1.1 Self-Management

In order to work as effective employees and uphold the professional reputation of the sector it is important that zookeepers are able to manage themselves and their resources (in particular, skills, knowledge and time) effectively. In particular, they should develop competencies in the following areas:

  • Time Management: zookeepers can manage their own time effectively, following and devising schedules that are efficient and lead to better productivity.
  • Professional Development: zookeepers understand personal career motivations and develop appropriate strategies to develop the skills, competencies and experience for career development.
  • Professional Conduct: zookeepers understand the importance of and demonstrate appropriate appearance and behaviours in different work situations.
Zookeepers working at Competent level can: Zookeepers working at Proficient level can: Zookeepers working at Expert level can:
1.1.1 Time Management Describe why it is important to organise time effectively
Follow the routines for their section, that meet the needs of the animals in their care and colleagues
Demonstrate effective use of time
Describe which activities might require them to deviate from planned routines
Prioritise and identify more critical and less critical activities and tasks
Identify and describe possible improvements to how own time is used
Create appropriate daily schedules that prioritise the most important tasks
Create appropriate weekly or monthly schedules, making sure that high-priority work is accomplished within required timelines
Coordinate own and others’ schedules to avoid conflicts
1.1.2 Professional Development Describe any gaps between the requirements of own work role and own current knowledge, understanding and skills
Seek feedback from a range of sources (peers, managers, colleagues) on personal performance and use it to identify improvements
Discuss and agree on a personal development plan with their line manager (as appropriate)
Demonstrate a proactive approach to personal development through engagement with relevant networks
Describe where up-to-date information relevant to their work can be found
Contribute to the professional development of others through sharing of knowledge and skills
1.1.3 Professional Conduct Describe why wearing appropriate dress, such as a uniform, is important for upholding the professional image of the zoo
Dress appropriately for daily work situations following relevant organisational guidelines
Demonstrate appropriate workplace behaviours, including respect for others and politeness
Name and comply with the policies, practices and values from their organisation that guide staff conduct
Dress appropriately for a range of working situations
Explain why it is important to behave appropriately in professional situations
Explain how the policies and values of their institution are relevant to their working practice
Explain how they contribute to a professional working environment within their team and within the wider organisation


  • Organisation Vision and Values statement
  • Management Standards – MSC Management Standards Centre
  • Organisation level policies on appearance, uniform standards and similar
  • Organisation level policies relevant to behaviour

Paths to fulfilment

  • Zookeepers working at level 1 – UK NVQ/SVQ level 2 Management
  • Zookeepers working at level 2 – UK NVQ/SVQ level 3 Management
  • Zookeepers working at level 3 – UK NVQ/SVQ level 4 Management

Last updated: 25/04/2018