Level 3 Animal Welfare Officer Diploma

This  Ofqual regulated  Animal Welfare Officer Course is ideal for anyone wanting to work as an Animal Welfare Officer or Animal Welfare Inspector following a career involving a practical approach to the prevention of animal cruelty and licensing of animal related premises.    

New legislation means that this Animal Welfare Officer Course is an accepted qualification for Local Authority Animal Welfare Inspectors who work for Councils inspecting and licensing Animal Activity businesses - this  includes the licensing of any business involved in the sale and care of animals including Dog Boarding Kennels, Catteries, Day Care for Dogs, Home Boarding Dogs, Dog Breeding and Selling Animals as Pets.

The Department for Environment,  Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have issued procedural guidance notes for local authorities who need to license activities involving animals and the relevant establishments. The guidance for suitably qualified inspectors states: 

"All inspectors must be suitably qualified. This is defined as: (a) Any person holding a Level 3 certificate or equivalent granted by a body, recognised and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation which oversees the training and assessment of persons in inspecting and licensing animal activities businesses, confirming the passing of an independent examination. A person is only considered to be qualified to inspect a particular type of activity if their certificate applies to that activity. Or;

(b) Any person holding a formal veterinary qualification, as recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (“RCVS”), together with a relevant RCVS . continuing professional development record;

(c) Until October 2021, any person that can show evidence of at least one year of experience in licensing and inspecting animal activities businesses.

All Animal Welfare Inspectors must be suitably qualified; there are many Animal Care Courses available but this qualification is one of the few that is recognised and  regulated by the Office of  Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

This Animal Welfare Officer qualification is also a suitable course for RSPCA Inspectors or those wanting to train as an RSPCA Inspector and need relevant qualifications on their CV. 

Environmental Health Officers can potentially be involved in complex cases of animal hoarding and this Animal Welfare Officer course  covers both this and other situations that the officer might encounter in their work.

Many animal welfare charities, local authorities and other organisations now employ Animal Welfare Officers. Their role is to assist animals in need, be pro-active in the prevention of animal cruelty, comply with current Legislation, and to provide practical animal care advice and assistance to the general public about responsible pet ownership. 

This comprehensive 10 module qualification enables students to gain valuable knowledge about the welfare, care and essential requirements for a variety of companion animals. 

Learn about current animal welfare issues and legislation, first aid, animal handling, transportation, health & hygiene, stress reduction, bite prevention, record & equipment keeping, stray animal management and advising the public about responsible pet ownership.

The Animal Welfare Officer course  also contains information about understanding, recognising and responding to animal cruelty & interpersonal violence and animal hoarding.

This qualification includes an optional practical training day where students will gain from intensive hands-on training.

Level 3 Animal Welfare Officer Diploma

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Unit Summary 

278 GLH 

Unit 1

Understanding Animal Cruelty and Interpersonal Violence


    Learners will understand the relationship between companion animal cruelty and interpersonal violence. They will know the key aspects of reporting of non - accidental injury to animals. They will understand the importance of reporting and sharing information between community service providers. 
    Learn about the relationship between companion animal cruelty and  interpersonal violence and explain the relationship between companion animal cruelty and  interpersonal violence.

Unit 2

Advising the Public

    Learners will know how to provide pet advice using a range of methods. They will understand how to report a case of cruelty or neglect and the importance of confidentiality and recording keeping.
    In this unit of the Animal Welfare Course the student will learn how to provide pet advice and will provide examples of current, relevant pet advice for range of animal species. 

Unit 3

Understanding Animal Hoarding

    Learners will understand the types of animal hoarders and the costs of animal hoarding. They will know the appropriate language to use in reporting and combating hoarding. They will understand how agencies and organisations manage hoarding recurrence. They will understand the relationship between intervention strategies and hoarder types.
    By the end of this session of the animal welfare course the learner will have an  understanding of  the types of animal  hoarders and be able to differentiate between the types of animal hoarders and how best to provide solutions.

Unit 4 

Animal Care

Learners will know the signs of ill health and disease and understand causes of animal disease. They will know how to prevent infection and disease transmission. Learners will know the correct nutritional requirements for a variety of companion animals. They will know storage principles of food and medication.

In this  unit of the Animal Welfare Officer Course the learner will know signs of ill health and disease and explain the key signs of ill health and disease in a range of animals.  Understand the checks that are needed to monitor the health of animals and learn about companion animal nutrition.

Unit 5

Animal Behaviour and Environmental Enrichment 

Learners will understand the indicators of stress in companion animals. They will understand body language expressed by companion animals in terms of behaviour and welfare. Learners will know how to provide environmental enrichment to companion animals.

Many behavioural problems expressed by animals are as a result of inadequate environmental enrichment. Learners will study  how to improve the environment of animals to avoid behavioural problems caused by a poor quality of life and boredom.

Unit 6

Animal Welfare Legislation

Learners will know the legal requirements relevant to the sector and understand the correct welfare of animals in line with legislation. They will understand the different roles and responsibilities under legislation. Learner swill know correct accommodation sizes and requirements for companion animals.

A proper understanding of legislation by the Animal Welfare Inspector will hugely benefit the welfare of animals. 

Unit 7

Companion Animal Transportation

Learners will understand how to reduce stress during companion animal transportation. They will understand the procedures for humane restraint and handling during companion animal transportation. They will understand the responsibilities involved with transporting companion animals. Students will learn about appropriate handling, restraint and transport methods for animals in fear, pain and distress.

Most Animal welfare charities and Pet businesses are involved in the transport of companion animals. Animal hospitals, RSPCA Inspectors, dog walkers, dog and cat boarding establishments etc. Learn how to transport correctly and ensure correct animal handling and minimised stress.

Unit 8

Equipment Storage and Record Keeping

Learners will understand the correct use and management of equipment. They will understand the importance of maintaining accurate records. Learners will understand the maintenance and repair programmes on animal care sites.

As part of their role Animal Welfare Officers are responsible for a range of equipment. The learner will understand understand the correct use and management of equipment and explain the correct use of equipment on animal care sites.

Unit 9

Inspecting Sites

Learners will understand how to provide advice regarding animal welfare and accommodation improvements. They will know how to formulate and check written policies and procedures. They will understand how to assess appropriate knowledge within animal care sites. They will know the process for the correct supervision of staff and understand appropriate training programmes required by staff.

One of the many important tasks of an  Animal Welfare officer or licensing inspector is to inspect premises where animals are being treated or accommodated. This unit explores the standards required for various animals.

Practical Training Day

This qualification includes an intensive optional practical training day. Choice of dates will be available.

Level 3 Animal Welfare Officer Diploma

Course Fees

£1,500

£995 deposit followed by 6 x monthly payments of £100


We are able to accept Elcas Funding for this qualification

Animal Jobs Direct is has been granted Approved Learning Provider status in the Enhanced Learning Credit scheme


Working as an Animal Welfare Officer or Animal Welfare Inspector is a rewarding career choice. Imagine it as working as a social worker for animals. Identifying animals at risk from their owners and assisting local councils and animal welfare charities with animal welfare problems, education by giving talks to schools and other organisations and generally being proactive in the prevention of abuse of  animals.


Contact us  to discuss this Animal Welfare Officer qualification or if you would like more information about us and how to enrol and study


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