Phase 2: Establishing Professional Eligibility

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

  1. Regulatory History Report (sent directly from previous regulators)
  2. National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE) results from CAOT or proof of application to write the NOTCE
  3. Criminal Record Check
  4. English language proficiency test scores
  5. Verification of hours of OT practice in the past 3 years (sent directly from each of your employers in the past 3 years)

You should complete this registration phase close to the time that you will begin to practise OT in Manitoba. Some of these documents are time-sensitive and may need to be resubmitted if your registration process is delayed.

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 arrange for your current regulator(s) to provide the Regulatory History Form to COTM. Past history will be provided as part of the LMSA package.

If there is an area of concern identified by your previous or current regulator(s), 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 cannot make this application until COTM has communicated your eligibility to CAOT to write the NOTCE.

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 proof that you have applied to CAOT to write the exam.

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.

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 others. A report of your criminal record check is required. It must also include, where available, a Vulnerable Sector Search. A Vulnerable Sector Search will determine the possible existence of a criminal record and/or report on any convictions for a sexual offense for which a pardon has been granted.

COTM recognizes that a criminal record check will be done as a requirement for immigration. If you are completing Phase 2 of the application process from outside of Canada or less than 6 months after your arrival in Canada, COTM will acknowledge that your criminal record has been checked recently, and no other report will be required. If you have been in Canada for longer than 6 months, a current criminal record check is required relevant to your time in Canada. You must sign a waiver so that the search results can be sent directly to COTM. 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.

COTM has registered with the Winnipeg Police Service for online notification of applicant results. Therefore, you may use the online Police Information Check System.

Evidence required

  • An original criminal record report that is less than 6 months old.

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.

English Language Proficiency

Health care in Manitoba is primarily delivered in English. It is critical that you be able to communicate with clients and other healthcare providers. You must be able to demonstrate the ability to read, write, listen to and speak English proficiently.  COTM requires proof of your English language proficiency if:

  • you completed the SEAS in French, or
  • you are eligible to apply under the LMSA and have not had to demonstrate language proficiency in another jurisdiction, or
  • you hold a university degree from a country that is not listed on COTM's English language proficiency test exemption list (see COTM Language Requirement FACTS sheet)

COTM may require proof of English language proficiency from any candidate who did not submit language test scores as part of the SEAS process.

Evidence required

The CanTEST is no longer administered after August 2021 with results no longer valid after August 2022. If you have a CanTEST result you should contact COTM. 

If you do not have the language proficiency required for the Register of Practising Members, you may be eligible for Provisional Registration as a Supervised Practice Candidate. You will be required to work with the supervision of an occupational therapist on the Register of Practising Members while you work on improving your English. You can do this for up to two years.

Currency: Hours of OT Practice

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

  • 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 currency requirement in the jurisdiction you are applying from, you will be considered to meet COTM's currency requirement for registration.

COTM will consider your recent completion of the ACOTRO SEAS program in determining if you meet the currency requirement.

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 meet the professional requirements will be provided with a letter stating that they meet the professional eligibility requirements for registration with COTM. This eligibility will be considered valid for a period of up to 6 months.