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All course work is assignment, quiz and interactive forum based. Assignments have been designed to allow you to create working documents that you can implement in the clinic immediately to improve business results. Although this is an online program, each course is led by an instructor with years of hands-on experience working as a Veterinary Practice Manager. You will receive coaching, feedback, and have the opportunity to interact with other course participants and your instructor via online forums framed to further your learning.

This program is ideal for those actively working in a veterinary clinic & interested in leading best business practices :

  • Veterinarians 
  • Animal Health Technologists 
  • Veterinary Medical Receptionists 
  • Business Managers 
  • Clinic Administrators

This fully ONLINE certificate is comprised of six courses:

  • Veterinary Human Resources
  • Veterinary Marketing
  • Veterinary Financial Management
  • Veterinary Communications
  • Veterinary Systems & Operating Procedures
  • Computer Applications for Industry

***Please note that all of these courses can be taken on a stand alone basis. It is not necessary to register for the entire certificate. Completion of the certificate also fulfills the formal education requirements necessary to apply for the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager Designation offered through the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA).

 Following completion of the program, the learner will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective communication and personal management skills
    in the veterinary clinic setting
  • Apply management skills in the supervision of employees
  • Support business success by developing a strategic marketing plan
  • Adhere to legal and ethical obligations for veterinary clinic operations
  • Manage the human resource requirements of the veterinary practice
  • Confidently manage and report the financial aspects of a veterinary clinic
  • Manage the daily operations of the veterinary clinic

Course List

This course list comes from our Curricunet Academic database

Would your employer consider funding your VPM Certificate courses?

If so, this program is eligible for the Canada Job Grant whereby employers are reimbursed for 2/3 of eligible training costs to a maximum of $10,000 per employee!



Delivery Method



$799 + GST /course

**Registrations received after the registration deadline will be charged a $75 late fee

Required Text & Materials

Practice Made Perfect - A Complete Guide to Veterinary Practice Management, 2nd Edition, Heinke, Marsha L., McCarthy, John B. (2012). Published in Lakewood, Colorado. Amerian Animal Hospital Express.

Purchase this textbook through AAHA:

OR call 1-800-252-2242 ask for the ‘member service centre’

** The non-member price is $104.95, however if you work for a clinic that is a member, you may be able to purchase the text for a reduced price.

**Please note that this is the only textbook required for this certificate program, and it is required for all courses.


N/A - Minimum one year experience working in a veterinary setting is strongly encouraged.

CourseCourse DatesNext Course Dates
Veterinary CommunicationsJan 8 - March 30, 2018TBA
Veterinary MarketingJan 8 - March 3, 2018TBA
Veterinary Systems & Operating ProceduresApr 3 - June 22, 2018TBA
Veterinary Human ResourcesApril 3 - June 22, 2018TBA
Veterinary Financial ManagementSept 24 - Dec 14, 2018TBA
Computer Applications for IndustrySept 24 - Dec 14, 2018TBA
 ***Please note that registrations received after the registration deadline will be charged a $75 late fee. The registration deadline for each course is 14 days prior to the course start date.

Continuing Education

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment required to complete each course?
The time commitment does vary by person given the different speeds of reading and navigating online, but a good range would be approx. 6-12 hours/week. There are assignments, as well as required forum posts, and the average would be approx. 1 assignment every 1.5 weeks, and a couple of forum posts each week. 

How many courses can I take at one time?
Most people only take one course at a time, although if you like it is possible to take 2 at one time as long as your personal and work commitments allow you enough time each week. 

Can I complete the certificate over a couple of years? 
Yes – you are not required to register for the ‘certificate’, you just register for the courses as you want to complete them & then when you have completed all 6, you will receive the certificate. We encourage people to take only one course at a time unless they have a good deal of free time for the coursework. 

Do I have to apply to take this program?
This is a certificate program consisting of 6 courses. There is no requirement to register for the 'certificate program', but rather you register for each course as like, and they can be taken in any order.

Would this be valuable if I work in a boarding facility instead of a vet clinic?
Yes - the courses in this program contain valuable information and will help you gain the skillset that you would need in order to successfully manage a boarding facility or animal shelter. The content is specifically geared towards veterinary clinics, however all 3 types of facilities deal with similar challenges: financial, human resource, volunteers, communications, effective policies and procedures etc.

Can I complete the certificate from an international location? 
Yes - we are pleased to accept students from international locations for this online program. As long as you have adequate reliable Internet, and are able to pay your tuition via credit card, all will work out well for you. The course materials for each course are all delivered through our online learning platform, and the instruction is asynchronous, meaning that although you need to follow due dates for assignments and forum postings, there is no specific time that you are ever required to be online, so timezone differences would have no impact on your ability to successfully complete the courses in this certificate.  You are required to order your own textbook for this program (the one text is all that is used for all 6 courses), and this book must be purchased from the United States, so you would want to order the text with enough time in advance that shipping to your home country you will receive it prior to the start of your first class.

Are the courses completed at your own pace or are there set submission deadlines?
The courses are instructor led, so although you can work on the assignments & forum posts at any time that is convenient for you (there will never be a specific time you are required to be online or engaged), there are set timeframes within which to complete all components, and you will receive feedback from your instructor  on both your assignments and forum posts.

When do I receive a certificate?
You receive a certificate when you complete the entire Veterinary Practice Management Certificate – at that time you will become eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies (many people are located far from Olds, AB and do not attend). After the graduation ceremonies, you receive your certificate - in person if you attend, or in the mail if you do not attend. In the meantime, if at any point you require documentation proving course completion, you can request a copy of your official transcript. You would obtain this by contacting the registrations team (800) 661-6537

I have never managed a vet clinic before.  Is this course geared more towards people who are interested in managing a clinic, or would it be helpful for someone that is currently managing?  
The program was designed to address the needs of both those that are already actively working in a management positon within a clinic, as well as those that would like to advance their career in the direction of management. If you currently have access to clinic information and resources, then you have the opportunity to complete your assignments based on this specific information so that you are able to produce working documents. If you are not in management yet and do not have access to this information, then resources are provided to you so that you are able to complete the assignments.


Continuing Education Department

Toll Free: 1-800-661-6537 

Olds College leads real-life, hands-on education in Canada. We help you explore your passion.