Skip to Content
  • Veterinary Assistant and Office Administration banner image

Veterinary Assistant and Office Administration

Program Overview

Join the growing pet care industry with the knowledge and skills needed to not only work in front office administration but also with pets and their owners.

This short, 1-year program is focused on training students and preparing them to enter the veterinary and pet care industry workforces.

Program Features

  • 1- year program
  • Practical skill development in front office administration, business communications, client relations, and preventative health care for pets
  • Office equipment/computer training on current veterinary industry software programs
  • Get the essential skills needed to work as a Veterinary Assistant
  • Accredited by the National Association of Veterinary Technology in America (NAVTA)

Program Notes

  • It is a mandatory requirement that students are vaccinated against rabies and hold a valid titre. It is recommended that students have their booster series completed (and titre checked) before starting the program. If this is not possible, an opportunity to be immunized on campus will be provided during the first week of classes

Innovative Teaching Team

  • A diversified team of instructors with industry experience
  • Made of Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs), 2 Veterinarians, and instructors with business/office administration expertise

Learn More About

1 Year
4 Week

Required Courses

Semester One

CVOA*1040 Students will gain an understanding of ten different anatomical systems. Systems include: digestive, excretory, reproductive, cardiac, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, nervous, endocrine, and integumentary. Students will also become familiar with the anatomy of the eye and ear. This course will discuss basic physiology as well as common conditions related to these systems.
CVOA*1160 Students will become familiar with common medical terms, suffixes and prefixes, as related to the Veterinary industry.
CVOA*1200 Following a pre-lab lecture, students have the opportunity for handson experience during laboratory sessions. Labs will include: equine handling, restraint and grooming; bovine handling and restraint; canine and feline handling, restraint and medicating; and emergency care and triage
CVOA*1410 Students will learn and use related pharmacological terminology with abbreviations and become familiar with control drug regulations as well as the various drug classifications. Students will be able to perform basic drug dose calculations; non-invasive drug administration techniques; safe drug handling and disposal methods. Students will complete and receive WHMIS certification. This course is also designed to familiarize students with the financial management needs of a veterinary clinic. Basic accounting concepts will be taught using veterinary industry accounting software programs.
CVOA*1420 Issues dealing with communication between the veterinary team and clients, as well as between co-workers and the employer/veterinarian, are explored using communication theory and skills. Application of theories are demonstrated through discussions and class exercises. Hands-on computer labs will introduce students to the various computer operating systems.
CVOA*1460 Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of nutrition, including general feeding guidelines for dogs and cats as well as specific nutritional needs including prescription and specialty diets. This course also introduces students to general animal behavior of various species, as well as the importance of human-animal bond and animal care responsibilities that include care for pocket pets, reptiles and birds.

Semester Two

CVOA*2050 Students will learn the more common diseases and parasites of small and large animals. Common diseases (including zoonotic diseases), as well as their prevention through vaccination will be taught. Also included will be the transmission and control of common parasites.
CVOA*2060 This course will equip the student with the knowledge of how to protect themselves and others from common hazards while working in a veterinary hospital, or related business, as well as obtaining an understanding of safe handling of various types of laboratory and biological hazards. Students will complete and receive a certificate in Health & Safety Awareness training, as authorized by the Ministry of Labour. This course will also provide the student, through hands-on participation, the basic knowledge of commonly used veterinary laboratory procedures, sample collection and safe sample handling.
CVOA*2200 Continued from Semester 1, these clinical practice labs will include: radiography developing and surgical principles.
CVOA*2430 This course is designed to introduce the student to veterinary assistant and office administration practices and procedures. Emphasis will be placed on first impressions, maintaining medical records, appointment scheduling and inventory maintenance. Students will also complete a unit in Keyboarding & Medical Transcription. The lab portion of this course is designed to give students hands-on experience creating invoices, estimates, generating reports including various client focused forms and inventory tracking. The students will be exposed to and use two different veterinary software programs.
CVOA*2450 Students will explore the ideas of our role regarding our choices of employment. They will have a good understanding of the Employment Standards Act and become familiar with the important areas of personnel record management, work ethics, and a positive professional image. This course is will also introduce students to marketing as it relates to public relations in small animal veterinary practices. Emphasis will be placed on understanding CVO legislation as it pertains to veterinary hospital marketing and public relations, the challenges of marketing professional services vs. products, and understanding client expectations.
CVOA*2460 Students will be introduced to general health care and breed recognition of dogs and cats; basic handling and restraint; how to handle emergency situations in the clinic; general grooming techniques; and common surgeries performed in the veterinary hospital.
CVOA*2500 Upon completion of the second semester, students are required to satisfactorily complete a mandatory 4week (140 hour) work placement at a veterinary related business organized with the assistance of the program placement coordinator. Both the host business and course facilitator will evaluate the student. A Pass/Fail designation will be assigned upon the completion of the course.


  • The Veterinary Assistant and Office Administration Certificate requires the completion of 12 courses total (6.0 credits)
  • This program is delivered full-time, in person during the Fall and Winter semesters
  • Successful completion of a 4-week Industry Work Placement at the end of semester 2 is also required
  • There are no electives in this program


  • Grooming/Pet Boarding Entrepreneur
  • Office Manager
  • Pet Care Supply Representative
  • Pet Store Customer Service Representative/Entrepreneur
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Veterinary Client Services Representative
  • Veterinary Clinic Office Admin Assistant


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or Equivalent
  • A minimum cumulative average of 65% in 6 Grade 11 or Grade 12 U, C, M, or O level courses (excludes Co-op credits)
  • Includes a minimum of Grade 11C Math and Grade 12C English
  • Or apply under Mature Student Status: Applicants don't have a high school diploma/equivalent but are 19 years of age or older and out of high school for a minimum of 1 year; pre-admission testing may be required
  • The official secondary school (high school) graduation certificate/diploma that would admit you to an internationally recognized university in your home country is normally acceptable for applications to our programs
  • For further details on out-of-country admission requirements, including the General Certificate of Education (GCE), please refer to the University of Guelph's website at
  • Official documents should come directly from the issuing institution or accreditation body in their official, sealed envelope. Where English translations are needed, please have the documents verified and sent by the issuing academic institution
  • Post-secondary transcripts must be assessed by World Education Services (WES). Both a Credentialed assessment and a course-by-course assessment is required. Supporting documentation should be uploaded to your Ontario Colleges Application Account

English Proficiency

Applicants will be required to present evidence of English proficiency if:

  1. Your first language is not English, and
  2. You have had less than four years of full-time secondary or post-secondary school demonstrating satisfactory academic progress in an English-language school system

The following are acceptable English proficiency tests and their related competence levels. Results must not be dated more than 2-years prior to application:

Test Competence Level
International English Language Testing System (IELTS, Minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, Internet Based: minimum total score of 89 with no individual scaled score of less than 21
Computer Based: minimum score of 250
Paper Based: minimum score of 600 with a score of 5
Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL, Minimum overall band score of 70
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB, Minimum overall score of 85 including composition score of 83 and oral score of 3
Pearson Test of English (PTE, Minimum overall score of 60 with no score less than 60 in the individual components
Advanced Level of English Language Certificate Program (ELCP, Successful completion of the University of Guelph's Open Learning Advanced Level ELCP (levels 9 and 10) is also considered an acceptable form of testing


Approximate Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition & Fees (including textbooks) $9,550
Residence (double room) $2,649
Meal Plan $3,190
Personal Living Expenses $3,000
Total Cost $18,389
Fee Breakdown Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition (2 semesters) $7,452
Student Organization Fees $390
Manuals $180
Rabies Vaccination $750
Accreditation $60
Building Fee $84
Student Dental Insurance $165
Student Health Insurance $165
Insurance $4
Textbooks (approximate) $300
Total Costs $9,550
International Fee Approximate Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition & Fees (including textbooks) $25,048
Residence (double room) $2,649
Meal Plan $3,190
Personal Living Expenses $3,000
Total Cost $33,887

Estimates based on 2020-2021 fees


  • Anatomy Lab
  • Nursing Rooms
  • Computer Labs
  • Classrooms
  • Vet Tech Building Student Lounge
  • Library and Resource Centre
  • Student Residence
  • Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium


We regret that due to COVID-19, we cannot host you on campus at this time. We are pleased to offer you 3 options to connect with us virtually:

  1. RC Connect Info Sessions

    • One-on-One Microsoft Teams meeting with our Student Recruiter
    • Learn about your academic program(s) of interest and have your questions answered
    • Sessions are typically 45 minutes in length
  2. Open House Events

    • These events will offer an opportunity to meet program staff, answer your individual questions, and enjoy a campus overview. Specific academic program Open House sessions are being offered as highlighted. Book a session(s), that fit your schedule and academic interest(s)!
    • Sessions vary in length
  3. Campus Tours

  • To get to know our campus and facilities, we invite you to view our short virtual tour

How To Apply

Ontario Colleges Application Code: R101

  • Complete your Ontario Colleges application online at 
  • February 1 of the application year is the Equal Consideration deadline. Applications received after this deadline will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis
  • Offers of admission are posted to your Ontario Colleges account starting February 1 of your application year
  • The deadline to accept your offers is May 1 unless otherwise stated in your offer letter

Connect with us

If you have question about this program or would like to schedule a virtual meeting with us, please contact:

Stacia Pepper, Recruitment Co-ordinator
519-674-1500 x63256
virtual meeting

Ivy Legisniana

"I enjoyed everything about the practical and applied courses I completed. My academic experience exceeded my expectations, and I enjoyed meeting other students who make me feel at home in Canada.

I would recommend this program and this small campus learning environment to anyone interested in office administration and companion animal care. This was a great overall experience for me."

Ivy Legisniana

St. Tomas, Batangas, Philippines