Job opportunities

Job opportunities


Wild Planet Trust - Paignton Zoo

Wild Planet Trust - Paignton Zoo

South West Closing date for applications is: 5th Jan 2020
Contact: Volunteers' Co-ordinator ([email protected])
Sector: Research
Type: Volunteer
Contract type: Full-time

We currently have an opportunity for a Voluntary Worker for a period of 6 months (including a one-month evaluation period), within our veterinary department.


Voluntary Worker (Training Placement) roles are not for current students as we are unable to support you with a college or University placement whilst you volunteer with us.


Our own 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.


Paignton Zoo’s 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 or Veterinary sector. As such, this Voluntary Worker role is for those looking for valuable experience within the veterinary industry.


Mission Statement

Paignton Zoo strives to conserve species and habitats, and to inspire and empower people to help in the fight to protect wildlife.


Aim of Voluntary Worker role:

To gain skills in use of the International Zoo Information Management System (ZIMS) and an understanding of pathology of zoo animals. It is hoped that this placement will help the zoo to direct their disease prevention programme, maximise animal welfare and husbandry and determine where further research is required. This voluntary role is suitable for someone wanting to pursue a career in conservation, zoology, veterinary pathology or as a registrar. It would also be an opportunity for a person with a veterinary background to get experience in zoo pathology work. 


The objective of the veterinary worker role is to:

Enter pathology data into ZIMS from staff post-mortem reports and outside pathologists’ reports and help to review that data. Training will be given in the use of ZIMS for pathology and you will volunteer with the rest of the vet team who will finalise and sign off each report. The mortality figures will be produced in conjunction with the head of the veterinary department.



The role is mostly computer based and tasks include:

·         Use of ZIMS for medical, the International database management software to enter pathology data for our collection

·         Use of ZIMS to produce percentage mortality figures for different species.

·         To contribute towards mortality reviews to help us to direct husbandry changes, research programmes and disease prevention programmes.

·         Occasional assistance to the vets in the post-mortem room (cleaning, note taking, photography)

·         Management of our stored samples


Paignton Zoo is open every day and Voluntary Workers are full time, including some weekends.  Ideally we need someone on Mondays, Tuesdays Fridays and Sundays. 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:

Vet Centre


Department manager:

Head of Veterinary Services


Skills required:

Minimum of A level biology or equivalent, some pathology/veterinary knowledge would be an advantage. Good computer skills especially with Excel. The candidate must be able to volunteer by themselves but have good communication skills. They need to be able to take some initiative for the process followed to achieve the end result but also to be happy to discuss this and take direction.  A positive outlook on the tasks would be valued.


Materials required:

A polo shirt, sweatshirt, fleece and wellies are provided for a small deposit (£30) as part of your induction.


Any health and safety requirements:

Staff you support will talk you through all relevant health and safety requirements and risk assessments for the duties that you will be carrying out, with you needing to carry out full training for the role. You will need to ensure your tetanus injection is valid and will be kept up-to-date throughout your placement.


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 NI number printed on a document) with you to your induction meeting.



Apply for this job:

To register your interest for this

Vet Centre Pathology Research Support Voluntary Worker role

Please complete the Interest Form at stating Voluntary Worker: Vet Centre Pathology Research Support in the role choice and then email a CV and covering letter to [email protected] by Sunday 5th January 2020


If the items shown above are not received, we will be unable to take your interest further.