Welcome to the The Pets At Home Vet Group apprenticeship portal, provided by The College of Animal Welfare.
Following please find all the information you will need about CAW and the delivery of the vet nurse apprenticeship.

Your Company Contact Information
Contact Name: Rebecca Reynolds
Telephone: 01793 429860
Email: rebecca.reynolds@vets4pets.com

Your contact at The College of Animal Welfare
Contact Name: Katy Boswell
Telephone: 01480 422060
Email: kboswell@caw.ac.uk

The Pets at Home Veterinary Group is made up of Vets4Pets and Companion Care Vets. With colleagues being at the epicentre of the PAHVG business training is a priority. This is why PAHVG have been heavily involved within government trailblazers in order to ensure that as apprenticeship standards are developed they are designed to meet the needs of both individuals and practices alike.

The College of Animal Welfare (CAW) train in excess of 20% of the UK’s veterinary nurses and support approximately 500 recognised training practices and are therefore well placed to understand the needs of the veterinary industry.

Course fees will be payable from each practice’s training budget. Invoices will be sent directly to Support Office and will be paid as specified in the Apprenticeship Training Service Agreement.

For an apprentice a training agreement is required which will be provided by CAW. This will need to be signed by the person undertaking the apprenticeship, the Joint Venture Partner (JVP) as well as a CAW representative.


Did you know your practice is classed as a non-levy paying organisation? This is great news because it means that in England you only have pay 10% of the total funding band allocation for each course as the government will pay the remaining 90%!

For example the funding band for Level 3 Veterinary Nurse apprenticeship is £15,000 – but your practice is only required to pay £1500!

  • Veterinary Nursing


    The Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeship Standard is run on a day release basis from Huntingdon, Leeds, North London and Wigan centres with intakes in January, April and September each year. It is also available in a block release format from Huntingdon beginning in January.

    The VN apprenticeship standard includes the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and therefore throughout this course a variety of subject areas will be covered such as anatomy and physiology, diagnostic imaging, animal handling and fluid therapy.

    As an apprentice you are required to spend 20% of your working hours undertaking off-the-job training supported by your employer. For example this can include day release to college, shadowing and mentoring in the workplace, events CPD and online training.

    You will undertake a number of activities in ensure you have the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to become a successful RVN. These include online examinations, assignments and case studies. You will also complete an e-portfolio as evidence of practical competence and an End Point Assessment which involves undertaking a professional discussion and as well as the OSCE practical examination.


    To undertake the course you must have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above (4-9) including English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject. You will also need to be working in a recognised Training Practice (TP). If your practice is not a TP please do get in touch to find out how your practice can become one.


    As you work within a non-levy paying practice fees are payable by co-investment with the government. Therefore the following fees apply:

    College course fees:

    • Full fee: £750
    • Year 1: £750
    • Year 2: £0

    Fees are fully inclusive of the following:

    • RCVS Student VN Registration
    • Awarding Body Registration Fee
    • Awarding Body Exam Fee (First attempt)
    • End Point Assessment first attempt (includes professional discussion and OSCEs)
    • Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing Qualification
    • Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeship Standard Certificate

Additional recognised qualifications

In addition to apprenticeships there are other recognised qualifications available for those within your practice to study. Please look at the CAW website for more information.

TP Approval Scheme

If your practice is not currently involved in veterinary nurse training but is looking to do so you will need to become a recognised Training Practice (TP). This will allow you to train your own colleague or take on placements students.

Here at The College of Animal Welfare we support approximately 500 TPs and, as such, are well placed to understand your needs. Our service has been designed to:

  • Be cost effective
  • Make effective use of practice time
  • Minimise practice disruption
  • Be easy to understand
  • Have RCVS approval
  • Have access to quality support
  • Provide regular communication

To find out more about becoming a recognised training practice do get in touch using the contact details displayed. Currently there is no cost to become a training practice if you have a student committed to CAW.

Placement Students

It is clear that there is a shortage of veterinary nurses within the industry. However there is certainly not a shortage of individuals who want to become Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs). The bottleneck is the amount of placements that are available to support them.

Offering a placement can be a great way to add an enthusiastic colleague to your team. There are no course fees or wages to pay and you may even gain a fully qualified member of staff at the end!

We are always seeking new practices to be involved within our placement scheme for both our diploma and degree veterinary nursing students. Our Placement Liaison Team will happily talk you through the process and look at any available students in your area.

Get your free information pack

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

If you want to gain knowledge in a specific area we have a number of different courses and unique events you can attend:

  • Clinical Coach Congress

    Clinical Coach Congress

    This is a unique conference aimed at clinical coaches who would like to progress in the key role they have in developing student veterinary nurses.

    A wide range of topics are covered over the two day event which vary each year. Previous subjects have included practical NPL advice, how to support individuals with mental health challenges and motivational mapping.

  • Head Nurse Congress

    Head Nurse Congress

    Already a head nurse or practice manager? Or perhaps you are looking to become one in the future – then this congress is ideal for you.

    Held over two days the congress is packed full of tips designed to make your job easier! Topics vary each year but have included recruitment, well-being, managing difficult situations and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

  • CPD


    A number of short courses are also available at each of our four centres throughout the year (Huntingdon, Potters Bar, Leeds and Edinburgh). Our courses are designed to provide you access to a multitude of learning opportunities that are delivered by professional speakers.

    Certificates of attendances will allow you to evidence your attendance in your professional development record where applicable.

    The range of topics varies with subjects being covered including how to deal with difficult cats, nursing the cancer patient, rabbit anaesthesia and handling reptiles.

What's Next?

If you need further support or have any questions please do get in touch and we will happy to help!