Length of Program:  15 WeeksProgram Intakes: Fall, Winter & Spring IntakesJanuary 2020


Meat Processing Certificate

“The Meat Processing program gave me the broad skills needed to open my own butcher shop. I was able to make virtually any type of product needed. The cutting-edge food safety components helped us differentiate ourselves in industry and keep us on top. We are grateful to the resources Olds College shared with us, and continue to use them to advance our business.”

Greg Pahl, Production Manager/Owner, Medicine Hat Meat Traders Ltd.

Students from the National Meat Training Centre practice trimming meat

What can you expect from the program?

The Olds College Meat Processing certificate is unique in North America as it packs the whole process stream, from slaughter to retail, into 15 weeks.

Olds College is the National Meat Training Centre for Canada and three times a year our program takes in a wide range of students from all over North America. We teach techniques for professional meat cutting, trimming, boning, breaking, wrapping, sausage-making and curing with professional sanitation and food safety applications, including HACCP. We are Alberta’s training site for humane handling and stunning – and the only program in North America that teaches slaughter skills and techniques such as skinning, eviscerating and carcass preparation.

We boast an extensive multi-purpose facility that is fully equipped to teach you value added skill sets and knowledge for the meat industry. Our facilities are expanded to cater to large and small industry – from sausage making and dried, cured hams to the installation of an industrial canner. At our popular retail counter, you will learn applied retail merchandising and customer service skills in explaining the attributes and benefits of various products and cuts.

What will you learn?

All students will complete four core courses: Meat Cutting; Value Added Processing; Food Safety and Sanitation; and Meat Industry Communication. Students then select one of the two options to specialize in.

Livestock Slaughter - Through guided instruction and on site applications, students will perform humane slaughter of selected livestock species to meet industry and regulatory inspection requirements.

Full Service & Retail Meat Cutting - Students will gain practical skills in meat merchandising and marketing through the management of a service case and advanced merchandising techniques. Students will learn a variety of skills needed to succeed in the industry, including:

  • creating written food safety and operational documentation to meet industry standards
  • performing techniques for effective sanitation of meat processing equipment and facilities
  • applying food safety principles to comply with regulatory requirements.
  • performing meat cutting to packing house and case ready operations requirements.
  • performing value-added processed meats production to meet Canadian meat industry requirements
  • performing retail meat operations to meet the retail meat industry requirements
  • performing abattoir operations to meet industry requirements
  • applying meat science principles to meet the needs of consumers and meat industry
  • interacting professionally with clients and colleagues within the Canadian meat industry
  • demonstrating basic computer skills applicable to the Canadian meat industry

Program at a glance

Credential: Certificate

Length of Program: 15 Weeks

Method of Delivery: Olds Campus

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the fall 2020 term of this program will be offered remotely (online) with mandatory in-person, on-campus labs. Learn more...

Program Intakes: Three Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start), Winter Intake (January program start), Spring Intake (May program start)

Please note, the Winter 2021and Spring 2021 intakes are currently full and waitlisted.  Applications are processed in the order in which they are received, therefore we cannot guarantee seat availability for any intakes.  Due to the popularity of this program, and the limited capacity for each intake, applicants are encouraged to apply early in the application cycle to secure their seat. Applications are not carried forward to future intakes.

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, February 1 for the Winter Intake, June 1 for the Spring Intake

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

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

  • Tuition & Fees: $3,160 / Books & Supplies: $1,100

*These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. Please note that this is an estimate for domestic students (international students should refer to the Fee Schedule) and all fees are subject to change.

What do I need to apply?

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants should be 18 years of age of older and in good physical condition
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement (completed at minimum 3 years of formal education taught entirely in English or provide the results of a recognized English Language Proficiency exam)

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.

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.

Admitted Students

Admitted Student Information

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 required that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A Chromebook or laptop (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 portal.office.com
  • 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 purchase before your program start:

  • Steel-toed rubber boots that will remain in the meat lab
  • Closed toed shoes (sneakers, running shoes) that will remain in the meat lab

Required items to be ordered once you are at Olds College:

  • Coveralls
  • Various knives
  • Hard hat

These supplies are specially ordered in and will be available within the second week or so of the program. If you have worked in the meat processing industry before and have some of the above mentioned supplies, please bring them along but do not purchase them as we are able to purchase supplies at a reduced cost.

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.

Other Important Information:

  • Time Requirements:  You will have clean-up requirements assigned outside of class time. More information will be provided on the first day of classes.