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Notice: The Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Canada (2021) are now in effect.

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Contact  1-800-890-6570   info@coto.org
 

Maintaining Currency

Do I meet the currency requirement needed to renew?

Occupational therapists must have 600 practice hours in the past three years in order to maintain registration. For example:

  • If you work full-time: you will have accumulated at least 1700 hours in the last year (based on 37.5 hours/ week for 46 weeks/year).

  • If you work part-time in a half-time (.5) position: you will have accumulated at least 860 hours in the last year (based on 18.75 hours/week for 46 weeks/year).

  • If you work part-time and less than half-time but worked steadily in the past three years: you may also meet the requirement over three years (e.g., 6 hours/week for 46 weeks/year for 3 years is 828 hours).

What counts as practice hours?

Practice hours may include clinical and/or non-clinical work as outlined in the Essential Competencies of Practice For Occupational Therapists in Canada.

The College will consider hours spent in other activities that support continuing competence and the delivery of safe, effective and ethical care. These unpaid professional activity hours (such as professional development or participation in other unpaid professional activities) cannot be more than 25% of your declared hours.

However, practice hours and unpaid professional activity hours will only be accepted if they were obtained while the you held a certificate of registration to practise as an occupational therapist.

If you are practising in a non-clinical role, you must include the role in your employment profile at www. coto.org. If you are unsure what to select as your nature of practice, here are the definitions:

  • Primarily clinical practice: a clinical occupational therapists who uses occupational therapy knowledge and skills to provide direct service to clients/patients, including assessment, consultation and referral to other services.

  • Mixed nature: an occupational therapists with a mixed nature of practice has primarily a non-clinical nature of practice but provides direct service to clients as well.

  • Primarily non-clinical: a non-clinical occupational therapists who uses occupational therapy knowledge and skill, and does not provide direct service to clients. If you provide direct care to one or more clients then you do not fall into this category.

 

How should I use my professional title in these situations?

Job titles are often shared by individuals from different professions and are sometimes specific to an organization. By using the protected title together with a job title, the occupational therapist confirms their registration as an occupational therapist and their accountability to the College.

See Use of Title Quick Reference, 2017

What if I still don’t have 600 practice hours in the past three years?

If you do not meet the currency requirement you will receive a notice from the College asking for detailed information about your practice history. You will have 15 days to respond.

After reviewing the information, the Registrar will make a decision and notify you within 30 days. In some cases, you may be granted an extension.

For more information, please refer to the policy: Currency Requirement for Annual Renewal (8-50).