Skip to content

Notice: OTs, we welcome your input on COTO's strategic plan. Complete our registrant survey (English | French)

Close Notice
Contact  1-800-890-6570

Vulnerable Sector Checks

Every applicant (including former registrants) must submit the results of a current Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check to the College as part of their application. The College uses the results of the VS Check to verify information pertaining to offences; bail conditions or restrictions; and any other relevant conduct. The College’s mandate is public protection and VS Checks are an important step in the process to support that mandate.

Information for Applicants

Please contact your local police service for details on how to obtain a VS Check.
Special instructions for Toronto residents, Ottawa residents, and applicants residing outside of Canada are below. You are responsible for obtaining the correct type of check and paying all related fees. 

It may take 1 to 12 weeks or longer to receive the results of a VS Check from the police.
Each police service has different processing times. We suggest applying for the VS Check well in advance of your required registration date, but not more than 6 months before.

If the results of your VS Check are not ‘clear’, the Registrar will review the findings and determine whether there are concerns about your suitability to practice occupational therapy in Ontario. If there are concerns about your suitability to practice, your application may be referred to the College’s Registration Committee for review and decision. You will have the opportunity to provide details to the Committee and include any supporting documentation you feel is relevant.

For more information and possible outcomes, please see:

Vulnerable Sector Check Submission Information

  • The original results of the VS Check must be submitted to the College before completing registration. A link for you to submit VS Checks securely to the College will be provided upon receipt of your application. Note:

  • If your original results were issued electronically directly from the police, please forward the electronic version (e.g. website link or email) to

  • If your original results were issued as a paper hard copy from the police, please scan and submit a full and clear copy to the College. Ensure that all signatures and the police logo and any seals are visible. 

  • The VS Check must have been conducted within the 6 months before the date you complete registration with the College. If you do not register within 6 months of the date the results were issued by the police, you will be required to submit an updated VS Check.

  • The name(s) and date of birth on the VS Check must match the information we have on file for you. If the name on the VS Check is a name we don’t have on file for you, you must submit proof of the name change – for example a marriage certificate.

Toronto Applicants (Postal Code Begins with 'M')

Starting Tuesday, September 5, 2023 Vulnerable Sector (VS) Checks for residents of Toronto can be completed online.

If you live in Toronto (postal code begins with “M”), please visit the Toronto Police Service website for current steps to complete the Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check process.

Key Notes

  • Applicants can apply to Toronto Police Services (TPS) directly through the online Police Record Check process.
  • Police Record Check applicants will be able to complete the entire process online, improving response times and giving applicants the ability to track submissions.
  • Community agencies like COTO are no longer be responsible for verifying identification.
  • Applicants must apply using a unique code that COTO has been assigned by the Toronto Police Department.
  • Applicants can still apply in-person or by mail. You can contact the College at for the application form and further instructions.

Visit the Toronto Police Service website for more information and to apply.

Gatineau and Ottawa Applicants

The College is aware that the Gatineau Police Service and the Ottawa Police Service do not issue Level 3 (Vulnerable Sector Check) for the purposes of registration.

If you intend to request a police record check from either police service, please apply for a Level 2 (Criminal Records and Judicial Matters Check). Once you have applied for this check, please email for further steps as you will be required to complete an acknowledgement, declaration and undertaking with the College.

Applicants Outside of Canada

If you currently reside outside of Canada and are unable to obtain a VS Check, please contact the College at