Registration Requirements and How to Meet Them

To practise as an occupational therapist in Alberta, you must be registered with the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists and hold a valid practice permit. You may not work or volunteer as an occupational therapist or use the occupational therapist title or designation OT in Alberta until you have received written confirmation from Alberta College of Occupational Therapists that your registration was approved and your practice permit has been issued. Working and/or volunteering as an occupational therapist includes participating in an employer clinical interview, orientation or training.

Diagram of Initial Permit Registration

This section is designed to help you understand the requirements for registration with the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists.

Please note:

  • Your application supporting documents must be authentic and be provided in English. If your documents are in a language other than English, you must have them translated.
  • You are responsible for all costs associated with the application and supporting documentation

REQUIREMENT

You must hold proof of identification and have current contact details.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

You can provide personal information and contact details by answering all mandatory application fields. And, you can show your identity by providing a copy of your:

  • birth certificate; or,
  • authentic, valid and current government-issued photo identification; or,
  • valid Indian status or Métis citizenship card.

If your legal name is different than the name on any of your application verification documents, include a copy of legal documents that verify your name change. Example: a marriage certificate or a legal name change.

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

If you do not have the required proof of identity, you still have options. You can provide a statutory declaration confirming your identity.

REQUIREMENT

You must be competent in the practice of occupational therapist.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

You can show you are competent in the practice of occupational therapy, by providing a copy of your:

  • official (final) transcript of academic record
  • an original or notarized copy of your written notice from your university that you have obtained your degree or are eligible to convocate.

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

Internationally educated occupational therapists must first complete the substantial equivalency assessment system (SEAS). The SEAS process includes an assessment of academic credentials. If you do not have the required proof of formal education, you still have options. You can provide:

  • documentary evidence from a program official declaring completion of the education program; or,
  • a signed affidavit attesting to the successful completion of an education program of study naming the institution at which the education was attained; or,
  • academic and work references; or,
  • peer, clinical and/or other assessments.

REQUIREMENT

You must have recent professional experience practicing as an occupational therapist.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

You can show professional practice experience by:

  • completing an education program approved by the College within the past two (2) years; or,
  • providing proof of relevant practice experience as an occupational therapist, for:
    • 400 hours within the past year
    • 800 hours within the past two (2) years
    • 1200 hours within the past three (3) years
    • 1550 hours within the past five (5) years
  • providing verification of standing from other professional regulators where you hold or previously held registration and practice rights.
  • Canadian Labour Mobility Support Agreement

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

If you do not have the required proof of professional practice experience, you still have options. You can:

 

REQUIREMENT

You must successfully complete the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE) or be eligible to sit the examination.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

You can show successful completion of the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE) or eligibility to sit the examination by providing:

  • proof of eligibility to write the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam; or,
  • a copy of your National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam results letter and certificate.

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

There is no alternative means of meeting this requirement.

REQUIREMENT

You must hold current professional liability insurance in the amount of five million dollars ($5,000,000) per occurrence.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

You can show the required professional liability insurance by providing:

  • a completed professional liability insurance declaration; or,
  • proof of third-party organization-provided liability insurance*; or,
  • proof of employer-provided professional liability insurance*

*ACOT strongly recommends that all OTs hold personal liability insurance in addition to any third party or employer provided insurance.

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

There is no alternative means of meeting this requirement.

REQUIREMENT

You must be a Canadian citizen, or a person lawfully permitted to work in Canada.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

You can show you are a Canadian citizen, by providing a copy of your:

  • citizenship certificate or card; or,
  • birth certificate from a Canadian province or territory; or,
  • authentic, valid and current Canadian passport
  • by providing a copy of your Canadian work permit or visa.

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

If you do not have proof you are a Canadian citizen or lawfully permitted to work in Canada, you still have options. You can provide a copy of your authentic, valid and current:

 

  • Indian status or Metis citizenship card; or,
  • permanent resident card; or,
  • landed immigrant papers; or,
  • study permit.

REQUIREMENT

You must have good character and reputation.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

You can show good character and reputation by providing:

  • answers to the registration application questions about your suitability to practice such as:
    • any current or previous professional misconduct
    • any current or previous criminal matters
    • any conditions/restrictions on practice by other professional regulatory authorities
    • civil judgements in relation to professional practice; and,
  • verification of standing from other professional regulators where you hold or previously held registration and practice rights, if applicable.

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

If you do not have proof of verification of standing from other professional regulators where you hold or previously held registration and practice rights, you still have options. You can provide:

 

  • an affidavit attesting to good standing with the other professional regulatory authority.

REQUIREMENT

You must obtain a criminal record check, including a vulnerable sector check.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

  • an original or notarized copy of the results of your criminal record check, including a vulnerable sector check dated within the six (6) months before submitting your application for registration

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

If you are not able to obtain a criminal record check with vulnerable sector check from different countries, you still have options. You can provide:

 

  • proof that you requested a criminal record check from the correct authorities and a letter explaining all the efforts you have taken to get one
  • proof of employment in occupational therapy in prior country
  • proof of eligibility to work in Canada

REQUIREMENT

You must have English language proficiency.

Here is how you can demonstrate that you meet the requirement

You can show English language proficiency by providing:

  • proof your first language is English
  • proof of graduation from a Canadian occupational therapy, English language education program
  • proof that the applicant has previously met the English language proficiency required by another Canadian occupational therapy regulator as per the Canadian Free Trade Agreement and the Labour Mobility Support Agreement (LMSA). Evidence of this language proficiency may be provided by the LMSA Confirmation Form or a Regulatory History Confirmation Form
  • certificate of successful completion of the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System (SEAS) process in English
  • evidence of formal language testing based on meeting the minimum cut score from one of the accepted tests below in Table 1

View Table 1 - Accepted Tests & Minimum Scores

ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

If you do not have evidence of English language proficiency, you still have options. You can provide proof that:

  • most of your education was taken in a country where English is the first language; or,
  • you have consistently worked and/or lived in a country where English is the first language.

Countries where English is a first language: Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada (Quebec and New Brunswick may be exceptions), Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands Caribbean Islands: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago

New Canadian 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:

  • confirmation of entitlement to graduate with a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy or an entry level master’s 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)
  • a current criminal record check which includes a vulnerable sector check

Please note that regulated members on the Provisional Register must have professional liability insurance.

Re-entry OTs

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.