ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care (Perth)

ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care (Perth)

The Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care is the pathway to zoo keeping. Students will further develop their knowledge in animal husbandry through a combination of regular theory lessons and practical experience at Perth Zoo.

The Taronga Training Institute is the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) responsible for the delivery and assessment of this course. When enrolling in this course you are registering as a student with the Taronga Training Institute. Graduates of the Certificate III in Captive Animals can seek employment as a zoo keeper, or animal keeper in aquariums and wildlife parks.

Applications for our February 2023 intake have now closed.

Important update.

If at any stage during course delivery, students aren't permitted onsite due to COVID-19 restrictions enforced by either a Government body, Perth Zoo or Taronga, the Taronga Training Institute will continue to deliver Certificate courses via virtual classrooms. This will continue to provide students with direct contact with trainers and their classmates.

In the event this is enforced, students would also gain virtual access to Perth Zoo through specially recorded interviews, behind the scenes recordings and online resources. Perth Zoo would then transition back to onsite classes as soon as is safely possible.

Course details

NOTE: the Taronga Training Institute has entered a partnership agreement with Perth Zoo to allow for the delivery of the ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care at Perth Zoo. Classroom sessions and practical placements will be conducted at Perth Zoo.

The Perth course is run in intensive study blocks over 12 months beginning in February each year. There is no mid-year intake of this course at the Perth Campus.

  • Course Structure: This course includes a combination of class sessions and practical on site tutorial/workshop days at Perth Zoo. Blocks may be Monday to Friday, or Monday to Saturday. Please see the course dates below. There is a total of 6 x 1 week blocks throughout the year
  • Practical Requirements: The practical component of this course is via 3 x 2 week blocks at Perth Zoo. Practical placements will commence as early as 7am and finish by 5pm. Practical placement is allocated by ballot and will be spread throughout the course of the year. Successful applicants will be advised of their practical placement prior to commencement
  • Study Load: There are a total of 16 units of competency to be completed to a satisfactory level. This includes face to face classes, tutorials, workshops, practical assessment days and practical placement requirements. Independent study, research, workbooks and assessments are completed in your own time. It is estimated that you will spend approximately 25 hours per week completing the course requirements

Course entry requirements

  • Students must be a minimum of 18 years of age on commencement of the course
  • Students must be an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen
  • Students must attend all mandatory dates which include classroom sessions, practical assessment days, workshops and practical placement days
  • Students must hold previous qualifications in an animal related field or an ability to provide a letter of recommendation for demonstrated experience working within the animal care industry in the past 12 months will be advantageous
  • Students should have a high level of health and fitness in order to fully participate in the course
  • Students should demonstrate good English skills, both written and verbal, and basic numeracy skills
  • Students are required to be double vaccinated for COVID-19 and show proof upon acceptance into the course

Units of competency

Core Units

  • ACMWHS301 Contribute to WHS processes
  • ACMGEN311 Maintain and monitor health and wellbeing
  • ACMBEH302 Provide enrichment for animals
  • ACMGEN312 Provide nutritional requirements for animals
  • ACMEXH301 Work within a zoological facility
  • ACMGEN301 Prepare and present information to the public
  • ACMEXH303 Prepare and maintain animal habitats
  • ACMEXH304 Assist with capturing, restraining and moving animals
  • ACMSUS301 Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMGEN304 Promote positive wellbeing in self and others in animal care workplaces
  • ACMGEN315 Communicate effectively with clients and team members
  • ACMGEN303 Assess the welfare status of an animal

Elective Units

  • ACMEXH309 Contribute to exhibit design and renovation planning
  • ACMBEH404 Condition animal behaviour
  • ACMINF301 Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal work
  • ACMEXH305 Monitor animal reproduction

NOTE: All 16 units (12 core and 4 electives) must be completed to gain the Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care.


Upon successful completion of ACM30321 Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care, further study options may be available external to Taronga.

Please refer to Australian Training Sector website for further details on available courses.

Application process

Applications open 15 August of each year for commencement the following February.

This course is highly competitive and we have an application phase followed by a two-part interview phase. The online application process is used to determine your suitability within the course. Ensure you spend time reading the questions and completing your application before submitting. Please note that the application form is not designed to be completed on a mobile device. Please use a laptop or desktop computer when applying

All applicants must:

  • Read the Course Information above and ensure you can meet the requirements of the course before lodging an application
  • Read the Taronga Training Institute Student Handbook prior to completing an application
  • Complete ALL questions in the online application. Incomplete applications  will not be accepted and cannot progress any further
  • Read the terms and conditions below of applying - proceed to apply only if you agree and can comply with the conditions 
  • Answer the selection criteria questions contained within the application
  • Copies of the following will need to be uploaded at the time of your online application and you should gather electronic copies of these documents before commencing your application:
    • your Student Transcript or a letter of recommendation indicating that you have a minimum of 250 hours demonstrated experience working with animals in the past 12 months
    • copy of your birth certificate or passport as proof of Australian Citizenship or permanent residency
    • copy of your photo ID
    • your Unique Student Identifier (USI) 
  • Your Unique Student Identifier (USI) - This can be otained during the enrolment process if you do not currently have a USI

On submission of your application you should receive a confirmation email to the email address you provided within your application. If you do not receive a confirmation email from Taronga Training Institute within 24 hours, please first check your Junk Mail or Spam Folder and then contact us at

Applicants who are short listed will progress to the second stage of the enrolment process to attend a face to face interview. Phone interview can be organised if necessary. Specific dates will be provided to those who are progressing to the interview stage. 

During your interview you will be requested to provide the originals of the documents uploaded during the application process:

  • Your original Student Transcript or a letter of recommendation indicating that you have a minimum of 250 hours demonstrated experience working with animals in the past 12 months.
  • Your original birth certificate or passport as proof of Australian Citizenship or permanent residency
  • Your original photo ID

If your application is successful, you will be required to accept your position and complete the enrolment requirements within 72 hours. Applicants are welcome to apply for more than one campus and need only complete the application once.

Applicants are welcome to apply for more than one campus and need only complete the application once.

For the January intake you can apply for/express interest in between 1 and 5 campuses by listing your preferences within the application. Only the Sydney campus is available to be selected for the June intake. If you are successful in securing a position in the course you will be offered a position at the campus of your choice, where available.

If your first preference is not available we will move through your list of preferences. Please give careful consideration to your ability to relocate/ commute should you be offered a position at a campus that is not local to you.

Course dates

February 2023 intake, Monday - Friday classes

Orientation: TBA February 2023

Block 1: Monday 6th February till Friday 10th February 2023
Block 2: Monday 13th March till Friday 17th March 2023
Block 3: Monday 15th May till Friday 19th May 2023
Block 4: Monday 24th July till Friday 28th July 2023
Block 5: Monday 2nd October till Friday 6th October 2023
Block 6: Monday 6th November till Friday 10th November 2023

Times & Dates subject to change with notice

Terms and conditions

Please read carefully before applying

Thank you for your interest in studying with the Taronga Training Institute. By completing this application you acknowledge the following conditions:

  1. Your application will be evaluated and if you are successful, you will be offered a position in the Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care with the Taronga Training Institute. The course fee can be paid in four equal instalments with the first instalment due on acceptance of a position in the course and the second instalment payable approximately 4 months later OR  fees can be paid in full upon acceptance of a position in the course. NOTE: No payment of course fees is required until you are offered a position in the course and the offer being accepted, at which time payment of course fees will be required
  2. The completion of your application does not constitute enrolment in the course. All applications will be reviewed based on eligibility and merit. Applicants deemed most suitable, based on their response to the selection criteria questions contained within the application will be invited to attend an onsite or online interview approximately 4-6 weeks after applications close. You may withdraw your application at any stage, prior to being offered/accepting a position. 
  3. You understand that if you are successful in being offered a position in the course in Perth, you will be assigned to 3 x 2 week blocks of practical placement. Practical placement days will start as early as 7.00am and finish by 5pm. Classroom lessons will be held in 6 x 1 week blocks which may include a Saturday. Classes will commence at 8am and conclude by 5pm each day.
  4. Students are required to attend ALL practical days; any that are missed will need to be rescheduled and may incur an administration fee.
  5. Attendance is expected at ALL classes; attendance of less than 80% of classes may result in the missed unit/s of competency needing to be repeated at the student's expense prior to being eligible for the issue of a qualification.
  6. You understand that a requirement of this course is the completion of the Certificate II in Animal Studies or equivalent certificate or a minimum of 12 months documented experience working with animals, prior to commencing study in the Certificate III in Captive Animals. You agree to provide evidence of your enrolment and/or successful completion of the course if offered a position.
  7. You understand that during the placement at Perth Zoo, all instructions given by Perth Zoo staff must be adhered to for your welfare and that of the animals.
  8. You understand that in order to be eligible to study with the Taronga Training Institute you must be an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or a New Zealand Citizen residing in Australia.
  9. You understand that it is a requirement of this course that you wear the Taronga Training Institute student uniform when you attend classes and onsite practical days. The uniform consists of a polo shirt and jumper. The course fee includes the cost of your uniform. one polo shirt and one jumper (two polo shirts at the Dubbo, Adelaide, Perth & Melbourne Campus). Additional uniform items can be purchased at $45 per item.
  10. The Taronga Training Institute is committed to minimising its use of paper. As such you confirm you have access to a computer to access course material, and upload assessments. The use of a laptop (preferred) or tablet in the classroom is necessary. You must be computer literate and can access the internet to upload and download assessments and course work when required.
  11. You understand if you enrol into a course with Taronga Training Institute you will be required to access the online student management system on a regular basis to receive and send communication to the institute.
  12. You will answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your ability and you acknowledge that you have completed the application questions and you have not had any other person complete the application on your behalf.

Work Health and Safety considerations:

  1. Taronga Training Institute is required and committed to ensure that all prospective students satisfy the inherent requirements and job demands of the course for which they are being considered and that all students are safe in fulfilling the practical components of their course. This information is required for the purpose of assessing your fitness for participation in the course. Please Note: medical clearance may be required if requested by Taronga’s WHS Manager or the Taronga Training Institute Manager
  2. Working in some areas of the Zoo poses some potential risk of exposure to zoonotic disease  (diseases transmitted to humans from close contact with animals). Perth Zoo requires you to undertake zoonosis awareness induction training at the onset of your practical experience so that you are aware of the specific diseases of risk and the means by which you can minimise your exposure risk.  
  3. To undertake study at Perth Zoo, you may be asked to comply with the following Workplace Health & Safety measures at your own expense:
    a. Protective boots – either steel-cap or synthetic ‘protective’ rated boots
    b. Perth Zoo may require students to be screened or vaccinated (at your own expense) for a range of zoonotic diseases including QFever and Tuberculosis
  4. Perth Zoo also reserves the right to include any other vaccinations as required.

Frequently asked questions

How is this course assessed?

Course assessments are a combination of written answers, reports, case studies, projects, practical activities, observations of students performing tasks, self-assessments and supervisor reports.

How much work is involved in an accredited course?

Accredited Training through the Taronga Training Institute involves mandatory classroom sessions, tutorials, workshops and assessment days. Depending upon your course, you may also have a practical placement. In addition to these mandatory dates, you will have independent study and research, workbooks and other course related activities. We would expect that you will need to spend between 20-25 hours per week completing your course requirements depending upon your previous knowledge and skills.

Do you deliver courses to international students?

Under our obligations as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), students of the Taronga Training Institute must be a citizen (or permanent resident) of Australia, a citizen of New Zealand or holders of an acceptable study visa. Accordingly, TTI does not currently deliver to students outside of this criteria and we do not delivery any accredited training via overseas or international partnerships.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

When on site, TTI students are required to wear the Taronga Training Institute polo shirt and jumper which is provided and included in your course fees. Additional uniform items may be purchased at the start of the course. Please speak to your Support Officer during Orientation for further details.

Who is the registered course provider?

Taronga Training Institute, Registered Training Organisation No. 91359, is the course provider. Taronga is a leading wildlife tourism attraction and operates both Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. All qualifications gained will be issued by Taronga Training Institute.


I have some general questions about studying with Taronga

We have captured most of the questions we have previously received either on our website or in our Student Handbook. Please thoroughly read both of these platforms and if you still have questions, you can email us at