Veterinary Medical Receptionist

Length of Program:  1 YearProgram Intakes:  Fall Intake (September program start)September 2020


Veterinary Medical Receptionist Certificate

“I found that the Veterinary Medical Receptionist program offers a great opportunity to gain exposure in the veterinary field. The program was also very beneficial in strengthening my skills and knowledge of computers. Overall, I feel that the program definitely prepares you to be successful in a clinic environment.”

Megan Fleming, Class of 2016

Students in VMR Walking a Dog

What can you expect from the program?

Do you enjoy working with people and share a love for animals? The Veterinary Medical Receptionist (VMR) provides client care as the “face of the practice” and hands-on animal care to farm and companion animals, both large and small. The Veterinary Medical Receptionist certificate is currently offered in two delivery methods:

On-Campus Delivery: This 8-month certificate program begins in September and culminates with a four week industry practicum. During their studies, VMR students will learn to understand the importance of the VMR role. We recommend you seek a job shadowing opportunity at your local veterinary clinic.

Online Delivery: Complete the VMR program from home! The new online delivery method will allow students to complete two courses per 7-week block (total of 10 courses). Running from September to August, students will gain their certificate through a combination of distance learning, a one week on-campus laboratory, and an industry practicum.

Admitted students should be aware of occupational programs where potential for exposure to animals with disease/infection is high. Please read more about program specific Immunization Information.

What will you learn?

Students in the Veterinary Medical Receptionist program will learn a variety of office administration and veterinary medicine skills that will train you to become a valued member of a veterinary team. Skills students learn include:

  • Explain veterinary procedures, protocols and materials
  • Complete veterinary pharmaceutical procedures as directed by a veterinarian
  • Explain infectious diseases and prevention
  • Identify common breeds, behaviour, and handling of selected species
  • Identify the animal systems and components of animal health management
  • Interact professionally with clients and staff
  • Utilize appropriate software
  • Produce professional documents
  • Provide veterinary customer service and client education
  • Communicate effectively within the animal health industry

View Program Outline

Program at a glance

Credential: Certificate

Length of Program: 1 Year

Method of Delivery: Online or On-Campus Delivery

Directed Field Study/Work Term/Practicum: A 3-week (160 hours) practicum is completed at the end of the program.

Program Intakes: Fall Intake (September Program Start)

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.  

Applications Open: October 1 for the Fall Intake

Selection Process for Admission: First qualified, First accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details.

  • Online: Tuition: $4,885 / Fees: $1,220 / Books & Supplies: $800
  • On-Campus: Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,440 / Books & Supplies: $800

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

International Students will require a Co-Op Work Permit as well as a Study Permit for this program.

What do I need to apply?

Admission Requirements:

  • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
  • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or Math 20-2
  • 50% or better in one of Biology 20, Chemistry 20, or Science 20
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment and any available interim/midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Alternate Admission Option: Alternate Admission status may be offered to applicants who have not or will not complete one of the academic admission requirements. To be considered under Alternate Admission Status, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  1. (Required) Transcript(s) showing any completed high school and post-secondary courses
  2. (Required) Letter of Introduction and Intent, outlining the following:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Indicate why you wish to enrol in the program
    • Elaborate on your career goals
    • Detail your experience relevant to this program and the industry
  3. (Required) A resume of your work history, extracurricular activities, volunteer service, etc. for the last 5 years
  4. (Optional) Include copies of any tickets and/or certificates you currently hold (e.g.: first aid, safety tickets, etc.)
  5. (Optional) Letter(s) of reference from current or past employers/coaches/etc. (maximum of two letters)

*Submitting Alternate Admission material does not guarantee admission*

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants: Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students. International Students will require a Study Permit and a Co-Op Work Permit for this program.

Directed Field Study Required: Students are required to complete a 4-week (160 hour) practicum at the end of the program in order to successfully graduate.

For More Information

Our Admissions office can help navigate you through the admissions process and answer any questions you have about your program of study. 

☎ 403.556.8281
☎ 1.800.661.6537

Where can I live on campus?

CHOC is the exclusive service provider of on-campus housing for Olds College. Live in Centennial Village, our newest campus living facility featuring 450 private suites (no roommates), or in College Courts our 4-bedroom townhouses. Enjoy a short commute to class, partake in weekly residence life events and enjoy the safety of living on campus.

Learn More

I have some more questions. Who do I contact for help?

Our Admissions office can help navigate you through the admissions process and answer any questions you have about your program of study.

Industry Partners/Clinics

How to host/confirm placement for a practicum student?

Hosting a Practicum Student

Olds College AHT and VMR programs are looking for locations to host students to complete their industry practicums!

Confirming Practicum Placement

Have you been contacted by an Olds College student and would like to confirm practicum placement? 

Admitted Students

What materials and supplies will I need?

Program Dates: Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration: You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation: It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A laptop is preferred (Mac or PC)

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

Required items to be purchased before the start of your program:

  • Minimum of two sets of scrubs (can be any colour or pattern)
  • Rubber boots (we recommend a regular pair and an insulated pair)
  • Indoor shoes to be worn in hospital areas

Required items to be purchased from the Olds College Campus Store:

  • light blue wrap

For those in the VMR On-campus program, information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

Textbook Order Form

Other Important Information:

  • Dress Code: You are required to adhere to a dress code that includes wearing scrubs and wraps in the hospital areas and laboratories, coveralls on the farm, and no revealing, torn, or dirty clothes worn during classes.

  • Time Requirements: As this programs involves learning with animals, you will be actively involved in the animal care throughout the program. This includes week long rotations in teams (including weekends) caring for our cats and dogs. Students can expect to be on rotations 5-6 times each semester (September-December and January-April).

  • Physical Program Requirements: The VMR program is physically demanding and students must be in good health and be physically capable of performing the program requirements.

  • Student Clubs: Animal Health Club

  • Immunization Requirements: This program requires specific immunization requirements. Learn More

  • Exam Invigilation: VMR Online will require you to write invigilated exams ( for a fee) at approved test centres. More information will be provided in the first week of classes.

How do I complete the online program/course work?

This information is applicable only to those students who have been admitted into the Online program. A "Materials and Supplies" list will be provided to you prior to your on campus portion of the program.

How does the online program/course work?

Courses are set up in an online independent learning format. Courses have prescribed timelines for completion of assignments and the course material within designated semester dates. The Certificate program will be offered in 7 week blocks, each block you will complete two of the Veterinary Medical Receptionist courses.

  • After each block, you will receive one week off.
  • You will complete courses through our online learning portal Moodle.
  • As this is a full time program, students should expect to spend at minimum, 15-20 hours per week, per course in dedicated study
  • The program is considered a blended delivery option as you would be required to come on campus for one week. Students will have the option of choosing one of two on-campus weeks in May. These weeks are the Week of May 2 and the week of May 30. Students will select the week to attend once the program has started.
Program dates (Subject to change)
  • Program Orientation: August
  • Block 1: September - October 
  • Block 2: November - December 
  • Block 3: January - February 
  • Block 4: February - April 
  • Block 5: April - June (includes 1 week on campus)
  • Block 6: June - July

How do I get started?

Your online courses will be offered through Moodle.

User Name: Your username is your Olds College ID email address.
Password: Your password is the same as your Olds College email address password.

Once you have logged in, we strongly recommend that you complete the Getting Started tour of an online course. You will find the link to this on the left hand side of the screen, under Student Support. This short course is designed to help you become familiar with the basics of this online learning environment and prepares you to become an effective learner and contributor as soon as possible. 

Additional information for the Moodle on-line learning platform:

  • If you are having issues, ensure that you have the correct java script. When you open Moodle (before you click on a course) there are some “checks” to click on to see that you have the correct java script.

Is there anything else that I can do to prepare myself for online learning?

If you are new to online learning, please review the information found in the Learning Café once you are logged on to Moodle. This is a very good resource for you as you progress through your course(s). The Learning Café is found on the left hand side of screen under Student Support. The Learning Café provides resources in the following areas: 

  • eLearning: information on using computers and learning online
  • Study Skills: information on study skills, such as how to become a more effective reader, note-taker, and test-taker
  • Writing & Research: information on how to write essays, complete research assignments, and use APA documentation
  • Other Resources: information that is relevant to specific program or course areas

How much time is involved per course?

We estimate that students will be required to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week to each course but this varies for each student and length of time of each course.