Course overview

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This course is also available as a Level 3 Diploma for those not eligible for an apprenticeship

Quick Facts

  • 18-24 months (20% of your time must be spent studying off the job)
  • England (90 minutes radius of Huntingdon, North London and Leeds)
  • Monthly payment options
  • Non-apprenticeship option available

If you are located outside the 90 minutes radius of the above centres, please contact us as we may still be able to meet your training needs.

Take your animal care knowledge to the next level…

As a qualification that leading animal welfare organisations invest in for their own staff training, this apprenticeship programme is ideal for those who are working with animals in a supervisory position and are looking to build on existing knowledge and skills to take their career to the next level. During this apprenticeship you will solidify your abilities to plan and coordinate the care of animals, and lead teams to achieve workplace tasks and objectives.

To undertake this apprenticeship, you must be employed in an animal care environment; this will allow the development of your practical skills alongside earning a wage and studying your formal apprenticeship qualification.

By choosing to study with The College of Animal Welfare you will be joining a community of like-minded students and staff, who all share a passion for animal welfare.

As this apprenticeship is work-based, you may apply to start at any time of the year and will not be required to attend College for tuition. You will be allocated a Work-based Learning Assessor who will support you through your qualification via email and telephone contact and regular visits to your place of work.

Benefits to employers

  • Grow your business: Affordable way to expand and develop your business
  • Cost effective: Provide valuable opportunities whilst minimising recruitment and training costs
  • Enhanced reputation: Provide client reassurance by investing in trained staff
  • Increased productivity: Maximise staff efficiency though the development of knowledge and skills

The College of Animal Welfare has a well-earned reputation for excellence; we are dedicated to providing your apprentice with superior training based on the needs of your organisation. Your apprentice will benefit from:

  • Tuition, support and assessment provided in the workplace, online and via email and telephone contact
  • Support and guidance from an allocated, qualified Work-based Learning Assessor
  • Access to our unique Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and extensive eLibrary resources


Course content

This apprenticeship consists of:

  • City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English
  • Lantra Employment Right and Responsibilities Workbook
  • Personal Learning and Thinking Skills

City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care

Over the course of the qualification, you will undertake both mandatory and optional units, which will allow you to tailor the qualification to the needs of both yourself and your employer. The units you undertake will be discussed with you at induction to make sure they fit your interests and job role.

Mandatory units:

  • Implement, monitor and evaluate plans for the health and welfare of animals
  • Promote, monitor and maintain health, safety and security of the workplace
  • Plan the handling and restraint of animals
  • Plan, supervise and control the movement of animals
  • Plan diets and feeding regimes for animals
  • Monitor and evaluate the feeding of animals
  • Plan the accommodation of animals
  • Monitor and evaluate the accommodation of animals
  • Load and unload animals for transportation
  • Establish animals in a new environment

Optional units that you can then choose from include:

  • Welcome, receive and care for visitors to sites
  • Provide advice and guidance on the choice and care of animals to prospective keepers
  • Assess the suitability of new environments for the placement of animals
  • Recognise and interpret the behaviour of animals
  • Prepare for the transportation of animals
  • Maintain the health and welfare of animals during transportation
  • Plan, monitor and evaluate the transportation of animals
  • Encourage and motivate volunteers
  • Manage the work of volunteers
  • Organise the receipt and storage of goods in a retail environment
  • Help customers to choose products in a retail environment
  • Maintain the availability of goods for sale to customers in a retail environment

You will be assessed via completion of a portfolio and pass work-based practical assessments.

Functional Skills

You will undertake Level 2 Functional Skills in English and Maths unless exempt. These are assessed via online examinations and practical assessments.

Entry requirements

This course is also available as a Level 3 Diploma for those not eligible for an apprenticeship

There are no formal academic entry requirements. However, you will need to be living and working in England in a suitable animal care environment (such as a boarding kennels, cattery, animal charity or zoo), within a 90 minute radius of our Huntingdon, North London or Leeds centres, earning at least the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices. To complete this apprenticeship within 18-24 months you will need to be working for a minimum of 30 hours per week, if you are working less than 30 hours a week the length of your apprenticeship will be extended depending on your working hours.

You must be employed in a supervisory or managerial position to undertake this course. If you are not working directly in a supervisory role but wish to undertake this qualification to enhance your prospects of progressing into such a position, please contact us and speak to a member of our work-based learning team to discuss your suitability for the programme.

If you have a level 3 (or above) qualification in a similar subject you may not be able to undertake this apprenticeship, in which case you may wish to undertake the City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care as a standalone qualification.

Course fees

Apprenticeship fees are payable by the employer. Prior to commencing the course an invoice will be issued for the total course fee. There are, however, several payment options to choose from:

  • Full Fee:  Payment in full before the beginning of the course
  • Annual:  One payment prior to the start of the course followed by equal payments every 12 months thereafter
  • Quarterly:  One payment prior to the start of the course followed by payments every three months thereafter
  • Monthly:  One payment prior to the start of the course followed by monthly payments thereafter

If you have not achieved your qualification by the planned end date detailed in your individual learning plan, your employer will be able to pay monthly direct debit payments to allow you to continue to receive support and access to your course until certification of your award.

Course Fees

The way apprenticeships are funded, and paid for, has now changed. Employers should take note of the fees that are applicable to their organisation. As an employer you will either be an Apprenticeship Levy Payer (employers with over a £3 million pay bill) or Non-Levy Payers (employers with less than a £3 million pay bill).

Employ an apprentice aged 16-18 and save over £1,000!

If you take on an apprentice under 19 years of age, you will receive a £1,000 incentive from the government towards the training fees! In addition, if your organisation has less than 50 contracted employees the course fees will be reduced by a further £125!

Course fees for Apprenticeship Levy Payers

Course fees are made up of two parts; a digital account payment and college course fees, as below:

Digital account payment – £2,500
College course fees:

Full Fee Annual Quarterly Monthly
£2,488 £1,244 per year £311 every three months £104 per month

Course fees for Non-Levy Payers

Course fees for Non-Levy Payers are paid via co-investment with the government, meaning that the government provide some funding towards course fees. The additional fees that you will be required to pay as of April 1 2019 are as follows:

Full Fee Annual Quarterly Monthly
£2,613 £1,307 per year £327 every three months £109 per month

Awarding Body Fees*

City & Guilds registration and certificate fees: £180

* Awarding Body Fees are payable by all employers and recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

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.

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 as a 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?

On completion of your apprenticeship you will have gained the leadership skills and abilities to effectively plan and coordinate the care of animals and the allocation of tasks to staff.

You may wish to continue broadening your knowledge by undertaking regular Continuing Professional Development courses or looking at higher education, such as a foundation degree in animal management (subject to individual university entry requirements) or look at other related courses such as behaviour and training.

CAW Connect

After you complete your studies with The College of Animal Welfare, you will be invited to join our alumni association, CAW Connect. CAW Connect is a social networking website and education hub which gives you the opportunity to connect with other alumni, enjoy industry discounts, make use of exclusive careers advice and resources, find new job opportunities and keep up-to-date with the latest industry news. Find out more about CAW Connect


Having completed the Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship at The College of Animal Welfare, Shannon Summerell went on to complete the Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Work-based Animal Care in March 2016. We caught up with Shannon and asked her to share some of her experiences about her time on the courses. Read the case study.

I am currently studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Care via The College of Animal Welfare and the Mayhew Animal home. After working 20 years in retail, it was time for a change of career and I was offered an opportunity, which I took. I am enjoying the hands on experience and I really like spending time with the animals and the fantastic people I work alongside. – Emily Norton-Matthews (July 2017)