CANASSIST Programs can be Completed Entirely Online!

Application Intake is Ongoing so you can Apply Any Time.


Participants must be students or graduates of a graduate program in a mental health or related field. Course content is clinically advanced and intended for clinicians and professionals with some experience working in the field. The Program has a fluid, open enrollment so that students can register and begin at any time.


An Equivalency Assessment (EA) is available for applicants who do not hold or have not completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited university required for admission to the Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling (AAT-C). The Equivalency Assessment application and process is to determine that the applicant has the required knowledge and skills that would match the equivalent of a university degree and would be successful in completing the program. The cost of applying for an EA is $200.


The AAT-C Certificate Program consists of 7 online courses at a graduate level of study in terms of reading, workload, writing expectations, and time required.


Homework time can range from 4-8 hours per week, per course.

Course Structure: The Certificate coursework is self-paced and students may take up to 2 years to complete the program. Extensions are possible with a written request and supervisor approval. Ongoing support and consultation is available to students throughout the program. Students can also network with others through our virtual classroom. Many of the assignments are traditional reading/writing, but experiential assignments are also included. Students will also be required to provide some video-taped sessions. The final course requires conducting a brief research study that includes a client and an animal as part of the therapeutic process. Students will conduct a single subject research design with pre and post treatment measures to be analyzed – effectively a case study, or the student can do a qualitative research study. Those with no research background need not be concerned as instructors will provide assistance and support.

Application Process 

You will need the following items*:

Current resume (Word Doc. or PDF)

1.     A one – two page letter of intent

2.     Copy of academic transcripts (PDF). Informal is acceptable.

3.     Credit /debit card to submit payment

Review the complete application process below.

*NOTE: Your application will be reviewed when all required documentation is received.  CANASSIST will notify you directly if additional information or documentation is required.

Once you are in the ONLINE PORTAL you will be asked for the following:

1.     Select the specific program to which you want to apply. 

2.     Upload a Current Resume. There is a file upload link built into the application.

3.     Upload a 1-2 page Statement of Purpose letter. Please include a description of:  your previous education and experience; and discuss why you think this program will help you meet your learning needs. The purpose of the letter is to help us assess how our program may suit your needs.

4.     Upload the following supporting documents as proof of your eligibility*: An Undergraduate degree in a related field, or college diploma in a related field. Relevant fields of study include psychology, social work, health, social sciences, public health, community and social services, child and youth studies; 

OR  A minimum of 2 years full-time experience in fields such as addiction, mental health, social and community services, nursing, law enforcement/criminal justice, or first responders.

* Save the information on the application pages before you proceed to the next item. 

6.     Please proceed to pay the $100 non-refundable application fee. (Payable by credit or debit online).

7.     After paying the application fee, please complete your application and be sure to SUBMIT the form.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque, contact CANASSIST Admissions directly to  request a paper application which you may submit by mail, with payment. Your application will not be processed until payment is received. 

You will be advised by email of your acceptance into the program within two weeks or less of CANASSIST receiving a complete application package.

*NOTE: Applicants may request an Equivalency (Prior Learning0 Assessment if formal education requirements are not met and they believe they have  life experiences and education that will satisfy the requirements. A Fee of $200 is required for the Prior Learning assessment.

Applicants must submit their application using our Online Application Portal. See the link below.