Wednesday, July 25, 2018



We currently have an opportunity for a Voluntary Worker for a period of 6 months (including a one-month evaluation period and the opportunity, when 5 months into your placement, to extend to a maximum of one year) within our L.V.I / Field Conservation Departments.

Our Voluntary Worker training placement program has resulted in a high percentage of participants finding employment within the zoological sector and it is our aim, along with your support, to provide you with the experience necessary to go on to be considered for a position within the zoo industry.

As such, our Voluntary Worker roles are for those looking for valuable experience within the zoo industry. A training agreement will be completed and reviewed regularly with you throughout your training placement and you will take away a completed training record and certificate on the successful end of your placement.

Mission Statement
Paignton Zoo is an education, scientific and conservation charity dedicated to protecting our global wildlife heritage and inspiring in people a respect for animals, plants and the environment.

Aim of voluntary worker role:
The main aim of the placement will be to develop and evaluate the newly formed Behavioural Management Committee (BMC) at all 3 zoo sites – Paignton, Newquay and Living Coasts; monitor, improve and evaluate current environmental enrichment practises, develop and evaluate animal training programmes and organise BMC meetings. The Voluntary Worker will focus on all of our animal sections and this role relates to all 3 zoo sites but will be based at Paignton Zoo.

The objective of the voluntary worker role is to:
Gain experience and understanding of the application and importance of environmental enrichment and animal training programmes to improving the welfare of captive animals. Apply own personal skills and take ownership of a series of tasks and/or a research projects; monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the BMC and the programmes it involves. Publish on the progress of the BMC’s work. The role covers all animal sections and you will be asked to volunteer wherever the relevant Curator or BMC member requires you to. Reflect on training and experience throughout the placement.

Help keepers make and provide environmental enrichment and design new enrichments items for all animal sections. Monitor the effectiveness of enrichment programmes. Write training programmes and monitor progress. The input of data into global software ZIMS. Write and submit publications on the work of the BMC. Organise BMC meetings. Produce a quarterly newsletter for the BMC.

Paignton Zoo is open every day and Voluntary Workers are full time i.e. a five-day volunteering week, including some weekends. This will be discussed as part of your Informal Discussion, which you will be invited to attend if shortlisted from your Interest Form / CV / covering letter.

Place of duty:
Field Conservation Department; enclosures / areas around the zoos with some travel to Living Coasts (Torquay) and Newquay Zoo.

Department manager:
Zoo Research Officer and Curator of L.V.I

Skills required:
An MSc or equivalent qualification from an animal science related discipline; experience of undertaking zoo-based research projects and publications; previous animal-related work experience or volunteering; good communication skills (both of these are desirable but not essential); competency in Microsoft Office programmes; adaptability to different environments; able to volunteer in a team and independently; must be reliable; able to follow strict instructions.

Materials required:
A polo shirt, sweatshirt, combat trousers, fleece, waterproof coat and steel-toe capped wellies or boots are provided for a small deposit (£20) as part of your induction.

Any health and safety requirements:
Staff and keepers will talk you through all relevant health and safety requirements and risk assessments for the duties that you will be carrying out.

Please note
All Voluntary Workers for this role must be aged 18 years or over
All Voluntary Workers are purely voluntary, and as such, Paignton Zoo does not provide any financial support or expenses to those wishing to register their interest in or take on these positions with us.
If you are successful in becoming a Voluntary Worker with us, two references will be taken up before you are able to start and, for identification purposes, you will be required to bring your passport and your National Insurance card (or number NI printed on a document) with you to your induction meeting.

To register your interest for this
Behavioural Management Voluntary Worker role
Please complete the Interest Form at stating Voluntary Worker: Behavioural Management in the role choice and then email a CV and covering letter to by Sunday 12th August

If you have picked up a paper version of our Volunteer Interest Form, please send your completed form to Volunteers’ Co-ordinator, Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton TQ4 7EU, along with your CV and covering letter.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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