Keeper And Aquarist Level 3

Horticulture & Animal Care

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Overview of Role

The Apprentice will be employed in zoos, wildlife parks, aquariums, private animal collections, animal reserves, and farms with a zoo licence. The role of a Zookeeper or Aquarist will include:

  • Interpreting diet Sheets, preparing and delivering Animal feeds
  • Servicing, cleaning and managing Animal environments
  • Providing Species specific habitats and routines for animals in line with their natural history
  • Observing and understanding Animal behaviour, Animal Health and Welfare, recording and reporting findings
  • Checking enclosure and other work areas for potential or existing hazards
  • Engaging with visitors and stakeholders, tailoring information to the audience

Entry Requirements

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.


24 months.


An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the everyday care and husbandry of the animals within the collection. They will understand species specific behaviour and needs and the basics of animal training.

They will record and report any observed changes and concerns to senior animal keeping staff/management and learn the use of up to date recording systems like ZIMS. The Apprentice will use tools on the job which are needed for cleaning enclosures, enclosure maintenance and design and food preparation.

They will be expected to complete day to day tasks using their initiative, within a specific time period. This will vary with the size of collection, in smaller organisations they will have complete autonomy on a day-to-day basis and in larger organisations they may work within a team. It is likely it may involve unsociable hours and working outside in all weather conditions.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with volunteers, animal keepers who are less experienced and more experienced, management, veterinary staff, staff from other departments, colleagues from other zoological collections and members of the public.

They will report concerns to senior animal keeping staff/management and will use tools on the job which are needed for cleaning enclosures, enclosure maintenance and design and food preparation. They will do this in a confident and polite manner. They will be expected to complete day to day tasks using their own initiative.

Keepers and aquarists will also be required to encourage public engagement with wildlife conservation breeding and conservation education.

They will be required to research, gather and present information for educational presentations relating to the species in their area and to promote understanding with different audiences such as visitors and other internal stakeholders. This may be done through presentations and demonstrations with the animals, explaining different characteristics of the animals to visitors.


Level 3.


  • End-point Assessment Gateway
  • Employer is satisfied the apprentice is consistently working at, or above, the level of the occupational standard.
  • English/mathematics Level 2 Apprentices must complete:
  • A portfolio of evidence which must be produced by the Apprentice to be used to support the professional discussion.

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