A qualification in animal care is desirable. You could take an NC (SCQF Level 4-6) or HNC (SCQF Level 7) in Animal Care.
You must have practical experience in working with animals, for example from working at a kennels or stables.
It is also beneficial to have some experience of working with the general public.
You must be fit as you may have to control large, frightened animals.
You need a full, clean driving licence.
You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
You may be advised to have an anti-tetanus vaccination.
What Does it Take?
You need to be:
dedicated to animal welfare
confident when working with animals, both large and small
able to deal with distressing situations and very unpleasant sights
decisive and able to take control in an emergency
able to deal with a wide range of people
resilient and calm in difficult situations
able to work alone with no supervision.
You need to have:
a caring nature
good customer care skills
sound judgement and the ability to show initiative
good communication skills.
Training is on the job.
You would complete relevant short courses as specified by the employer.
With experience, you may be able to move into the post of Scottish SPCA Inspector.
You may have to move to other parts of the country for opportunities.
The Scottish SPCA is the largest animal charity in Scotland. The equivalent organisation to the Scottish SPCA in England and Wales is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). The RSPCA does not operate in Scotland.
One way to get useful practical experience is to volunteer to look after animals at your local Scottish SCPA animal rescue and rehoming centre. You have to be at least 18 to volunteer and must have some experience with animals. Some centres may have long waiting lists, this type of volunteering is very popular.