SEAS - Introduction


As of May 1, 2015, every internationally educated occupational therapist (IEOT) wanting to work anywhere in Canada (except in Quebec, which has its own assessment process) must complete SEAS before going to a provincial regulator (in the province in which you wish to work) to begin the registration process at the provincial level.

The Substantial Equivalency Assessment System, also known as SEAS, is a multi-part assessment that will determine if your education and competencies are substantially equivalent to those of occupational therapists educated in Canada. ACOTRO recognizes that no two educational programmes are the same.  Substantially equivalent means that your qualifications and competence must be equivalent, but not identical, in all essential respects, to those of Canadian-educated occupational therapists. SEAS has five main components:

  1. Academic Credential Assessment Review (ACAR) 
  2. SEAS Language Assessment
  3. Curriculum and Fieldwork - PSCA Review
  4. Jurisprudence Knowledge Assessment Test (JKAT)
  5. Competency Assessment Interview

SEAS applies to anyone who received their occupational therapy education outside of Canada, including Canadians who traveled outside Canada to pursue their OT education. 

SEAS will:

  • determine how similar your education and competencies are to Canadian educated OTs
  • identify your strengths, knowledge gaps and if additional training is required
  • determine if you are ready to write the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE)

Once you've completed the SEAS process, you and the regulator in the province in which you intend to practice, will be sent a final disposition, or outcome, report. That report will tell you whether or not you'e met the substantial equivalency requirement.  If you've met the requirement, you'll be encouraged to continue the licensure process by proceeding to that regulator to apply for registration. You'll also be given a statement of eligibility to write the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination so you can proceed to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists to set a date for the exam.