There is no question that having qualified and knowledgeable staff is of great benefit to the success of your business.

OATA has been offering both members and non-members the opportunity to take specific fish-keeping courses since 1997 and our Certificate and Advanced Diploma courses are highly respected across the industry.

Designed to be cost-effective and convenient, OATA’s courses can be studied at home and there’s no time limit on how long you take to complete the course, until you ask for the test papers.

What does the course cover?

Both the Certificate and Advanced Diploma cover the following four subjects – but in much more depth for the Advanced Diploma.

Water Quality

Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, pH, hardness, reverse alkalinity, buffering, density, dissolved gasses, temperature, water sources and medication of water types.

Filtration

Mechanical, biological, chemical, sterilizing filters and filter use and design.

Fish Biology

Fish identification, external anatomy, internal anatomy, gill function, physiology, hazardous aquatic species, reproduction, transport, ecology.

Fish Health

The health/disease balance, stress and handling, the physical environment, the chemical environment, pathogens, viruses, bacteria, fungus, tumours and fish treatments.

More information on the course content

If you choose, you can just do just one of the four courses on the Certificate level, but you will only get your full Certificate if you pass all four parts. This makes it ideal for keen hobbyists who might only be interested in one or two areas. But we would urge anyone who works in the industry to do all four parts and get the full Certificate – or indeed their Advanced Diploma. You study at your own pace and, when you are ready, you contact us to send you the examination papers. We ask that these are completed and sent back to us within 30 days. The Advanced Diploma students also have a telephone exam to complete as well.

Certificate

Method of study

At home at your pace.

Course titles

1. Water Quality
2. Filtration
3. Fish Biology
4. Fish Health

Course prerequisites

None

Course objective

To gain a basic understanding of fish-keeping

Start date

When you are ready

Course length

You can decide, depending on how much time you can devote to it. As a guide it normally takes about three months.

Course availability

Worldwide

Assessment availability

Assessment is optional and available in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales only. You only get your certificate if you pass all four certificate assessments.

Method of assessment

Brief written paper

Advanced Diploma

Method of study

At home at your pace.

Course titles

Volume One: Water Quality and Filtration
Volume Two: Fish Biology and Fish Health

Course prerequisites

None – however previous experience of fish-keeping is desirable.

Course objective

To gain a more detailed knowledge of fish-keeping

Start date

When you are ready

Course length

You can decide, depending on how much time you can devote to it. As a guide it can take between 12 to 18 months.

Course availability

Worldwide

Assessment availability

Assessment is optional and available in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales only. You only get your Advanced Diploma if you pass both Volume assessments.

Method of assessment

Written exam paper and telephone interview

Where can I find out more about the courses?

To give you a flavour of the Certificate and Advanced Diploma levels have a look at some extracts below.

I was very keen to do the course because OATA is a highly reputable organisation within the Aquatic industry and I felt their qualifications would enhance both my professional development and career prospects.

Stefano Barbato

Dobbies Garden World

We also work closely with the following colleges which offer specific courses and qualifications in fish keeping, animal health and welfare: Barony CollegeHadlow CollegeReaseheath College & Sparsholt College