New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology
Veterinary Nursing Assistant

A one year full-time Level 5 programme of 120 credits. Upon completion you graduate as a Veterinary Nursing Assistant. You might wish to continue with the NZ Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, or work in a veterinary clinic, pet store, doggy daycare, cattery or kennels. This qualification will help you launch an exciting career in the animal world!

2024 programme dates:
19th February 2024 to 15th November 2024

Semester 1: 19th February – 21st June 2024 (semester break 8th April – 19th April)
Semester 2: 15th July – 15th November 2024 (semester break 23th September – 4th October)

Students spend three days in the classroom, one day in a vet clinic and one day in self-directed learning, per week.

Modules studied include:

  • Reception and Customer Service Skills (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Animal Health and Husbandry (60 credits)
  • Inpatient Care (15 credits)
  • Assisting with Surgical Preparation and Anaesthesia (20 credits)
  • Assisting with Routine Diagnostic Procedures (15 credits)

Graduates will be veterinary nursing assistants, able to do the following:

  • Work in reception and customer service of an animal related facility
  • Maintain animal health and husbandry of animals in a veterinary clinic
  • Care for hospitalised patients
  • Assist in surgery preparation and anaesthesia
  • Assist with routine diagnostic procedures

Entry Criteria

Applicants need to demonstrate:

1. An aptitude for working with the public (a reference from an employer or teacher attesting to social skills should be provided).

2. Three or more days experience working with animals (observing in a veterinary clinic or equivalent).

3Minimum educational requirements of:

60 NCEA Level 2 credits including:

  • 12 credits English Level 2
  • 12 credits Maths Level 1
  • 12 credits relevant Science Level 1


Equivalent secondary or tertiary study


A satisfactory score on the Vet Nurse Plus Pre-Entry Assessment

For students with English as a second language, preference will be given to candidates with an IELTS overall band score of 5.0.

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Selection Criteria

A formal interview will be held with candidates who can demonstrate meeting the entry criteria and applicants will be selected from a range of criteria.

Applicants will need to complete a self-declaration of criminal convictions, and sign a consent form allowing Vet Nurse Plus to obtain a Ministry of Justice criminal conviction history.

Applicants will also complete a medical health form.

Contact us if you have any questions.

Please note, our programmes are not available via correspondence or for international students.