Every applicant 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.

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 will 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 the College’s policies Criminal Record Screening of Applicants and Members (8-71) and Determining Suitability to Practise at Registration (8-72). 


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 application@coto.org
  • If your original results were issued as a paper hardcopy 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. 
  • Mailed original results are also accepted but this could lead to a delay as College mail is not being checked in office daily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • 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')

If you live in Toronto (postal code begins with ‘M’), you must contact us via email at application@coto.org to obtain the consent form for a VS Check.

You will be required to provide 2 pieces of government issued identification in order to confirm your identity. After completing the consent form, please visit the Toronto Police website for current steps to complete the VS Check process. 

Ottawa Applicants

The College is aware that the Ottawa Police Service does not issue Level 3 (Vulnerable Sector Check) for the purposes of registration. If you live in the City of Ottawa and intend to request for a police record check from the Ottawa Police Service, please apply for a Level 2 (Criminal Records and Judicial Matters Check). Once you have applied for this check, please email at application@coto.org for further steps as you will be required to complete an acknowledgment, 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 application@coto.org. You may choose to wait and obtain the VS Check once you are living in Canada if you will arrive before your application expires.