Exhibited Animal Care & Marine Wildlife Project

Menu: Click across the green arrows to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

Case for change

There is an increased demand for services in both exhibited animal care and marine rescue. To encourage the reproduction of endangered and rare species, skills are needed in animal conditioning, environment and enrichment, so that stress levels of animals are in the range that is conducive to optimal breeding. Skills are also needed in marine rescue, with Zoos Victoria’s Marine Response Unit reporting more than 472 callouts to help wildlife in the 2018-19 financial year so far.

There are also new skill requirements in exhibited animal care due to changing captivity environments, legislation and regulation, and new methods of undertaking work using technology.

The skills standards to rescue large animals or groups of animals were recognised as a priority in the Animal Care and Management IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (see pages 29-30). The skills to rescue marine wildlife are quite different to the skills required to rescue animals on land, which were recently reviewed and developed as part of the Animal Incident Management Project. There are unique skills related to managing the safety and welfare of both people and animals involved, with minimal interference to wildlife.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved the marine rescue part of this project after a case was made about the different skills required for animal rescue on sea versus land.

Download Project Proposal (see pages 29-30)

The exhibited animal care part of the project was approved by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) out of the 2019-2022 Animal Care and Management IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (see pages 30-35).

Download Project Proposal (see pages 30-35)

Skills Impact and the Animal Care and Management Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Project Plan

Australia has one of the longest coastlines in the world and a vast landscape that is inhabited by some of the world’s rarest animals. The work of our zoo keepers, animal carers and marine wildlife responders plays an important role in supporting the health, welfare and sustainability of some of our most vulnerable animals and marine wildlife. This project covers two distinct areas of animal care, to identify skills needs for both exhibited animal care and marine wildlife response.

Those who work with animals in zoos and wildlife parks play a key role in promoting animal welfare and conservation, through breeding programs, providing information to the public and supporting scientific research. Specialist skills are needed for working with endangered animals and rare species, as job tasks vary depending on the size and type of the animal and its environment. These animals need to be mentally and physically comfortable for successful breeding and conservation programs. As such, zoo keepers and animal carers need to understand and be skilled at providing animal enrichment, as well as conditioning the animals to be handled.

Just as specialist skills are needed for different kinds of exhibited animals, a level of expertise is required for the participation and/or management of marine wildlife events and emergency situations. The skills to rescue marine wildlife are quite different to the skills required to rescue animals on land, which were recently reviewed and developed as part of the Animal Incident Management Project. During this process, industry advised that specific skill standards were needed that relate to marine wildlife events such as entanglements, strandings and pollution events.

The marine environment can present a particular challenge to humans involved in an emergency management situation. At the same time, marine life requires particular conditions to be maintained during the response, to comply with animal welfare regulations, legislation and workplace standards.

Project Scope

This project will review and update the skills standards for working with exhibited animals and develop units of competency related to managing marine wildlife incidents. Units of competency within the existing Certificate III in Captive Animals and the Certificate IV in Captive Animals will be reviewed. Skills standards in marine wildlife management and response will also be defined and captured in units of competency.

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

Relevant Occupations
  • Captive/exhibited animal carer
  • Zookeeper
  • Native wildlife animal carer
  • Aquarist
  • Senior animal keeper/aquarist
  • Wildlife care operator/manager
Project Team
Rebecca FordIndustry Skills Standards Manager/Specialist rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au
Diana McNaughtonIndustry Engagement Manager diana@skillsimpact.com.au
Sue HamiltonIndustry Skills Standard Contractor

Timeline

August-October 2019
Initial scoping

October 2019
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

November – December 2019
Drafts available for broader consultation

February 2020
Validation of final drafts

March-July 2020
Finalisation of Training Package components

October 2020
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

To be submitted at the same time as the Pet Care & Animal Training Project.

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations is being developed for this project. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations during the development of this project to seek their involvement and their views on the draft qualifications and units.

If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team to ensure they are contacted by us.

Of course, all and any interested industry participants are encouraged to engage in the consultation of this project, when the draft qualifications and units are available for feedback via this webpage and workshops that take place around Australia. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list. This list simply helps us to identify those organisations that, because of their industry role, size or specialty, are likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project.

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft materials are made available, which is expected in February 2020, and again for validation of final drafts which is expected in July 2020. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the qualification and units. It is important that training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. The qualification and units need to reflect real work experience. So if you work in the sector, Skills Impact would appreciate your input and help. Please feel free to register your interest for project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link below. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the project manager, Rebecca Ford on 03 9321 3526 or rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts will be drawn on throughout this project to help review and draft the revised units, skill set and qualifications.

If you are interested in applying to be a subject matter expert and are able to volunteer your time to this project, please email details of your expertise to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

Development

Zoo keepers, animal carers and marine wildlife responders play a vital role in supporting the health, welfare and sustainability of some of our most vulnerable animals and marine wildlife.

This project covers two distinct areas of animal care. Subject Matter Experts are being consulted in both exhibited animal care and marine wildlife response. They are being consulted to review the structure of the qualifications that align to job roles in these sectors and the content of units of competency. The skills standards that describe work practices in these areas are being updated to reflect changes in work practices, shifts in legislation and developments in technology.

Exhibited Animal Care

Those working in zoos, sanctuaries and wildlife parks need skills and knowledge in animal enrichment, nutrition, habitat design and behavioural conditioning, to support the mental and physical health of animals. Their job role also involves supporting scientific research and conservation through breeding programs and providing information and education programs to the public about environmental and animal conservation actions. Specialist skills are needed as job tasks vary depending on the size and type of the animal and how it interacts with its physical and social environment. As such, zoo keepers and animal carers need to understand and be skilled at providing enrichment to ensure the animal’s optimal psychological and physiological wellbeing. Behavioural conditioning is also important so that animals can be handled safely and with minimal stress during regular health assessments and veterinary checks.

Marine Wildlife Response

Just as specialist skills are needed for different kinds of exhibited animals, a level of expertise is required for the participation and management of marine wildlife events and emergency situations. Industry has advised that specific skill standards are needed to support marine wildlife incidents, such as entanglements, strandings and pollution events, to support the safety and welfare of the workers, volunteers and animals. The skills standards need to consider animal welfare regulations, legislation and workplace standards.

A project in Pet Care & Animal Training is also underway at the same time as this project and you may be interested in having input.

Proposed Qualification and Units for Development and Review

Feedback from Subject Matter Experts has identified a need for a unit of competency for assessing the welfare status of an animal and another to support the skills required to promote positive wellbeing for those working in animal care industries.

Units of competency within the existing Certificate III in Captive Animals and the Certificate IV in Captive Animals will be reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet current industry best-practice and regulations. Skills standards in marine wildlife management and response will be defined and captured in new units of competency.

  • Review two qualifications (Certificate III in Captive Animals and the Certificate IV in Captive Animals)
  • Consider the deletion of one qualification (the Certificate IV in Captive Animals)
  • Review 19 captive animal units of competency
  • Review 12 existing species specific units of competency
  • Develop 5 new marine animal response units of competency
  • Develop 2 new general animal studies units of competency to promote positive wellbeing for those working in animal care industries and to assess the welfare status of an animal
  • Review 5 existing skill sets and develop 6 new skill sets
  • Consider the deletion of one unit of competency (ACMCAN310 Assist with exhibit design and renovation planning), but include relevant aspects in ACMCAN304 Prepare and maintain animal housing and ACMCAN501 Contribute to enclosure and exhibit design or renovation projects (Certificate IV) as there is a lot of overlap. Feedback is needed as to whether this approach is acceptable to industry

Skills Impact is also seeking industry advice about qualification and unit titles to better reflect current industry terminology. More information to follow.

Consultation Workshops

Revised draft qualifications and units will be made available on this webpage for broad stakeholder consultation and feedback from mid-November to mid-December 2019 (under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above). We welcome your feedback and advice on the draft skills standards during this time. Face-to-face consultation workshops will also take place across all states and territories, with a webinar planned for those unable to attend in person. Registrations for these workshops will open very soon. We encourage you to subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter linked below to receive an alert of when registrations open and the drafts are available for feedback.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Drafts Available

This project covers two distinct areas of animal care that both play a vital role in supporting the health, welfare and sustainability of some of our most vulnerable animals and wildlife.

Australia has one of the longest coastlines in the world and a vast landscape that is inhabited by some of the world’s rarest animals. Specialist skills are needed for working with endangered animals and rare species, as job tasks vary depending on the size and type of the animal and its environment.

Consultation with subject matter experts has helped to identify and define the skills standards that describe work practices of zoo keepers, animal carers and marine wildlife responders. They have been captured in draft qualifications, skill sets and units of competency, which are now available for broad industry feedback. Please find these drafts listed below, divided into groups for ease of consultation.

Key changes:

  • Revised qualifications: The Certificate III and IV in Captive Animals have both been revised. Feedback so far is that the Certificate IV qualification does not reflect the current skills standards and practices of industry and that many of the units within it are already covered by the Certificate III qualification. We are seeking your feedback on whether the revised qualification meets industry needs, or whether it should be deleted?
  • Six new skill sets have been developed: incorporating all units within the existing Certificate IV in Captive Animals that are not covered in the Certificate III. It has also been suggested that that these proposed new skills sets could offer an alternative to the Certificate IV.
  • Five new units have been developed: to address the skills and knowledge requirements of undertaking tasks related to marine wildlife responses, such as marine animal entanglements, strandings and pollution events.
  • Two new units have been developed: incorporating the skills and knowledge requirements of assessing the welfare status of an animal and for promoting positive wellbeing of those working in animal care. It is anticipated that these two new units will be relevant across all animal care industry sectors, including the sectors covered by the Pet Care & Animal Training Project: General Animal Studies, Companion Animals, Pet Grooming and Animal Control and Regulation.

You are welcome to provide feedback on as many of the draft documents as you would like. Please share these with others who may be interested in providing feedback. They will be available on this webpage for feedback until 11 December 2019.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which are expected to available for industry validation in February 2020. 

 

How to provide feedback

The view the documents, please click on the expandable menus below. You can submit your feedback online via our feedback hub, or by taking part in a workshop or webinar, or by email.

Feedback hub 

You can post comments directly on the draft qualification, skill sets and units, as well as view any comments from others. Your comments will remain anonymous. Only Skills Impact internal staff and training package contractors working directly on the project can identify users. For more information, see our Privacy Policy. The feedback hub is also moderated to avoid misuse. For further details, see our Moderation Policy. 

Please follow these steps:

  1. Select the qualification, skill set or unit you would like to review. 
  2. You will be asked to register or login (this is a free account). Follow the prompts. 
  3. Once logged in, you will be able to post feedback directly on the document. 
  4.  Download user instructions 

Please contact us if you require assistance. 

 

Consultation webinar

Fri 6 Dec ’19, 10am – 1pm AEST – Webinar – register here

Face-to-face consultation workshops

Fri 15 Nov ‘19, 10am – 4pm ACST – Darwin – register here

Wed 20 Nov ‘19, 10am – 4pm AEDT – Sydney– register here

Thurs 21 Nov ’19, 10am – 4pm AEST – Brisbane – register here

Fri 22 Nov ’19, 10am – 4pm AEST – Cairns – register here

Tues 26 Nov ’19, 10am – 4pm ACST Adelaide – register here

Wed 27 Nov ’19, 10am – 4pm AWST – Perth – register here

Thurs 28 Nov ’19, 10am – 1.30pm AWST – Bunbury WA – register here

Mon 2 Dec ’19, 10am – 4pm AEST – Launceston – register here

Tues 3 Dec ’19, 10am – 4pm AEST – Hobart – register here

Wed 4 Dec ’19 10am – 4pm AEST – Melbourne CBD – register here

Thurs 5 Dec ’19 10am – 4pm AEST – Ballarat VIC – register here

Mon 9 Dec ’19, 10am – 1pm AWST – Canberra – register here

Feedback via email

Of course there is always the option to email us your feedback if you prefer. You can attach the qualification, skill set or unit with your track changes as feedback, or to provide general comments about the drafts. There is a link at the bottom of each document group where you can download the Microsoft Word versions of the qualification and units. Please email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

Qualification code and nameProposed changesLink
ACM30X20 Certificate III in Captive Animals
  • Changes to the packaging rules, core units and electives.
  • Proposed grouping of electives, for discussion.
  • Suggestions for a new title needed. For example: replace ‘captive’ with another term.
View draft qualification and provide feedback
ACM40X20 Certificate IV in Captive AnimalsFeedback from Subject Matter Experts has been that the existing Certificate IV does reflect the current skills standards and practices of industry. There is also a lot of overlap in the units of competency listed within the Certificate III and the Certificate IV.

Based on this feedback, the Certificate IV has been revised to:

  • remove overlap with units of competency already covered by the Certificate III;
  • incorporate units that are included within the proposed skill sets.
View existing qualification on training.gov.au

View revised draft qualification and provide feedback

We are seeking your feedback on whether the revised qualification meets industry needs, or whether it should be deleted? Some feedback so far has suggested that the proposed new skills sets could offer an alternative to this Certificate IV (see below). We are also seeking feedback and suggestions as to whether the word ‘captive’ should be replaced by another term. 

Alternatively, you can email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Six of the proposed skill sets include all units of competency within the existing Certificate IV in Captive Animals that are not covered in the Certificate III in Captive Animals, plus other imported units. There is a lot of overlap in the units listed within the existing Certificate III and the Certificate IV. The Certificate IV has been revised to incorporated this feedback, but it has also been suggested that that these proposed new skills sets could offer an alternative to the Certificate IV (see above). We are seeking your feedback on this proposal, as well as the skills sets individually.

Two new skills sets relate to marine wildlife responses.

ACMSS000XX1 Exhibited Animal Section Management Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS000XX2 Exhibited Animal Population Management Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS000XX3 Animal Welfare Management Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS000XX4 Zoological Horticulture Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS000XX5 Exhibited Animal Visitor Experience Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS000XX6 Zoological Exhibit Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS000X1 Large Whale Disentanglement Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS000X2 Lead Response to a Marine Wildlife EventView draft skill set and provide feedback

Alternatively, you can email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Skill set code and nameConsiderationsLink
ACMSS00008 Native Amphibian Rehabilitation Skill SetAre all units required in the skill set? They are large skill sets.

Consider inclusion of ACMINF303 – Implement infection control in the handling and care of native wildlife

View draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS00009 Native Bird Rehabilitation Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS00010 Native Mammal Rehabilitation Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS00011 Native Reptile Rehabilitation Skill SetView draft skill set and provide feedback
ACMSS00012 Preventative Biosecurity Skill SetOther infection control units have been developed since this skill set was developed. Are other skill sets needed?

Consider inclusion of:

View draft skill set and provide feedback

Alternatively, you can email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

The following general changes have been made to most units of competency:

  • Application – minor edits for clarity and updated references to relevant regulations to include animal welfare.
  • Performance Criteria – minor adjustments and some reordering.
  • Foundation skills – removal of references to the Core Skills for Work (CSfW) performance features in the Foundation Skills table. The Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) skill indicators are retained.
  • Performance Evidence – clarification of tasks and revision of volume and frequency requirements.
  • Knowledge Evidence – edits and reordering of points relating to cross checks to performance criteria.
  • Terminology changes:
    • references have been broadened to captive/exhibited animals in some units
    • facility replaces institution / organisation
    • population management replaces collection management.
ACMCAN301 Work within a captive animal facilityView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN302 Prepare and present information to the publicView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN303 Support collection managementView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN304 Prepare and maintain animal housingView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN305 Assist with capturing, restraining and moving animalsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN306 Monitor animal reproductionView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN307 Rehabilitate native wildlifeView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN308 Release native animals to natural environmentView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN309 Develop institutional husbandry guidelinesView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN311 Care for young animalsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN401 Implement collection managementView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN402 Manage enclosures and exhibitsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN403 Develop animal dietsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN404 Develop, monitor and review behavioural management strategiesView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN405 Design and evaluate interpretive and learning programsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN406 Assist in establishing and maintaining a plantationView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN501 Contribute to enclosure and exhibit design or renovation projectsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMCAN502 Develop and monitor collection managementView draft unit and provide feedback

Alternatively, you can email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Minor edits have been made to these units so far. We are seeking feedback on whether the units reflect current skills standards and practices of industry and if not, what edits might be required.

ACMSPE301 Provide basic care of amphibiansView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE302 Provide basic care of birdsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE303 Provide basic care of common native mammalsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE304 Provide basic care of domestic dogsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE305 Provide basic care of domestic catsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE306 Provide basic care of marine fishView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE307 Provide basic care of freshwater fishView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE308 Provide basic care of marine invertebratesView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE309 Provide basic care of terrestrial and freshwater invertebratesView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE310 Provide basic care of mammalsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE311 Provide basic care of non-venomous reptilesView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMSPE312 Provide basic care of rodents and rabbitsView draft unit and provide feedback

Alternatively, you can email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Five new units of competency have been developed to address the skills and knowledge required by those people undertaking tasks related to marine wildlife responses.

ACMAIMXX1 Participate in large whale disentanglement operationsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMAIMXX2 Respond to marine wildlife strandingView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMAIMXX3 Respond to wildlife welfare in marine environmentsView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMAIMXX4 Participate in marine wildlife pollution eventView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMAIMXX5 Assist at marine wildlife eventView draft unit and provide feedback

Alternatively, you can email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Two new units of competency have been developed to incorporate the skills and knowledge requirements of assessing the welfare status of an animal and for promoting positive wellbeing of those working in animal care. It is anticipated that these two new units will be relevant across all animal care industry sectors, including the sectors covered by the Pet Care & Animal Training Project: General Animal Studies, Companion Animals, Pet Grooming and Animal Control and Regulation.

ACMGASXX1 Assess the welfare status of an animalView draft unit and provide feedback
ACMGASXX2 Promote positive wellbeing in animal care industriesView draft unit and provide feedback

Alternatively, you can email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

This unit is currently an elective in the Certificate III Captive Animals qualification. Feedback from some Subject Matter Experts has been to delete this unit as there is a lot of overlap with units at the Certificate IV qualification level. Relevant content from this unit can be incorporated into the revised units titled ACMCAN304 Prepare and maintain animal housing and ACMCAN501 Contribute to enclosure and exhibit design or renovation projects. We are seeking broader industry feedback as to whether this approach is acceptable.

ACMCAN310 Assist with exhibit design and renovation planningView existing unit on training.gov.au

Alternatively, you can email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

Summary of consultation to date

The qualifications, skill sets and units for competency were drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts via face-to-face meetings, webinars and emails during August – October 2019. Thank you to all of those who provided their feedback during these activities. Consultation has focused on the practical and hands-on expertise required by zoo keepers, animal carers and marine wildlife responders. They were consulted to review the structure of the qualifications that align to job roles in these sectors and the content of units of competency.

For further details about the drivers, scope and timeline of the project, click on the green project stage arrows above.

A project in Pet Care & Animal Training is underway at the same time as this project and you may be interested in having input.

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest.

 

Validation

This stage has not yet commenced

Finalisation

This stage has not yet commenced