Qualified Administrative Assistant

Earn a QAA Designation

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Keeping skills up to date with current trends is vital to any role. More and more often, administrative assistants are being recognized as key team members and as such, employers are looking for a higher level of professionalism. The Qualified Administrative Assistant (QAA) professional designation is a benchmark of excellence for the advanced administrative professional. 

The designation is awarded by the Association of Administrative Assistants (AAA), a national association whose main purpose is to encourage people in the business world to continuously upgrade their professionalism through continuing education.

The QAA program will provide you with valuable background in general business education, assist you in understanding corporate initiatives, advance your professional development, and prepare you for future office demands and innovations.

Program at a Glance

Program structure

All 8 courses required for your QAA.

Location & Format

Classes held in downtown Edmonton.


2-3 years of part-time study.


The Qualified Administrative Assistant (QAA) is a program for office professionals interested in meeting the challenges of today’s demanding workforce. Through a series of university-level business courses, you are provided with an up-to-date knowledge of business practices, essential skills, and career-building expertise, along with a credential widely recognized in the professional office environment.

Program Plan


The QAA program is comprised of eight courses that must be successfully completed so you can apply for the designation. As a university accredited by the Association of Administrative Assistants (AAA), UAlberta offers all courses needed to fulfill the designation’s educational requirements. 

AAA course titles are not exact matches for university course titles. The chart below lists course titles as they appear on AAA’s website (left hand column), followed by the corresponding UAlberta course titles as they relate to the QAA designation requirements (right hand column).

The QAA designation also carries an experience requirement—please consult AAA’s website for more information on non-educational components of the program.


Core courses – complete all 4
AAA course: Our equivalent:
Business English complete both:
Grammar for Effective Writing (EXGEN 3797)
Writing Skills: Improving Style and Clarity (EXGEN 3112)
Organizational Behaviour Organizational Behaviour (EXMGT 5587)
Supervision/Management Studies Introduction to Management (EXMGT 5577)
Elective courses – select 4
AAA course: Our equivalent:
Business or Commercial Law Commercial Law (EXMGT 5566)
Financial Accounting Financial Management and Budgeting (EXMGT 5515)
Human Resources Management Human Resources Foundations (EXMGT 5596)
Marketing Marketing (EXMGT 5584)

Project Management

complete all 3:
Project Management Essentials (EXMGT 5427)
Project Management: Risk and Resourcing (EXMGT 5443)
Project Management: From Communication to Closure (EXMGT 5444)
Social Media

complete both:
Fundamentals of Social Media (EXSM 5510)
Effective Social Media Communication (EXSM 3988)

Business Analytics for Managers (EXMGT 5447)



Qualifications & Admission

Students seeking strictly a QAA designation are not required to apply for admission to the University of Alberta—only to register for each course on an individual basis. 

If you’re interested in earning a UAlberta credential while you work toward your QAA designation, you may enrol in the Management Development Certificate program as you start your studies or, if you prefer, after you have taken one or more courses. 

Please note that the Association of Administrative Assistants does require students to complete a QAA enrolment form, which is available at their website. Applicants wishing to register as a QAA student must also become a member of the association.

Courses are currently open for enrolment—register now!

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition is paid on a course-by-course basis as you register for your classes; courses are GST-exempt.
  • Some courses require a textbook at an additional cost.
  • This program is eligible for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant.

Courses Offered

Take courses individually for professional development or complete them all to earn the QAA designation.

Register online or by phone at 780-492-3116 (toll-free 1-800-808-4784). You may also register by mail, fax, or in person.

Classes are held at Enterprise Square, downtown Edmonton, Alberta.

Course schedules are also available in printer-friendly PDF format.

Core courses

    Elective courses


      Talk to us for additional details: call the Business and Leadership Programs Office at 780-492-3027 or send us an email.


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