Registered Veterinary Technician/Technologist

Registered veterinary technicians/technologists (RVT) are highly trained professionals working as an integral part of the veterinary medical team. 

A RVT has graduated from a Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) or an Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT) accredited program, successfully completed the Veterinary Technician National Examination and has met all the requirements identified by their provincial professional association. 

The title of technician versus technologist is dependent on the province of registration. The term RVT is recognized across Canada.

A RVT works under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Their education provides them with the theory and practical skills essential to deliver a gold standard of veterinary care. As animal welfare advocates, some of the important tasks carried out by RVTs include: 

  • Obtaining and processing diagnostic radiographs and ultrasound
  • Administration and dispensation of medications and treatments as prescribed by the attending veterinarian
  • Providing optimum husbandry, restraint and handling
  • Anaesthetic delivery and monitoring
  • Prevention and control of zoonotic diseases
  • Nutrition management
  • Animal behaviour and welfare
  • Breeding, reproduction, and neonatal care
  • Professional practice administration, veterinary hospital management and client relations
  • Diagnostic laboratory tests (hematology, clinical chemistry, cytology, and urinalysis)
  • Emergency and first aid
  • Professionalism and ethics training
  • Routine, intensive and emergency care of animals
  • Public education
  • Exotic animal medicine
  • Extensive anatomy and physiology training
  • Sanitation, sterilization and disinfection controls and procedures
  • In depth knowledge of dental structures, conditions and lesions, causes and stages of diseases
  • Surgical preparation and assistance
  • Microbiology, immunology, bacteriology, parasitology, zoonoses, and virology
  • Training in best practices surrounding biosecurity

Training for a career as a RVT includes two to three years of college education at a CVMA or OAVT-accredited veterinary technician/technologist program. A listing of Canada’s accredited  programs can be found here.

The CVMA’s AHT/VT Program Accreditation Committee (AHTVTPAC) identifies and certifies animal health technology and veterinary technician education programs whose graduates are considered to be competent to successfully complete the National Veterinary Technician Exam, and assist veterinarians in clinical practice. The Committee encourages further development of such programs in Canada.

Graduates may find employment in private veterinary practices, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation, government and research laboratories, as well as in industry. 

The Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada (RVTTC) is the national professional association representing registered veterinary technologists & technicians. For more information on becoming a RVT, visit the RVTTC online at rvttcanada.ca.