New Applicant: Educated Outside of Canada
Steps in the Registration Process
1. Establish academic eligibility
The Board must confirm that your education is substantially equivalent to that of an occupational therapist educated in Canada. 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.
To determine your academic equivalency, you must complete the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System, also known as SEAS. SEAS is administered by the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Associations (ACOTRO). SEAS is a multi-part assessment consisting of:
- Academic Credential Assessment (ACA)
- SEAS Language Assessment
- Curriculum and Fieldwork - PSCA Review
- Jurisprudence Knowledge Assessment Test (JKAT)
- Competency Assessment Interview
It may take up to one year for you to complete the SEAS process. Applicants requiring accommodations may submit a request in writing to ACOTRO; see SEAS Frequently Asked Questions. All steps except the Competency Assessment Interview may be completed outside of Canada.
- Your SEAS final disposition report must be sent directly to the Board from ACOTRO. This report will also be provided to you by ACOTRO when you have completed the SEAS process.
2. Application for registration
Complete an online application form and submit supporting documentation (see below). The application form is a legal document. You must answer all sections completely and accurately. Please read this page before starting an application form. Unless indicated, all supporting documentation may be uploaded electronically.
- A completed online application form. Incomplete application forms will not be processed.
3. Compile required documentation
Applicants for registration must be able to demonstrate that they meet the following registration requirements ( please note that any supporting documentation in any language other than English must be sent with a certified translation):
- Proof of Identity
The name you provide on your application from will be the name that is entered on the Board register, and must be the same name by which your clients and colleagues will know you. Your registration card, certificate, and tax receipt and all correspondence from the Board will all be issued in this name.
- Photo identification: copy of your passport, or government issued ID.
- Name Changes: If your name has changed, you must list all your previous names so your application can be processed properly. If any of the documents in your application were issued under a previous name, you must include an official document (such as a marriage license) that verifies your name change.
In order to be employed as an occupational therapist in Newfoundland and Labrador, you must have legal authorization to work in Canada. Only Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and individuals with Canadian work permits have the right to work in Canada.
- Official documentation acceptable includes copy of Canadian birth certificate, Canadian passport, proof of landed immigrant resident status or copy of a valid work permit. Documentation may be uploaded with your application as a PDF.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, health care is primarily delivered in English. It is critical that you be able to communicate with clients and other health care providers in English. You must be able to demonstrate ability to read, write, listen to and speak English proficiently. You must provide proof of your English language proficiency.
- Graduation from a Canadian University or
- English language proficiency must be demonstrated with one of the following tests sent directly to the Board:
- Test scores in reading, writing, listening and speaking must be provided to NLOTB. For the test scores required to demonstrate proficiency please review the Language Proficiency Policy. Applicants applying through the SEAS process do not require language test scores to be sent to the Board as these are included in the SEAS disposition letter.
Every occupational therapist practising in NL must have professional liability insurance coverage to a minimum of $5,000,000.00 with a legal expenses endorsement for investigation of complaints by a regulatory body prior to engaging in the practice of occupational therapy.
Professional liability insurance for OTs can be purchased through CAOT if you are a member of CAOT. See the CAOT website for more information. You may also purchase Professional liability insurance directly through an insurer such as AON Healthcare Advantage.
- An original insurance certificate if you have purchased professional liability insurance.
- Documentation may be uploaded with your application as a PDF.
The Board has an obligation to protect the public and needs to be satisfied that you do not pose a danger to clients. You are required to declare any of the following:
- Any disciplinary finding as an occupational therapist or in another profession in NL or anther jurisdiction.
- Conviction of a criminal, drug, or traffic offence, excluding minor traffic offences such as parking or speeding.
- Any finding of liability in a civil proceeding.
- If you are currently under criminal investigation or have a pending criminal or civil court date.
- A self-declaration made on your application form. If you answer yes to any of the declarations, the Board will ask you to send more information, such as a transcript of the criminal record. The Board will use this information to decide if you are eligible for registration and, if applicable, to determine if conditions should be imposed on your registration.
- A Regulatory History Report from each OT regulatory organization you have been registered or licensed with in the past 10 years. Complete the top part of the Regulatory History Form, send it to each of your previous regulatory or licensing organizations, and ask them to complete the form and forward it to the Board. If there is an area of concern identified by one of your previous regulators, you will be contacted by the Board. You will be asked to provide more information regarding the nature and timing of the offense or concern and how the issue has been managed or resolved. Your eligibility for registration will depend on the nature, timing and severity of the issue.
It is important that you practice occupational therapy in order to maintain your skills, and keep up-to-date with recent change in practice. Applicants require 600 hours in the past 3 years. This requirement is met if you have graduated from an occupational therapy program in the past 18 months.
- A self-declaration made on your application form which includes details of occupational therapy practice hours completed in the 5 years immediately preceding the application.
- A letter or record of employment from each of your employers in the past 5 years, stating that you were employed as an OT, your period of employment, and the hours you worked each year may be requested by the Registrar.
The annual registration fee is $360.00. Temporary License fee is $121.00. Payment may be made by cheque, credit card or money order, payable to the NLOTB, in Canadian funds.
4. Membership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Therapy Board
The Occupational Therapists Regulations Section 5(1)(e) requires membership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Occupational Therapists. NLOTB collects membership fees on behalf of NLAOT.
- Payment of NLAOT membership fee.
5. Membership with Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
The Occupational Therapists Regulations Section 5(1)(e) requires membership wwith the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.
- A copy of your membership card or membership verification email from CAOT is required.
6. Successful Completion of the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE)
The National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE) is a mandatory requirement of registration with the Board. The examination ensures that all individuals entering the profession of occupational therapy have met a minimum standard in the written application of academic knowledge and professional behavior. This exam is administered by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). You must apply to CAOT to write the NOTCE. Applicants requiring accommodations must submit a request in writing to CAOT; please see CAOT's Accommodation Policy for details.
There are resources to help you prepare to write the exam:
- The Occupational Therapy Exam and Practice Preparation Project (OTepp) offers on-line preparation modules.
- CAOT offers the Trial Occupational Therapy Exam Manual (TOTEM) and the Trial Occupational Therapy Exam (TOTE) to assist exam candidates with preparation for the exam.
Applicants are eligible to practice under supervision, while waiting to successfully complete the NOTCE, for a maximum period of one year. Applicants must provide evidence that they are scheduled to write the next sitting of the NOTCE.
- A copy of your exam result or certificate is required as evidence that you have successfully completed the exam. Documentation may be uploaded with your application as a PDF.
- If you have not successfully completed the examination you must provide proof that you are scheduled to write in the next sitting. If you intend to practice prior to receiving your exam results, you must also include a sponsorship form with your application.
You cannot begin working as an Occupational Therapist in Newfoundsland & Labrador until you have received notice from the Board that your application has been approved.
Completed Applications may require 10 business days to be processed.