanasia techniques accessible to the community
  • common disease that transfer between humans and animals
  • injuries which left untreated, lead to subsequent suffering
  • nuisance, including noise from barking, fighting and mating
  • litter and faeces
  • threat of attack
  • dangers during car chasing
  • conservation issues related to introduced animal species
  • stress and human mental health impacts, including grief over sick or dying animals, frustration resulting from animals causing regular nuisance and shame associated with visibly unhealthy dogs residing in the community
  • common companion animal infections and diseases, including:
  • skin sores and infections caused by parasites including mange/scabies and ringworm
  • fleas and ticks
  • heartworm, hook worm, round worm
  • treatments for common animal infections and diseases, including:
  • state/territory restrictions on the administration of specific medications
  • use of antibiotics and microbial resistance
  • how animals spread disease, including:
  • excrement, including faeces and urine
  • mixing with other animals
  • spreading rubbish
  • close contact with humans
  • prevention techniques, including:
  • personal hygiene and hand washing
  • avoiding close contact with animals
  • providing fresh water
  • cleaning animal bedding and blankets
  • disposing of excrement
  • feeding regularly to build health and minimise scavenging
  • working safely with companion animals in remote communities, including:
  • recognising basic emotions and body language for aggressive, 'cheeky', scared and friendly animals
  • types of dog behaviour including protective/territorial behaviours and pack behaviour
  • humane handling techniques for capture, moving, holding and transporting
  • diversion tactics and techniques for defusing and preventing problems and bites
  • methods used to control and manage animal populations in communities, including:
  • animal registration and micro chipping
  • surgical desexing and chemical desexing/injectable contraceptives
  • euthanasia
  • ways to communicate information in remote communities, including:
  • using culturally appropriate language and communication methods
  • inclusive activities and role of elders
  • overview of relevant local and state regulations relating to the keeping and management of companion animals
  • range of service providers involved in animal health and management, including:
  • veterinarians and veterinary workers
  • Aboriginal Land Councils
  • Non-Government Organisations
  • local councils
  • state, territory and Australian government departments.

Assessment Conditions

Assessment of skills must take place under the following conditions:

  • physical conditions:
  • skills must be demonstrated in a remote community environment or an environment that accurately represents remote community conditions
  • resources, equipment and materials:
  • companion animals
  • PPE
  • relationships:
  • community members.

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

In addition, assessment strategies and tools must be checked for cultural appropriateness for the specific community before assessment is undertaken.


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