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January 2024: Advertising with Testimonials and Google Reviews 

Question: I understand that client testimonials are not allowed when advertising occupational therapy services, but what about Google reviews?

Answer: Occupational therapists are required to follow the Ontario Regulation 226/96: General – Part V, Advertising to ensure that advertising approaches are honest, truthful, transparent, and professional. The advertising regulation supports the public in making informed choices about their occupational therapy services.

The regulation does not permit the use of client testimonials.

Testimonials are not permitted because they reflect one person’s subjective experience (often positive) that supports the performance or quality of a registrant, product or service. Testimonials are chosen by the registrant or employer who has control over the content and how it is presented to the public. As such, testimonials may be unreliable, biased and can be misleading to the public.

What is the difference between a testimonial and a review?

The College’s position is that reviews differ from testimonials because they are managed by independent third parties with no relationship to the registrant or employer (for example, Google or Yelp reviews). Reviews managed by third party websites are not chosen, controlled or influenced by the occupational therapist or employer.

As such, reviews are not considered a part of an occupational therapist’s advertising.

However, occupational therapists must ensure that their advertising does not include, point to or solicit reviews. The public decides whether to participate in third party review sites of their own free will.

Question: What should I do if my company asks me to solicit Google reviews about my occupational therapy service? It seems that other health professionals in the company are doing so.

Answer: Occupational therapists are responsible for informing their employer about the advertising regulation and take reasonable steps to ensure the advertising about the occupational therapist and service meets College expectations. There may be different regulatory requirements for other health professionals. Occupational therapists are encouraged to work with the employer to develop advertising policies and explore available options that meets the needs and expectations of all parties involved. 

Related Resources:

Ontario Regulation 226/96: General – Part V, Advertising

Advertising in Occupational Therapy Practice (

For any questions, please contact our Practice Resource Service at 1-800-890-6570 ext. 240 or [email protected].

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