About us

Welcome to The College of Animal Welfare

The College of Animal Welfare was established in 1989 by one of the leading animal welfare charities, Wood Green Animal Shelters in Cambridgeshire. The vision was to use education to help tackle animal welfare issues and the problem of unwanted and abandoned animals.

In 1996, the College, known at the time as the Wood Green College of Animal Welfare, became an independently managed, not-for-profit, organisation in its own right and changed its name to The College of Animal Welfare.

Today, the College has centres in Cambridgeshire, North London, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Scotland and specialises in training in the land-based sector. We strongly believe that education and training is the key to raising standards of animal welfare. To this end, we strive to create new and accessible opportunities for learning, and encourage employers and those working with animals to undertake appropriate levels of training and continue with lifelong learning and education.

Our mission and values

Mission Statement

‘Providing innovative learning opportunities in pursuit of professional excellence’


  1. Service and Value
    To provide a superior training provision based on the market and the employers’ needs
  2. Customers
    To excel in anticipating and quickly responding to customer needs and competitor activity
  3. Finance
    To deliver a strong and consistent financial performance whilst offering value for money
  4. Education
    To promote a responsible attitude towards animal welfare
  5. Training
    To assist individuals and organisations to achieve their full potential by providing quality education and training services.
  6. Employee Development
    To relate investment in the development of the staff to the College mission and strategy

The College has a well-earned reputation for excellence, delivering quality training and education, and has a history of being a pioneer with a number of unique achievements; the most notable are the creation of the first ever BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing programme in 1998 and the Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants programme in 2005.

Celebrating 25 years of The College of Animal Welfare

During 2014 we celebrated our Silver Jubilee anniversary and held a number of celebratory and fundraising activities throughout the year, details can be found here.

Our special Silver Jubilee Booklet detailing the history of the College can be viewed by clicking on the photo below.

Silver Jubilee Booklet Cover Page

Learning opportunities for all

We take great pride in our equal opportunities policy to make learning available to all and we seek to encourage applications from all members of the community. No student shall be excluded from any course on the grounds of age, sex, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy and maternity or gender reassignment.

If you have any special needs or requirements then we will be happy to discuss these with you and make any necessary arrangements where possible prior to you enrolling. For further advice or guidance please contact us.

We are here to help, we want you to succeed, and we will do our utmost to achieve this.

CAW Principal Barbara Cooper

Barbara Cooper HonAssoc RCVS CertEd LicIPD DTM RVN
Principal, The College of Animal Welfare