Internationally Educated OTs (IEOT)

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) to complete the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System (SEAS) process. Once deemed Substantially Equivalent by ACOTRO, applicants may apply to a provincial regulator to continue the registration qualification process.

What is SEAS?

SEAS is a 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.

For more information about the SEAS process and its associated requirements and fees, please visit ACOTRO. For more information on how to register in Quebec, please visit OEQ.

After Successfully Completing SEAS

After an IEOT successfully completes the SEAS process, they are eligible to apply to ACOT’s Provisional Register, which they can be on for up to one year to write the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE). When applying for the Provisional Register, you will be asked for:

  • Proof of registration (receipt) for the NOTCE or a written declaration that you will participate in the next sitting of the NOTCE
  • Information on employer, occupational therapist supervisor’s name and projected employment start date
  • A current criminal record check with vulnerable sector check
  • Proof of personally held professional liability insurance
  • Proof of completion of selected learning modules when applicable (check with your ACOT Registration Coordinator)