Phase 1: Establishing Academic Eligibility

COTM will not begin to examine your educational documents until all of the documents required in this phase are received.  You can do this phase before you arrive in Manitoba.

To establish academic eligibility, you must send COTM the following:

  • Completed, signed, and dated COTM Application for Registration form
  • Initial Application Fee in Canadian Funds (non-refundable) - see Annual Fee Schedule in Further Reading section
  • Current curriculum vitae (resume)
  • Proof of identification

Application For Registration and Initial Application Fee

The application form is a legal document. You must answer all sections completely and accurately. You may indicate on the application form that you are supplying documents for completion of Phase 1 only, however, in all cases, you must fill in all sections of the Application for Registration Form. This will give COTM an opportunity to review your overall application and identify any potential concerns.  The application form must be signed. You should make a copy for your own records.

Evidence required

  • Signed and completed Application for Registration Form
  • Initial application fee in Canadian Funds. This fee is non-refundable and can be paid by cash, cheque or Canadian money order payable to COTM. Please see Annual Fee Schedule in Further Reading.

Incomplete application forms will not be processed.


Proof of Identification

The name you provide in the “Name you use on your professional documents” box will be the name that is entered on the COTM register, and must be the same name by which your clients and colleagues will know you. Your registration card, certificate, and tax receipt and all correspondence from COTM will all be issued in this name.

Evidence required

  • Photo identification.  Examples are: birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, permanent resident card or citizenship card.  If there is no photograph in your personal identification, you must include a notarized passport size photograph. (This is a photograph certified by a notary public.)
  • If your name has changed, you must list all your previous names so your application can be processed properly.
  • If any of the documents in your application were issued under a previous name, you must include an official document (such as a marriage license) that verifies your name change.

Educational Equivalency

COTM must confirm that your education is substantially equivalent to that of an occupational therapist educated in Canada.

Substantially equivalent means that your qualifications and competence must be equivalent, but not identical, in all essential respects, to those of Canadian-educated occupational therapists.

To determine your academic equivalency, you must complete the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System, also known as SEAS SEAS – Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations ( SEAS is administed by the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulators (ACOTRO), this is a multi-part assessment consisting of the following steps (SEAS Steps – Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (

  • Academic Credential Assessment (ACA)
  • SEAS Language Readiness Assessment
  • Curriculum and Fieldwork - PSCA Review
  • Jurisprudence Knowledge Assessment Test (JKAT)
  • Competency Assessment Interview

It may take up to one year for you to complete the SEAS process. You will work through ACOTRO's SEAS program to apply, submit the payment and documents and complete the required tasks.

Evidence Required

  • You must submit your SEAS Determination Letter and Report. These documents will be provided to you by ACOTRO when you have completed the SEAS process.

What Happens Next

After receiving all of the information needed in Phase 1, COTM will confirm your academic eligibility in writing.

Your SEAS results are valid for a 3 year period.  You must complete your registration within that time or begin the academic eligibility process again. Further, it is recommended that you apply to COTM as soon as possible after completing SEAS as any delay in COTM registration will impact your ability to meet COTM's currency requirement (see Phase 2). 

If COTM does not grant you academic eligibility for practising registration, you will be provided with the reasons in writing. You will be instructed on how to appeal the decision or request that your application be reconsidered. Reconsideration may be granted if you can provide information that was not included with the original application.