Course Overview

Quick Facts

  • Typical duration: 18-20 months. A minimum of six hours per week must be spent undertaking off-the-job training.
  • Location: As this qualification is work-based no college attendance is required. Your tuition will be provided online, and you will be supported by a personal tutor who will assess your work and provide feedback. Regular contact and support will be carried out by your tutor via email, telephone and Microsoft Teams.
  • Employment: You will need to be working in a suitable animal care environment, either in a supervisory role or working towards it.
  • Work-based learning: No college attendance required, your course materials will be provided through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
  • Non-apprenticeship option: The City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care is available for those not eligible to undertake an apprenticeship

The Animal Care and Welfare Manager Apprenticeship is designed for employees who are supervising and planning the day-to-day husbandry needs of the animals in their care. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to provide the highest standards of welfare in accordance with legislation, regulations and organisational policies.

You will be carrying out animal care plans and monitoring their effectiveness; making changes when appropriate to fully meet the five animal needs. You will learn how to provide the animals in your care with sustainable, enriching and stress-free environments and know how to keep them in good physical and mental health.

You will learn how to deal with all types of stakeholders, including employees, managers, suppliers and customers to ensure their needs are met. You will understand the importance of providing an effective customer service, including how to gather information from customers to support the care of animals and provide advice when appropriate.

Throughout your apprenticeship, you will be expected to undertake additional training specific to your industry, in order to keep up to date with advances in animal care working practices and technologies and implement best practices in your workplace.

Benefits to employers

  • Grow your business: An affordable way to expand and develop your business
  • Cost effective: Provide valuable opportunities whilst minimising 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; delivering quality training and education and employer support. 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

During your study you will look at the occupational duties, knowledge, skills and behaviours needed of an animal care and welfare manager to ensure you maintain safe and effective working practices and take responsibility for yourself, others and the animals in your care.

You will undertake the following units of study

  1. Monitor and oversee animal care and welfare
  2. Stakeholder management
  3. Supervise day to day activities
  4. Personal development
  5. Health & Safety
  6. Produce animal care plans
  7. Assess animal health and behaviour
  8. Deliver animal care

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.


Functional Skills
You will undertake Functional Skills Level 2 in English and Maths (unless exempt). You are required to pass these before undertaking your End Point Assessment.

During your apprenticeship you will compile a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Once you have completed your portfolio, Functional Skills and a minimum of 12 months of training, you will be able to undertake the End Point Assessment.

End Point Assessment (EPA)
The EPA consists of:

  1. Practical Assessment: An observation of the apprentice by an independent assessor.
  2. Professional Discussion:A structured discussion between the apprentice and the independent assessor to establish an applied level of knowledge, skills and behaviour.

Your performance in the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of fail, pass or distinction.

Entry Requirements

You should hold a level 2 animal care qualification and be living and working in England in a suitable animal care environment (e.g. a boarding kennels, cattery, animal charity, doggy day care facility), either in a supervisory role or working towards it, earning at least the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices. To complete this apprenticeship within 18-20 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.

If a student has not previously achieved Level 2 English and Maths, they will need to complete Functional Skills English and/or maths as part of their apprenticeship.

Applications for those who do not hold a Level 2 animal care qualification but have significant industry experience will be considered on an individual basis.

If you have a level 3 (or above) qualification you may still be able to undertake this apprenticeship if your current qualification is in an unrelated subject. If your existing qualification is in a similar subject it may not be possible for you to undertake this apprenticeship.

International qualifications

Students with foreign qualifications are required to have their certificates translated using a UK ENIC Statement. More information about how to apply, how it works and prices can be found on the UK ENIC’s website here.

A Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care is also available for those not eligible for an apprenticeship

Course Fees

Apprenticeship fees are payable by the employer. Prior to starting the course an invoice will be issued for the total course fee.

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 for small employers/Non-Levy Payers (with an annual payroll bill of less than £3 million)

Non-levy paying employers in England are required to contribute 5% (£450 in one payment) towards the cost of the apprenticeship provided they use their digital account to process the claim for 95% funding available.

Course fees for large employers/Levy Payers (with an annual payroll bill of more than £3 million)

Levy payers in England will pay the full apprenticeship amount of £9,000 using their digital account.

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 knowledge, skills, behaviours and practical experience needed to excel in as an Animal Care and Welfare Manager. This puts you in an excellent position professionally, particularly when applying for supervisory and managerial positions within the animal care industry.

You may wish to continue your studies by looking at other related courses such as behaviour or training.