Provide information on companion animals, products and services

This unit of competency covers the process of providing basic information to customers on companion animal training, grooming and/or breeding establishments, and on products and services in a range of companion animal settings.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.


This unit is applicable to new entrants to the animal care and management industry. Animal care settings in this context may include pet shops and aquariums, breeding or boarding kennels or catteries, aviaries, companion animal training or grooming establishments, animal shelters or veterinary practices.

In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all units of competency in the ACM10 Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for animals so that stress and discomfort is minimised.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify information requirements

1.1. Appropriate interpersonal skills are used to accurately identify customer information needs.

1.2. Customer enquiries are handled courteously, promptly and in accordance with organisational and industry requirements.

1.3. Personal and professional limitations in addressing customer information needs are identified and assistance is sought from appropriate personnel when required.

2. Provide information

2.1. Information that addresses customer requirements is provided to customers in a timely and professional manner.

2.2. Animals, products and services that may meet customer requirements are appropriately presented to customer as required.

2.3. Enquiries that fall outside own area of responsibility or knowledge are referred to another appropriate staff member for follow-up and completion.

Required Skills

Required skills

access product information

determine initial customer needs

engage customers, especially when giving and receiving information

seek assistance as required

literacy skills to read and follow organisation policies and procedures, including occupational health and safety (OHS); access information; follow sequenced written instructions; and select and follow procedures for a range of tasks

oral communication skills/language to fulfil the job role as specified by the institution, including questioning techniques, active listening and consulting with supervisors

numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace measures

use interpersonal skills to work with others and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities

problem-solving skills to access available resources and prioritise daily tasks.

Required knowledge

business values, structure, products and services of the workplace

common customer requirements in a companion animal setting

companion animals, products and services in the workplace

customer service techniques.

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit. Assessors should ensure that candidates can:

represent the organisation in a professional manner

understand and respond to customers' requests for information

communicate effectively with customers and staff members

seek assistance from other staff members when an enquiry falls outside one's scope of knowledge or responsibility.

The skills and knowledge required to provide information on companion animals, products and services must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment of this unit is to be practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in a companion animal workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions. Workplaces can include pet shops, aquariums, boarding kennels or catteries, aviaries, companion animal training or grooming establishments or veterinary practices.

There must be accessto a range of products and types of services as well as relevant information, equipment and/or resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.

Method of assessment

To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated, to industry defined standards, on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances and where possible, over a number of assessment activities.

The assessment strategy must include practical skills assessment. Suggested strategies for this unit are:

written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge

observed, documented and first-hand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks

simulation exercises that reproduce normal work conditions

third-party evidence

workplace documentation


This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role.

Guidance information for assessment

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds).

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Interpersonal skills may include:

having regard for personal space considerations

listening and responding appropriately to what customers are communicating

providing an opportunity for customers to confirm their requests

questioning and seeking feedback from customers to confirm understanding of needs

summarising and paraphrasing to check understanding of customers' messages

using appropriate vocal tone and body language.

Customer information needs may relate to:

products and services available

the customers' specific job requirements and specifications

the need for specialised or technical assistance.

Personal and professional limitations may include:

lack of knowledge in regard to specific products and product applications

lack of skills in handling difficult customers and in accessing and providing information

organisational policies and procedures

OHS and other legal considerations.

Information customers might require may be related to:

a specific companion animal

companion animal housing or nutrition requirements

correct usage, installation or limitations of equipment

customer and organisational responsibilities

personal protective equipment requirements

products or services offered

service and maintenance requirements of equipment (e.g. replacement of parts)


Presentation of animals, products and services may include:

an adequate supply of brochures, price lists and products are available

ensuring animal housing is clean and hygienic

operational displays are functioning correctly

using safe handling and usage techniques.


Unit sector

General animal studies

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.