About the course and qualification


The City & Guilds Certificate in Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Species was developed and written by exotic vet Simon Girling over 16 years ago. During that time veterinary nurses from all over the UK and beyond have undertaken the qualification.

It is the only such qualification available to veterinary nurses in this subject area. Being a City & Guilds qualification means that it is a professional recognised qualification.

The aim of the course is to help students achieve the City & Guilds Certificate in Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Species.

Course structure

The duration of the course is one year, enrolment can take place at any point during the year. Studies are carried out by computer based distance learning - students do not need to attend any formal classes.

The examination will take place every June  (in Edinburgh) or November (in London). Students who do not complete the course in time for entry will be eligible for entry the following year. 

The course is divided into 20 units, each unit being worth 3 hours CPD giving a total of 60 hours CPD. A CPD Certificate will be issued to all students who complete the course of study.

The course is divided into 4 main sections:

  • Avian
  • Reptile & amphibian
  • Small mammal
  • British wildlife

There are 5 areas of study within each of the above 4 sections:

  • Biology/husbandry
  • Nutrition
  • Handling & anaesthesia
  • Fluid therapy
  • Common diseases - pathology and nursing care

Students complete worksheets for each of the 20 section and return to their tutor electronically for marking / comment. Supporting materials are also available on the virtual learning environment (Moodle).