Medical office assistants and unit clerks are integral members of the health care team and support professionals in both a hospital unit and medical office environment. The medical office assistant and unit clerk main duties include accessing, and transmitting health information in a secure environment while supporting and communicating with medical professionals. The Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program is an innovative program providing the necessary skills and theoretical knowledge required by those wishing to combine the skills of a unit clerk and a medical office assistant. Successful graduates will be proficient in medical office procedures, organization, structure and chart management functions of a patient record, computer software, emerging client care software, basic billing duties, office procedures and health information law in a client-care setting.
Courses in this program are conducted on SAIT campus and online. A four-week, unpaid practicum at a health care facility or medical office setting in or outside Calgary is required for successful completion of this program.
Certain courses are available by distance education or continuing education — COMP264, HILA200 and MEDT211. The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the program outline. Please be advised that full-time student status requires the student to take 60% of a full course load per semester. Depending on the number of courses completed by distance education or continuing education, students may be considered a part-time student, which may impact their financial loan status.
As some of the content is delivered in an online environment, students will be required to have a personal computer with Internet access.
Graduates are employed as medical office assistants and unit clerks in health care facilities, physician offices, regional health, chiropractic and rehabilitation centres.
- Graduates of the Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program have a 95% employment rate.
- Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT programs.
- Students who experience success in this program have proficient communication skills in English.
- Health care practitioners are detail oriented in the care they provide and enjoy working in a team environment.
- Basic computer skills are essential for success in the program.
Credentials and accreditation
After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk certificate.
There are no formal accreditation arrangements at this time. Please contact the School of Health and Public Safety for more information.
The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:
To learn more, visit transfer options.
Admission and selection
- Winter 2019 start: applications are accepted May 2, 2018, until Dec. 1, 2018.
- Fall 2019 start: applications are accepted Oct. 3, 2018, to Aug. 15, 2019.
- At least 60% in English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2 or equivalents.
- All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.
SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada.
Competitive entry: seven-step process
Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.
Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.
Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines.
Applications and proof of the admission requirements (transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted to be included in selection.
Selection is done on a continuous basis and will occur until the program is full. Applicants will be assessed on the following criteria:
- Keyboarding skills assessment: you will be required to complete a keyboarding skills assessment. The keyboarding assessment is a pass/fail exam. Applicants who are unable to type at least 30 words per minute net or better will not be eligible to continue in the selection process. You will be contacted by the School of Health and Public Safety with more information on how to schedule the assessment through SAIT.
Important: The deadline to book your keyboarding assessment for the winter 2019 start is Dec. 9, 2018, at 4 pm.
- Academic ranking: Applicants will be offered seats or placed on the waitlist in order of academic ranking as long as a successful keyboarding assessment has been received by the School of Health and Public Safety.
- Applicants will be offered seats or placed on the waitlist in the order that successful keyboarding assessments have been received by the School of Health and Public Safety.
Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "in selection."
Step 6: Complete the keyboarding skills assessment after being contacted by the School of Health and Public Safety.
Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.
Communication during selection
Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications.
We recommend you add the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages.
The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum.
Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practica such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs.
In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:
Updated immunization records: Most practicum sites require students to demonstrate updated immunization status prior to attending practicum. The receiving practicum site has the right to refuse students who cannot prove they have met all the required immunizations.
Security clearance: According to the Protection for Persons in Care Act, our practica sites require that students obtain a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check, prior to going on practicum. Any criminal code offence for which a pardon has not been received may be a deterrent to a student's entry into practicum, and therefore will result in an uncompleted program or non-graduating status. Successful candidates will be asked to provide a clear Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check record to the School of Health and Public Safety main office by orientation day. Please review the security clearance process document for specific details. Be aware that record must be dated no earlier than 90 days prior to your program orientation day (typically orientation day is held the week prior to the first day of class).
Health and wellness status: Due to the demanding nature of the work in the health care field and Occupational Health and Safety requirements, the health care field has a strong focus on health and wellness. Students with a medical condition or disability that may impact them in a practicum setting are strongly advised to discuss concerns with the program academic chair and/or SAIT Accessibility Services as soon as possible upon acceptance into the program. Please review the attached document for guidance on entering an allied health program with a medical condition or disability.
More details on the practica requirements per program are outlined on a pre-orientation website for successful candidates.
- SAIT students are offered an opportunity to develop lifelong learning skills in an online environment. One or more courses in the Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program are offered fully or partially online.
- View additional Medical Office Assistant & Unit Clerk program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.
This 19-week certificate is offered over the fall/winter semesters or the winter/spring semesters.
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|COMP-264*||MS Office Basics||1.5|
|HCPP-220||Healthcare Systems Fundamentals||1.5|
|HILA-200*||Health Information Law 1||1.5|
|HRSC-206||Patient Record Fundamentals||1.5|
|HRSC-220||Unit Clerk Fundamentals||1.5|
|HRSC-231||Electronic Medical Record||1.5|
|MDOF-203||Medical Billing Bookkeeping||3.0|
|MDOF-240||Medical Office Procedures||1.5|
|MEDT-211*||Medical Terminology 1||1.5|
|Semester 1 total||16.5|
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|Semester 2 total||1.5|
|*Available by correspondence and/or online learning. The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the program outline. Please contact the Academic Chair prior to enrolling in any online or correspondence courses.|
Please be advised that full-time student status requires students to take 60% of a full course load per semester. Depending on the number of courses completed by correspondence, a student may be considered a part-time student, which may impact his/ her financial loan status.
Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.
Domestic tuition and fees*
|Year||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||SAITSA fees||2018/19 total|
International tuition and fees*
|Year||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||SAITSA fees||2018/19 total|
Campus athletic and recreation fee: N/A
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): You may be eligible to purchase the UPass.
SAIT Students' Association fees
Health plan: N/A
Dental plan: N/A
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): N/A
Books and supplies*
- Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practica including relocation costs to practicum sites outside of Calgary.
- There is a fee associated with obtaining a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check, payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
- Books and supplies are approximately $650.
- Students must have a personal computer and access to the Internet. Most classes are taught at SAIT, but some require online access. All courses require additional self‐study.
- Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $50 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
Find out about tuition and financial aid.
* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
School of Health and Public Safety
Inspired to enrol in the program by her mother, Larissa felt SAIT's Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program was the best of it's kind.
If given the chance, Sarah would let history repeat itself.
Supportive instructors and great classmates made her happy with her decision to choose SAIT for her training to become a medical office assistant.
"I can do anything if I put my mind to it," she says. "I now have a job with my certificate."
"I would do this program again."