Animal Care Aide

7 Month Part-time Certificate Program - Blended Format (online and in-class)

Prepare for work in the fascinating field of animal care. This part-time, non-credit Certificate Program provides the knowledge and basic skills needed for entry-level employment in animal care facilities. It is intended for individuals with no previous formal training, and for existing staff and volunteers who wish to upgrade their skills. The program emphasizes small animal care in hospital/clinical settings, however the training is valuable and transferable to other animal care settings.

Career Opportunities:

The program is designed primarily to meet the demands for trained personnel in veterinary hospitals and animal care shelters. Graduates may also find work and/or volunteer opportunities in settings such as: animal recovery centres, pet stores, zoos, game farms and similar businesses, grooming businesses, kennels, large animal farms.

Program Content:

The program consists of the following courses:

  • Anatomy & Physiology of Animals
  • Radiology
  • Laboratory Procedures
  • Complementary Medicine
  • Communicating on the Job
  • Medical Nursing
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Office Procedures
  • Field Trips 
  • Work Experience

Course Delivery:

The program is delivered on a part-time basis, over a 7 month period, over two semesters. 

Classes will be held in a blended format, with some classes held online, and some classes face-to-face at the Nanaimo Campus for hands-on learning. Face-to-face classes will also have an online option for those that can not be on campus. Classes are hosted on Saturdays with the occasional evening class and field trip.  Hours for the work experience may vary.

Admission Requirements:

  • Grade 12 graduation or equivalent, or Trades and Applied Technology Mature Student Category 
  • Minimum 17 years of age
  • Minimum "C" in English 11, or equivalent
  • Minimum "C" in Math 11 (Principals, Applications, Foundations, or Pre-Calculus)
  • Recommended: Biology 11

If you do not meet the Math or English admission requirement, please contact Student Assessment and Exam Invigilation Services, located at Nanaimo, Cowichan and Powell River, to arrange your assessments.  

2022 / 2023 Important Program Dates*:

Admissions Open / Applications Accepted March 1, 2022
Information Session
Our information session as already been held. Please contact us at with any specific questions, and we will be happy to respond. 
Application Deadline** August 29, 2022
Document Deadline September 16, 2022
Registration Deadline & Non-refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due Within 3 weeks of offer of admission
Balance of Tuition Due September 19, 2022
Last Day to Withdraw (no refunds will be issued after this date) September 19, 2022
Program Start Fall 2022 (September 24 or October 1, 2022)
Program End April 2023

* Dates are subject to change

** Late applications may be accepted if there is room in the program

Program Fees:

Tuition and Fees are subject to final approval

Tuition: ~ $2,765.00

Student Activity and Student Union Fees: ~ $300

Textbooks: ~ $200

Graduation Requirements:

Students must successfully complete all core courses, field trips and 20 hours of work experience in order to be eligible for the Program Certificate.

Students are required to attend all scheduled lectures, observations, field trips, and exams.   If you do not meet the attendance requirements, you may not qualify for the Program Certificate.

Program Contact:

Deirdre Godwin, Program Assistant

Professional Development & Training (H&HS)


Information Session

Time: April 21, 2022 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Password: 418405
Meeting ID: 673 5763 8072

Or join by telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 204 272 7920 or +1 438 809 7799 or +1 587 328 1099 or +1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 558 0588 or +1 778 907 2071
Password: 418405

International numbers available:

How to Apply:

Apply Online or use a paper application for admission.  An application fee is required.

Revised November 9, 2021

Start Date and Application Deadlines

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Oct 2, 2021
Next Intake(s)

October 2, 2021

Accepting International Applications
Application Fee
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Helene Viau, Nanaimo Campus
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2040

Chair Contact

Name: Karen Blackman
Phone: 250-740-6327

Coordinator Contact

Name: Deirdre Godwin
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 6322

Documentation Deadline

September 2, 2021


This program is not eligible for government Student Loan funding. 

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