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ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

Free TAFE Animal Studies

Next intake February 2025
LocationsEast Geelong Campus
DurationFull-time: 12 months
TraineeshipFull-time: 12 months

Course description

This course prepares the student for the role of a veterinary nurse who provides nursing care to animals, supports veterinarians during medical and surgical procedures, and helps clients maintain the health of their animals. 

As a participant, you will need access to patients (animals), clients, medical and surgical cases, veterinary staff, and practice policies and procedures completed through Work Placement.

Applicants must hold a Certificate II or Certificate III in Animal Care/Care Services or a higher level qualification in an animal science discipline or demonstrate equivalent skills and knowledge in a relevant animal science discipline.

There are two study modes:

  1. Class Day – face-to-face on-campus delivered two days per week over 12 months. Students must attend classes each week and fulfil practical work placement obligations.
  2. Class Night – blended, night class format via Zoom, with two evening sessions per week and two on-campus practical days. This class suits students employed in or previously employed in a veterinary practice.

Work placement/industry experience

240 hours of work placement is required for this course. Placement is organised by the students and must be in a veterinary practice. Placement is not paid work and students will not receive payment for undertaking practical placement. *Please note that you may be required to travel outside of your usual location to attend placement. This may include other regional areas or suburbs of Melbourne.

Possible career outcomes

  • Vet Nurse
  • Working for drug companies
  • Pet food companies
  • Allied health for pets
  • Wild life attendant
  • Zoo work

Wondering if this industry will suit you?

We have created a very short course quiz to help you gain a little more understanding of what is required and whether you might enjoy a role in this industry. Take the quiz here.

Applications & attendance

Apprenticeship and traineeship applicants

To become an apprentice or trainee, you will first need to find an employer willing to employ you. An Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider can assist you with this and will also start your application and enrolment process. Find a local provider here

Contact us

Are you ready to start an aged care traineeship or want to find out more?


2025 February
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2024
Close: 1 Feb 2025 
Class DayStart: 23 Jan 2025
Thurs & Fri 9 am-4 pm
Full-time: 12 months    
2025 February
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2024
Close: 1 Feb 2025 
Class DayStart: 21 Jan 2025
Tues & Wed 9 am - 4 pm
Full-time: 12 months    
2025 February
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2024
Close: 1 Feb 2025 
Class DayStart: 20 Jan 2025
Mon & Tues 9 am - 4 pm
Full-time: 12 months    
2025 February
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2024
Close: 1 Feb 2025 
Class NightStart: 21 Jan 2025
Online:Tues&Thur 5.30-9pm/Oncampus: TBA
Full-time: 12 months    
2025 February
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2024
Close: 1 Feb 2025 
Class DayStart: 20 Jan 2025
Mon/Tue or Tues/Wed or Thurs/Fri
Traineeship:Full-time: 12 months    


Students may need to complete some self-paced learning and assessment activities outside class time. This will be different for each course and will depend on a student’s level of skill and experience.

Class days and times in the above table are indicative. Prior to course commencement, changes may be necessary. Follow the link for more information on Attendance mode definitions. When you submit your application, please make sure you answer all the questions. Only successful applicants with complete applications will receive an offer. We issue offers as soon as possible. Follow the link for more information on Offer timing.

Many courses have limited places and high demand. We may close an intake before the date above. We recommend you apply early. If student numbers are insufficient we may cancel an intake or a course. An application does not guarantee a place in this course.

Additional attendance information

The following items will need to be purchased for the course and are not included in the course fees. Further details will be sent to applicants on enrolment.

  • Text Book: BSAVA Textbook of Veterinary Nursing 6th Edition by: Barbara Cooper (Editor), Elizabeth Mullineaux (Editor), Lynn Turner (Editor) – this can be a digital or hard copy.
  • Dual Head Stethoscope
  • Scrub top (scrub bottom optional) from Hip Pocket Workwear Grovedale – further details will be provided once course offer has been accepted.

  • Applicants must be 17 years and over at the time of course commencement.
  • Applicants are expected to have literacy and numeracy skills at Year 11 or Year 12 or Australian Core Skills Framework Level 3.

  • Applicants must:
    • Hold a Certificate II in Animal Studies; OR
    • Hold a relevant Certificate III or higher level qualification in an animal science discipline; OR
    • Can demonstrate equivalent skills and knowledge in a relevant animal science discipline to any of the above qualifications; OR
    • Have the equivalent skills and knowledge for entry into Vet Nursing, based on a combination of the work experience and other qualifications which cover the equivalent skills and knowledge relevant for entry:
      • work health and safety risks in an animal care facility
      • animal identification, handling and behaviour
      • animal nutrition
      • animal hygiene routines
  • You must reside in Victoria to access Victorian Government Subsidised Fees and any incentive such as Free TAFE. Full fees apply to all non-Victorian residents.

Apprenticeship and traineeship requirements

Apprenticeship and traineeship applicants must be currently employed under a training contract and referred by their employer.

Pre-training review

Each student must complete a pre-training review as part of their application. The outcome of your pre-training review assists our teachers and trainers to better understand your capabilities prior to training and enables you to be matched to the right program. Your literacy and numeracy skills will be evaluated and you may be required to undertake a separate assessment. Follow this link for more information about literacy and numeracy skills .

Personal Learning Requirements

There are personal learning requirements for each qualification at The Gordon. These are essential personal capabilities and skills required to successfully complete the course and be ready to work in the industry.

Please review the requirements here and consider any challenges you may have in meeting them. When applying for your course, please let us know what support you may need.

Selection mode

  • Employer confirmation of work placement

Core Units Code Hours
Apply imaging routines ACMVET402 90
Assist with the preparation of veterinary drugs and poisons ACMVET416 60
Carry out daily practice routines ACMVET202 40
Carry out medical nursing routines ACMVET407 70
Carry out veterinary dental nursing procedures ACMVET410 40
Communicate effectively with clients and team members ACMGAS308 30
Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work ACMINF301 60
Contribute to workplace health and safety processes ACMWHS301 50
Coordinate and perform surgical nursing routines ACMVET405 120
Coordinate veterinary reception duties ACMVET401 70
Identify animal anatomy and physiology for animal care work ACMGAS307 100
Nurse animals ACMVET406 80
Perform clinical pathology procedures ACMVET403 70
Perform practice office procedures ACMVET404 40
Prepare for anaesthesia and monitor animal anaesthesia and analgesia ACMVET413 80
Provide nutritional advice and support for animals ACMVET408 90
Provide specific animal care advice ACMVET409 90
Elective Units Code Hours
Assist with capturing restraining and moving animals ACMEXH304 40
Promote positive wellbeing in self and others in animal care workplaces ACMGEN304 40
Provide basic care of rodents and rabbits ACMSPE312 40
Provide First Aid HLTAID011 18


Please note that the listed electives are delivered by The Gordon but you may not need to complete all of these units to successfully complete this qualification. If you have previously completed any of the units of competency relevant to this course, you may be eligible for Credit Transfer (CT). Any previous relevant experience may qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Find out more about CT or RPL here.

Assessment is based on:

  • Hands-on projects
  • Workplace tasks
  • Written assignments
  • Industry placement

This course is eligible for Free TAFE!

Eligible Victorian students who elect to use their Free TAFE opportunity will not incur any tuition fees. Material and resources fees still apply. Follow the link for further information and to check the eligibility criteria.

FeesRateUnitIndicative Course HoursIndicative Tuition Payable by StudentMax. Indicative Government Subsidy Total
Concession Tuition AUD $0.90 per hour 1138 AUD $1,024.00 AUD $14,070.00
Standard Tuition AUD $4.52 per hour 1138 AUD $5,144.00 AUD $14,070.00
Full Fee Tuition AUD $14.37 per hour 1138 AUD $16,353.00

Add the costs below to your relevant tuition fee

Materials AUD $1,420.00 Once
Resources AUD $400.00 Once
Administrative fee AUD $80.00 Once
Education Levy AUD $170.70


All fees and charges are correct at time of publication but may change without notice. The student tuition fees are indicative only. Additional fees may apply. Where GST is applicable to any courses or materials, the fee displayed is inclusive of the GST.

Which fee will I pay?

Your fees will be charged according to your eligibility for government funding. For more information, visit our Fees & Payments pages.

Fee help and student loans

VET Student Loans are available for eligible students for tuition fees ONLY.
The current years maximum VET Student Loan Course Cap is $

Payment plans may be available for eligible students who need assistance to manage their fee payments.

Many Gordon courses offer pathways to higher qualifications within The Gordon and in some cases, to university degrees. Your Gordon course may provide credit points which could reduce further study time. Follow the link to find more information about pathways, or contact Customer Service.

Date published: 9/07/2024 10:21:40 AM