Where will this course lead?

This course is ideal for you if you wish to become an Animal Care and Welfare Assistant and are new to the sector, or if you are currently working in an associated role, that provides assistance to qualified professionals.

Animal Care and Welfare Assistants look after the routine day-to-day husbandry and care of domestic and/or wild animals while under guidance and 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 and in all weather conditions. They must maintain safe working practices, taking responsibility for themselves, animals and others.

Typical job roles include: Kennel/Cattery Assistant; Animal Technician, Animal Welfare Assistant; Animal Day Care Assistant; Animal Collection Officer; Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant; Zoo Keeper Assistant, Pet Retail Assistant, Animal Handler, Veterinary Care Assistant and Farm Park Assistant.

What will I study?

You will study the knowledge, skills and behaviours as set out within the apprenticeship standard, which will include the following subjects and one specialist option, that's related to your role…

Mandatory Core

· UK and EU animal related legislation, ethics and codes of practice

· The species/breeds specific to your role and their common characteristics

· Signs that indicate potential problems with animals' health and welfare

· Types of basic medication, administering medication and the safe handling and disposal of medication

· Animal first aid and urgent, ongoing and preventive care

· Accommodation and environment requirements that are suitable and safe

· The use of different cleaning materials and equipment

· Feeding, watering and basic nutrition

· How to safely approach, handle, restrain and move animals

· Animal behaviours such as stress, distress, pain, fear and frustration

· Enrichment, exercise and positive re-enforcement

· Basic anatomy, physiology and skin and coat care

· Basic reproduction and obstetrics, including neutering

· Data protection and record keeping

· Awareness of capture techniques

· The importance of the human and animal bond, as well as life stages

· Hygiene, bio security procedures and infection controls, including quarantine

Specialist Options

· Animal Interaction and Handling

· Rehoming

· Movement and Transportation

· Operational/Reception Duties

· Breeding

· Working Dog Handling

· Wildlife Rehabilitation

· Veterinary Care Support

How will this course be delivered?

The apprenticeship programme consists of on-the-job and off-the-job training. You will receive on-the-job training from your employer and will also be allowed 20% off-the-job training, which will involve independent study.

Your independent study will be recorded in a learning journal, to capture evidence of your experiences, reflections and achievements.

An assessor coach will be allocated to you and will visit your workplace on a regular basis, but you will also receive college master-class workshops from tutors, which may be practical, classroom based, or online.

What qualifications will I get?

· Level 2 Animal Care & Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship Standard

· Level 1 Functional Skills Maths and English (if required)

How will I be assessed?

Apprentices will typically spend 12 to 18 months on-programme (12 months minimum), working towards their apprenticeship standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. Apprentices must complete their portfolio prior to taking their End Point Assessment (EPA).

The EPA consists of two distinct components:

· Practical Assessment (50% weighting); an observation of the apprentice completing two tasks in which the apprentice will demonstrate their skills, underlying knowledge and behaviours.

· Professional Discussion (50% weighting); this will take the form of a professional discussion and portfolio review that will cover all areas of underpinning and applied knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Performance in the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of fail, pass or distinction.

How do I get a place on the course?

In order to gain a place on the course, applicants must meet the entry criteria and attend a formal interview. All applications are to be submitted via the college website:


If you have a learning difficulty or disability, please let us know when you apply. If you need help with completing your application and at interview, we can provide support:


What are the entry requirements?

To secure a place of study on the Level 2 Animal Care & Welfare Assistant programme, the minimum entry requirements are as follows:

· English GCSE Grade 2/E, Level 1 Functional Skills, or equivalent

· Mathematics GCSE Grade 2/E, Level 1 Functional Skills, or equivalent

· Demonstrate a passion for animal care

· Be at least 16 years of age

You must also be employed in a relevant field (as indicated above) for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

What else do I need to know?

As part of the national apprenticeship guidance, you will also undergo Equality and Diversity, British values and Prevent Training, which will prepare you with the necessary behaviour needed to work within the animal care sector.

Furthermore, you will also be required to complete 20% 'off-the-job' training as a minimum requirement for the apprenticeship course, which may require self-directed study, where you will be supported by your apprenticeship coach and work-based mentor.

There are no direct additional costs for this course, but you may want to purchase some text books for further reading. A suggested reading list will be supplied at the beginning of your course; however, we also have a wide selection of library books and electronic books for you to use too. You will be expected to supply your own stationery, such as folders, pens and paper. Connection to the internet is expected, but facilities are available at college to do this if necessary.

Please contact the Employer Services Team for more information regarding funding and costs: apprenticeships@solihull.ac.uk

What can I do after this course?

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, you can:

· Continue your employment in the industry


· Progress onto the Level 3 Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeship (if relevant), or higher level qualifications through the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to become a Team Leader, or Operations Manager.



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Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship

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The career paths provided are to give you an idea of the careers that you could progress onto in the future. However, for some, you may need to complete higher level qualifications and gain experience before your dream job becomes a reality. The information provided is to support further research and to generate some initial career ideas when choosing a course. Please check entry requirements to degree courses, apprenticeships, and jobs as this may vary from year to year and across providers. For further advice and guidance, please contact: careers@solihull.ac.uk.