Skip to content

Notice: The Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Canada (2021) are now in effect.

Close Notice
COTO Logo
Contact  1-800-890-6570   info@coto.org
 

Clinical Re-entry Placement: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This placement is similar to supervising a student. The Standards for the Supervision of Students (COTO, 2018) is a helpful resource.

The supervisor is fully accountable for the applicant’s practice. All relevant occupational therapy notes, charts and reports must be co-signed.

The supervisor also helps determine:

  • the applicant’s current level of competence with the client population, and
  • the level of independence that can safely be facilitated.

The College determines the required number of hours or clinical supervision for each applicant. It ranges from 150 to 600 hours and is based on the policy Currency Requirement for Applicants. The supervisor should agree upon the number of hours they are willing to supervise prior to beginning the placement.



No. The College does not arrange supervisors or placement settings. These are responsibilities of the applicant.

The College must approve the supervisor before the re-entry placement begins.



Applicants may change supervisors in rare circumstances. Applicants must contact the College staff person who is monitoring their contract to discuss the matter further.

If the practice supervisor changes during the supervision period, the College expects the new supervisor to continue to work on the approved learning contract.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to both parties to re-develop the learning contract. These changes need to be discussed with the College prior to renegotiating the contract.



Choosing the right practice supervisor is a crucial element of the placement. The applicant’s working relationship with the practice supervisor will have an impact on their ability to complete the learning contract successfully.

The College must approve the supervisor before the actual placement can start. Applicants should consider the following key questions, along with their own specific needs:

  • Does the potential practice supervisor meet the criteria established by the College?
  • What are the key components of the learning contract and will the potential practice supervisor be able to assist with them?
  • Does the potential practice supervisor have enough time to devote to their role in the program?
  • Is the potential practice supervisor supportive of continuing education and professional development?
  • Can this supervisory relationship help achieve success in meeting contract goals?
  • Based on my own experiences, do I feel  safe at work? Have I experienced discrimination, inequity, or oppression because of my social identities? Do I have a plan to manage these experiences if they occur with my clients, workplace, or colleagues?
  • Will my workplace support me in standing up for my human rights and those of my clients?


Consider contacting:

The professional associations are available as a resource only, it is up to the applicant to find an occupational therapist to act as a supervisor.

Applicants can also search for occupational therapists by location, language, client age range, and practice setting using our Public Register: Find an Occupational Therapist.

The organization where the supervisor works must agree to facilitate the placement.



The College does not require detailed notes of everything that occurs during the re-entry placement.

The applicant and supervisor may wish to keep a note of the dates that they met and anything that occurred which was “unusual”. This approach (charting by exception) will allow both parties to recall situations or events should they be asked to speak to the incidents later.



The College will:

  • determine the number of hours the applicant must complete
  • approve the supervisor before the placement can begin, this is done through the Practice Supervisor Agreement Form.
  • approve the learning contract, which must be submitted within one week of starting the placement.
  • confirm the applicant has successfully completed the refresher program.

Once the placement and learning contract are approved, it is expected that the applicant will make every attempt to meet the requirements of the contract.

If the applicant is unable to meet the requirements of the contract, their ability to register with the College may be impacted and they should contact the College to discuss this matter further.

The College is a resource for both the applicant and the supervisor during the re-entry placement. Questions or concerns that arise during the placement can be directed to the Manager, Registration at registration@coto.org.



Applicants will only engage with clients who have been assigned by their supervisor. The supervisor will obtain client consent for the applicant’s involvement.

When engaging in the consent process:

  • The applicant will need to inform each client of their status as a re-entry candidate to the profession.
  • All notes/charts/reports must be co-signed by the practice supervisor

Although the applicant cannot use the title occupational therapist, they may use the title and signature “Candidate Occupational Therapist” during this time.

The practice supervisor is accountable for client care.



You can submit a written request to extend the timeframe to complete the required hours. Each request will be determined on its own merits. Be sure to provide:

  • the reason(s) for your request, and
  • the estimated additional time that you require.


Applicants may be required by the placement setting to provide evidence of liability insurance and workers injury insurance. Professional liability insurance carried by the practice supervisor will likely provide coverage to the applicant.

Workers injury insurance can be obtained through the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT).



If the applicant is not able to meet objectives set out in the learning contract, the supervisor should:

  • identify the goals and objectives that are not being met and provide examples of the activities or
  • plans that were put in place to meet them;
  • indicate what they feel the applicant needs to do to meet the goals and objectives;
  • if appropriate, try to develop additional learning strategies with the applicant to assist them in meeting their goals and objectives.

If the supervisor believes there are other factors which are preventing the applicant from meeting the goals and objectives, it is necessary to review the learning contract and/or role in the supervision program. In this case, the supervisor should contact the College to discuss the matter further.



Supervisors may need to have other individuals assist during the re-entry placement. The supervisor should discuss this with the applicant prior to discussing it with the other individuals.

Although other individuals may assist during the placement, the supervisor is accountable to the College and who must be able to speak to the learning contract.