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Advanced Apprenticeship in Animal Care (framework)Apply Now »

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Level: 3

Location: Workplace

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

If you have worked in the animal care industry for some time, have plenty of experience and are looking to gain a formal qualification, this may be the course for you. Ideally it would suit a learner who manages others as a supervisor or who is in a managerial position in an animal care setting.

This qualification will allow you to exhibit your skills in planning and organising the care of animals, as well as demonstrating your leadership skills in managing staff.

Entry requirements

You need to be highly motivated and demonstrate a keen interest in your chosen subject.

You will need:

  • A minimum of four GCSEs at grade C (4) or above, including English and/or Maths
  • An Intermediate Diploma in the chosen subject to a Merit or Distinction standard, including English and/or Maths


If you are a mature learner, we may be able to take into consideration your previous experience in your chosen subject.  All applicants will be interviewed, will undertake an initial assessment in English and maths, and must present an example of current work.

It is advisable that you have a good level of maths and English as you will be required to provide a portfolio of evidence either by e-portfolio or in paper-based style.

You should be employed as a manager or supervisor in an appropriate animal care environment, such as a boarding establishment, zoo, grooming salon, animal charity or wildlife centre.

Course Content

This qualification involves completing a series of units, some mandatory and some optional, to suit your chosen pathway. During your induction, the assessor will help you to choose the units most suitable for you.

There are eight different pathways you can choose from:

  • Animal Care and Welfare
  • Zoos/Wildlife Establishments
  • Dog Grooming
  • Pet Care and Retail
  • Animal Welfare Enforcement
  • Animal Training
  • Dog/Animal Wardens
  • Animals in Education and Entertainment

You will complete Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English (unless you are exempt) and the Employment Rights and Responsibilities Workbook and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (developed by LANTRA).

In addition, you will complete the main Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care programme, which includes the independent assessment - a short answer test.

How will I be assessed?

You will provide a portfolio which will include a range of evidence types including case studies, knowledge questions, a photographic diary and practical assessments. These will support the skills you have gained with your training to prove your competence within your job role. You will also sit an independent assessment as part of the course. A College work-based assessor will visit you in your workplace to observe you and assess the evidence you have provided.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?


What can I do after this course?

This qualification may lead to you undertaking a higher education course, such as a HND or foundation degree in Animal Management (subject to specific college/university entry requirements), or other related courses such as in Animal Behaviour or Grooming.

It will also confirm to future employers that you have the right knowledge and practical abilities, particularly if you were to apply for a managerial position within the animal industry.



Did you find the course information on this page useful?


Carla Davies

Carla Davies

A dream job in dog grooming

Carla Davies came to Derby College to re-train as a dog groomer and is now fulfilling her dream of working with animals after securing a part-time job at Kennel Gate in Nottingham. As part of her course, she was matched to the job opportunity through the College’s pioneering recruitment service established with the REED NCFE Partnership.
They alerted Carla – who had been an office worker since leaving school – to the job opportunity and helped her with her CV and interview techniques.

When I heard about the job opportunities and support available through the REED NCFE team, I decided to go for it and was over the moon when I was offered the job. It is a dream come true and I have also returned to Derby College for an evening course to gain more qualifications in dog grooming.


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