Certificate IV In Companion Animal Services

Course Code: ACM40317
Study Area:
Animal Studies

Start Date; February 2022
End Date: February 2023

The Certificate IV qualification reflects the role of individuals to undertake work in varied contexts using a broad range of specialised knowledge and skills. Certificate IV is suitable for senior workers and technicians who supervise or lead teams. Certificate IV also serves as a pathway for further learning. To take a 3D tour of our facilities click here 

At Bendigo TAFE we provide students with the opportunity to experience a simulated work place where your will gain industry relevant skills. Our teachers have a broad range of industry skills that they bring to the classroom environment ensuring that students have relevant and current understanding of industry practices.

Career opportunities on completion of this course; 

  • Pet shop/aquarium manager
  • Companion animal trainer/behaviourist
  • Companion animal groomer
  • Boarding kennel or cattery manager
  • Animal shelter supervisor/manager
  • Pet minding and exercise operator
  • Mobile hydro-bathing operator

Watch our Recorded Information Session to learn more about this course including career opportunities, work placements, fees and more - Watch Here

Work Placement is a mandatory component of this course. Bendigo TAFE will make efforts to secure  an appropriate placement. Due to the current environment and circumstances outside our control placements may be delayed. This may then impact the completion dates for this course and deferment of graduation.  Before you can start your practical placement, you will need to provide the following compulsory requirements:

• A valid Working with Children Check (Volunteer)

• A satisfactory National Police Check – National Police checks are conducted via fit2work, (our students have a special discount for these) 



If you're aged 17-24 or looking for work, you may be eligible for 80% discount on the course tuition fee through JobTrainer.  It's important to know you may incur fees that you will need to cover yourself, such as student service fees or materials fees. Skills First (eligible) students are normally entitled to one Free TAFE fee waiver, however under JobTrainer you may be eligible for a second Free TAFE course. To find out more, call 13 TAFE (13 8233).

  • No two at qualification level in a lifetime limit: Studied a qualification before? With JobTrainer, you may still be eligible for discounted tuition on a second course at the same qualification level.
  • No upskilling requirement: With JobTrainer, you may be able to get an exemption if you don't meet the upskilling requirement

Our course delivery features a combination of on-campus and remote (online) learning. This flexibility allows our students to continue to study in a safe, guided and supported manner.

  • Bendigo Charleston Road Campus
Course Structure

Students can undertake study in either of the following options: 

  • Full time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years


This qualification is nationally recognised

Possible careers

This course may lead to employment in the animal care industry. Job role titles covered by this qualification may include:

  • Pet shop/aquarium manager
  • Companion animal trainer/behaviourist
  • Companion animal groomer
  • Boarding kennel or cattery manager
  • Animal shelter supervisor/manager
  • Pet minding and exercise operator
  • Mobile hydro-bathing operator


You will undertake a Literacy, Language and Numeracy (LLN) evaluation and also a pre-training review (PTR) to determine your suitability for this course.

Course overview

Do you have a passion for animals and want to gain more experience handling and working with them in a compassionate environment?

In this course you will learn about the ethical and legal responsibilities in relation to animals and animal handling, and how to handle animals in a gentle way that minimises their stress.

As part of this course you will also be required to organise and undertake 120 hours of practical placement in an animal care facility or related area in the companion animal industry.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a dual qualification with the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing (ACM40418). 


How to apply

To apply for this course you must complete an online application by clicking the 'apply here' button or for further information call our Contact Centre on 13 TAFE (13 8233) or email enquiries@bendigotafe.edu.au


Selection process

There are no set prerequisites for this course. However it is recommended that you have satisfactory numeracy and literacy skills to undertake this course.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) may be given for skills and knowledge gained through previous study or other relevant experience.  Further information refer to RPL

Assessment Methods

You will be assessed throughout the course, assessments may include written, oral or practical assessments. These assessments are designed to show that you have achieved the skills and knowledge required in order to achieve this qualification. Your teacher will provide you information on how you will be assessed for each unit.

There is the opportunity for re-assessment and appeal, which you can discuss with your teacher.


Learning options

Key study areas

In this program you will learn about animal care, workplace communication, workplace health and safety processes, infection and control policies and procedures in animal work; and animal hygiene, enrichment, well-being and nutrition.

You will have access to an environment that accurately represents workplace conditions.  This environment is one that offers real life working conditions with the actual characteristics of that working environment, including equipment, interactions with other people and completion of tasks within workplace time-frames. While studying you will also have access to a companion animal workplace through periods of work placement and realistic simulated work place that reproduces normal work conditions.

Key study areas are: 

  • Maintain and monitor animal health and well-being
  • Compliance in the companion animal industry
  • Enrichment
  • Workplace health and safety and well being
  • Conduct companion animal training classes 
  • Identify and respond to animal behaviour
  • Hydro bathing
  • Professional grooming
  • Basic care of rodents and rats
  • Basic care of non-venomous reptiles

Further study opportunities

Upon successful completion of this qualification you may continue to study the following at Bendigo TAFE:

  • Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing (ACM40418)



Your fees are made up of four parts.
  1. Course enrolment type
  2. Materials
  3. Consumables
  4. Student Support Fee.   
Once you have determined the fees applicable to your situation you will be able to calculate a indicative total fee for your qualification.

Some or all of this training is provided with State or Federal Government funding. Are you eligible for Government Subsidised fees? Find out now!

Are you eligible for Government subsidised fees? Check for your eligibility here
Are you eligible for concession? Check for your eligibility here
To check your eligibility click here.
Free TAFE and JobTrainer courses only: Students eligible for Free TAFE receive the tuition rate free. Students eligible for JobTrainer pay 20% of the tuition. Materials, consumables and student services fees are payable by all students and do not receive a JobTrainer discount, however concession rates for student services fees are available for concession card holders, apprentices, trainees and 100% off campus delivery courses. Please note that these tuition rates only apply to courses offered under the Free TAFE or JobTrainer schemes.
Concessions for Diploma and Advanced Diploma course categories are only available to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.

A.   Course enrolment type:Standard
Government subsidised - average total course fee*$3,339.27
Concession - average total course fee*$667.85
Full fee - average total course fee*$17,933.81
B.   Materials average fee**$504.00
C.   Consumables average fee**$514.60
Indicative pricing for:

*The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment and details of any other fees including but not limited to student services, amenities, goods or materials and consumables.
**Materials/Consumables fees may vary for each individual based on the units they are studying.
Average tuition fees are based on the typical number of student contact hours undertaken by a student to complete this course. Average fees displayed are purely indicative and may not be your actual fee. Fees vary based on the number/hours of electives chosen by the student. Read more on fees and charges

D.  Student Support fees
The Student Support fee is a non-tuition fee for Government subsidised (eligible) students and full fee paying (ineligible) students. Read more. Student support fees are non refundable . Student support fees are payable annually for the duration of your course, over and above tuition fees.

This page was last updated on 26/07/2021 2:02 PM

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