Home Programs & Courses Part-Time Programs Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk (part-time)
Office assistants check in with patients

Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk (part-time)

Open for Winter 2021

Length: 9 Months
Credential: Certificate
Available: Part Time Blended

Program Highlights

Through courses in patient records management, health information law and billing, you can train for a career as a medical office assistant and unit clerk to assist healthcare professionals in medical offices and other health-care facilities. 

This program is also offered full-time.

Download this program information

Next information session

All information sessions

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $6,645

Year 1 (International): $15,620

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs


This is a competitive program. If applicants meet the admission requirements they will be assessed based on additional criteria. Applicants will be offered admission to this program if they’re qualified through the competitive process and space is available.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for winter 2020 are accepted from Oct. 2, 2019 until the program start date. 
  • This program does not accept international students effective Fall 2020 intake. There are many program options for international applicants – find out more.
Term Program start
Winter 2020 Jan. 6, 2020

Check us out

Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk 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 organization, structure and chart management functions of patient records as well as computer software, client care software, basic billing duties, office procedures, processing physician orders, medical office clinical skills and health information law in a client-care setting.

Program Details

Program description

The Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program is innovative in providing the necessary hands-on and theoretical expertise 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.

The extended part-time stream is 9 months in length, and completed through a combination of online, evening, and weekend study.  The extended part-time stream is ideal for students who wish to work full-time while completing the program. 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. 

Your career

Graduates are employed as medical office assistants, secretaries, and unit or admitting clerks in health care facilities, physician offices, regional health, chiropractic and rehabilitation centres.

Student success

  • 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.

Transfer options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:

  • SAIT

To learn more, visit  transfer options.


Have questions about this specific program?

Contact the School of Health and Public Safety

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Winter 2020 start: applications are accepted Oct. 2, 2019 until the program start date. 

Admission requirements

  • 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 accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

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. 
    • In the selection process, applicants will be ranked on the following criteria and seats will be offered accordingly.

    Selection Criteria

    • Qualified applicants 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 receive an email from the School of Health and Public Safety with more information on how to complete the assessment.
    • 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 4:  Apply to Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk and submit your transcripts.

    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

    Step 7:  Continue to monitor changes to your application status through  mySAIT.ca.

    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.

    Practicum requirements

    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. Students must contact SAIT Health Services prior to orientation weeek to make an appointment to have immunizations reviewed. 

    • 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.


    Program Outline

    This 34-week certificate will run from January to September, including a 4-week unpaid practicum. 

    Semester 1  

    Course code Course name Credit
    COMP-264* MS Office Basics  1.5
    HILA-200 Health Information Law I 1.5
    HRSC-220 Unit Clerk Fundamentals 1.5
    HRSC-231 Electronic Medical Record 1.5
    MDOF-240 Medical Office Procedures 1.5
    MEDT-211* Medical Terminology I  1.5
    Semester 1 total 9.0

    Semester 2

    Course code Course name Credit
    HCPP-220 Healthcare Systems Fundamentals  1.5
    HRSC-206 Patient Record Fundamentals 1.5
    MDOF-203 Medical Billing Bookkeeping 3.0
    PROF-252 Professional Practice  1.5
    Semester 2 total 7.5

    Semester 3 

    Course code Course name Credit
    PRAC-279 Practicum 1.5
    Semester 3 total 1.5
    Program total 18.0
    *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 Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
    1 $6,056 $682 $288 $252 $7,278

    International Tuition and Fees*

    Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
    1 $14,190 $682 $288 $460 $15,620

    *Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame.

    SAIT Fees

    Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
    Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
    Student support fee: $100
    Student technology fee: $100

    Health and Dental Fees

    Domestic Students 

    • Health Plan: $122
    • Dental Plan: $130
    • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

    International Students 

    • Health and Dental Plan: $460
    • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

    Books and supplies*

    • Books and supplies are approximately $650.
    • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practica (i.e relocation costs if placed outside of Calgary, food, housing, transportation, etc.).
    • 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).
    • Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine and medical 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.

    Next steps for incoming students

    Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

    Important dates and deadlines

    Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

    Important Dates

    ✅ Plan ahead ❗️

    You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day. 

    Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

    Get started on pre-orientation requirements

    Fall 2020


    All classes in this program will be delivered online for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines.

    Computers and laptops

    This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

    Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

    The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

    Other requirements

    • Police Information clearance with Vulnerable Sector Check
    • Immunization record
    • Health and Wellness Status

    Preparation courses

    To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience, ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices and SAFE 165: Safety at SAIT.

    Required textbooks

    The Fall 2020 booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start. We recommend you wait to buy your books until your first few days of classes and speak with your instructors.


    Phone: 403.284.8481
    Email: hps.info@sait.ca

    Academic chair

    Stacey Chaisson, Academic Chair
    Email:  stacey.chaisson@sait.ca

    Inspiring Stories

    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.

    Larissa Mazur
    Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk | 2018

    "I can do anything if I put my mind to it," she says. "I now have a job with my certificate." 

    Sarah Renouf
    Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk | 2017

    "I would do this program again."

    Programs you might also like

    Enter Your Search Term Here
    Start typing to search SAIT.ca
    Refine Results

    Search results