Level 3 Certificate in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals

This qualification aims to provide an extended core of knowledge and skills at Level 3 to enable those successfully completing the qualification to safely work in hydrotherapy.

The qualification contains a blend of knowledge, practical application and theory. Learners who successfully complete the Level 3 Certificate will be able to continue in further education and training related to this area of expertise. To gain the Level 3 Diploma in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals a further module is required (more information can be found under courses). 

The course is held at the Verwood Hydrotherapy Centre, a busy hydrotherapy unit, a part of the Springbok Veterinary Group. As this is a working centre run by a veterinary surgeon with a keen interest in orthopaedics students will be able to gain experience with a wide variety of cases and clients.



Existing qualifications - Ideally prospective students will have a minimum of 4 GCSE's/O levels with Grade C in Maths, English and Science and one other but each candidate will be assessed on their own merit. 

Personality - This course will suit committed students who have good people skills, animal handling experience and who wish to further their career in the field.


Jobs - The course will help the successful student further their career as a hydrotherapist and is an ideal adjunct to those already employed in animal care aged 19+ e.g. veterinary nurses, animal carers, groomers etc.


The course tutors are all professionals still currently working within their fields of expertise, with many years experience and relevant qualifications at high levels. These fields include veterinary medicine, education, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, behavioural modification and training, pool management. 

Class sizes:

To provide the maximum amount of practical hands-on experience the class numbers are limited to two per course. This means that each student has at least the required 40 hours practical experience. This also ensures a high level of one to one class tuition for theory lessons.


The centre is a very busy professional environment as part of Springbok Veterinary Group. We have a large purpose built hydrotherapy pool, underwater treadmill, showering and drying areas, classroom, rest room, shower and offer a supportive, friendly environment to assist students in reaching their potential.


The course consists of ten mandatory units, and there are three ways for the learner to achieve the qualification

Short course

The units are arranged in three modules which are taken over a 3 week period with portfolios being completed within three months Cost £2,550


Three modules can be spread over one year, one week at a time with portfolio work to be completed after each module Cost £850 per module, total £2,550

Module 1

  • Introduction to hydrotherapy for small animals - an introduction to the equipment, techniques, benefits, risks and current legislation
  • Anatomy and physiology for small animal hydrotherapy - skeletal structures, soft tissues, organs
  • Professional practice and multi-disciplinary team working for hydrotherapists - the team approach, reflective practice


Module 2

  • Management of common orthopaedic and neurological conditions in hydrotherapy for small animals - a description of the common orthopaedic and neurological conditions which are referred for hydrotherapy, the impact of the treatment, correct procedures 
  • Management of medical conditions in hydrotherapy for small animals - a description of the common medical conditions which are referred for hydrotherapy and the impact of treatment
  • Assessing and checking an animals suitability for hydrotherapy treatment - the referral process, suitability and unsuitability
  • The principles of small animal hydrotherapy - techniques and approaches


Module 3

  • Small animal first aid for hydrotherapists - how to recognise and deal with any possible emergencies
  • Water management for small animal hydrotherapy - equipment,plant, chemistry and treatments
  • Administering hydrotherapy treatment to small animals - how to prepare animals and the environment for hydrotherapy, pre- and post- treatment care, communication with other professionals and documentation, putting it all into practice.


Distance learning

The unit workbooks are sent by module and completed in your own time with close tutorial assistance. Once the theory has been satisfactorily completed an intense practical period will be undertaken (mutually agreeable dates will be arranged) to provide the experience and assessments required.  This too can be spread over a year but at times that suit the learner. Cost £850 per module, total £2,550.



Dates 2018:


Module 1 Module 2 Module 3
10th - 13th Jan 17th - 20th Jan 24th - 27th Jan
21st - 24th Feb 28th Feb - 3rd March 14th - 17th March
4th - 7th April 11th - 14th April 18th - 21st April
16th - 19th May 23rd - 26th May 30th May - 2nd June
27th - 30th June 4th - 7th July 11th - 14th July
8th - 11th Aug 15th - 18th Aug 22nd - 25th Aug
19th - 22nd Sept 26th - 29th Sept 3rd - 6th Oct
31st Oct - 3rd Nov 7th - 10th Nov 14th - 17th Nov



Dates 2017:

Module 1 Module 2 Module 3
11th – 14th Jan 18th – 21st Jan 25th – 28th Jan
22nd – 25th Feb 1st – 4th March 8th – 11th March
5th – 8th April 12th – 15th April 19th – 22nd April
17th – 20th May 24th – 27th April 31st April – 3rd June
21st – 24th June 28th June – 1st July 5th – 8th July
9th – 12th Aug 16th – 19th Aug 23rd – 26th Aug
20th – 23rd Sept 27th – 30th Sept 4th – 7th Oct
1st – 4th Nov 8th – 11th Oct 15th – 18th Nov


To apply download the application form, complete and return. No payment is required at the time of application.

A full schedule, student handbook and portfolio will be sent, with details of local accommodation and travel instructions.



Please contact Jo Scott   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 01202 829436 for more details