Preparing for Registration in Manitoba
This section focuses on resources that will help you learn about and prepare for occupational therapy practice in Canada and specifically in Manitoba.
You will find national as well as provincial resources to help with:
- understanding the practice of occupational therapy in Canada
- immigrating to Manitoba
- accessing financial assistance to help with the registration process
Occupational Therapy in Manitoba
In Manitoba, the regulatory organization for occupational therapy is the College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba (COTM).
In Canada, occupational therapy is a regulated profession. The government of each province gives the occupational therapy profession the right and the responsibility to govern itself through a provincial regulatory organization. The regulatory organizations are called occupational therapy colleges, associations or boards.
Occupational Therapy in Canada
There are several national occupational therapy organizations with on-line resources that provide information about the practice of occupational therapy in Canada, the regulation of occupational therapy, and provide resources to facilitate registration and practice.
COTM is a member of the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO). The ACOTRO website provides regulatory information for each jurisdiction in Canada. ACOTRO has developed Essential Competencies of Practice for Occupational Therapists in Canada. This document lists and defines the essential skills for occupational therapists who practise in Canada. ACOTRO administers the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System (SEAS). This assessment is the first step for Internationally Educated Occupational Therapists wishing to become registered in Manitoba.
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) is the national professional organization for occupational therapists in Canada. This site has information about professional practice, evidence-based practice, education opportunities, career postings and national OT news. If you are a member of CAOT, it also offers networking with other OTs.
CAOT does not have a regulatory role. Membership in CAOT is not required for registration in Manitoba. CAOT developed and administers the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE). Passing this exam is a registration requirement in Manitoba.
Here are some other resources about the practice of occupational therapy in Manitoba and in Canada:
- COTM Code of Ethics
- CAOT About OT gives practical occupational therapy tips, strategies and stories about providing service to various clients and populations. It also gives general information about occupational therapy practice in Canada.
- Manitoba Society of Occupational Therapists has information about OT practice, member services and special interest groups in Manitoba.
Immigrating to Manitoba
IMPORTANT! COTM is not able to determine if you are eligible to immigrate to Manitoba. However, COTM is the only organization that can determine if you are eligible for registration as an occupational therapist in Manitoba, and therefore able to practise your profession in Manitoba.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is a good starting place to learn if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada or Manitoba.
You may be able to apply to immigrate directly to Manitoba through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. Visit www.immigratemanitoba.com to find information on this process. The Manitoba government will review your applcation to determine if your skills, field of education and experience are likely to allow you to be employable in Manitoba. If there is a shortage of occupational therapists in Manitoba at the time you apply, your application may be accepted by the provincial nominee program, and Manitoba Immigration will nominate you to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
You will need a temporary or permanent work visa before you can be employed in Manitoba.
Financial Information for Internationally Educated Professionals
The process of becoming registered to practice occupational therapy in Manitoba can be lengthy as well as expensive. There are some programs that provide financial assistance to internationally educated professionals who are seeking employment in Manitoba. These programs are funded by the Government of Manitoba. Learn more in this fact sheet from Immigrate Manitoba.
Employment Manitoba delivers a full range of employment and training services to residents of Manitoba. Internationally Educated Professionals in need of assistance to re-enter their professions may be eligible for financial supports to help pay for costs such as tuition, books and living expenses. To learn more about these supports and the eligibility requirements, please visit Manitoba Start at http://manitobastart.com.
Recognition Counts is a program that provides supports to skilled immigrants wishing to work in their fields of expertise in Manitoba. The program offers career and financial counselling, as well as the opportunity to apply for a loan of up to $15,000, to help with the costs associated with gaining employment in a profession or trade. To learn more visit www.recognitioncounts.ca.
Manitoba Student Aid
Manitoba Student Aid is a supplemental financial assistance program for Manitobans who do not have sufficient resources to pay for their post-secondary education on their own. They provide various types of funding on behalf of the Manitoba Student Aid Program and the Canada Student Loans and Grants Programs. This funding includes repayable government student loans and non-repayable grants and/or bursaries. All applications are assessed to determine eligibility and financial need. To learn more visit www.manitobastudentaid.ca.