COAPE - Centre of Applied Ethology

Qualification Number: 601/3053/2

Qualification Title: Certa Level 3 Certificate in Companion Animal Nutrition; CertCAN (RQF Level 3)


CAN2: Certificate in Companion Animal Nutrition (QCF)


A course for all pet professionals wanting to further their knowledge and understanding of the importance of canine and feline nutrition, and be in a properly informed position to advise pet owners.


Certa RQF-Listed Regulated Qualification

Level 3, Credits: 15

Comparable in Level to A Level, but different in content and smaller in size. Click HERE for more information.



The Certificate in Companion Animal Nutrition (CAN2) is a less clinically orientated version of our veterinary nurse / vet course VNN1 with the clinical content made more relevant for cat and dog professionals NOT engaged in clinical practice. The purpose of the course is to give learners the knowledge and confidence to talk to clients about nutrition and diet in healthy pets as well as the knowledge to understand ‘veterinary diets’ for support of chronic disease etc.
The Certificate has been structured to allow you as much flexibility as possible so that you can fit your studies around other family and work commitments.  We run it twice a year, February and September, and the duration of each run is 9 months. It is Ofqual-Regulated at Level 3 with a credit value of 15 Credits and listed in the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). You can therefore use the post-nominal CertCAN after your name once you have achieved the qualification.
15 Credits equates to approximately 150 hours of study in total, divided into 4 Units, or ‘blocks’, of work that you need to complete over the 9 months to gain the Qualification. This equates to approximately 38 hours of study per Unit and you have 8 weeks to complete each Unit. Note that the 38 hours includes the reading of the course notes AND your background reading and writing up of the Workbook for each Unit. In short, on average, you should allow about 5 hours of study per week. This time may well be less depending on your current level of nutritional knowledge.
The course is undertaken entirely as distance learning and workbook assessment of short, directed questions, there are no exams and no residential components that you must attend. Learners have full support from tutors online and email, telephone etc. if required.
The entry for the course is Level 2 RQF which means a secondary education, as an adult learner you would be fine as long as your English is good enough to understand the course content and to complete the 4 assignments.



The Level 3 Certificate in Companion Animal Nutrition (RQF) is intended for animal behaviour and training specialists and all non-veterinary pet professionals who want to further their understanding of canine and feline nutrition (for a Level 4 course including veterinary clinical aspects of nutrition, available only to registered veterinary nurses and veterinarians, please see our Level 4 qualification).


What the student will learn

Unit 1: Basics of Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The anatomy and physiology of the canine and feline digestive tract. Nutrients and their role within the body. Canine and feline energy needs. The importance of a balanced diet.


Unit 2: Diet Types and Feeding Regimes for Dogs and Cats: Nutrients and their role within the body. Canine and feline energy needs. The importance of a balanced diet. The major types of diet and their key differences. Feeding behaviour and regimes. Pet food labelling and legislation.


Unit 3: Nutrition for Dogs and Cats in Health and Disease: Lifestage nutrition. Nutritional requirements during growth, for neutered animals, during reproduction and in the ageing process, and in health and disease.


Unit 4: The Effect of Nutrition on the Behaviour of Dogs and Cats: The innate needs of dogs and cats and how nutrition and feeding regimes can be engaged to  improve problem behaviour in dogs and cats.


Course Information

Authors and Tutors: COAPE

Course Type: Distance Learning, by invitation.


Course Format: Each Unit of the course notes is e-mailed out to students as a separate e-Book.


We supply you with a specially designed ‘template’ on-line to assist you in writing your coursework using your own computer and preferred word processing software. Your coursework is submitted to your tutor via the internet, marked and returned back to you the same way.


Course Duration: Start in February and September of each year. The duration of the course is 9 months.


Abilities Required for This Course: None.

Course fee: £594.00 + Registration Fee of £76.00 = £670.00

ALL fees shown include VAT (registration no. 187211800).