Course Overview

Quick Facts

  • 6-12 months
  • Online learning
  • Monthly payment options
  • You can start this programme at any time of the year

Is a career as a veterinary receptionist for you?

Develop Key Receptionist Skills in a Veterinary Practice Setting…

The important role that veterinary receptionists play within the veterinary setting cannot be underestimated. Effective customer service combined with specialist knowledge of the record-keeping systems that support clinical services can make the all the difference to the customer experience and ensuing practice reputation.

The Level 2 Certificate for Veterinary Receptionists, awarded by VetSkill, is an online course tailored for the veterinary environment; that can be undertaken alongside employment, or voluntary work in a veterinary reception setting. Ideal for those looking to gain a qualification demonstrating their industry knowledge and practical skills, the course will cover the key skills needed to provide an effective front-of-house service to veterinary clients.

All course content is delivered via distance learning on our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You will be supported by one of the College’s distance learning tutors and a suitable mentor in the workplace. As such this course can be taken anywhere in the UK or overseas, however attendance at one of The College of Animal Welfare centres (Huntingdon, London, Leeds or Edinburgh) will be required to undertake the examination.

By choosing to study with The College of Animal Welfare – one of the largest providers of veterinary related training in the UK – you will be joining a community of like-minded students and staff, who all share a passion for animal welfare.

In addition to the academic theory you will gain from online study, an emphasis on practical experience (minimum 200 hours) means that you will increase your skills, knowledge and confidence in the veterinary receptionist role.

Course Content

Over the course of the qualification you will cover the following units:

  1. Assisting with the supply of veterinary products
    You will look at ordering and receiving veterinary medicinal products, and communicating with clients on veterinary products, retail products, veterinary therapies and know when to refer clients for veterinary diagnosis and advice.
  2. Maintenance of a veterinary reception area
    During this unit you will look at managing and maintaining the reception desk and waiting area, interpreting basic animal behaviour and supporting clients who are facing the death of an animal.
  3. Principles and practice of veterinary reception
    You will look at communicating effectively with clients and colleagues, including making appointments and advising clients of available veterinary services. You will also look at accurately maintaining client, and other business-related, records and processing fees for services.
  4. Working safely in a veterinary practice
    During this unit you will look at the hazards and risks in a veterinary practice; understanding the organisational and legal requirements for Health and Safety and be able to act upon hazards in the veterinary practice setting.
  5. Essentials of veterinary terminology
    Gain a greater understanding of the structure and meaning of medicinal word parts, and know the meaning of terminology relating to animal form and function, and veterinary clinical practice.


You will complete an online portfolio and undertake a short, multiple choice question, examination. You will be required to attend one of our centres (Huntingdon, North London, Leeds or Edinburgh) to undertake your final examination. If you do not have access to a CAW centre, the examination can be carried out via remote invigilation.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal academic entry requirements; however you should have a sound level of numeracy, literacy and ICT skills.

You will need to be working, or volunteering, on reception in a veterinary practice, for a minimum of eight hours per week, and have done so for at least three months before applying. You must have the full support of your practice and will need to have a mentor in place within practice to assist you with parts of your course. The mentor may be a practice manager, head receptionist, veterinary surgeon, veterinary nurse or someone working on reception who has a minimum of two years’ experience in reception work.

If you are volunteering, you may be asked to provide a reference from a practice manager, head receptionist, veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse supporting your application.

Course Fees

Course fees can either be paid in full before the beginning of the course, or via our ‘Pay As You Learn’ monthly payment scheme. A CAW Loans2Learn scheme is also available, details can be found below.

If you have not achieved your qualification by the planned end date detailed in your individual learning plan, you will be able to continue to receive support and access to your course by paying monthly direct debit payments until certification of your award.

Course Fees

Full Fee Pay As You Learn
UK £1,650 £139 per month
Overseas £2,275 Not available

Awarding Body Fees*: £169

* Awarding Body Fees are payable by all students or employers and recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

The CAW Loans2Learn scheme is a personal loan that can help you to spread the cost of your course into manageable payments. The loan can be used to fully or partially cover your course fees (but does not cover any awarding body fees, such as enrolment and examination fees). More information can be found here.

Other sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page. Before making any financial decision it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.

These are current figures and may be subject to change.

What Next?

On completion of this programme you will have gained a formal qualification that demonstrates your practical skills and knowledge to both current and prospective employers.

The knowledge you will gain from online study, alongside the practical experience you will have accumulated through employment or work experience will, not only help you to maximise the customer experience, but will put you in an excellent position when applying for future jobs in the industry. If you’re looking to find your next opportunity, our online jobs board advertises veterinary receptionist jobs from time-to-time.

You might also wish to consider pursuing further study with us by undertaking a related qualification, such as the ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management which will help you guide new members of staff and take on more management responsibility at work.