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National Certificate in Animal Care

Ara Institute of Canterbury

Subject area

Veterinary Assisting

Entry requirements

For entry it is desirable that applicants have 9 NCEA Level 2 credits in a science subject (preferably biology) or equivalent, and 12 NCEA Level 1 numeracy credits or equivalent, and 12 NCEA Level 1 literacy credits or equivalent.

About the course

What can I expect out of this qualification?

This qualification recognises the core knowledge and skills required by people working in various sectors of the animal care and handling industry. Sectors might include veterinary practices, animal laboratories, pet shops, kennels and catteries, animal welfare agencies such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), zoological and wildlife parks, and search and rescue services. Holders of the qualification are able to:
. demonstrate knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology, behaviour, and husbandry
. recognise signs of health, ill-health, and problem behaviour in specific animal groups
. handle, transport, and provide emergency first aid to companion animals
. demonstrate and apply knowledge of safe working practices and animal facility environment hygiene
. demonstrate knowledge of standards for ethical behaviour in relation to animals
. demonstrate a range of other knowledge and skills related to a specific animal care and/or handling role.

The flexible structure of the qualification allows a high degree of portability between sectors of the animal care and handling industry. People with a special area of interest such as boarding kennels or pet shops can select elective standards that are relevant to their sector.

The rules in Elective A are set with the intention that candidates will choose 'monitoring health and providing husbandry' standards for both cats and dogs and for at least one other group of animals; or choose one of cats or dogs, and at least two other groups of animals. To allow this to occur, standards 5148 and 7337 have been included in Set A as well as Set B of Elective A.

This qualification may lead to other animal care and handling qualifications, including the National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing [Ref: 0221], which is at Level 5. All the standards listed in the National Certificate in Animal Care [Ref: 0241] are also listed in the National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing.

This qualification may also lead on to the proposed National Certificate in Animal Care (Rural Animal Technician) with strands in Production Animals, and Equine.

What graduates earn

Graduates who studied Veterinary Studies at this level can earn:


Median earnings one year after study


Median earnings two years after study


Median earnings five years after study

Status one year after study

Employment rate two years after study


Employment rate two years after study

Scholarship information

Examples of related scholarships

Henry Marfell Scholarships

Provided by:

Henry Marfell Scholarships - Board Secretary



See 'Additional Information'

Read more

Ann Sinclair Trust Tertiary Grant

Provided by:

Presbyterian Support Central



Refer to application organisation.

Read more

This information comes from Generosity New Zealand. For more scholarships, search their givME database (formerly called BreakOut) via your college, university or local library website.

Contact details

Main Campus Office

Free phone: 0800 242 476
Phone: (0800) 24 24 76
Fax: (03) 366 6544


Please note this qualification may not be available at all these locations. Please contact the provider for more information.


130 Madras Street


32 Arthur Street


44 Humber Street


144 High Street
Christchurch Central


37 Alford Forest Road


Washdyke Flat Road


81 Bickerton Street

Where does this information come from?
NZQA supplies this information based on material from the course provider.

What to do if you find incorrect course information?