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Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants at The College of Animal Welfare

Course description

Awarded by City & Guilds, this qualification is ideal if you want to work in veterinary practice alongside the veterinary team, helping to look after animals in their care.

You can study this programme on either a full time basis (with work placement incorporated into the programme) or alongside employment (or voluntary work)in a veterinary practice (for a minimum of 15 hours per week). Students who are employed in a veterinary practice may choose to study this qualification via online, distance learning – making the programme accessible across the UK and overseas – subject to local veterinary laws. Alternatively, as a college-based course, attending College for two days per week for the duration of their programme.

Course content

You will look at the following units:

Unit 201 – Principles and Practices of Animal Handling and Care in the Veterinary Environment

This unit covers the general care and nursing of animals within a veterinary practice environment; including the signs of normal and abnormal health, accommodation and feeding requirements, safe handling, identification, first aid for animals and the legal limitations of treatment.

Unit 202 – Principles and Practices of Assisting with Veterinary Care in the Veterinary Environment

In this unit you will look at common veterinary terminology, basic anatomy and assisting with the nursing care of animals in the practice environment including: medical and surgical conditions; anaesthesia procedures; radiography; drug calculations and fluid therapy.

Unit 203 – Principles and Practices of Administrative Duties in the Veterinary Care Environment

Upon completion of this unit you will have developed skills in communication, team work, administration, advising clients on aspects of veterinary care, pet bereavement, reception skills, telephone techniques and record keeping.

Entry requirements

There are no formal academic entry requirements. If you are undertaking the online, distance learning, programme you must be employed (or gaining real work experience within) a veterinary environment for a minimum of 15 hours per week.


You will be assessed via written and practical unit assignments, together with online short answer question and multi choice question tests. There are no external exams.

Financial information

Please see our website for details.

Future opportunities

After you have achieved this qualification you could look for employment as a veterinary care assistant in a veterinary practice, if you are not already doing so. You may also wish to go on to train as a veterinary nurse by completing the Advanced Apprenticeship in Veterinary Nursing (Level 3 Diploma) programme. To do this you would need to have achieved a full Level 2 qualification in Maths and English (e.g. GCSE Grade A*-C or Level 2 Functional Skills).

Further information

If you are volunteering in a veterinary practice, you may be asked to provide a reference from a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse supporting your application and confirming you have completed a minimum of three months of regular voluntary work prior to starting the programme.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The College of Animal Welfare directly.

Last updated date: 29 September 2014
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    • Our Huntingdon Campus has great transport links for students who are coming by bus or train as it is within walking distance of both the bus and train station. For those travelling by car, main road access is excellent; being only half a mile away from the A14, a few miles from the A1 and just a few minutes away from Huntingdon town centre.

      The College features a practical skills room to enable students to practice their clinical skills, a fully-equipped library including IT access and wireless internet, parking, a state-of-the-art grooming suite, modern lecture rooms and relaxation areas.