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Overseas Occupational Therapy Career

Occupational Therapist Jobs and
Career in Australia

Australia has a federal system of government and is divided into six States and two Territories. As in most countries, the practice of a profession in Australia requires evidence of an appropriate level of education and practical skills. Each Australian State and Territory has separate legislation covering the recognition of occupational therapy qualifications.

The steps that you will need to take to obtain recognition as an occupational therapist in Australia are explained below in Entry of Overseas Qualified Occupational Therapists into the Profession in Australia.

The Council of Occupational Therapists Registration Boards (Australia and New Zealand) Inc (COTRB) is the body responsible for assessing occupational therapy qualifications for recognition in Australia.

At present, occupational therapists must be registered to practise in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Registration is through the local registration board.

If you hold overseas qualifications, you will need to apply for recognition of your qualifications by the Council of Occupational Therapists Registration Boards (Australia and New Zealand) Inc. (COTRB) to enable you to become eligible for limited/conditional registration.

After your arrival in Australia you will also be required to undertake a practice audit in the course of your first year of employment or self-employment as an occupational therapist.

The Overseas Qualifications Assessment Committee (OQAC) of COTRB will administer both the assessment of qualifications and the practice audit procedures. On successful completion of the practice audit you will be issued with a certificate of professional competency by COTRB. This must be presented to the relevant registration board before full registration is granted.

Registration is not required in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria or the Australian Capital Territory. However, if you want to work as an occupational therapist in a government-funded agency, for example, a public hospital or a community health centre, you are usually expected to have qualifications acceptable to OT AUSTRALIA.

OT AUSTRALIA is the professional association for occupational therapists in Australia. Initial membership of OT AUSTRALIA requires recognition of your qualifications by COTRB.

If you live overseas and are an occupational therapist and you intend to migrate and work in this profession in Australia, you should first contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

If you are already in Australia but need a skills assessment to support an application to change your immigration status, you should seek the advice of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) in your State or Territory.

If you live in Australia and hold occupational therapy qualifications gained overseas you may, if you wish, apply to the Council of Occupational Therapists Registration Boards (Australia and New Zealand) Inc (COTRB) for recognition of your qualifications in Australia.

The Overseas Qualifications Assessment Committee (OQAC) of COTRB is responsible for the administration of the assessment procedures and will liaise with Registration Boards, OT AUSTRALIA and others as required.

The OQAC of COTRB assesses your eligibility by checking that you are recognised as an occupational therapist in your country of origin or education, and that your professional education is of a standard that would adequately prepare you for practice in Australia.

If your qualifications are assessed as suitable for recognition in Australia, you will receive an official letter from COTRB that entitles you to apply to migrate to Australia under the General Skilled Migration category of occupational therapist.

The official letter also entitles you to apply for registration in relevant Australian States and Territories and/or to apply for membership of OT AUSTRALIA. On receipt of your application, the registration boards will grant conditional registration and will require a period of audited practice during your first year of practice in Australia.

On successful completion of the practice audit you will be issued with a Certificate of Practical Completion by COTRB. This must be presented to the relevant registration board before full registration is granted and/or to OT AUSTRALIA for renewal of membership.

In the following pages, you will find brief information useful to overseas occupational therapists that want to work in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

The complete details can be found in 'Your Complete Guide to Overseas Occupational Therapy Career.'

It is a downloadable eBook. It is not available in paper format.

Information for overseas Occupational Therapists:

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