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Level 2 Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship - StandardApply Now »

Course Image
Level: 2

Location: Workplace

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

Animal Care and Welfare Assistants look after the routine day-to-day husbandry and care of domestic and/or wild animals under guidance in a variety of different settings.  The work is carried out individually or as part of a team in places such as kennels and catteries, laboratories, animal welfare centres, farm parks, rehabilitation centres, retail outlets and in the transportation of animals.

Animal Care and Welfare Assistants must have a strong work ethic and be prepared to work irregular hours in all weather conditions. They must maintain safe working practices and take responsibility for themselves, animals and others

Length of programme

12- 18 months, with a minimum of 12 months prior to the End-point Assessment Gateway.

Entry requirements

  • Some experience volunteering or working with animals
  • Good work ethic
  • Be in employment and be committed to your career
  • Three GCSEs at grade D/3 or above


Course Content

The apprentice will follow a training programme to complete the apprenticeship requirements and meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for them to be fully competent:

  • The apprentice works and trains with the employer and/or training provider
  • The apprentice will create and maintain a mandatory portfolio in order to provide supporting evidence that will be needed to supplement the knowledge, skills and behaviours observed by the Independent Assessor at the End-point Assessment. The portfolio will be used as evidence for the professional discussion.
  • A record of off-the-job training – this is training that must occur for a minimum of 20% of the time the apprentice is paid to work and is training delivered outside of their normal working duties – to develop a wider understanding of the industry.



The qualification consists of:

7 Core Knowledge and Skills units:

  • Safe Working Practices


5 Core Behaviour units:

  • Safe Working
  • Work Ethic
  • Responsibility
  • Team Work
  • Communication


1 chosen Occupational route unit:

  • Animal interaction and handling


Learning will take place in a variety of ways, which could include workplace training, formal courses, work shadowing, industrial visits, research, self-study, attendance at College for classroom/workshop activities and time spent completing assignments set by the assessor.

The apprentice will undertake their end-point assessment when the employer, training provider and apprentice all consider that they are ready to do so.  This stage of the apprenticeship is known as the gateway and will not be reached until the apprentice has completed at least 12 months on the programme. 

The end-point assessment will be carried out by an independent assessor and will be made up of a practical observation (2 hours) and a professional discussion informed by the completed portfolio.


How will I be assessed?

End-point Assessment Gradings

This qualification is graded Fail, Pass or Distinction

Functional Skills

Before taking the end-point assessment, apprentices must

  • Have or achieve Level 1 English and Maths Functional Skills (equivalent to GCSE grades D to G)
  • Have or take the test for Level 2 English and Maths (equivalent to GCSE grades A* to C)


Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You need PPE for the workplace and writing materials.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

You can progress to a full-time Level 3 in Animal Care programme or a further apprenticeship programme.

Did you find the course information on this page useful?


Kyle Harwood

Kyle Harwood

Broomfield zoology student Kyle has sights set on being a zookeeper

DCG Zoology student Kyle Harwood has wanted to be aczookeeper right from the first time he went to a zoo at the age of four.
Kyle, who grew up with a wide variety of pets, including snakes and lizards, would especially like to work in the reptile house.
And he’s well on the way to gaining the necessary qualifications, thanks to Derby College’s foundation degree course in Animal Management (zoo and wildlife) Nineteen-year-old Kyle, who is from Heanor, joined the FdSc course after completing the level 3 in Animal Care at Broomfield Hall.
He said: “Some of the FdSc coursework is challenging but it’s always engaging. I particularly liked the conservation module and I’m really enjoying learning about captive breeding, which we’re doing now, and zoo husbandry. We did nutrition during 2020, which I found interesting. and complex. There are so many technical aspects to it, which tested my maths!”
Kyle – who described the atmosphere at Broomfield as comfortable and friendly – also appreciates the opportunity for practical work experience the College provides.
He added: “One of the reasons I chose Broomfield to study animal care was for the hands-on contact we get with the animals. Not many colleges in the country offer that but Derby College does, and it’s just 20 minutes from where I live.”
Kyle plans to take the top-up course next year so he has the full BSc (Hons) degree.
He added: “Zookeeping is competitive to get into but having a Zoology degree should give me the edge. It will open so many more doors.”

One of the reasons I chose Broomfield to study animal care was for the hands-on contact we get with the animals. Not many colleges in the country offer that but Derby College does, and it’s just 20 minutes from where I live.


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