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Continuing Education

Veterinary Administrative Assistant Certificate


Study to work in a veterinary practice helping animals

The Veterinary Administrative Assistant certificate program teaches you the skills needed to become an integral part of an animal care facility team.

Are you a fast thinker with a passion for animals and strong interpersonal skills? It’s time to put your skills to work as a veterinary administrative assistant. Learn the tools to excel as an assistant to veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Utilize your current skill sets and develop new ones in a challenging and rewarding way!

In addition to greeting customers and scheduling appointments, learn to provide effective and compassionate care for animals and their owners. This 660-hour certificate program concludes with a practicum designed to give you valuable experience in a veterinary office, which you can take with you into your future career.


Credential: Certificate

Format: Full time

Delivery: In person

Duration: 7 months

Days and times: Thurs-Sat, 8:30 am-3:00 pm


Tuition*: $7855

Program eligible for financial aid

Practicum required? Yes

Start dates: September

Application deadline:
Students can apply at any time and will be considered for the next available intake.

Entrance requirements

In order to enter this program, you must complete the application process on Education Planner BC. There are no other entrance requirements.

View program information in the 51 Academic Calendar.

Program outline


This 660-hour certificate program consists of ten courses and a practicum component designed to provide you with hands-on experience in a veterinary office. The courses are as follows:





Veterinary Business Fundamentals



Veterinary Hospital Fundamentals



Veterinary Surgical Fundamentals



Anatomy, Physiology, and Common Diseases



Introduction to Veterinary Pharmaceuticals






Animal Behaviour and Nutrition



Animal Shelters and Animal Lab Husbandry






Three-week practicum


VAA11 Review 28

Fall 2024 Veterinary Administrative Assistant (VAA) Course Schedule


Students complete a three-week practicum at the end of their program that provides a meaningful work-like experience and exposure to a veterinary setting. In order to qualify for the practicum, you must have successfully completed the first nine modules and met the attendance requirements.


Practicum schedule

Your practicum hours will reflect the schedule of the host you are paired with.


Practicum location

While we try to place students near their city of residence, we cannot guarantee a practicum placement in a particular city. For example, students who live outside the Fraser Valley may need to travel to the Fraser Valley to complete their practicum. Transportation to the practicum site is your responsibility.


Missing your practicum

Completing your practicum is a requirement for graduation. If you are unable to attend or complete your practicum due to extenuating circumstances, please contact Continuing Education immediately.

Extenuating circumstances are defined as a situation beyond your control that prevents you from completing a course, program, or practicum. These are circumstances that are unexpected and/or uncontrollable and arise during the course of the program. Examples include:

  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Car accident
  • Medical emergency
  • Incapacitating illness
  • Serious personal situation

The following does not qualify:

  • Inability to achieve a passing grade
  • Unawareness of deadlines
  • Unfavorable weather conditions
  • A short-term illness
  • An unmanaged, pre-existing health condition

Please discuss any barriers that may affect your practicum assignment with Continuing Education immediately after registration.



You will receive a mark for each course based on classroom participation, assignments, study projects, and examination results. You must achieve a grade of 75% (B) in each course to be eligible for the practicum.

You must successfully complete all courses and the practicum to obtain your certificate.


Employment facts

Veterinary administrative assistants can find employment in veterinary practices, animal care agencies, shelters, and animal boarding facilities. Practices typically focus on companion animals or livestock and range in size from small clinics to large animal hospitals.

In recent years, growth in the veterinary industry has been driven by pet owners spending more on animal care and technological and medical advancements. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association reports that fifty-seven per cent of Canadian households own pets and they’re spending more money than ever on their companions. According to the Canadian Pet Market Outlook, household spending on pets amounts to $9.2 billion today and will continue to rise.

Veterinary clinics that also offer non-medical services such as pet sitting, dog walking, pet daycare, grooming, and spas are best positioned to take advantage of the boom in pet spending.

Veterinary administrative assistants who find this work rewarding may choose to pursue further studies to start a career as a veterinary technician or a veterinarian.


This program does not require textbooks. Course packs containing required readings will be provided.


Phone: 604-851-6324
Toll free: 1-888-504-7441 ext. 6324
Email: continuingeducation@ufv.ca
Or ask online

Upgrade your skills & achieve your goals

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Learn more about UUP