Internationally Educated Occupational Therapist Credential Assessment and Education Bursary Program

A bursary is available to assist Internationally Educated Occupational Therapists (IEOTs) with the costs of becoming licensed to work in BC.

Health Match BC (HMBC), in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health (MoH), will support eligible IEOTs who want to work in BC by offering financial support to help pay for the credential assessment, English language proficiency testing, and eligible supplemental education. The bursary became available on January 15, 2024.  

In BC, occupational therapists (OTs) must be licensed by COTBC to practice as occupational therapists. For IEOTs, the process begins through ACOTRO, the national credentialing body. To become licensed in BC, IEOTs must first apply for ACOTRO’s SEAS Program. ACOTRO will use the SEAS Program to evaluate whether an IEOT’s educational qualifications and competencies are substantially equivalent to those of a Canadian-educated occupational therapist. 

Find out more about bursary eligibility requirements.

Visit ACOTRO for more resources.

FAQs on Proposed Occupational Therapy Regulation Amendments

The College published a new set of FAQs regarding the proposed amendments to the Occupational Therapists Regulation.

The FAQs respond to the following questions:

  • Why is the regulation changing?
  • Will the proposed changes to the regulation impact my scope of practice as an occupational therapist?
  • Will the scope of practice of occupational therapists working in mental health be affected if mental health (i.e., psychosocial) is not expressly referenced in the regulation’s definition of occupational therapy?
  • Is COTBC responding to the proposed Regulation?

If you have comments on the proposed regulation, we encourage you to respond to the Ministry of Health via

MoH Proposes Amendments to OT Regulation

The Ministry of Health is proposing amendments to the Physical Therapists Regulation, the Occupational Therapists Regulation, the Dietitians Regulation and the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Acupuncturists Regulation. 

The proposed amendments are intended to align each regulation better with the Health Professions Act model (a shared scope of practice and restricted activities). All revisions and amendments are determined by the Ministry of Health.

The Health Professions Act requires notice before proposed amendments can be enacted, and this notice period started on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

Proposed amendments to the Occupational Therapists Regulation are posted on the Ministry of Health website. The Ministry requests that comments on these proposed regulation amendments be submitted as soon as possible

By e-mail:

By mail: 

Professional Regulation and Oversight Branch
Health Sector Workforce and Beneficiary Services Division
Ministry of Health
1515 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC

2022-2023 AGM Q&A Follow Up

The College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia held its 2022-2023 annual general meeting via Zoom on Thursday, November 16, 2023You can listen to an audio recordingincluding answers to questions the College received in advance of the event.

Responses to questions posed during the virtual AGM are provided below.

“How have the clinical OTs represented in our current board sought to uphold the OT code of ethics principles of Informed Consent and Confidentiality in response to Bill 36 (which doesn’t uphold these principles)?”

As a Board member, my role in upholding the current code of ethics is to ensure that the College has the appropriate resources, including staff, to continue the work of protecting the public.

I support the ongoing work of the College staff to meet the goals identified in the strategic plan, which includes providing practice supports and ensuring a Quality Assurance Program is in place to support OTs who may need additional assistance to demonstrate competent practice.

The College operations under the amalgamated college will have to comply with the requirements of the Health Professions and Occupations Act (HPOA) once it is proclaimed in force; however, we do not see that the HPOA will diminish the importance of informed consent and patient confidentiality which are fundamental requirements for the protection of clients/patients.

– COTBC Board Member

 “You mentioned there would be webinars in the new year. Will these be on competencies content? Or on processes (such as about amalgamation, ACCR)? Thanks!”

Webinars will be provided on the changes to the ACCR, including the eLearning Module developed by the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO) to support registrants in implementing the Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Canada. The eLearning module will replace the Professional Performance Quiz in the 2024 ACCR.

Webinars may be provided on amalgamation. Updates are posted to the Amalgamation 2024 section.

“Will it be June 2024 or June 2025 that we must be vaccinated in order to be licensed to practice?” and “How does Bill 36 mention of vaccine requirements relate to the ACCR competencies to be eligible for licensing?”

Thank you for your questions regarding the HPOA. Based on the information available to us at this time, we understand that the HPOA will not be proclaimed in force and take effect until sometime in 2025. The College does not make policy decisions regarding the need for vaccination or impose requirements for it. Any direction for mandatory vaccination falls within the jurisdiction of the Provincial Chief Medical Officer and/or individual employers.

For your reference, please see the 2022-2023 Annual Report.

2023 AGM: Registration and Call for Questions

COTBC’s 2023 AGM will be held Thursday, November 16, 2023 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

This year’s AGM will be conducted virtually. Your questions are important to us and given the online format, participants will be able to observe the proceedings, and listen, but will not be able to talk directly to the presenters during the meeting itself.

The following is provided for your reference:

Your questions are important to us. If you wish to submit a question to be answered during the AGM, please email it to by November 7, at 5:00 pm, and enter ‘AGM 2023 Question’ in the subject line.

Questions will be themed and where possible, answered during a scheduled Q&A portion of the agenda.

To attend, please register at

Following the AGM, the College will upload a video of the proceedings to our website.

We hope to see you on Thursday, November 16, 2023 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.