1.4 Communication Skills

Zookeepers are required to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders and audiences in order to promote their work, that of their organisations and of the zoo sector more broadly. In order to do this, they need to be confident public speakers and be able to use relevant technologies to communicate in a variety of situations. In addition, due to the international nature of zoo work and in many cases the presence of international tourists within their audience base, zookeepers should be able to communicate in the English language. Specifically, zookeepers need to develop communication skills in the following areas:

  • Presentation and Public Speaking: zookeepers present their ideas effectively to internal and external audiences.
  • Language Proficiency: zookeepers can communicate effectively with their colleagues, converse with international colleagues, understand sector publications.
  • Using Technology: zookeepers can use a variety of communications technologies suitable for written and verbal communication.
Zookeepers working at Competent level can: Zookeepers working at Proficient level can: Zookeepers working at Expert level can:
1.4.1 Presentation and Public Speaking Present a small number of simple ideas and opinions in written and verbal formats in a way that is understood and received by those they communicate with
Adapt their communication style to their audience
Take part in exchanges of information and ideas with colleagues and members of the public
Sequence and link information and ideas appropriately to create short talks for peer or public groups
Collate visual aids and/or props to support a verbal presentation appropriate to the audience
Present complex information to a variety of different audiences
Explain the importance of non-verbal communication and demonstrate how body language and other forms can influence how communication is received
1.4.2 Language Proficiency Communicate easily in the working language of their institution using a wide range of professional vocabulary in a variety of situations, including:
– Describing their work to visitors
– Talking at team or institution wide meetings and events
– Answering emails
– Talking on the telephone/radio
(CEFR Level B2)
Convey simple concepts in English, such as:
– Answering visitor questions
– Informal conversations with professional international visitors
Read and demonstrate comprehension of simple texts, such as emails from international colleagues, husbandry guidelines and recommendations
(CEFR Level A2)
Communicate easily in English using a wide range of professional vocabulary in a variety of situations, including:
– Describing their work to visitors
– Giving presentations at conferences/seminars
– Answering emails
– Talking on the telephone
Read and demonstrate comprehension of academic and sector publications in English
(CEFR Level B2)
1.4.3 Using Technology Use computers to create simple written reports and send and respond to emails, using standard software packages
Retrieve information from prescribed databases or Internet platforms using simple searches
Competently use the technologies provided by their institution for the delivery of talks – this may include microphones, audio visual equipment and slide decks/slide-producing software
Use a range of ICT systems relevant to zookeeping, such as ZIMS, SPARKS, PMX, following instruction to retrieve data or update information
Identify and follow procedures designed to keep data secure
Use a wide range of communication technologies for presentations, including creating slideshow presentations and setting up AV equipment
Evaluate which communication technologies are best for particular tasks and environments
Develop their own systems and processes for storing and conveying information to colleagues
Explain why certain data should be kept securely and how to achieve this using technology


  • Communication Core Skills – SQA
  • Information and Communication Technology Core Skills – SQA

Paths to fulfilment

Last updated: 14/12/2017