The registration process differs depending on whether you received your OT education in Canada or outside of Canada. If you were educated in Canada, the steps for registration generally include:

  • Ensuring that you meet all the registration requirements (such as education, language fluency, and practice hours) set by your provincial regulator. Learn more HERE.
  • Successfully completing the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE) administered by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). This exam is mandatory in all provinces, excluding Quebec.

The time it takes to complete the registration process will depend on the completeness of your application, your circumstances, and the registration process in the province to which you are applying. Visit the site of your provincial regulator to learn more.

Note: If you are Canadian but have graduated from an OT program outside of Canada, you are considered internationally educated and will need your credentials and qualifications assessed through the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System (SEAS) to confirm your eligibility to register to work in Canada. Learn more HERE.

Registering in Another Province

Registration is regulated provincially, so if you move from one province to work in another, you must register with the regulatory organization in the province you move to. Registration requirements may differ from province to province, but if you are considered eligible under Canada’s Labour Mobility Support Agreement, the process can be straightforward. Learn more by visiting the website of the provincial regulator to which you are applying.

Note: Applicants to Quebec must demonstrate French-language fluency. A temporary 1-year license may be issued, and renewable up to three times, to allow you to work in Quebec while studying French in order to meet the French-language requirement.

Tests & Examinations

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 (CAOT). Only applicants to Quebec are exempt from the exam. Learn more HERE.