26 Weeks | 700 Total Hrs | 580 Theory Hrs | 120 Practicum Hrs


Heritage College’s Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk certificate program readies students to enter Canada’s growing healthcare industry. An experienced team of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare experts teach this course. Our instructors share their valuable, real-world knowledge and experience with students, preparing them to become part of a healthcare team.

Students of this program learn to oversee healthcare organizations and assist in clinical functions. This course introduces students to medical terminology, clinical and office procedures, Alberta Healthcare billing, Electronic Health Records, and medical transcriptions as core subjects. After completing this program, graduates will be prepared to aid in supervising numerous medical office procedures.

As a non-clinical member of a health care team, medical office assistants and unit clerks coordinate information from doctors, nurses, administration, patients and families. Students of this course learn to assist in carrying out a doctor’s orders, transcription, scheduling, admissions, discharge, patient transfer and other clerical duties. Students also learn to prioritize tasks, adapt to changes, and develop effective communication strategies.

Heritage College’s 6-month Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program includes five weeks of hands-on work experience in Calgary-area medical facilities. We divide our practicum experience into two sections: one half in a clinical environment, and the other half in a long-term care facility. Graduates of our programs receive continuing support from Heritage College’s Career Services department, including help with job search, resume and LinkedIn profile reviews, and interview preparation.

Instruction Methods

Heritage College’s Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk certificate program has two delivery methods:

  • In-Class: Either five days a week (morning option) or two days a week (weekend option) at Heritage College’s Northeast Calgary campus.
  • Blended: Lectures and theory delivered online, with online assessment; occasional labs and exams in-class at our Northeast Calgary campus.

This program combines lectures, visual aides, hands-on learning via practical exercises, projects, exams and group discussions into an accessible learning experience. Validation of knowledge is done through through exams, practical tests, projects, and practicum evaluation. 


Medical office assistants, medical secretaries and unit clerks are core members of most healthcare teams. Certified graduates can find employment in hospitals, continuing care facilities, rehabilitation institutes, clinics and physicians’ offices, diagnostic medical imaging offices and dental offices.

Our graduates work as medical receptionists, unit clerks, medical billing clerks, medical transcriptionists, medical office secretaries and clinic managers.

Standard admission is for students who have graduated from high school or another educational institute within the past year. 

Students must be 18 years of age or older, and have one of the following:

  • an Alberta high school diploma, verified by transcript
  • a non-Alberta equivalent
  • a General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.)

Students must also clear a criminal background check, have a complete immunization record, and demonstrate basic computer knowledge.

Mature admission is for students who are returning to education after spending at least one year in the workforce, and who are applying to our standard diploma or certificate programs. 

Students must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Pass the admissions interview
  • Pass our Wonderlic Test with a score of at least 16, or demonstrate successful completion of English 30-1 and Math 30-1

There is no English proficiency test required beyond our Wonderlic Test and our admissions interview.

Students must also clear a criminal background check, have a complete immunization record, and demonstrate basic computer knowledge.

You can find additional information about our admission requirements on our Admissions Page. Please also visit our Scholarships and Grants Page for information about current financial aid opportunities.

Practicum Requirements

Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk certificate program students complete a 5-week, 120-hour hands-on work experience at two Calgary-area partner institutions. One half of this work experience is at a medical clinic, and the other half is at a long term care facility. To take part  in this practicum, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Police Reference Check (Clearance) of Criminal Record
  • Record of Hepatitis B Immunization

Graduation Requirements

To successfully graduate from the Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk certificate program, students must:

  • Receive a minimum mark of 60% in all of the module assignments and exams
  • Have completed all practicum hours
  • Have current Police Clearance

The Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk certificate program at Heritage College is an approved Vocational Program licensed by Alberta Advanced Education.

Heritage College Medical Office Assistant

Next Start Date

April 1, 2020

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Earn an average of

$46,200 a year


  • Business Communications
  • Computer Readiness in Health Care
  • Medical Terminology
  • Medical Office Procedures & Administration
  • Clinical Competencies for MOA
  • Financial Administration for the Medical Office
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Medical Transcription
  • Medical Billing & Coding
  • Electronic Medical Record
  • Unit Clerk
  • Job Search Strategies
Heritage College Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program

Why Heritage?

  • The most affordable Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk certificate in Calgary.
  • Earn three certificates: Medical Office Assistant, Unit Clerk and First Aid
  • Weekend classes available, so you can fit your education around your busy schedule.
  • Small class sizes, providing you the opportunity for real, hands-on learning.
  • Hands-on training in our college's fully-equipped medical office.
  • Access to industry-leading software, including Kroll and Alberta Netcare.
  • Expert instructors with decades of experience in pharmacies and the medical field.
  • Guaranteed work placement practicums in Calgary-area clinics and long-term care facilities.
  • Access to our Career Services Department, who will work with you at all steps of your job search.
  • A variety of financial aid options for those students who require it.
Heritage College Medical office assistant


Fill out the following form and one of our Admissions Advisers will get in contact with you to answer any questions you have.

MOA Application
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This is only an outline of our Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk program. For more information about our curriculum, please contact our admissions advisers.

This course covers professionalism in business communications with an emphasis on correct English grammar, spelling and punctuation. Students also develop proofreading skills. Business communications exercises will further sharpen keyboarding skills.

Over this course, students learn essential computer knowledge and skills, helping them to maximize efficiency in the fast-paced healthcare industry. This course develops proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. Knowledge of Microsoft Office provides the necessary backbone needed to manage a variety of administrative healthcare tasks.

This course involves an introduction to human anatomy and physiology. Taught in a hands-on manner, students will learn through descriptions, illustrations, videos, flashcards and exercises. Students learn the basic structure of medical terminology through developing an understanding of root words combined with prefixes and suffixes. System-associated terminologies follow with corresponding abbreviations, pathologies, clinical and diagnostic procedures. Upon completion of this course, students learn to:

  • – Identify, spell, and pronounce the basic components of medical terms.
  • – Understand the structures and physiology of body systems.
  • – Name, spell, define pathologic conditions, drugs, lab or diagnostic tests, and therapeutic procedures related to the systems studied.
  • – Identify and define commonly used medical abbreviations and terminologies associated with major systems of the body.

Over the length of this course, students develop necessary medical office clerical skills. These skills are applicable in a variety of medical settings such as medical clinics, private offices, specialist offices and hospitals.

Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • – Schedule appointments
  • – Conduct inventories
  • – File reports correctly
  • – Assess office equipment functions
  • – Scan, fax, route phones and other crucial office tasks
  • – Have a clear understanding of their role in different medical settings
  • – Understand the growth of the healthcare environment
  • – Develop a Policy and Procedures Manual
  • – Demonstrate practical interpersonal communication skills
  • – Ensure a healthy work environment and prevent work-related injuries
  • – Demonstrate cultural tolerance and understanding
  • – Work with patients who have challenging or special needs

In this course, students will learn how to:

  • – Relate microbiology in asepsis, sterilization, and disinfection procedures
  • – Take and record vital signs
  • – Prepare patients and assist physicians in medical procedures
  • – Properly collect specimens and complete requisitions
  • – Complete basic diagnostic urinalysis
  • – Recognize medical instruments and take inventory of essential medical supplies
  • – Ensure Quality Assurance in a healthcare environment

Students in this course learn core business administration competencies, including banking procedures, payroll management and financial management.

This course provides students with an understanding of the structure of health services in Alberta. It covers the Health Information Act, as well as other laws governing healthcare practise and the area of medical law and ethics in the province.

Over the length of this course, students familiarize themselves with various letters and reports routinely dictated by medical professionals. This course covers proper formatting, sentence structure, punctuation, grammar and spelling. Students develop listening, comprehension, editing and proofreading skills. Also included is the importance of confidentiality in medical practice.

Building upon completion of the Medical Terminology, Medical Office Administration Procedures, and Clinical Competencies courses, this course reinforces medical terms and procedures and further improves keyboarding skills.

Upon completion, the students would have learned to:

  • – Understand the basic concept and rules in medical transcription
  • – Place the utmost importance on confidentiality
  • – Set up and use a transcription machine
  • – Edit and proofread commonly transcribed medical reports

Students develop the skills needed to help physicians prepare claims for services insured under Alberta Health Insurance Plan (AHCIP).

Upon completion, the student would have learned to:

  • – Identify insured and uninsured services under AHS
  • – Prepare claims and understand the necessary materials needed in all claims.
  • – Update submitted data
  • – Verify a patient’s coverage
  • – Understand Alberta’s Statement of Assessment and Statement of Accounts
  • – Use Price Lists, Procedures List, Diagnostic Codes and Explanatory Codes

Students learn how to handle electronic medical records, complete with hands-on experience with the Med Access EMR and the Alberta Netcare system.

This course covers the non-clinical, administrative tasks performed by Unit Clerks and Unit Coordinators in hospital nursing units. Working under the direction of a Nurse Manager or Unit Manager, Unit Clerks are essential in coordinating activities in the unit. Unit Clerks monitor patients’ medical records, assist in transcribing doctor’s orders, and participate in new patient intake. Professional and interpersonal skills are vital in helping medical and non-medical staff, patients and visitors.

Over the length of this course, students will learn:

  • – The basics of Hospitals, Medical Centers, and Today’s Health Care
  • – Personal and Professional Skills, including Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Workplace Behaviours, Management Techniques and Problem-Solving Skills
  • – How to read a Patient’s Chart, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Kardex
  • – A Unit Clerk’s role in Processing Doctors’ Orders, including Electronic, Handwritten or Pre-printed
  • – Medical Abbreviations
  • – Nursing Observation Orders, Patient Activity and Positioning
  • – Nursing Intervention and Treatment Orders
  • – Nutritional Care Orders
  • – Medication Orders
  • – Laboratory Orders
  • – Diagnostic Imaging Orders and Other Diagnostic Studies
  • – Treatment and other miscellaneous orders
  • – Admissions, Preoperative and Postoperative Procedures
  • – Discharge, transfer and Post-mortem Procedures Reports,
  • – Infection Control, Emergency Management, and Special Services

This course teaches job search skills and helps students understand the labour market. It includes coaching in writing effective resumes and cover letters. Students also participate in mock interviews to correct and refine skills, increasing employment readiness.

Topics include

  • – Portfolios
  • – Job search strategies
  • – Resume and cover letter writing
  • – Mock interview and retrospective review
  • – The role of social media in job hunting