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Podcast: COTO On Topic #2 (August 28, 2018)

Provisional Registration: What You Need to Know

Episode Description: Did you know that applicants who have met all registration requirements and are just waiting to write the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam may be eligible for provisional registration with the College of Occupational Therapists?

Provisional registration allows you to practice occupational therapy under supervision while you're waiting to write the exam. In this episode, we address common questions about provisional registration – like what happens if you don't pass the exam – and share some tips and advice for applicants.

Podcast Transcript

David: Welcome back to another episode of COTO on Topic, I’m your host David Pham 


David: Did you know that applicants who have met all registration requirements and are just waiting to write the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam may be eligible for provisional registration?

Provisional registration is a type of registration issued by the College. It allows you to practice under supervision while you are waiting to write the exam.

To be eligible for provisional registration, you must meet all other registration requirements and must: be registered for the next available sitting of the exam; have an offer of employment where you will be supervised by an OT who has held general registration for at least one year; and submit a completed Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement form

Think you qualify? Visit the Applicants section of


David: Today, College Practice Advisor Sonia Mistry is back on the podcast again. Sonia welcome back.  

Sonia: Thanks, it’s great to be back.

David: Together Sonia and I will cover important information and answer some of the common questions about provisional registration we receive at the College.

Sonia, do you have any advice for anyone who’s interested in applying for provisional registration?

Sonia: If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to start the application process early! Once you submit your application it remains valid for 1 year, which gives you time to meet all the requirements.

Remember that submitting an application does not allow you to practice as an occupational therapist. You are not considered registered until you have received written confirmation of registration from the College and you have been assigned a registration number.

David: A frequent question we get asked is “What happens if I do not pass the exam?”

Sonia: If you do not pass the exam, you can apply to have your registration extended by submitting a new Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement form. Once that’s approved, your registration will be extended up to 60 days after the next exam date.

If you are unsuccessful on your second exam attempt, your provisional registration will automatically expire. An expired registration means you are no longer permitted to practice as a provisional OT.

David: Another question we get asked a lot is, “Can I attend my job orientation, if I haven’t been issued provisional registration?”

Sonia: The answer is “no.” You must receive written confirmation from the College and a registration number before commencing employment, orientation, or training. It is illegal to call yourself an OT, use the OT title, practise or hold yourself out as an OT in Ontario if you are not registered with the College.

David: We also receive a lot of inquiries from applicants who have already taken the exam but are unsure if they can apply for provisional registration because they haven’t received their exam results. Can these applicants apply?

Sonia: Applicants who have already taken the exam are eligible to apply for provisional registration while they wait for their exam results.

As a provisional OT, you need to be aware of the conditions of your registration. Being employed and having a supervisor are conditions of the registration. If for any reason your employment ends, or you no longer have a supervisor, you are obligated to inform the College.

David: Now let’s go over supervision. Sonia, what do applicants need to know about Provisional Registration and supervision?

Sonia: Provisional OTs are required to practice under the supervision of a supervisor. All supervisors must be fully registered with the College and have a minimum of one year of practice experience in Ontario.

The Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement form is available on the College website and must be signed and returned to the College for approval at least one week prior to your proposed employment start date.

It is important to keep in mind, that as a provisional OT you are accountable for your own practice. You are 100% accountable for the client care you provide, and your notes do not require the co-signature of your supervisor.

Your supervisor is accountable for management of the supervision process. They should maintain relevant records, including the Provisional Registration Supervision Agreement, the Provisional Registration Supervision Plan, and notes from any weekly meetings.

For more information about supervision and to download the supervision agreement form please visit our Provisional Registration page at

David: We hope you enjoyed today’s podcast and we always love hearing from you. If you have any questions or feedback, please give us a call at 1.800.890.6570 or email us at

You can also connect with us on social media, our Twitter handle is @CollegeofOTs. For more information please visit the College website at

On behalf of myself, Sonia, and everyone at the College, thank you for listening and see you next time.


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