The Unit is applicable to the equine industry where it may be necessary to provide health care to ensure the well being and efficient physiological function of horses.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.
There are no pre-requisite Units for this competency standard.
Elements and Performance Criteria
1 Identify, locate and describe systemic anatomical features of the horse
1.1 Anatomical features are used to describe the characteristics of horse structures to others
1.2 Anatomical features are used to describe the location of horse structures to others
1.3 Anatomical orientation is used to locate and explain the position of structures in horses to others
2 Identify and describe systemic and pathophysiologic systems of horses
2.1 Structure and function of cellular biology and its relationship to growth, injury and healing/repair are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.2 Structures and functions of the integumentary system are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.3 Structures and functions of musculo-skeletal system are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.4 Structures and functions of respiratory system are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.5 Structures and functions of cardiovascular system are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.6 Structures and functions of digestive system are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.7 Structures and functions of reproductive system are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.8 Structures and functions of nervous and endocrine systems are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.9 Structures and functions of the immune systems are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.10 Structures and functions of the hepatic system are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
2.11 Structures and functions of the urinary system are identified and described to others in relation to impact on general horse health
3 Evaluate the impact of disease, illness or injury on treatment priorities
3.1 Temperature regulation in horses is related to overall health and well being
3.2 Horse behaviour is related to symptoms of disease, illness or injury
3.3 Horse treatment of disease, illness or injury is related to health care priorities
3.4 Treatment priority decisions are made based on animal welfare needs and the potential ongoing impact of ailments or disease
Required skills include:
analyse and solve problems using available information and resources including recording information and prioritising daily tasks
apply 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
communicate effectively with others, including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and consulting with or seeking advice from other relevant persons
consult clearly and precisely with other equine health care providers
employ safe and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when working with and handling horses
follow sequenced written instructions; record accurately and legibly information collected; and select and apply procedures to a range of defined tasks
identify when the horse's needs are beyond provider's current professional and personal scope
interpret and respond appropriately to horse behaviour
maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and cross-infection; considering zoonotic and exotic disease possibilities (biosecurity)
prepare and maintain equine records using appropriate terminology
provide information to owners or carers on equine health care
read and follow required policies and procedures, including OHS, infection control and waste management
refer owners or carers to relevant health care providers when required
use safe manual handling techniques and/or equipment
use safe, hygienic and environmentally friendly waste handling and disposal procedures.
Required knowledge includes:
anatomical and physiological structures, features and functions
anatomical directional terminology
causes and consequences of horse ailments, infections and injuries
contagious disease symptoms, prophylaxis and biosecurity protocols
equine allied health practitioners' codes of conduct
equine health therapies and treatments
indicators of horse distress, illness and disease
industry and anatomical terminology related to equine allied health care
normal and abnormal characteristics of equine behaviour
principles of animal welfare
relevant legislation, regulations and codes of practice, including OHS, animal welfare and ethics, veterinary practice and waste disposal
relevant state or territory legislation covering the supply, possession and use of restricted and controlled substances
safe work practices
workplace hygiene standards (biosecurity) including: disinfectants, cleaning agents and techniques, cleaning and appropriate disinfection or sterilisation of equipment, materials and personal protective equipment (PPE).
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:
describe and locate anatomical and physiological features of horses using veterinary terminology
explain the function and interaction of body systems
evaluate a range of ailments and diseases that could occur in horses and their impact on other body systems
identify horse behaviour characteristics that indicate distress or illness
make informed decisions on prioritising general classes of treatments provided by allied equine health care providers to maintain the health and well-being of horses.
The skills and knowledge required to relate equine anatomical and physiological features to equine health care requirements 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 for this Unit is to be practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in an equine allied health workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.
There must be access to a range of horses and anatomical models and the relevant equipment and resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.
Method of assessment
To ensure consistency in performance, competency should be demonstrated, to industry standards, on more than two occasions over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities and over a number of assessment activities.
The assessment strategy must include assessment of competency in a work environment. Suggested strategies for this Unit are:
written and 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
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 socio-economic backgrounds).
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.
Anatomical features may include:
nervous and endocrine
Others may include:
handlers or attendants
other equine allied health care providers
owners or carers.
Cellular biology may include:
basic cell anatomically and physiologically
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
Components of the integumentary system may include:
fibrous tissue (‘scar’)
Components of the musculo-skeletal system may include:
bones of the body
bones of the head, jaw and neck
muscles of the head and neck
teeth and tooth structure; periodontium.
trachea and bronchi
rib cage and intercostal muscles
blood vessels, covering all five types of vessels including:
oral cavity (mouth)
smooth muscle function and peristalsis
blood and lymphatic circulation.
male and female genital organs
pregnancy and foaling.
hypothalamus and pituitary axis
hormonal influences on oestrous cycle, pregnancy and foaling
central and peripheral nerve cells
pregnancy and foaling
sensation including noxious response
sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
inflammation and immune responses and wound healing
digestion of fats and role of bile
urinary tract (ureters, urethra)
Horse behaviour problems may include:
kicking or biting staff or other horses
pushing or barging
reluctance to eat
Disease, illness or injury may include:
skeletal and muscular systems:
degenerative joint disease (DJD)
stifle joint lameness
suspensory ligament injury
acute respiratory syndrome - Hendra Virus
air passage inflammation
equine herpes virus
Treatment may include:
exercise, for example walking or swimming
cold and heat
This Unit contains employability skills.
Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this Unit. Therefore, it will be necessary to check with the relevant state or territory regulators for current licensing, legislative or regulatory requirements before undertaking this Unit.