Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists


International Graduates

As of May 1, 2015, occupational therapists who have completed their OT education outside of Canada – including Canadians who travelled outside Canada for their OT education – and who want to register for practice anywhere in Canada (except Quebec), must first apply to the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO) to complete a new assessment process called the Substantial Equivalency Assessment System (SEAS). The process has several steps and associated fees. 

Once applicants have been assessed through SEAS, they can apply to a Canadian provincial occupational therapy regulatory body for registration.  In other words, SEAS will be the first step in the registration process for anyone educated outside of Canada.

What is SEAS?

SEAS is an assessment process to determine the extent to which an internationally-educated occupational therapist's (IEOT’s) educational qualifications and competencies are substantially equivalent to those of a Canadian-educated occupational therapist.  SEAS is a multi-stage assessment approach that:

  • examines the education that IEOTs originally completed
  • allows IEOTs to demonstrate what they know and can do, and
  • ensures IEOTs are familiar with the Canadian legislation, ethics and standards of practice that comprise the framework for occupational therapy practice in Canada.

SEAS has four main components:

  • Review of the Academic Credential Assessment (ACA)
  • Profession-specific Credential Assessment (PSCA)
  • Jurisprudence Knowledge Assessment Test (JKAT)
  • Competency Assessment

As part of SEAS, all internationally-educated occupational therapists will also be required to demonstrate a minimum level of language proficiency, based on a standard upon which all ACOTRO members have agreed.  

Please note: Internationally-educated occupational therapists who have applied for registration with a Canadian provincial regulator prior to May 1, 2015 may not be affected by SEAS.  If they have applied by May 1, 2015, they will have one year from their application date within which to complete their registration process under the current system. Any applicants who do not complete their registration within that one-year period must apply to ACOTRO to complete the new assessment process.  Current applicants should contact the provincial regulator to which they applied for more information on the status of their current application. 

For more information about the new assessment process, please visit ACOTRO at:


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