Animal Healthcare Assisting

We don’t have full details and entry requirements for this programme yet as they’re currently being developed but we’ve tried to give you guidance below around what we do know. You can apply for this programme by clicking apply now at the bottom of this page.

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New Zealand Certificate in Animal Healthcare Assisting (Level 4) (Companion Animal Healthcare) or (Rural Animal Healthcare)

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
  • Rural Animal Healthcare
  • Equine Healthcare.

We plan to offer the Companion Animal and Rural Animal focus from 2023 and may also offer Equine (from 2024).

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

Available for international students?

No, this programme is only available for domestic learners


Feb 2023


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

Entry requirements

  • NCEA level 1 including 10 credits of science at level 1
  • IELTS 5.5 (no band score lower than 5.0) from one test completed in the last two years, or equivalent.

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


To be confirmed.

Fees Free 

This programme will be eligible for Fees Free. If you're a domestic student and this is your first time studying in New Zealand (over 60 credits at Level 3 or higher), you may be able to get free tuition fees for this programme. This funding doesn't include additional costs or living costs.

All the details and criteria are on the Fees Free website and you can check whether you're going to be able to access funding by entering your National Student Number.

NZQA consultation 

Whilst the Te Pūkenga review is ongoing, this qualification has reached a stage where it is listed with NZQA and we're finalising it for approval. You can find this qualification on the NZQA website here.

This programme will run subject to minimum numbers.

Keen to apply for 2023?

We can't wait to be part of your study journey. Click on the link below to begin your online application.

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.