Common Questions

Q. If I do a shorter course first can I get credits towards a certificate or diploma later?
A. Yes. We will assess previous studies to give you appropriate credits. Doing it this way will probably take a little longer and cost more in fees though.

Q. When can I start my course?
A. Any time of the year

Q. Can I pay in installments?
A. Yes. Direct Debit Forms are available for download on every course/unit you wish to study. Simply download the form, fill it out and email it back to

Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while?
(e.g. Get sick, go on holidays, have a baby).
A. Apply for an extension. It's OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.

Q. Do I need any extra books?
A. You are supplied with all "essential" references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to get any extra books.

Q. How do I contact my Academic Officer?
A. Write, email or phone the school.

Q. How long does a shorter course (ie. 80-120 hrs) take to complete?
A. Commonly no more than one year. Some students finish in less than 6 months.

Q. How long does a Certificate take to complete?
A. Commonly around 12 months.

Q. How long does an Advanced Certificate take to complete? 
A. Commonly around 18 months.

Q. How long does an Associate Diploma take to complete? 
A. Commonly around 24 months.

Q. How does recognition of TVN Academy compare with other colleges?
A. Exceptionally well; but different. We do have a range of different accreditations and are internationally recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council (IARC)

Q. How do I do workshops if I reside outside Australia?
A. We've now developed workshop modules that can be done in any place in the world. The "workshop"modules have highly specified, very practical, projects (Problem Based Learning Projects), which have been designed to achieve exactly the same outcomes as were approved by industry committees established and operated in the past by the school. The concept is one that has been tried and proven in leading universities in the USA, Canada and elsewhere. Alternatively we can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course. Workshops that are conducted by Trainee Veterinary Nurse Workshops are a separate entity and only those that reside in Australia are able to attend.

Q. How is Practical Work Done?
A lot of people find it hard to understand how a distance education course can be anything more than reading and answering questions. Some are, and if that’s your experience with distance education in the past, this is unfortunate. In reality, distance education has a great deal of flexibility and today can be more practical and relevant to real life than classroom education.

There are a few things to consider:

1) New technologies (internet, video, digital photography, cheaper & mobile telecommunications etc) make it possible to overcome many of the isolation and communication problems that used to exist with distance education.

2) Funding pressures that have often resulted in a decrease in quantity and quality of practical components in traditional classroom education

3) People today are better networked than ever, and more exposed to visual images than ever (e.g. In the past if someone was studying an animal they had never before seen, the options to see an image of that animal would be virtually nil, unless supplied by their teacher in the classroom. Today people are bombarded by images of virtually everything they could imagine through cable TV, YouTube, web sites, magazines, etc.

4) Be aware that no course will ever teach you everything! Wherever you study, your course should lay a foundation and framework for you to build on. It should open up opportunities for further learning –to further develop your practical skills, problem solving skills, knowledge, networking, communication abilities etc, within your field of study. Some courses focus heavily on the information; some on assessment more than learning, others focus heavier on the problem solving, and others perhaps on the practical, etc.

5) No course can have it’s emphasis on everything; because to emphasise one thing is to de-emphasise something else.

6) Our courses are “experiential” learning (i.e. a concept in education that focuses on learning through experience. We get our students to do all sorts of hands on and observational tasks throughout courses. Examples may be:

• To visit a farm and observe things (for students who have a problem with a real farm, they might take a “virtual tour” on a web site or using a video).
• To study the anatomical structure of a bone or piece of meat obtained from a butchers shop.
• To undertake a well structured PBL project. (NB: PBL is a highly structured, tried & proven learning system based on dealing with hypothetical problems. This system is widely used world wide in medical schools, and increasingly in other disciplines.)
• To undertake a role play.
• To interview someone from industry.
• To undertake clinic hours in a veterinary facility
• To video or photograph things performed or created by the student.                                                                                                   • To attend a TVN Workshop

Q. What level is a Certificate?
A. We do not use levels on certificates. Levels I, II, III etc are systems used for Competency Based Training in both Australia and the UK. (The levels also mean different things in different countries.)

We operate with a more sophisticated system.

E.g. Level III for instance means you are competent to perform certain tasks under limited supervision.

Our certificate develops a foundation within the discipline that enables you to develop and grow your capacity to work and solve problems within the discipline. You learn through experience as you study; and the study sets you on a path that encourages ongoing learning through experience after graduation. Our graduates are better prepared to advance in their career, to work alone or with others, etc. This concept is more in keeping with some of the more cutting edge education systems around the world.

We take this approach because it works better; and on all reports, our graduates are in fact very successful.

Q. I am a practical Person: I am not sure if Distance Education will work for me?
A. We are practical people too; but practical learning is not something that happens as fast or as well, unless there is a strong theoretical foundation first. Learning is actually a procedure that never stops; and the never reaches a conclusion. Learning something is quite different to just gathering information, or carrying out a task. People can gather information and forget it. They can perform a task properly one day, but not understand what they are doing; or forget how they did it a few months later. If someone learns something, the essence of what they learn should be retained. Good learning is not a matter of "quantity" - sometimes it is better to learn less, but have a solid foundation. With a solid foundation... you will understand and retain things you encounter after you finish a course. With proper learning, you will make sense of problems and devise practical solutions.
Often a student doesn't really understand what they need to learn and how they need to learn in order to have a solid foundation of working and growing within their chosen discipline.

For a student to really achieve properly in a course; it is important that they recognise the expertise of their teachers and have faith in the study program mapped out for them -even if they don't always understand the logic behind what they are being asked to do.

Q. How can someone who is isolated deal with practical tasks?
A. For all of our standard modules and short courses, we often give options.
Courses are as far as possible written to cope with the widest range of situations, from people living in Antarctica to someone confined to their home due to illness.
Example -We may ask you to visit a workplace and observe something; but also say or if you have restricted mobility make a virtual visit, on the internet, if possible, or if not, by reviewing a place through an article in a magazine. If you can't find an article, ask the academy and we will send you one.
If the course does not provide an option that is achievable, you should contact an academic officer at the school. If your situation prevents you from doing something (e.g. being disabled, ill, living in isolation, or in prison), we will set an alternative task.
This must be dealt with on a case by case basis though, as every situation is different. A small number of modules (e.g. Workplace Project, Industry experience, student placement) however, cannot be satisfactorily completed without certain practical tasks in the field.
Certificates or diplomas that encompass these are problematic, but we can still find substitutes; however, in this case the diploma or certificate may need to be renamed to reflect the change; perhaps to be a "theory diploma".