Animal Healthcare Assisting

We don’t have full details and entry requirements for programme(s) within this study area yet as they’re currently being developed but we’ve tried to give you guidance below around what we do know.

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New Zealand Certificate in Animal Healthcare Assisting (Level 4)

This new programme recognises the role of an animal healthcare assistant as distinct from a veterinary nurse or veterinary technician. All these roles form an important part of the veterinary healthcare team and it's been designed to create a solid training pathway for those wanting a career as an Animal Healthcare Assistant.

There are three different focus areas to choose from – Companion Animal Healthcare, Equine Healthcare or Rural Animal Healthcare. We plan to offer the Companion Animal and Rural Animal focus and may also offer Equine.

All focus areas will need you to complete 240 hours of work placement.

The role of an Animal Healthcare Assistant is to support Veterinary Nurses, Veterinarians and Rural Animal Veterinary Technicians in veterinary practices.

You will graduate with the technical knowledge and skills you need to perform this job under broad supervision and will gain effective teamwork and communication skills.

When you successfully finish this programme, you could study our two-year New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing or New Zealand Diploma in Rural Animal Veterinary Technology to widen your career opportunities.


Online with some face-to-face teaching


1 year (full-time); 2 years (part-time)

Entry requirements

- Some credits at NCEA Level 2 with some minimum requirements in literacy, numeracy and science.

Please note: Entry requirements have not yet been confirmed so this is just a guide.

NZQA approved and recognised 

Whilst the Te Pūkenga review is ongoing, this programme has reached a stage where it is fully-recognised by NZQA and the last few details are just being ironed out. You can find this qualification on the NZQA website here.

Keen to apply for 2023?

We can't open online applications at the moment but you can register your interest for this programme. This means we'll be able to let you know when we have more information or online applications do open.

Contact us

If you want to chat about the best option for you, please email us using the button below or call us on 0800 762 786. Our experienced and dedicated staff are here to find the right pathway for you to achieve what you want to.