Robertson College / Programs / Veterinary Office and Technical Assistant
Robertson College / Programs / Veterinary Office and Technical Assistant
School of Business

Veterinary Office and Technical Assistant Diploma Program Calgary

Veterinary Office and Technical Assistants play an integral role in veterinary office settings.

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Program Overview

Designed to provide comprehensive training for a career in client services for companion animals and their owners, the Veterinary Office & Technical Assistant program will enable you to handle front office operations and assist the veterinarian.

  • Learn the basic physical and psychological techniques to handle and restraint animals using both model and live animals
  • Learn about animal husbandry; topics include breeds and breeding, anatomy, physiology, handling, training, behavior, euthanasia and more
  • Learn about common parasites of dogs and cats as well as vaccinations, sanitation and disease prevention
  • Be introduced to the world of surgery and become familiar with the procedures used for common surgical procedures
  • Develop your customer services skills and how to perform office procedures that are specific to a veterinary office setting
  • Learn to perform functions common to all Microsoft Windows applications including Word and Excel
  • Learn to use Cornerstone, a database software program commonly used in veterinary office settings
  • Gain hands-on experience with clinic sessions where graduating students will act as VOAs in a variety of scenarios

Formats Available


Program Details

Quick Facts



Calgary Campus



35 Weeks (8 Months)



5 Days a Week
8:00 am to 12:00 pm



4 Weeks
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Admission Requirements

Our admissions agents can work with you to ensure you meet the program’s criteria. This program is not currently open to International Students. Need advice? A Student Admissions Advisor is here to support you.

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Career Opportunities

Graduates will find employment in veterinary hospitals, veterinary clinics, pet shelters and pet insurance offices across Alberta.

You could be earning in less than a year

Lifetime Career Services

Even though you’ll leave Robertson once you graduate, we will support you throughout your career. Our team will help you with resume building, job hunting and interview preparation and will continue to guide you as you advance in your role.

Before you graduate, you’ll be paired with a career specialist in your field who will help you find a meaningful place to start your career. As a graduate, you’ll have lifelong access to student services that are committed to your success and helping you thrive.

Learn more about Lifetime Career Services.

Next Start Dates

Virtual Classroom
January 11, 2021
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New start dates are being released all the time. Contact us for more dates.

Topics of Study

Animal Husbandry - 40 hours

Introduces students to animal husbandry and covers dogs, cats, ferrets, exotics, birds and rodents. Topics covered will include breeds, anatomy and physiology, choosing a pet, travelling, activities, breeding, pediatrics, adolescence, senior pets, handling, training, behavior and euthanasia.

Animal Nutrition & Dentistry - 40 hours

Enables graduates to communicate basic nutritional information to clients. Students learn to read pet labels, understand AAFCO nutritional labeling and regulation of pet foods, determine energy requirements and calculate caloric values of pet foods. Students also complete the Hills Online Nutrition Course, learn to implement feeding plans and become familiar with the types of foods available through veterinarians. Focuses on preventing pet obesity, as well as basic dental care (from prevention to treatment).

Animal Restraint - 40 hours

Explores basic animal restraint techniques and adapts students to the patient and procedures being performed. Learn how students utilize psychological restraint and read the behavior of dogs and cats. Upon completion, students are able to effectively restrain cats and dogs for various procedures and understand restraint and handling techniques for a variety of other animals. Students also gain a basic understanding of how to handle nervous or aggressive animals, as well as proper safety precautions during handling.

Clinic Sessions (Blks 1-3) - 20 hours

Provides a hand-on approach by allowing students to observe various surgical and/or medical procedures to get a better understanding of the practical aspects of working within a veterinary clinic or hospital.

Computer Skills - 20 hours

Familiarizes students with Microsoft Office products, including Word and Excel to ensure a basic knowledge of commonly used computer programs.

Cornerstone Database Management - 20 hours

Introduces students to the basics of Cornerstone, a commonly used veterinary database software program.

Human Relations - 40 hours

Develop effective client communication skills, prepare resumes, develop interpersonal skills and work on self-awareness.

Medical Conditions of Pets - 120 hours

Explores a range of clinical signs, diagnostic tests and treatments related to skin diseases, eye and ear diseases, endocrine diseases, gastrointestinal tract diseases, respiratory diseases, heart and blood diseases, neurological diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, urinary and reproductive diseases, as well as cancer. Although veterinary office and technical assistants are not permitted to diagnose or prescribe treatments, this knowledge allows students to better respond to common client questions and to suggest to the client why it is important for the veterinarian to examine their pet.

Parasites of Pets - 40 hours

Focuses on common parasites of dogs and cats. Students are able to encourage clients to book parasite control appointments with the veterinarian as well as explain the veterinarian’s recommendations. Students also gain an understanding of the range of tests that are used to
diagnose parasites and the importance of diagnosis so the correct medication can be prescribed.

Terminology - 40 hours

Reviews basic anatomy, physiology and terminology of the major systems of the body. The focus is on dogs and cats but other species are discussed.

Vaccination, Sanitation and Disease Prevention - 20 hours

Introduces students to infectious diseases, zoonotic diseases and aseptic techniques in the veterinary hospital. Students learn about zoonotic diseases, the differences between viral, bacterial and fungal diseases, and receive a general knowledge of infectious diseases which can be vaccinated against.

Veterinary Assisting - 60 hours

Introduces students to the world of surgery and anesthesia. Students explore the procedures used for common surgical procedures and how to assist animal health technologists and veterinarians.

Veterinary Office Procedures (Blks 1-3) - 60 hours

Reviews front desk procedures, including booking appointments, handling telephone calls, admitting and discharging patients, maintaining records and preparing appropriate certificates for signature.

Veterinary Pharmacology - 40 hours

Provides a basic introduction into the different types of drugs, side effects, instructions for use and dispensing protocols for various types of commonly used medications. Students review the rules and regulations that govern prescription drug administration and dispensing.

Campus Experience

Half-Day Classes
Have the flexibility to live your life while going to school with our half-day classes. Our flexible start dates and small class sizes give you plenty of opportunities to learn when it’s best for you and gain the hands-on skills to succeed in any industry.

Industry-Leading Instructors
Learn from industry professionals who bring real-life experience into the classroom. You can book office hours or get virtual support from your instructors through Brightspace, where you can schedule video appointments and use instant messenger to ask questions.

Lifelong Career Services
Connect with a career specialist in your field who will help you find a meaningful place to start your career. As a graduate, you’ll have lifelong access to student services that will help you with resume building, interview preparation and networking.

Financial Assistance and Funding

Robertson offers a variety of financial aid opportunities to ease students’ stress and allow them to focus on their studies. If you need extra support, we have flexible funding to accommodate all our students, no matter their financial situation. Our dedicated Financial Aid Officers will help you every step of the way.

Questions about tuition and funding?

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The practicum is an essential part of a student’s program. It is not merely a graduation requirement; it is an extension of the in-class learning. The practicum asks you to apply the skills, theories, and concepts that you learned in your classes in an entry-level work experience situation.

Practicum must begin and end within the dates outlined in your program schedule and enrolment contract. Practicum is a full-time, unpaid commitment and is presently available in 2 formats:

  • A self-procured practicum
  • A practical project

Let's Get Started

Fill out the form below and one of our Student Admissions Advisors will get in touch with you to guide you through enrolling for this program and answer any questions you have.

Speak with admissions
1 (403) 920-0070
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