This page provides an overview of how clinical skills are developed as part of our courses for nurses who are employed in a veterinary clinic.

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Download the following documents to assist you in deciding whether to take a student or not. Further details are provided after registering.

Course handbook


If you’re not already a registered and approved Veterinary Nursing Clinical Mentor with ACVN, you’ll need to register.


Please note:
For offline registration, you will need to print, complete in full, then return the registration packet either via post or email. You’re welcome to hand it to the student to arrange to return the form.



The ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing is the current qualification for qualified veterinary nurses. 

All of our Cert IV students are employed in a veterinary and therefore complete their practical requirements for the course at work. In some instances, students may be required to do some work experience at another clinic if their own clinic does not have specific equipment or case load to meet the training package assessment requirements. We provide insurance coverage for the student if work experience is required – once the necessary paperwork is complete.



Students must remain employed for the duration of their course. All students are required to perform an average of at least 7.5 hours of paid work regularly. If their roster changes and they no longer meet this requirement, they may have to change to the vocational placement stream and complete clinical hours elsewhere.

We ask both the student and the clinic to inform us if the student’s roster changes to below these requirements.



Even though your student is employed at your clinic, we still appreciate the time and effort you put in.

Clinical Mentors are a vital part of how we train here at ACVN. We want the student’s clinical experience to be realistic. After all, once they’re employed in the clinic they will be working with, and learning from, vets and nurses every day.

We recognise the contribution the mentors, and their clinics, make to the success of our graduates, so we want to thank you.

Upon request, we’re happy to provide you with a Certificate of Appreciation that you can proudly display in your clinic. Many clinics put them in their reception area.

Other perks of being a mentor include:

  • You will receive 50% off any of our practical workshops. Just call us to book in at the discounted rate.
  • When we have webinars scheduled, you’ll receive either FREE or heavily discounted tickets to attend and obtain some valuable CPD.
  • Receive 50% off up to 2 short courses. Email us for a discount code.

These perks apply whilst you are a registered clinical mentor, and have hosted students in the last 12 months.



This section summarises the steps that must occur before a student can start their coursework with us. The student is responsible for ensuring all these steps are completed prior to starting, however, your cooperation for completing registration and forms quickly is greatly appreciated.



Your clinic must become an approved training clinic. For more information on this process, pop over to this page. It’s completely free and your clinic registration lasts for two years. Clinic registration covers Cert II, III and IV students.



All students need at least one Clinical Mentor. All vets and nurses involved in mentoring ACVN students must register and be approved Clinical Mentors. Again, this is free, and in return for hosting the student, you’ll receive some great perks. For general information on being a Clinical Mentor – read this page.



This section summarises the practical assessments that the student will need to complete.



Video assessments are where the student videos themselves performing a task, then submits this online for assessment. To meet the requirements of Nationally Recognised Training, a qualified trainer and assessor (for ACVN this is our Nurse Educators) must observe the student undertaking the required tasks correctly. A student cannot be deemed competent or graduate unless this occurs.

Traditionally, this has occurred by an assessor visiting the workplace. As we are a distance provider, we utilise video assessment to keep our course affordable and accessible. Video assessment is also less strain on the clinic, as particular cases and procedures do not need to be scheduled for an assessor visit. Videos can be done around normal workflow.

For most videos, there is no need for additional staff to be involved. Smart phones or video cameras can be mounted or supported on a surface near by. For some videos, we ask to see the student interact with other staff so we can assess vital communication skills. Some videos are better off done as a simulation to better meet clinic requirements.

Students are provided with thorough instructions to ensure they capture the required skill in full. Mentors are provided with further instructions, where necessary, as part of this website.

Click here for an example of the video instructions we provide to students.

KEY SKILLS (Third party reports)


Key Skills are a record of tasks that the student has undertaken in your clinic. Each Key Skill sheet has explicit instructions, and the student should complete all the necessary data before presenting it to you for a signature and date. Key Skills demonstrate that the student has performed a task on multiple occasions, to the level you’d expect of an employee. These replace, and are much less intensive than, the old “tick and flick” style third party reports used in the past.

Click here for an example. Further instructions and information are provided to mentors via this website (once you are registered and approved).