elderly patient with occupational therapist The College’s Quality Assurance program supports occupational therapists (OTs) in the delivery of safe, effective, ethical care.

The QA program ensures continuing competence and quality care by requiring occupational therapists to:

The College is responsible for monitoring registrant compliance with the QA program and to follow-up with occupational therapists who require support. The focus of the QA program is to ensure the delivery of quality occupational therapy services through education, continuous quality improvement and remediation.

Why can’t you pause the QA program during the pandemic? How are you working with registrants to adjust requirements during these challenging times?

The QA program is one of the legal requirements of the College’s public protection mandate so it is not possible to stop the program. Reviewing registrant competency remains an important part of ensuring the public receives ethical, safe, and competent care from occupational therapists.

However, we are doing our best to implement the required programs while trying to be sensitive to the demands of registrants during these times.

When the pandemic started:

  • all pending Peer and Practice Assessments were put on hold or deferred, and no new registrants were selected to participate. 
  • deadlines for the other QA program requirements were extended to allow additional time for completion.

As the pandemic continues:

  • for registrants in practice areas significantly impacted by the pandemic who have extenuating circumstances impacting their participation, extensions, deferrals, and accommodations are considered.
  • Peer and Practice Assessments (PPA) are now conducted virtually and the program resumed in November 2020. So far, the feedback has been positive. You can learn more about the PPA on the Competency Assessment page.

Why does the College have a QA program?

The Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 requires the College to have a Quality Assurance program to support its mandate to protect the public. The program measures knowledge and performance to ensure occupational therapists are meeting the Essential Competencies and the Standards of Practice.

Taking part in the QA program gives occupational therapists a chance to reflect on their practice. It helps them to focus on where they need to learn more to ensure they can provide safe, effective, ethical care.

The QA program supports occupational therapists with tools and feedback so that they can keep improving their skills.

Do occupational therapists have to take part in the QA program?

Yes. The law requires occupational therapists to take part in the College’s Quality Assurance (QA) program.

Occupational therapists must complete a QA declaration when they first register with the College and each year when they renew. The declaration means they understand and agree to comply with the QA program requirements.

What happens if occupational therapists do not meet the annual QA requirements?

When occupational therapists do not meet a due date for a single requirement of the QA program, the College will send them a letter informing them that they did not meet a mandatory requirement of the QA program. In this letter they will receive a warning that if this happens again, they will be referred to the Quality Assurance Committee.

Referral to the Quality Assurance Committee

Occupational therapists may be referred to the Quality Assurance Committee if:

  • They fail to complete one QA requirement in a given year without a valid reason
  • They fail to complete one QA requirement in consecutive years
  • They fail to complete two or more QA requirements in one year
  • They fail to complete a requirement in a satisfactory way in any given year
  • They have requested an extension or exemption again in following years after already receiving one or the reason for their request falls outside of what is listed on the Extension/Exemption Request Form
  • They fail to complete a QA requirement by a new due date as required by the Quality Assurance Committee
What the Quality Assurance Committee can decide

The committee makes its decisions based on the particular facts in each case. When an occupational therapist has failed to comply with an element of the QA program, the Committee may take any of the following actions, depending on how serious the case is:

  • Take no action
  • Grant or deny a request for an extension or exemption
  • Provide a written notice, which is a letter stating the occupational therapist is required to complete the outstanding requirement(s) by a new due date
  • Require the occupational therapist to take part in the Competency Assessment process (learn more about the upcoming competency assessment process here).
  • Ask the occupational therapist to sign a legal agreement to comply with their QA requirements
  • Require the occupational therapist to take part in a Peer and Practice Assessment
  • Refer the matter to the College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee
For more information view the Compliance with Quality Assurance Program Requirements policy.

To request an extension or exemption for your annual Quality Assurance Requirements, access the form here.

What does the QA program involve?

The QA program has three parts:

  1. Competency Enhancement (annual QA requirements)
  2. Competency Assessment
  3. Competency Improvement

QA Competency Table

Competency is a measurable pattern of knowledge, skills, judgement, and behaviour that an OT requires to perform their work successfully. Continuing competency is the process of refining one’s skills and knowledge through ongoing professional development.

Do you have more questions? Contact us:


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Click here for COTO staff directory.

QA Program Resources for Registrants: