Phase 2: Establishing Professional Eligibility

To establish professional eligibility, you must send COTM the following items that apply to you: 

  1. Regulatory History Report (sent directly from previous regulators)
  2. Exam (NOTCE) results or evidence that you are scheduled to write the exam
  3. Criminal Record Check
  4. Verification of hours of OT practice in the past 3 years (sent directly from each of your employers in the past 3 years)

Some of these documents, such as the criminal record check, are valid for only 6 months; therefore you should complete this registration phase close to the time that you will begin to practise OT in Manitoba.  If your registration process is delayed longer than 6 months, you may have to send some of the time-sensitive documents again.

Regulatory History

COTM is required to check your regulatory history to ensure that there is no know reason why you should not be allowed to practise occupational therapy in Manitoba.

Evidence required

  • A Regulatory History Report from each OT regulatory organization you have been registered or licensed with in the past 5 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 COTM.
  • If you are applying under the LMSA (Labour Mobility Support Agreement), you need only send the Regulatory History Form to your current regulators. Past history will be provided as part of the LMSA package.

If there is an area of concern identified by one of your previous regulators, you will be contacted by COTM. 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.


National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE)

The National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE) is a mandatory requirement of registration with the College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba (COTM). 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) and is commonly referred to as the NOTCE. You must apply to CAOT to write the NOTCE.

The only exception to this requirement applies to applicants who:

  • were registered in another Canadian jurisdiction at a time when the NOTCE was not a requirement and
  • are eligible to apply under the LMSA (Labour Mobility Support Agreement)

There are resources to help you prepare to write the exam:

Evidence required

  • A copy of your exam result is required as evidence that you have successfully completed the exam.
  • If you are applying under the LMSA (Labour Mobility Support Agreement) your exam results will be forwarded by your previous regulator.
  • If you have not successfully completed the examination, you must provide evidence confirming you are approved and scheduled to write the examination. 

Applicants who have written and passed the exam may be eligible for registration on the Register of Practising Members.  If you are eligible to write the exam but have not written it yet, are waiting for your results, or you have failed the exam on one or two attempts, you  may be eligible for provisional registration, as an exam candidate and will be required to work with supervision. A failed attempt to write the exam will result in the need for an increased level of supervision. After three failed attempts to write the exam, registration will be revoked, and no practice is permissible until successful completion of the exam.

Criminal Record Check

COTM has an obligation to protect the public and needs to ensure that you are not likely to pose a risk to your clients. A report of your criminal record check is required. It must also include a Vulnerable Sector Search. A Vulnerable Sector Search will report on any convictions for a sexual offense for which a pardon has been granted.

You may apply to have a criminal record check done by the Winnipeg Police Service if you are a resident of Winnipeg, or by the RCMP in your community. You must sign a waiver so that the search results can be sent directly to COTM. If your name matches the name of someone who has a criminal record, finger print matching will be required before a criminal record report can be produced. This can be a very lengthy process. If you find yourself in this situation, you should contact COTM to discuss your options.

Evidence required

  • An original criminal record report that is less than 6 months old. When you apply for a criminal record check, you can sign a waiver so that the search results can be sent directly to COTM. 

If you have a criminal record, COTM will ask you to send more information, including a transcript of the criminal record. COTM 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.


It is important that you practise occupational therapy in order to maintain your skills, and keep up to date with recent change in practice. The requirements for current practice are:

  • graduation from an occupational therapy program within the past 12 months or
  • 600 hours of occupational therapy practice in the 3 years immediately prior to the date of your application.
  • If you are applying under the LMSA (Labour Mobility Support Agreement), (see Further Reading), and you meet the currancy requirement in the jurisdiction you are applying from, you will be considered to meet COTM's currency requirement for registration.

It is also important that you began practising occupational therapy within 12 months of graduation.

Evidence required

  • A letter, or record of employment, from each of your employers in the past 3 years, stating that you were employed as an OT, your period of employment, and the hours you worked each year. COTM must receive this documentation directly from your employers.

If you do not meet one of these currency requirements, you may be eligible for provisional registration while you complete a COTM re-entry program (supervised practice).

What Happens Next

Applicants for registration who do not meet the professional requirements to Phase 3 will be provided with a letter indicating what the next steps are to meet the requirements.  This eligibility will be considered valid for a period of up to 3 months.