If you are a graduate from a country other than New Zealand or
Australia, then the following rules and regulations apply to
you. The application process takes 8-12 weeks. That is the
minimum. In some cases, it may take many more weeks. As soon as
you have been granted provisional or full registration, you can
The Occupational Therapy Board is a statutory body
established under the Occupational Therapy Act 1949. The Board
administers all forms of occupational therapy registration.
Registration is a legal requirement for people wishing to call
themselves occupational therapists in New Zealand. The
Occupational Therapy Board is required by law to keep a Register
of Occupational Therapists.
Individual applications for New Zealand registration are
considered at a meeting of the Board. If registration is granted
the Board directs that the applicants name shall be entered in
By Law you must be registered with the New Zealand Occupational
Therapy Board before you can practice as an occupational
therapist in New Zealand.
All formalities must be completed before commencing practice. It
is an offence to practise without obtaining registration and may
result in legal action against the practitioner and the
The Board may register only those persons who meet the
requirements stated in the Occupational Therapy Act 1949. Each
application is considered individually and the Board reserves
the right to decline registration if the applicant's training
and experience do not meet requirements.
The initials NZROT (New Zealand Registered Occupational
Therapist) are used to denote registration.
As an occupational therapist educated overseas you may be
eligible for registration in New Zealand providing you fulfil the following
You are able to demonstrate functional proficiency in English
Your qualifications are eligible for registration
You are a person of good character and reputation
You are 20 years of age or more
English Language Proficiency
If your first or home language is not English, you must provide
proof of functional proficiency in written and spoken English.
The information provided with your application enables the Board
to determine whether or not your qualifications are sufficiently
similar in theory and practice aspects (including clinical
hours) to the occupational therapy curricula undertaken in New
After consideration your application is either approved and provisional registration issued, or
declined because it does not meet the requirements for New
Zealand registration, or
You are asked to sit an assessment (Registration Competency Examination) to determine your eligibility
When there is a reasonable expectation that the Board
will approve your registration at its next meeting, provisional
registration is granted to allow you to commence work. A
provisional certificate is usually issued for six months but may
be extended up to a year. You are not eligible to begin practising as qualified
occupational therapists until you hold a provisional
registration certificate. You may apply for jobs but must not
take them up or begin employment until provisional registration
After your registration has been approved by the Board at its
meeting, you are forwarded your registration details and an
invoice for an annual practicing certificate (APC).
If the Occupational Therapy Board declines your application
for registration you have the right to appeal that decision
under section 26 of the Occupational Therapy Act 1949.
The professional body for occupational therapists in New
Zealand is the New Zealand Association of Occupational
Therapists (Inc.) (NZAOT). Membership is voluntary.