Are you looking to work for the RSPCA and have questions about the requirements? If you have a love for animals and are considering a career in this field, being an RSPCA inspector may be the right fit for you. Unlike teaching, this job involves working directly with animals and making a difference in their lives.
Before you start, you will need to meet a few requirements to be considered. This includes being physically fit, with an ability to swim at least 50 meters while clothed; having experience working with animals and no allergies to them; and at least two good GCSEs, preferably in English and biology.
The RSPCA receives around 3,000 applications every year for the 30 available inspector positions. A minimum age requirement of 21 years old is in place, with a maximum of up to 40 or 42 years if you are leaving the forces.
The training for this field consists of a rigorous 25-week program, of which eight weeks are spent with field training in two separate stations. This training will cover legal studies, enforcement procedures, interpersonal skills, media training, as well as boat-handling and rope-rescue skills, among other subjects.
Physical fitness is emphasized in RSPCA inspector training, as the job could entail demanding and arduous rescue operations. This could require abseiling down a cliff to save a sheep or rowing out into a lake to free a trapped swan, for example.
In addition to rescuing animals, much of the inspector’s work involves investigating complaints of animal neglect or cruelty. You would have to handle different situations with tact, as complaints may not always turn out to be genuine.
If you do discover evidence of animal neglect or cruelty, you may face an uncooperative and aggressive owner, which would require the possession of excellent communication and people skills. Emotional strength is also required for the job, as you may have to put down an animal.
Other essential qualities required include strong initiative, logical thinking, and excellent judgment to ensure health and safety for both humans and animals. Also, you must be prepared to work anywhere in the country.
Finally, as far as compensation goes, a starting salary of £14,414 is the norm, with fully trained inspectors earning £20,191-22,567, and chief inspectors making up to £25,492.
If you are passionate about working with animals, becoming an RSPCA inspector can be a rewarding career. For more information on how to do so, visit the RSPCA, Scottish SPCA, or Animal Care College’s websites.