Course Code and Title: 22652VIC Course in Reptile and Venomous Snake Handling

Snake Handlers Mr Sean McCarthy has teamed with LifeAid to provide a unique nationally accredited course. For further information or course bookings, please call us on 1300 543 324 or email  LifeAid

Course OverviewThis course is completed over two 8.5 to 9 hour days and is the only Nationally Recognised Training available in Australia, meeting 12 National Standards in education and training and fulfilling the requirements for provision of training under the Workplace Health and Safety Act. Students are assessed continuously and are subject to a Competent/Not Yet Competent to gain a Certificate of Competency (Attainment) in both theory and practical work.

Course Outcomes:

  • Provide knowledge about the need for reptiles in the environment
  • Skills in avoiding confrontations with reptiles
  • Assessing an area for the likelihood of reptile
  • Provide First Aid
  • Safely assessing and managing reptile confrontations

These specialist skills and knowledge are required by people who intervene when reptiles present a problem in residential or industrial environments.

Entry Requirements: As of January 1 2014, all participants must have:

Successfully completed a Certificate in Provide First Aid within the previous 3 years. All participants must be aged 18 years or older. 

Previous reptile experience is desirable, however this is not a pre-requisite for course entry. Intending participants must not have any previous wildlife convictions, as such convictions will disqualify a person from applying for a wildlife control permit as per the Wildlife Act in your relevant state.

All students must be able to physically handle reptiles in order to successfully complete the course. This includes any injuries or disabilities which may affect the participants ability to move suddenly. Literacy and numeracy competencies equivalent to a National Reporting System (NRS) Level 3 which requires:

  • Locates specific information relating to familiar contexts in a text which may contain data in simple graphic, diagrammatic, formatted or visual
  • Completes forms or writes notes using factual or personal information relating to familiar
  • Takes part in short interpersonal exchanges, clarifying meaning and maintaining interaction for the purpose of establishing maintaining and developing relationships; exploring issues or problem
  • Uses estimation and prior experience to examine purpose and check reasonableness of the process and outcomes of a mathematical

Course Units:

  •  VU23618 – Provide information on the behaviour of reptiles in human habitats
  • VU23619 – Comply with legislative and WHS requirements for venomous snake catching and release
  • VU23620 – Provide initial first aid for snake bites
  • VU23621 – Identify snakes and reptiles
  • VU23622 – Handle reptiles

Animals Utilized:

  •  Dragon Lizards
  • Monitor Lizards
  • Pythons
  • Rear fanged venomous Colubrids 
  • Elapids including (but not limited to)
  • Tiger Snake Notechis scutatis
  • Red Bellied Black Snake Pseudechis porphyriacus
  • Copperhead Austrelaps superbus
  • Colletts Snake Pseudechis colletti
  • Brown Snake Pseudonaja spp
  • Death Adder Acanthophis spp
  • Mulga Snake Pseudechis australis
  • TaipanOxyuranus spp

Elapids are subject to state and territory licensing Where a species is not permitted to be kept another elapid species may be substituted.

Clothing and PPE:

  • Due to the nature of the course, participants are required to meet a basic level of PPE to ensure their safety.
  • Long drill or denim pants, loose fitting
  • Thick work socks
  • Lace up leather work boots, elastic sided boots or runners are not permitted
  • Long sleeves are preferred.

Room requirements: This course may be conducted onsite or at an appropriate training facility offsite. Training and assessment facilities must be large enough to allow the safe handling of venomous snakes, minimum of 6m x 6m is preferable.

Snakehandler assessors offer oral assessment for those with literacy issues.

Where possible a data projector should be provided with iPad connectivity; if this is not able to be provided please advise us.

Animal Storage & Transportation (where applicable): The animals are transported in a secure transportation box which exceeds CASA regulations for the safe transportations of reptiles in Australia. Except when in use, this box remains locked at all times. We do not require a separate room for the animals, due to their nature they are required to be housed with our instructors. It is preferred if the room provided to the head instructor is therefore large enough to safely house this box as well as the other equipment for the course.