Animal Care

This is a course that uses a wide range of techniques that provides the students with hands on experience in health and husbandry of companion animals. Students learn the correct care and animal handling techniques for cats, dogs and rabbits. Through this course, students learn the basics of hygiene management for animal housing and zoonosis. Our aim is to prepare and develop our students knowledge and skills to work in the industry or continue future study in the animal care and vet nursing field.


Campus: Whitireia Porirua
Cost:  Free
Days: Thursday & Friday 
Hours: 9.00am – 2.30pm (half hour lunch) 
Equipment: Protective clothing and safety equipment is provided if appropriate
Travel: This is provided free, subject to students meeting MoE requirements
Dates:  Thursday 11 February – Friday 12 November 2021 (34 weeks), normal school holidays apply 
Application:  Students must be enrolled in a secondary school in the Wellington region and be enrolled in the WTA by their secondary school 
Interview: Students must attend an interview. We encourage a family member or school representative to attend 


NCEA Level 2 with credit towards Vocational Pathway award.


On successful completion of this course, students will have gained 40 credits. (Contains 30 Level 3 credits & 10 Level 2 credits) 

Learning Outcomes

A student successfully completing this strand will be able to:

  • describe zoonotic diseases and their control in New Zealand
  • demonstrate basic understanding of anatomy and physiology of specific animal species
  • monitor and health and provide husbandry for dogs, rabbits, rodents and ornamental fish
  • identify, handle and care for cats
  • demonstrate basic understanding of farm practices and livestock behaviour 


Assessment is competency based against unit standard outcomes and related evidence requirements.
They will follow the processes required by NZQA and relevant industry requirements as outlined by the relevant Industry Training Organisations.


Students will be assessed against the following criteria:

Course Title Level Credits Version

Workplace Practices

Comprises the following unit standards: 





5148    Identify, handle, and care for cats 3 4 8
5149    Monitor health and provide husbandry for rabbits and rodents 3 6 8
19540  Demonstrate knowledge of basic animal husbandry 3 5 2
19894  Describe zoonoses, notifiable, exotic zoonoses, and their control in New Zealand   3 5 3
21379 Demonstrate knowledge of requirements relating to transport of cats and dogs 2 2 2

Animal Care and Husbandry

Comprises the following unit standards: 





7337    Identify, handle, and care for dogs  3 4 7
21382   Monitor health and provide husbandry for ornamental fish 2 2 2
19116  Demonstrate knowledge of livestock behaviour and animal welfare  2 3 4
20797  Demonstrate knowledge of farm practices and farm animal behaviour 2 3 2

Basic Animal Science 

Comprises the following unit standards: 






5180     Demonstrate knowledge of companion animal anatomy, cells, body tissues and systems

3 6 6

Study Pathways

NZ Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3)