REGISTERING IN CANADA
This section will help you learn more about the registration process and how it applies to both Canadian-educated OTs and internationally educated occupational therapists (IEOTs). You will also find links to provincial regulators and educational programs, as well as information to guide IEOTs through the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System (SEAS).
Registration Process at a Glance
1. Your registration process begins by determining whether you are a Canadian-educated OT or an internationally educated OT (IEOT).
- Canadian-educated OTs: are applicants who received their OT education in Canada. As such, SEAS is not part of their registration process. Learn more here.
- IEOTs: are applicants who received their OT education outside of Canada. As such, SEAS is the first step in the process to confirm their eligibility to register to work in Canada. Learn more here.
- Canadians who have graduated from occupational therapy programs outside of Canada are also considered IEOTs and required to complete the SEAS process.
2. Once you have confirmed that you are either Canadian-educated or an IEOT who has successfully completed the SEAS process, you may register in the province in which you intend to practice. Though all provinces follow a similar process, each provincial regulator will differ in how it processes requirements regarding academic, professional, and employment eligibility. Learn more here.
Note: If you move from one province to work in another, you must register with the regulatory organization in the province to which you move. All 10 provinces have signed a Labour Mobility Support Agreement to support OTs moving from one jurisdiction to another. Learn more here.
3. Once registered, OTs in most provinces and territories must take the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE) offered by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. Only applicants to Quebec are exempt from the exam. Learn more here.
Note: IEOTs who have completed SEAS and are registered with a provincial regulator, as well as Canadian-educated OTs, can apply to work with a restricted or provisional licence while waiting to write the exam. Information can be obtained from your provincial regulator.
4. Provincially registered OTs are required to renew their registration annually (the date is set by the provincial regulator) by demonstrating proof of continuing competence. Please refer to the website of your provincial regulator for information on demonstrating continuing competence.