Apprentice and Student Programmes

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Apprenticeships and Student Qualifications


PDSA is committed to developing talent through Apprenticeships and Qualifications where opportunities arise. Apprentices and Students ensure that the PDSA has the practical skills and qualifications our organisation needs now, and in the future. The mixture of on and off job learning ensures that individuals learn the skills that work best for them and PDSA. We aim to provide tools and support in partnership with external providers to set our people up for a successful career at PDSA and beyond.

What's the difference between an Apprentice and Student?


An Apprentice is an employee working at least 30 hours* per week who is completing an Apprenticeship standard or framework which may include a qualification. A Student is an employee who is completing a qualification alongside their work where the relevant Apprenticeship Standard or Framework is not available.

*In exceptional circumstances, hours less than 30 could be considered.


Who can be an Apprentice?


To qualify for an Apprenticeship, individuals need to:

  • Be eligible to work in the UK
  • Must not already hold related qualifications at a level above that of the Apprenticeship
  • Must meet the standard required through a skills assessment during the recruitment process.

What we offer


Our Apprenticeship and Student programmes will both stretch and support you, to help you achieve your unique potential and place you on a successful career path. As a PDSA Apprentice/Student, you’ll receive structured learning both for the specific role and for the organisation. You will have support and guidance from technical experts, mentors and others in our programme network.



Types of programme

Veterinary Care Assistants


As an Apprentice or Student Veterinary Care Assistant you will provide a high standard of customer service and clinical care – and you’ll promote pet wellbeing. You will support our clinical team to deliver preventive services and treat the sick and injured pets of eligible clients.

You’ll be part of the team that supports the PDSA Pet Hospital Veterinary Nurses and Veterinary Surgeons. You will also take care of the wellbeing of pets by maintaining a clean and hygienic environment at all times, assisting with animal handling, working at reception and encouraging financial contributions from clients. As a PDSA Veterinary Apprentice/Student, you can develop your experience and skills in small animal practice.

Help and support will always be available as you’ll be part of a large, experienced team.

This role is an excellent starting point if you want a career within a veterinary practice.

OUR PROGRAMME
The Veterinary Care Assistant role combines workplace experience with a formal qualification. This a Level 2 intermediate qualification which takes between 12 and 15 months to complete.

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WHAT WE LOOK FOR
This role does not require you to possess any previous qualifications.

You will be asked to complete a basic skills assessment – achieving the equivalent of Level 1 in both English and Maths – in order to progress your application.

Other qualifications or experience are not needed, but are desirable and give you a good foundation for this role. These include:

  • Voluntary experience within the animal care industry
  • Previous or current work experience within the industry
  • Level 1 Diploma
  • Animal care
  • Work-based animal care
  • Practical small animal skills
  • Units taken as part of foundation learning GCSEs/A levels

This programme is delivered in conjunction with the College of Animal Welfare. For more information, visit College of Animal Welfare Website.

Veterinary Nurses

As an Apprentice or Student Veterinary Nurse you will provide a high standard of customer service and clinical care and you’ll promote pet wellbeing. You will also support our Veterinary Surgeons to deliver preventive services and treat the sick and injured pets of eligible clients.

You’ll be part of a team that supports in theatre, provides inpatient care and supports consultations, admissions and discharges. You will also help dispense medication, encourage financial contributions from clients and maintain the hygiene and cleanliness of the PDSA Pet Hospital and equipment.

OUR PROGRAMME
The Veterinary Nurse role combines workplace experience with a formal qualification.

This is a Level 3 Advanced Qualification in Veterinary Nursing which takes approximately 3 years to complete.


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WHAT WE LOOK FOR
In order to start the programme you must:

  • Be eligible to enrol with the RCVS as a student veterinary nurse.
  • You will possess a minimum of:
  • Either 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above including English Language, Maths and a Science subject.
  • Or the Level 2 diploma in Veterinary Care Assistant along with GCSEs at Grade C or above in English Language and Maths (or equivalent).

We also provide Apprenticeships in other areas such as Business Administration and Contact Centre.