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Overseas Occupational Therapy Career

Occupational Therapist Jobs and
Career in Canada
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 regulatory body.

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 registration procedures.

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.

Some 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 Occupational Therapists

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 that province.

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 submitted.

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 Certification Exam.

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.

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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