Course overview

This course is also available as part of an Apprenticeship

This City & Guilds programme is ideal for those who are working with animals, looking for a qualification that reflects their practical skills and knowledge.

This course is studied on a work based learning basis. Whilst the majority of students choose to undertake the Animal Care and Welfare pathway of this qualification, there are other pathways available such as Animal Training and Pet Care and Retail; allowing you to tailor the course to your interests, job requirements and career objectives.

Your course materials will be provided via our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), meaning you can work towards your qualification in your own time, at work or at home, or even on the move!

The knowledge you will gain from undertaking this qualification, alongside the practical experience you will be accumulating through employment or work experience, will enable you to do your job more effectively and boost your career prospects.

Please note that this programme is usually delivered within a 90 minute radius of our Huntingdon, Potters Bar or Leeds Centres.  If you are located outside of this area, please contact us, as we may still be able to meet your training needs.

Key Facts

  • Attendance: You will not be required to come into college; your assessment and support will be carried out in your workplace and via email and telephone contact with one of our work-based learning assessors.
  • Duration: 14-18 months
  • Start date: The work-based learning programme can be started at any time.
  • Location: Within a 90 minute radius of Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire), Potters Bar (London) or Leeds (West Yorkshire)

Course content

This course is also available as part of an Apprenticeship

Over the course of the qualification you will undertake the following mandatory units:

  • Maintain and develop personal performance
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with others
  • Promote and maintain the health and well-being of animals
  • Select and prepare accommodation for animals
  • Maintain animal accommodation
  • Control and restrain animals
  • Moving animals between locations
  • Make sure your own actions reduce risks to health and safety
  • Maintain the cleanliness and bio security of the animal care working environment
  • Prepare feed for animals
  • Provide feed and water to animals

You will then choose from a range of optional units such as:

  • Provide controlled exercise opportunities for animals
  • Provide opportunities for animals to have freedom to exercise
  • Welcome, receive and care for visitors to sites
  • Prepare and groom animals
  • Dry dogs prepare their coats for styling
  • Load and unload animals for transportation

As some of the units that make up the qualification are optional, you will have the opportunity to discuss the units that you will be undertaking at induction to make sure they fit with your interests and job role.


You will complete a portfolio, pass work-based practical assessments and undertake a technical certificate test.

Entry requirements

This course is also available as part of an Apprenticeship

There are no formal academic entry requirements; however you should be employed in a suitable animal care environment (such as a boarding kennels, cattery, animal charity or zoo).

Course fees

We offer two different payment options; our ‘Annual Fee Scheme’ or our ‘Pay as You Learn’ monthly payment scheme. Details of both of these payment options can be found here. Sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page.

Before making any financial decision it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.

Please note that course fees listed below apply to courses starting before the 1 May 2017. Fees for courses starting on, or after, 1 May 2017 will be published in due course.

Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care

Age at start of course Annual Fee Scheme (?) Pay as You Learn Scheme (?) Awarding Body Fees (minimum) *
16+ £1,095 £73 per month £168
Overseas Not available Not available Not available

This course is also available as part of an Apprenticeship – view fees

* Awarding Body Fees are recharged at cost and may be subject to change. The costs shown above are based on the minimum number of units necessary to achieve the qualification.

These are current figures and may be subject to change.

The differences in course fees reflect the level of funding that is available as a result of government policies and priorities. These may be the result of age, employment status, previous education achievements or location for example, and are outside the control of The College of Animal Welfare.

What next?

Completion of this qualification will demonstrate to employers your practical skills and abilities, standing you in good stead when applying for future job roles in the industry. Depending on your personal skills and career aims, you could pursue employment in, for example, a cattery, kennels or rescue centre. If you’re looking for your next opportunity, our jobs board advertises current animal care jobs from time-to-time.

This course will also lay the foundations for further animal care study. As such you may wish to look at undertaking the Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care or Advanced Apprenticeship in Animal Care. To do this, you will need to be working in a supervisory role. If you have any concerns about whether your job role will allow you to do this, please speak to your work based assessor or a member of our Customer Advice Team on 01480 422060.


“I really enjoyed the different assignments that were set as I was able to lay them out how I wanted  to using photos and tables, and I could also choose the animals I wanted to write about in my assignments. I would highly recommend the Animal Care Level 2 and 3 courses as they are enjoyable qualifications and look good on a CV! I would also recommend an apprenticeship as it really helps you through your qualification by gaining experience on a daily basis.” Read the case study
Shannon Summerell, Level 2 Diploma / Intermediate Apprenticeship in Work-based Animal Care