Advanced Apprenticeship College-Course: Level 3 Apprenticeship Veterinary Nurse

Accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)


The Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing has been designed to provide you with the expertise you need to become a qualified, Royal College of Veterinary Science (RCVS) registered Veterinary Nurse. Throughout this veterinary nurse apprenticeship, you'll develop your underpinning knowledge in veterinary nursing by attending Writtle College for one day a week, while building your practical industry experience with employment in a relevant role.

A vet and nurse examining a client's cat

Course highlights

  • Work in a large and diverse sector that offers opportunities in areas such as livery yards and riding schools through to Stud and Racing yards
  • Progression route to Advanced Level 3 Senior Equine Groom to advance your career
  • Gain on-the-job experience and qualifications whilst employed and earning a wage

Following your apprenticeship, you can take your first steps towards a rewarding veterinary nursing career. As a veterinary nurse, you can expect to work as part of a wider veterinary team, usually at a veterinary practice. You'll learn to provide expert nursing care to sick animals, as well as provide advice to pet owners on how to best care for their pets and keep them healthy.

By the end of your Veterinary Nurse apprenticeship, you'll be able to demonstrate your competency in a number of key veterinary nursing tasks, including to carry out technical work, undertake a range of diagnostic tests, medical treatments and minor surgical procedures, whilst under veterinary supervision.

Veterinary nurses are registered with the RCVS, and so must work within, and adhere to, the standards of practice defined by the RCVS. You'll study towards the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing which is a key, mandatory qualification to become an RCVS registered veterinary nurse.

Key facts

An apprenticeship is a job with training, combining practical experience with vocational learning.

At least 20% of your contracted working hours will be classed as 'off-the-job'. This time will be dedicated to developing the knowledge and skills needed to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship, and therefore is not part of your usual work duties.

The off-the-job learning will be delivered through on-campus learning sessions and activities, and practical learning experiences in your usual work setting.


Throughout your on-the-job training you will develop a portfolio to demonstrate your core knowledge, skills and behaviours and be assessed throughout your training. You will:

  • Complete work-related tasks and assessments
  • Be required to achieved both theory and practical exams throughout your course

You will be assessed throughout your apprenticeship and also undertake an End Point Assessment (EPA) to complete your apprenticeship.

The EPA for this apprenticeship consists of two parts:

  • A Professional Discussion
  • A Practical Assessment in the form of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)


Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons logo

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Upon successful completion you’ll gain accreditation with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). The RCVS sets, upholds and advances the educational, ethical and clinical standards of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses. Apprentices achieving this apprenticeship standard will be eligible to apply for professional registration with the RCVS.


Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, you will have a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Small Animal), be able to apply for RCVS registration, as well as a minimum of 1800 hours relevant work experience. The skills, knowledge and experience you develop during the course means you will be able to practice as a fully registered veterinary nurse.

Entry requirements

In addition to the person specifications that have been set out by your employer, these are the entry requirements for the course.

You must be employed by a RCVS Training Practice, and our dedicated consultant can talk through the details with your employer.

Apply now

How to apply

An apprentice needs to be in paid employment, so whilst you can apply for the apprenticeship before you find an employer, you’ll need to be employed before you can start the course.

Already employed?

If you are already employed in a suitable job role, you can apply directly by completing this application form.

To apply for an apprenticeship, you need to have the support of your employer. If you already have the support of your employer or have any questions before talking to them, please do not hesitate to contact one of our apprenticeship experts who will be happy to help.

Not employed?

Visit our Writtle Apprenticeship Vacancies page to see all our live vacancies and get tips on how to get an apprenticeship job.

For employers

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspect of this apprenticeship, then the Writtle College Apprenticeship Team are here to help. Get in touch today on the details above or take a look at our information for employers.

Current vacancies

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Writtle Apprenticeship job vacancies

To be eligible to apply for one of our apprenticeships, you’ll first need to be in a full-time position with one of our partner employers. Browse current vacancies.