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

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

The Certificate III in Wildlife and Exhibited Animal Care is the pathway to a career such as Trainee Zoo Keeper, Animal Attendant or Wildlife Animal Carer in a Zoo, Aquarium or Wildlife park. With some previous study or work experience, students will further develop their knowledge in animal husbandry through a combination of regular theory lessons and practical experience.

Applications for our June 2023 intake have now closed.

Important update.

It is a requirement of Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo that all students must be able to provide a COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate indicating they have been double vaccinated. Entry to the site is determinate upon your vaccination status.

If at any stage during course delivery, students are not permitted onsite due to restrictions enforced by either the Government or by 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 through specially recorded interviews, behind the scenes recordings and online resources. Taronga would then transition back to onsite classes as soon as is safely possible.

Study format

  • This course is run over 12 months full time with intakes in January and June. Classroom sessions will be conducted once per week on Monday evenings (January intake) or Tuesday evenings (June intake) from 4pm to 9pm
  • Students are required to complete 30 days of practical experience 
  • There are also on site practical assessment days that must be attended

Study Load: There are a total of 16 units of competency to be completed to a satisfactory level. This includes weekly 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 New Zealand Citizen or hold a relevant Visa which does not restrict their ability to study in Australia. Applicants should contact Taronga Training Institute to verify their eligibility to study with us if they are a VISA holder.
  • 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 medium to 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

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 for the June 2023 intake close 9.00am Monday 17th April 2023.

Mid-year intake applications open in February of each year for commencement in June. Beginning year intake applications open in August of each year for commencement the following January.

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, as relevant to you, will need to be uploaded at the time of your online application and you should gather electronic copies of the documents before commencing your application:
    • A copy of your Student Transcript showing units of competency that you have successfully completed in an Animal related field of study OR a letter of recommendation indicating that you have demonstrated experience working with animal in the past 12 months
    • your Unique Student Identifier (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.

Course dates

Orientation: Tuesday 13th June 2023
Starting: Tuesday 20th June 2023
Finishing: Tuesday 25th June 202

Please note: Students will also be required to attend 3 x assessment days onsite at Taronga Zoo during the day, in addition to their normal evening lessons. Students will be advised of the required dates in advance.

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. Commercial course fees can be paid in full or in four equal instalments. The first instalment is due within two weeks of the offer being made. Any students awarded a Smart and Skilled subsidised position will be required to pay the student component of fees 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 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 Sydney, you will be assigned to one day per week of practical placement. Practical days will start as early as 6.30am and finish by 4pm. Classroom lessons will be held weekly on either a Monday or Tuesday from 4pm - 9pm. The class date is assigned based on the intake.
  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 during placement at Taronga Zoo (Sydney), all instructions given by Taronga Zoo staff must be adhered to for your welfare and that of the animals.
  7. You understand that to be eligible to study with the Taronga Training Institute you must be an Australian Citizen, permanent resident of Australia, New Zealand Citizen residing in Australia or hold a relevant Visa which does not restrict your ability to study in Australia. Please note: Visa holders are encouraged to contact Taronga Training Institute prior to lodging and application to confirm their eligibility to study with us.
  8. 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 your uniform. Additional uniform items can be purchased at $45 per item.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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. Taronga may require students to be vaccinated at their own expense and you will be required to comply with any vaccination requirements of Taronga Zoo.
  3. Taronga Training Institute also reserves the right to include any other vaccinations as required.
  4. Taronga’s Veterinary and Animal Health Team in consultation with Taronga’s Work Health and Safety Manager would like to advise you that working in some areas of the Zoo poses a risk to both animals and humans in the transfer of tuberculosis. Taronga requires you to provide TB clearance prior to commencement if you are identified as being in a high risk category for tuberculosis. You will need to provide TB clearance if you fit into any of the following categories:
  • Born overseas in a high TB incidence country
  • Lived overseas in a high TB incidence country for longer than 3 months
  • Have known exposure to a TB positive person

Please note: TB clearance is not required prior to acceptance of a position in the course

Please be advised that the risk of contracting TB is very low. However, you may choose to seek further advice from your health professional.

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.

Can I get a position as a volunteer while I am a student?

Yes, while studying with TTI, you are able to apply through Taronga's volunteer program. Please note that all volunteers must be aged over 18 years to apply. However, if your course requires you to conduct practical placement, volunteer days are additional and TTI practical days must still be completed. Please note that being a TTI student will not automatically gain entry into our volunteer program.

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