Information you need to know to work as an Occupational Therapist

Who is the licensing body responsible for Occupational Therapists in Alberta?

In Alberta, you must be registered with the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists (ACOT) to practice as an Occupational Therapist. Only registered members may call themselves Registered Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapists, or use the acronym OT.

What are the registration requirements for internationally educated Occupational Therapists?

Internationally educated Occupational Therapists must:

  1. Apply to the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO)
  2. Complete ACOTRO’s Substantial Equivalency Assessment System (SEAS):
    1. Submit Academic Credential Assessment (ASA) from World Education Services (WES)
    2. Complete a Profession-Specific Credential Assessment – (PSCA)
    3. Write and pass the Jurisprudence Knowledge Assessment Test
    4. Complete and pass the Competency Assessment
    5. Demonstrate language proficiency as determined by the provincial association where you intend to work, for Alberta, view the English Language Proficiency tab on the ACOT website
  3. Write and pass the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination
  4. Once you receive approval, register with the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists (ACOT)

    NOTE: you have one year in which to complete the entire process.

  5. Upon approval by ACOT, applicants will be registered as a Provisional Occupational Therapist. An occupational therapist on the Provisional Register may practice only under the supervision of a regulated member registered on the General Register. A minimum of eight weeks of full-time practice or equivalent is required, after which the Supervising Occupational Therapist will submit an evaluation to ACOT.

    NOTE: Registration on the Provisional Register may be valid for up to one year.

  6. Upon completion of the supervisory period and the successful completion of the national certification exam and completion of any coursework or training requirements, the applicant will be registered as a Registered Occupational Therapist.

For complete and the most up-to-date registration requirements, visit the Internationally Educated OTS page on the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists website.

What are the educational requirements for Occupational Therapists in Alberta?

McMaster’s University Occupational Therapy Examination Preparation Program (OTepp)

OTepp offers a certificate program that aims to assist re-entry to internationally educated occupational therapists and to meet their learning needs in order to successfully transition into Canadian practice. It is offered by the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at McMaster University.

What are the accepted English language proficiency tests and where can I be tested?

Applicants are required to demonstrate their English language proficiency as part of the SEAS process (step 2e above). To learn more about where to take an English language proficiency test in Alberta, visit English Language Proficiency Tests and Locations.

What supports are available to support internationally educated Occupational Therapists to integrate into the Canadian labour force?

Directions for Immigrants offers workplace communication groups to help you integrate into the Canadian work environment. The Clear Communication for Health Professionals (CCHP) workplace communication group is designed to help internationally educated health care professionals fine-tune their communication skills with patients, supervisors, and colleagues. In one week, you will learn through role-play and scenarios the nuances and expectations of Canadian patients, inter-disciplinary teams, and other health care industry participants. Topics include overcoming communication barriers, professional workplace interaction/behaviour, Canadian workplace culture, conflict resolution, and teamwork. Visit Clear Communication for Health Professionals for more information. 

What information resources are available for Occupational Therapists in Alberta?

Additional Occupational Information

For more information on occupations, duties and wages, visit: