The profession of occupational therapists is regulated in
Canada. This means that it is illegal to practice the profession
or use the title of occupational therapist without being
registered as a full member in a provincial/territorial
These regulatory bodies are responsible for
setting the standards for entry into the profession and for
registering those who meet established standards of
qualifications and practice.
Once you know where you will settle and work, you should
contact the appropriate regulatory body for information on
Assessment of Qualification
Although the provincial regulatory bodies of occupational
therapists will provide information on how foreign credentials
are evaluated once you are in Canada, most are not set up to
assess foreign credentials before you arrive in Canada.
regulatory bodies have made arrangements with evaluation
services to perform the assessment of foreign credentials. You
need to contact the appropriate regulatory body of occupational
therapists directly to find out about assessment procedures.
These assessments are advisory only and do not guarantee
recognition of your qualifications for employment or
registration purposes in Canada.
Canadian Association of
CAOT welcomes applications for the Certification Exam from
graduates trained at accredited occupational therapy education
programs in Canada and from occupational therapists who have
graduated from international programs recognized by the World
Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). There is also an
application procedure for occupational therapists who have
graduated from international programs not recognized by the WFOT.
All applicants must complete an assessment as the first step in
the exam registration process. Graduates from occupational
therapy education programs recognized by the WFOT may apply
directly to CAOT through the "Application to Establish
Eligibility for the CAOT Certification Examination".
Applicants who are graduates of a program not recognized by the
WFOT will need to have an equivalency assessment conducted
before they can apply to write the CAOT Certification Exam.
Entry to practice as an occupational therapist in Canada is
regulated provincially. You will need to contact the provincial
regulatory organization in the province(s) you wish to work. The
provincial regulatory organization will provide you with the
requirements you will need to meet in order to practice within
CAOT Certification Exam
Graduates from occupational therapy education programs not
recognized by WFOT will need to have their qualifications
assessed before they can apply to write the CAOT Certification
Exam. Two assessments will need to be conducted.
Step 1 - IQAS Basic Assessment
As a graduate of a program not recognized by WFOT, you will
first need to have your qualifications reviewed through the Step
1 basic assessment. The Step 1 basic assessment is conducted by
the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) in
order to verify the authenticity of the academic documents
Step 2 - CAOT Assessment
The Step 2 CAOT assessment is conducted by the Canadian
Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) in order to ensure
that your academic qualifications are equivalent to the World
Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Minimum Standards
for the Education of Occupational Therapists.
Once the CAOT assessment has been completed, you will be sent
the assessment results by mail.
If your qualifications are
assessed as equivalent to the WFOT Minimum Standards you will be
given a “Statement of Candidacy” letter stating that you are
eligible to write the CAOT exam. This Statement of Candidacy
will be valid for a period of five (5) years from the date of
issue. You will then be able to register to write the CAOT
If your qualifications are not equivalent to the WFOT Minimum
Standards, you will be sent a copy of the assessment report. The
assessment report will provide you with more information on the
areas of concern or that need clarification. Options for a
reassessment will also be provided to you.