Permit Registration & Renewals

Occupational Therapy is a self-regulated profession. Each and every Occupational Therapist, as a member of the College, is responsible for managing his or her own professional practice within the College’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Additionally, each Occupational Therapist is responsible to the profession and the public, and has the duty to report any unprofessional conduct. Self-regulation is an honour and privilege that is taken very seriously.

To practice as an Occupational Therapist in Alberta, registration with ACOT is compulsory under the Health Professions Act.  Registration with the College assures the public that the Occupational Therapist has successfully completed all requirements of registration as defined in the Occupational Therapists Profession Regulation of the HPA. For a current listing of registered Occupational Therapists, see the Occupational Therapist Register.

Permit renewals

Regulated members renew their registration annually. The College registration year is from March 1 to February 28/29.

Practice permit renewal requirements
As a condition of registration renewal each year, Occupational Therapists report the number of hours they have been engaged in the practice of Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapists are also required to complete their online Continuing Competence Program each year prior to renewal.

Change of information

The Health Professions Act, RSA 2000 cH-7 s33 (3-4) and the Occupational Therapists Profession Regulation (AR 217/2006) s35 requires that regulated members must provide personal and employment information upon application and immediately that there is a change to that information.

While changes in contact information (including employment details) can be made online at member login, a change of name requires completion of a Change of Information form and proof of change of name (marriage certificate, driver’s license, etc.). The completed form can be faxed or mailed to the College. Fax 780.434.0658 or mail Alberta College of Occupational Therapists, 300, 10436 – 81 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6E 1X6.

New Applicants

New applicants to the College include applicants who are recent Canadian graduates, internationally-educated Occupational Therapists (IEOT), Occupational Therapists transferring from another Canadian jurisdiction, and Occupational Therapists who wish to re-enter the profession after a period of absence.

Information for New graduates Information for Canadian applicants Information for Internationally-educated Occupational Therapists (IEOT)

New Graduates

A new graduate of a Canadian University can apply for provisional registration while waiting for conferment of their degree, completion of the national certification exam, or submission of examination results to ACOT. An Occupational Therapist in the process of completing these requirements for registration may be registered on the College's Provisional Register. This is temporary, and for a maximum of one year. When all registration requirements are met, members on the Provisional Register can apply for a General Register permit. New graduates applying for a Provisional Register permit must submit with their application:
  • confirmation of entitlement to graduate with a baccalaureate degree in Occupational Therapy or an entry level masters degree in Occupational Therapy from a Canadian post-secondary institution
  • verification of eligibility to write the national certification exam from CAOT
  • information on employer, Occupational Therapist supervisor, and projected employment start date (if available)
Please note that regulated members on the Provisional Register must have professional liability insurance.

Canadian Applicants

This section applies to you if you are an Occupational Therapist applying from another Canadian jurisdiction, or you wish to re-enter the profession after a period of absence. Occupational Therapist from another Canadian jurisdiction An Occupational Therapist licensed or registered in another Canadian jurisdiction may have his/her qualifications recognized for registration in Alberta under the Labour Mobility Support Agreement (LMSA) between provincial regulatory organizations. Re-entry Occupational Therapist The re-entry applicant is an Occupational Therapist applying to re-enter the profession after a period of absence, and does not have sufficient practice hours for registration to the General Register. Applicants successful in the documentation review are registered on the Provisional Register. An eight-week (320 hr) period of supervised practice is mandatory. Once the supervisor’s competency assessment of the OT is complete and approved by the Registrar, and the applicant has successfully completed the national certification exam or any coursework or training requirements that may have been identified during the competency assessment, the OT will be transferred to the General Register. To register Applicants must submit with their application:
  • Official transcripts
  • If you are eligible for LMSA transfer, make arrangements for the originating jurisdiction to complete a confirmation form and regulatory history.
  • If you are not eligible for LMSA transfer, a regulatory history from all jurisdictions where you currently hold or have previously held a permit to practice.
  • Results of the national certification (CAOT) examination
Applicants must have:
  • A baccalaureate degree in Occupational Therapy or an entry level masters degree in Occupational Therapy from an Occupational Therapy program accredited by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) or recognized by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy and approved by ACOT Council
  • Successful completion of 1000 hours of supervised clinical education within a program of study approved by ACOT Council
  • Current/recent practice hours: 400 hours within the past year; 800 hours in the past 2 years; 1200 hours in the past 3 years; or 1550 hours in the past 5 years, or successful completion of educational upgrading requirements as deemed necessary by the Registrar
  • Professional liability insurance

Internationally-educated Occupational Therapists  (IEOT)

As of May 1, 2015, Occupational Therapists who have completed their OT education outside of Canada - including Canadians who traveled outside Canada for their OT education - and who want to register for practice anywhere in Canada (except Quebec), must first apply to the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO). You must complete a new assessment process called the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System. Once deemed Substantially Equivalent by ACOTRO, applicants may apply to the provincial regulator of their choice to continue the registration qualification process.

What is SEAS?
SEAS is a new assessment process to determine the extent to which an internationally-educated Occupational Therapist's (IEOT’s) educational qualifications and competencies are substantially equivalent to those of a Canadian-educated Occupational Therapist. SEAS is a multi-stage assessment approach that:

  • examines the education that IEOTs originally completed,
  • allows IEOTs to demonstrate what they know and can do, and
  • ensures IEOTs are familiar with the Canadian legislation, ethics and standards of practice as they relate to Occupational Therapy practice in Canada.

SEAS has four main components:

  • Review of the Academic Credential Assessment (ACA)
  • Profession-Specific Credential Assessment (PSCA)
  • Jurisprudence Knowledge Assessment Test (JKAT)
  • Competency Assessment

As part of SEAS, all internationally-educated Occupational Therapists will also be required to demonstrate a minimum level of language proficiency, based on a standard that all ACOTRO members have agreed upon. The cost of SEAS is $3,100 per applicant.

For more information about the new assessment process and its associated requirements and fees, please visit ACOTRO at www.acotro-acore.org. For more information on how to register in Quebec, please visit www.oeq.org.

Please note: Internationally-educated Occupational Therapists who have applied for registration with this college prior to May 1, 2015, and whose applications are currently being processed by the college, will have one year within which to complete their registration process under the current system. They will not be required to be assessed through SEAS. Any current applicants who do not complete their registration within the one-year period must apply to ACOTRO to complete the new assessment process.

OT working with patient on hand therapy

Courtesy Register

Occupational Therapists who normally reside outside of Alberta and wish to teach or provide Occupational Therapy services temporarily in Alberta must register with the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists. Applicants must have an unrestricted practice permit with another licensing/registering organization and have a time limitation attached to their tenure in Alberta. Other applicants may be registered on the Courtesy Register at the discretion of the Registrar. Registration must be completed prior to the start of any temporary employment in Alberta.

Application for Courtesy Register

Regulatory History form


Professional Title & Fees

Professional protected titles in Occupational Therapy are determined by the Occupational Therapists Profession Regulation of the Health Professions Act. A professional who possesses the academic credentials in Occupational Therapy and is registered with ACOT has the right to use the protected titles.

A regulated member on the General Register or Courtesy Register may use the following titles and initials:

  • Registered Occupational Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • O.T.

A regulated member registered on the Provisional Register may use the title Provisional Occupational Therapist.

Fees
The College registration year is from March 1 to February 28. 

Type of FeeWhen do I pay?How much?Other Information
ApplicationWhen you send in the application for new registration to either the General or Provisional Registers$150.00Required for all new applicants. A reinstatement application to the College, following de-registration, is considered a new application. Application fee payment must be paid separately from the Register permit fee payment.
New permit General Register and Provisional RegisterOn or after March 1$550.00Fees are prorated for new registrants dependent on when they will begin practice. Fees must be paid in full; no monthly fee payments are acceptable.
On or after June 1$412.50
On or after September 1$275.00
On or after December 1$137.50
Renewal of Permit general Register and Provisional RegisterOn or before February 28$550.00Renewal application and payment must be submitted online by the date specified.
Courtesy Register permitWhen you send in the application$40.00 per 30 day periodFees must be paid in full for the duration of the tenure in Alberta
Re-issue permit $25.00 


Method of payment
Payment may be made by cheque, money order, Visa or MasterCard. Cheques or money orders should be made payable to Alberta College of Occupational Therapists or ACOT. All payments are required in Canadian funds. $25 is charged for cheques not honoured due to insufficient funds.

Refund policy
General Register and Provisional Register permit holders who choose to cancel their registration during the registration year may be eligible for a partial fee refund. Pending acceptance of a written request, the maximum refund available is 50% of the permit fee. All other fees are non-refundable. To be eligible for a fee refund:

  • practice of Occupational Therapy in Alberta must end on or before August 31,
  • written request to the Registrar must be received before September 30,
  • the permit card must be returned to the College, and
  • written proof of termination of employment and date of termination (a letter from the employer or copy of the Record of Employment) must be received.
What is your greatest success story with a client?

My greatest success is setting up a client with switches to use a computer, communication device and power wheelchair all through the same location at the head.
Corinne Tuck
Corinne Tuck, OT

Professional Liability Insurance

Occupational Therapy demands interaction with people on a day-to-day basis, and you might face situations with the possibility of charges of wrongdoing. Your clients could hold you responsible for damages they have received, resulting from a negligent act, error, omission or malpractice arising out of your professional capacity as an Occupational Therapist. The Health Professions Act requires all registered Occupational Therapists to hold professional liability insurance. It was determined by Council on November 26, 2006 that Registrants must carry a minimum of five million dollars liability insurance. This protects a therapist’s personal assets against lawsuits and defense costs, and ensures clients who have suffered damages can be compensated. Employer-provided policies typically cover the employee solely for the professional services rendered for that employer. If you provide Occupational Therapy services outside of your primary place of employment (e.g. provide professional services on a voluntary basis, as a private practitioner, or for other employers), the employer's policy may not protect you. The College recommends all registered Occupational Therapists obtain their own professional liability insurance, independent of any employer coverage. Regulated members are required to ensure liability insurance protection on all professional activities meet the College requirements. Sources for professional liability insurance The College does not endorse one provider or carrier over another. Professional liability insurance may be purchased through:

Continuing Competence

Are you a registered member needing to complete your Continuing Competence Program?

The Occupational Therapists Profession Regulation AR 217/2006 s13 (1, 2) states:

  1. As part of the Continuing Competence Program, a regulated member must each year complete the following in a form approved by the Council.
    1. A practice challenge log identifying practice challenges
    2. A self-assessment questionnaire indicating the areas where continuing competence activities are to be undertaken by the regulated member for the next registration year
    3. A competence maintenance log that records professional activities that support the maintenance of competence or the enhancement of the regulated member’s practice;
    4. A continuing competence portfolio containing documentation that illustrates the quality of the regulated member’s practice.
  2. Every regulated member must, on the request of the Registrar or Competence Committee, submit any of the documentation referred to in subsection (1) to the Registrar or Competence Committee.


What you need to know about Continuing Competence:

  • The Continuing Competence Program is online and can be accessed by logging in to the registrants section of the website.
  • The Continuing Competence Program is made up of four components that must be completed prior to renewal each registration year (self-assessment, practice challenge log, action plan, and reflection).
  • The Continuing Competence Guide is available to assist you in completing your Continuing Competence Program: 2014-2015 Continuing Competence Guide.
  • In order to assist you in maintaining and enhancing your practice the College recommends that you be engaged in reflective thinking about your practice, and as required by legislation, reflect on your practice challenge, our Standards of Practice and that you record all professional activities that maintain or enhance your practice.
  • The self-assessment questionnaire was developed to allow each member to reflect on their Standards of Practice and ensure they are meeting the standards and ethics as established by Council. It should be noted that the Standards of Practice for the profession of Occupational Therapy in Alberta are the set of regulatory requirements, which define minimum standards upon which Occupational Therapists practicing in Alberta must base their practice. They exist for the primary purpose of public protection, but also serve to assist Occupational Therapists in evaluation and development of their practice. These are minimum standards only; the Occupational Therapist should endeavour to maintain the highest possible degree of skill in the interest of protection of the public whom they serve.
  • The practice challenge log allows you to reflect on those challenges that you identified in your self-assessment in order to create goals in the upcoming year as well as the future.
  • The action plan allows you to set goals and record professional activities that support the maintenance of competence or the enhancement of the regulated member’s practice.
  • With respect to setting goals, this is not a legislative requirement; however, the College recommends you identify one to three practice challenges you wish to address and that you update your progress records with the professional activities you engage in to maintain or enhance your practice.
  • All regulated members are also required to keep a portfolio of documents to support their learning activities. It may include documents such as testimonials, results of client satisfaction, questionnaires, notes, and samples of work. You are not required to submit these documents unless requested to do so, however, you must retain documents from your portfolio for five years.