Veterinary Care Assistant

Level 2 Apprenticeship

A Veterinary Care Assistant apprentice look after the routine day to day care of domestic and/or wild animals under guidance in a variety of different settings with the work carried out individually or as part of a team. The apprenticeship aims to prepare and support individuals for a career as a veterinary care assistant.

What apprentices will learn

  • clinical parameters of common species seen in a veterinary environment
  • the dispensing and administration of medication
  • in-patient care
  • diagnostic care/tests/X-rays – positioning and exposing
  • how to deal with potential and actual emergency situations
  • end of life care for pets and providing support for the owner
  • UK and EU Animal related legislation
  • Current legislation, policies, procedures, guidelines, Codes of Practice and ethics relevant to the workplace and the health and welfare of animals
  • the species/breeds specific to your role and common characteristics
  • signs that indicate potential problems with animals’ health and welfare and the actions that should be taken
  • the types of basic medication, routes of administering medication, safe handling and disposal of medication
  • animal first aid, urgent, ongoing and preventive care
  • accommodation and environment requirements that are suitable and safe for animals
  • the use of different cleaning materials and equipment
  • feeding, watering and basic nutrition and characteristics of foodstuffs
  • how to safely approach/handle/restrain/move animals
  • how to store, use and administer medication in line with legislative and veterinary instructions as appropriate
  • the behaviours of the animal, applicable to the species and how it impacts its care and welfare such as stress/distress/pain/fear/frustration
  • how the animal you are working with learns and the basic principles of re-enforcement techniques
  • how an animal’s natural behaviour impacts its diet and feeding patterns
  • the different methods required to meet the animals’ need for enrichment/exercise opportunities, appropriate to species and individual animal
  • different skin and coat care requirements of animals in their care
  • basic anatomy and physiology
  • basic reproduction and obstetrics and reproductive behaviour, including neutering
  • Data Protection and records in line with legislation, codes of practice and workplace requirements
  • basic awareness of capture techniques
  • hygiene, bio security procedures and infection controls when working with animals including quarantine, zoonoses, anthroponosis, isolation protocols


  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Nursing Assistants
  • Level 1 in English and/or maths Functional Skills (if applicable) 

Delivery Model

Regular learning, skills and knowledge assessment and research work at Plumpton College one day a week (term time only) alongside quarterly workplace competency and efficiency observation, assessments and reviews.

Course details

Dates & Location

Next cohort enrolment in November/December with commencement of in college delivery from January 2024


Typically 14 months (some apprentices could complete sooner depending on their previous experience and qualifications, their perfomance during the apprenticeship and the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in the workplace)


Costs to the employer will be dependent on several factors such as age of apprentice and size (number of employees) of the business. Please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 for more information.

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 2 GCSEs (grade 4 or above) excluding maths, English and Science (as these can be achieved during the apprenticeship)
  • Workplace support from a recognised clinical supervisor
  • Maths and English assessment
  • Existing skills, knowledge and behaviour assessment

To enrol onto an apprenticeship programme you need to be employed with a contract of employment. If you have an employer lined up or are already employed please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 or via email.

If you do not currently have an employer please visit the main Apprenticeships page for guidance on how to find and apply for an apprenticeship opportunity or register for our Talent Bank service.

If you are an employer and would like to recruit or enrol an existing employee onto an apprenticeship please contact our Business Services team on  01273 892127 or via email.

Future Opportunities

On completion of this apprenticeship the opportunity to progress in the workplace and take on more responsibility and/or continue with your skills and knowledge development and progress onto a higher level apprenticeship:

Ready to take the next step?