Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

Starts: 29 May, 2017

Duration: 18 months

Effort: Up to 16 hours per week with 8 hours per week work placement

Price: $5,152 (each unit at $224)

National recognised training Course code: ACM40412

Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing


Before you can enrol in nationally-recognised training in Australia, you will need to have a Unique Student Identifier Number (USI)

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Course details

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If you dream of a career as a veterinary nurse but you can’t make it to regular classes, this self-paced online course could be perfect for you. It’s also a great choice if you're already employed as a veterinary nurse and you want to update your skills and or gain recognised qualifications.

In this course you learn to provide expert veterinary nursing care to sick and injured animals. You’ll develop the skills and knowledge you need to work in a variety of situations with minimal supervision. You’ll learn invaluable communication skills that will enable you to support owners with empathy and compassion, and provide after-care advice and instructions for animals recovering from surgery or other treatments.

Just some of the areas that you'll cover in your training include: patient admission and discharge, office procedures, radiography, anaesthetics, pathology, surgery, dental procedures, nursing animals and providing animal care advice the public. Electives available include enrichment for animals, training advice for companion animal owners and animal nutrition.

While you are enrolled in this course, it is essential that you have access to a veterinary workplace for at least two week days (16 hours) per week, either through paid employment or voluntary work experience. This workplace exposure will present you with many opportunities to practise your new skills and complete your assessments. It will also help you to develop your network of industry contacts and build up your CV.

Course outcomes and careers

Veterinary Nurse.


After achieving this qualification you may be eligible to do:

  • ACM50212 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Surgical)
  • ACM50312 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Dental)
  • ACM50412 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (Emergency and Critical Care)
  • ACM50512 Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (General Practice)
  • qualifications relating to captive animals, companion animal services or
  • animal technology.

Expected outcomes

This Qualification is the industry Qualification for persons operating as veterinary nurses within veterinary clinics.

Candidates should expect that access to a veterinary clinic whilst undertaking study for this qualification will be essential for meeting assessment requirements. Access may be through either paid employment or substantial periods of work placement or work experience blocks. Candidates undertaking equine elective units will require access to work experience and/or employment within an equine veterinary clinic or hospital. Work experience must be at least 16 hours per week with full time study arranged before class start.

Licensing/Regulatory information

There is a direct link between this qualification and approval to perform veterinary nursing duties under the Western Australian (WA) Veterinary Surgeons Act 1960 as amended. The WA Veterinary Surgeons Board must approve qualified persons to carry out the duties of veterinary nurses and must authorise persons enrolled in approved courses to perform the duties of trainee veterinary nurses.
Candidates should confirm the regulatory requirements that apply in their relevant state or territory. In addition, individual Units of Competency may specify relevant licensing, legislative and/or regulatory requirements.

This course is offered online so you can study at your own pace. You are able to enrol and pay for single units at a time to suit your individual circumstances. 

Entry requirements

Completion of Certificate II Animal Studies is a pre-requisite for admission to this course.

Pathways for candidates considering this qualification include:    

  • after achieving ACM20110 Certificate II in Animal Studies
  • vocational training and/or work experience related to veterinary nursing. 

Please contact us if you are interested in commencing Cert IV Veterinary Nursing but do NOT have a Certificate II Animal Studies.

Before you can enrol in nationally-recognised training in Australia, you will need to have a Unique Student Identifier Number (USI). This includes students completing an apprenticeship or skill-set certificate or diploma course.

This is a 100% online course. There are 4 study periods a year and each study period is 13 weeks long.
You may start your course in any study period and should aim to complete the course within 2 years.

How to enrol or apply


Before you enrol you must have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). Visit http://www.usi.gov.au/students/create-your-usi to request a USI. Remember to add Sydney TAFE to your account via the Manage Permissions page (code: 90003, name: TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute).

Find out more about applying and enrolling: http://www.sydneytafe.edu.au/courses/applying-and-enrolling

Fee information


Recognition is a process of acknowledging previously completed qualifications, skills, knowledge or experience relevant to your course. This may reduce the amount of learning required, reduce your course fees and allow you to achieve your qualification faster.

Find out more about recognition: http://www.sydneytafe.edu.au/courses/recognition


Fees, payment and refunds: http://www.sydneytafe.edu.au/courses/fees-and-charges

Financial assistance: http://www.sydneytafe.edu.au/courses/financial-assistance

Other Information

Students must have access to a veterinary clinic for at least 2 days (16 hours) per week while enrolled in the course. This can be paid or voluntary work experience. If volunteering you will be covered by TAFE insurance while enrolled. This work placement must include nursing duties and you will need to provide your teacher with a letter of confirmation of your work placement arrangement or employment with the organisation where you will be employed or hosted. You’ll also need to nominate a workplace 'Veterinary Supervisor’ for the duration of your studies. This can be a senior veterinary nurse, practice manager or owner.

You should have reliable internet access and reasonable computer skills. You will also need access to video recording equipment to complete some of the assessment tasks.

Number Subject name
ACMVET402A Apply imaging routines
ACMGAS205A Assist in health care of animals
ACMVET203A Assist with surgery preparation
ACMVET202A Carry out daily clinic routines
ACMVET407A Carry out medical nursing routines
ACMVET405A Carry out surgical nursing routines
ACMVET410A Carry out veterinary dental nursing procedures
ACMVET201A Carry out veterinary nursing reception duties
ACMINF301A Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal work
ACMWHS301A Contribute to workplace health and safety processes
ACMVET408A Coordinate and perform theatre routines
ACMVET401A Coordinate patient admission and discharge
ACMGAS204A Feed and water animals
ACMACR403A Identify and respond to animal behaviour
ACMGAS301A Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing
ACMVET406A Nurse animals
ACMGAS202A Participate in workplace communications
ACMVET404A Perform clinic office procedures
ACMVET403A Perform clinic pathology procedures
ACMSPE311A Provide basic care of non-venomous reptiles
ACMGAS302A Provide enrichment for animals
ACMVET409A Provide specific animal care advice
ACMGAS208A Source information for animal care needs

Your course fee depends on the qualification level of the course you choose and the course itself, and:

  • whether you have completed a previous qualification and what type of qualification it was
  • whether you live in NSW and are an Australian citizen or permanent resident; or you are an international student or temporary resident
  • whether you’re offered a Government subsidised (Smart and Skilled) or full-fee place.

There are various concessions or exemptions available for eligible students as well as opportunities to receive financial assistance.

See here for more information about fees, payments and refunds.


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Screen Reader

Two on-screen readers are supported by the LMS:


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Screen Size

Apart from the reliable old standards such as desktops and laptops, for viewing on tablets, we recommend a minimum screen size of 7” for an optimal experience of the LMS and its contents.  Examples of these would be iPad mini, or Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

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PDF Viewer

Some of your course material will be available as a pdf file.  You will also need a PDF viewer to view and print your certificate when completing a course.

Some newer browsers will have a built-in PDF viewer, however you can download the free Adobe Acrobat viewer from the Adobe website if required.

Multi Devices Support

For the best online learning experience we recommend screen resolution no smaller than 1024 x 768 pixels.

Services and support

Get the most out of your studies with specialised support to meet your study goals. From career counseling, to learning support, child care and disability support, TAFE NSW offers a broad range of student support services to help you every step of the way.


FAQ - Enrolments

How do I enrol in TAFE for an online course?

All enrolments happen via the website - click on the enrol / apply button and follow the instructions. If you need assistance with the process, you may wish to contact the course enrolment centre or send an email - the details are on the website

Are there applications for online courses?

For Diploma level courses you are required to apply first before enrolling. Also, some courses require prospective students to provide additional information like a portfolio - these details are found in the course description and application information.

Are there applications for online courses?

For Diploma level courses you are required to apply first before enrolling. Also, some courses require prospective students to provide additional information like a portfolio - these details are found in the course description and application information.

Is there a limit to enrolments for online courses?

Teachers set a maximum number of enrolments that can be accepted into a course.

Where do I find online enrolment dates?

The website provides all the enrolment dates. If there is no date, it is advisable to fill in the online form and you will be contacted about when the next intake of the course will be open for enrolments.

FAQ - Career advice

Is there career guidance at TAFE NSW?

Yes, there is free career advice available. If you are thinking of enrolling at TAFE NSW, our counsellors can help you with: making good course choices; planning your career and re-training; how to apply for credit to gain entry to a course or reduce the time spent finishing a course; and other concerns or questions about returning to study. More information here.

Is there free counselling for students?

Yes, there is free counselling available. TAFE NSW Counsellors are available at every stage of your learning journey with us. See Learning support and Personal counselling for more information about how a TAFE Counsellor may assist you.

How do I get free legal advice as a TAFE NSW student?

Yes, free legal advice is available to members of the Student Association.

Are TAFE NSW courses career orientated?

Yes. Courses are constantly fine-tuned after consultation with industry so you learn real-world skills.

FAQ - Fees

Can I get a TAFE NSW fee exemption?

Some students are eligible for an exemption from paying fee, including:

1.) Students who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and are studying at any level

2.) People with a disability.

3.) Dependent children, spouses or partners of a Disability Support Pension recipients.

What about online courses and fees for international students and students overseas?

If you are from overseas and are here in Australia on an international student visa, your visa covers face-to-face learning only.

If you are living overseas and want to do a TAFE NSW online course from overseas, you are able to do our fully online courses but you will pay full commercial fees.

What are online fees in 2017?

Course fees vary from course to course. Please check the website for each course’s fees.

What does Smart and Skilled fees mean?

Courses are ‘Smart and Skilled’ if they appear on the NSW Skills List. They are subsidised by the NSW  government, so you only contribute a portion of the course fee

Courses on the NSW Skills List are linked to careers and industries that have jobs that will be in demand in the future.

Are all certificate fees, diploma fees and advanced diploma fees different?

Fees for different courses and qualification levels vary. Always check the website for fees.

FAQ - Government funded courses

What are government-funded courses?

If the online course you want to study is linked to an occupation on the NSW Skills List then it will partly government-funded. These are known as ‘Smart and Skilled’ courses.

What does a government-subsidised course mean?

A government-subsidised course is the same as a ‘government-funded course, and the same as a Smart and Skilled course.

What are Smart and Skilled courses?

‘Smart and Skilled’ courses will also appear on the NSW Skills List. They are subsidised by the NSW  government, so you only contribute a portion of the course fee

Courses on the NSW Skills List are linked to careers and industries that have jobs that will be in demand in the future.

How do I find a free online course?

All free courses are advertised on the website. You will need to check whether the course you are interested in is an online or a face to face course.

FAQ - Open learning

How does TAFE NSW compare with private online colleges?

TAFE NSW is one of the largest and most respected education and training providers in Australia. It is government-backed and valued by industry. All TAFE NSW online courses are nationally accredited. All courses are facilitated by industry-experienced teachers. Students are able to access all the support services that non-online students value so highly.

Is the online learning platform up to date?

Yes, the contents and the platform are always kept up to date and course content is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it is current.

What are the main challenges of learning online?

Learning online requires a person to be self-disciplined and to be able to work independently. At TAFE NSW our facilitators are always willing to provide guidance, support and communicate regularly, but as an online student you need to be able to be manage your own workload by sticking to a study schedule and have the right technology to enable to study online effectively.

Is online learning the same as open learning and distance learning?

Open learning and distance learning refer to course work being provided in an online environment. This is different to doing an online course at TAFE NSW where studying online means using computer technologies to access learning materials and activities via the internet. These learning materials and activities may be presented in different ways, such as discussion forums, video presentations and demonstrations, blogs, wikis, electronic books or quizzes.

What are the benefits of online study?

Studying online at TAFE NSW means that you can study where you want, using a range of technologies to connect with your classmates, get feedback from your teacher and complete our work. It offers greater flexibility, enabling you to work around your other commitments.

Do you offer online degrees?

Not at the moment, but there will be online degrees offered in the future.

If I study online with TAFE NSW, how do I know the courses are career orientated?

All TAFE NSW online courses are constantly refined to offer the latest industry skills and techniques so graduates are work-ready.

FAQ - Pathways to university

Does online study offer a pathway to university?

TAFE NSW has hundreds of credit transfer agreements so you can link your online study to a bachelor degree at a university or another provider. Many diploma and advanced diploma courses will provide you credit towards your degree, usually up to one year’s credit.

I can go from TAFE to university; can I go from university to TAFE?

Thousands of university graduates study at TAFE NSW to make sure they gain work-ready skills that will qualify them for their dream job.

Are there online courses leading into degrees?

Yes. You may be able to use your study in a TAFE NSW Online course to gain credit towards a related university degree.

Do you offer online degrees?

Not at the moment, but there will be online degrees offered in the future.

FAQ - Open library

Is there a library fee?

If you are currently enrolled in a course there is no charge for any of the library resources or services

Do online courses have an online library?

The library has a range of online resources and information databases that provide useful resources for any of the courses being done.

Are there library late fees?

Late fees only refer to books that are borrowed. If you are studying online and live in proximity of a TAFE NSW library you are able to go there and borrow books / magazines. If you do not bring your books back on time you will incur a late fee. This does not apply to any online resources that you use.

Can I access the library after hours?

The online library is available from your computer or other device, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If you want to visit a physical library, then you will need to check the opening hours as they differ between libraries.

Is there 24/7 library access?

The online library is available from your computer or other device, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If you want to visit a physical library, then you will need to check the opening hours as they differ between libraries.

FAQ - USI number

Will I have a student number?

Yes, you will be given a student number.

What is the USI?

If you want to study nationally-recognised training at TAFE NSW you need a USI. Your USI links to an online account that contains all your training records and results (transcripts) which you can access whenever you need them, like when you’re applying for a job or enrolling in further study. Go to www.usi.gov.au and follow the instructions to create a USI.

Can I get USI help?
Do all TAFE students have a USI?

If you want to study nationally recognised training at TAFE NSW you need a USI.

What is a USI login?

After you get your USI, you will be able to login to your USI account.

FAQ - VET Student Loan

What is VET Student Loan?

VET Student Loan is a scheme funded by the Commonwealth Government to assist eligible students pay their course fees for selected Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas.

Does TAFE NSW offer VET Student Loan for online courses?

Yes, many TAFE NSW online courses are also VET Student Loan - eligible courses.

Am I eligible to VET Student Loan?

VET Student Loan eligibility criteria are available at http://sydneytafe.edu.au/courses/vet-student-loans

Where do I get more information on VET Student Loans?

For VET Student Loan information please go to https://www.tafensw.edu.au/vet-student-loans

Is a VET Student Loan right for me?

As with any loan you take, you must understand the terms and conditions before you make a commitment.

Please read the VET Student Loan information available on the Commonwealth Department of Education website https://education.gov.au/vet-student-loans and consider seeking independent financial advice.

FAQ - Moodle

What is Moodle?

Moodle is the name of the Learning Management System that may be used for your course. This means that the course content is structured and provided via this system.

Does TAFE NSW have open access Moodle?

No - The courses which are only available to enrolled students.


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We look forward to speaking with you soon.