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Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeships


City College offers the level 3 Veterinary Nursing Advanced Apprenticeship. This course is for employers wanting to develop their staff and for individuals, of all ages, interested in a career or developing their existing skills in animal care.


They are designed for people who have a genuine interest in animals and their welfare. As a veterinary nurse they will be able to carry out a range of diagnostic tests, medical treatments and minor surgical procedures whilst being supervised by a veterinary surgeon; as well as educating owners about maintaining the health of their pets.


As an apprentice you can expect to be doing work based learning with an employer and to be paid a wage. The apprenticeship will include an NVQ diploma, functional skills and knowledge based element or technical certificate as listed in the framework below.


Apply now

To apply for an apprenticeship at City College, please click on the relevant button below and we will invite you to the college for an initial assessment.


Apprentice benefits

  • Earn while you learn
  • Employability skills
  • Tailored tuition
  • Career and progression opportunities
  • Real life industry experience
  • Clearer understanding of responsibility within your organisation


Suitable job roles

Veterinary Nursing Assistant, Clinic Nursing Assistant


Veterinary nursing apprentices duties usually include:
> Holding and keeping animals calm during treatment
> Giving injections and drugs (under direction of the vet)
> Collecting blood, urine and other samples and carrying out in-house lab work
> Sterilising instruments
> Taking X-rays
> Preparing animals for procedures
> Assisting during operations by handing instruments and maintaining levels of anaesthetic.

They normally work 35 - 40 hours a week, often with evening and on-call duties.




Competence based element - workplace

Knowledge based element - college or distance learning

Functional skills - college, flexible attendance available


Advanced Apprenticeship

(Level 3)

Equivalent to



City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing
(Small Animal Pathway)




Maths level 2

English level 2
Or recognized equivalents


Additional Requirement    

Employment Rights and Responsibilities (this is covered through completion of the Lantra Workbook)
Personal Learning and Thinking Skills

Evidence of required guided learning hours (on and off the job)


Course length

The apprentice will go directly to the advanced apprenticeship as there is not a level 2 apprenticeship available. The average length for a Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeship is 2½ - 3 years, unless individual circumstances (such as significant prior learning) make the relevant minimum length of stay inappropriate.


Training and support

As an apprentice you will attend college one day a week to ensure you get the support you need to succeed. The rest of the training will take place in the workplace with in-house training by the employer with a clinical coach. Evidence of knowledge and competency can be obtained through: Nursing practice log (completed with the clinical coach in the workplace), nationally set and assessed theory and practical exams, college assignments and assessments.


You will also be assigned an Apprenticeship Coordinator, who will visit you at least every 12 weeks to ensure you and your employer are happy with your progress and are on track to achieve.


Entry requirements

To ensure that potential apprentices can cope with the level of learning and to function effectively in the veterinary practice, applicants must already hold five GCSE's at grade C or above, including English language, mathematics and a science subject. Equivalent qualifications are acceptable, for example Certificate for Animal Nursing Assistants or National Diploma in Animal Management.


The Apprenticeship Coordinator will establish whether you are covering the right level of tasks in the workplace and that there is sufficient support to ensure that you are able to cover the requirements of the diploma.



The minimum wage for apprentices in their first year is £2.73 per hour. In all cases it is desirable that those on a wage subsidy move to the full rate for the role at an agreed point of their programme, this may be time bound or dependent upon achieving milestones of the framework.