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Provisional Registration

Provisional registration may be issued to applicants who are waiting to write the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE).

To be eligible for provisional registration, applicants must meet all other registration requirements and must:

  • be registered for the next available sitting of the NOTCE;
  • have an offer of employment where they will be supervised by an occupational therapist (OT) who has held general registration for at least one year;
  • submit a completed Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement  (English | French); and
  • successfully complete the examination within the specified timeframe.

Application and Registration Requirements

Applicants for provisional registration must meet all registration requirements (except completion of the NOTCE).

To view the registration requirements that pertain to you, please select the appropriate category below:

If you are ready, apply for registration

Applications can be submitted to the College before you meet all requirements, such as securing employment or obtaining a vulnerable sector check, however, your registration will not be issued until all requirements are met.

You may not work as an occupational therapist (OT), use the title occupational therapist or OT, or hold yourself out to be an OT until you are registered with the College. Working as an OT includes participating in orientation or training at the workplace. Submitting your application does not mean you are registered and does not guarantee registration with the College.

You will receive an email from the College confirming your registration once it is complete. You are not considered registered until you have received written confirmation of registration from the College and have been assigned a registration number.

Listen to our podcast on Provisional Registration where we answer commonly asked questions about provisional registration.



National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE) Information

The approved exam is the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE or ‘the exam’) administered by the Canadian Association of Occupation Therapists (CAOT). View our National Exam webpage for key information. Full details are on the CAOT’s NOTCE website at

Provisional registration with the College is valid up to 60 days following the exam. Upon receipt of successful exam completion from CAOT, the College will issue general registration to the provisional occupational therapist and supervision will no longer be required.

If the provisional occupational therapist is unsuccessful at the exam, a new Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement (English | French) must be submitted to the College.

If approved, provisional registration will be extended up to 60 days after the next exam date. If the provisional occupational therapist’s employer decides to terminate the employment relationship or the term of the employment contract ends, the provisional registration automatically expires.

If the provisional registrant is unsuccessful at their second attempt at the exam, provisional registration will automatically expire.

Expired registration means the person is no longer permitted to practice as a provisional occupational therapist.

Employment Resources

The following websites may be helpful in your job search:

Remember: When applying for jobs it is illegal to call yourself an OT or use the OT title if you are not yet registered with the College. You can let potential employers know if you have an application in process with the College. You are welcome to share this web page with potential employers and they can contact the College if they have further questions. 

Supervision Information

The College requires provisional OTs to work under supervision. All supervisors must hold general registration with the College and have a minimum of one year of practice experience in Ontario. Potential supervisors may refer to the Policy on Approval of Supervisors and Other Agents of the College to ensure eligibility to act as a supervisor.

The Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement form (English | French) must be signed by the supervising OT, the employer, and the applicant for provisional registration and returned to the College for approval at least one week prior to the proposed employment start date.

The Provisional Registration Supervision Plan template (English | French) must be used to facilitate the supervision process. A copy of this plan should be maintained for the duration of the placement.

The supervisor will be expected to meet with the provisional OT on a regular basis to provide support and direction as needed. For additional information about the accountabilities and expectations of the supervision process, please refer to the Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement form (English | French) and the Provisional Registration Supervision Plan (English | French).

The provisional OT is accountable for their own practice; the supervisor is only accountable for management of the supervision process and should maintain relevant records, including the Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement (English | French), the Provisional Registration Plan (English | French), and notes from weekly meetings. Client documentation does not require the co-signature of the supervisor.

Any concerns about the provisional OT’s performance should be brought to the attention of the employer and the College immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I attend job orientation or training before completing registration the College?
A: No. Applicants for provisional registration must receive written confirmation from the College and a registration number prior to commencing employment and/or orientation and training.

Q: An employer is interested in hiring me but there is no OT available to supervise. Can another health professional act as supervisor instead?
A: No, the supervisor must be an OT.

Q: Can I work for more than one employer as a provisional registrant?
A: If you will have more than one employer, you will need to find a supervisor at each place of employment and submit a Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement for each supervisor prior to starting employment.

Q: Can a new graduate be issued provisional registration prior to their grades being available if they are offered an OT job?
A: No. Prior to completing registration, the College must receive an affidavit from your school confirming that you will be graduating. After convocation, you must request an official final transcript be sent to the College.

Q: What title can a provisional registrant use?
A: Provisional and general registrants are permitted to use the title "occupational therapist", and the abbreviation "OT". Provisional and general registrants must use the designation OT Reg. (Ont .). For information about use of title, please see our Quick Reference to Use of Title, 2017.

Q: I am internationally educated and have completed the SEAS process. How do I get a letter of eligibility for the exam?
A: Please request for the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organization’s (ACOTRO) staff to send us your Substantial Equivalency Assessment System (SEAS) report once you are ready to apply. After receiving the SEAS report and your application to our College, we can confirm your eligibility for the exam with CAOT.

Q: What happens if I am issued provisional registration, but can no longer sit the next available exam?
A: Under exceptional circumstances (for example, a medical issue, death in the family or other significant hardship), provisional OTs may be granted a deferral. Requests for a deferral of the exam must be submitted in writing, prior to the exam, or within ten days following the exam. Evidence to support the request for deferral must be provided (for example, a doctor’s note). If a deferral is granted, provisional registration will be extended until sixty days following the next available exam and all other requirements will apply. Please view the policy: Examination Requirement (8-60).

Q: I already took the exam, but have not yet received my results, can I apply for provisional registration?
A: Yes. You are welcome to apply for provisional registration while you are waiting to receive your exam results.