Return to Work

Occupational therapists who do not meet the College of Occupational Therapists’ currency hours requirement of 600 hours worked in the past 3 years will need to apply to the College to re-enter practice.  Re-entry programs prescribed by the College will be determined on an individual basis depending upon the applicant’s unique situation.  View more information on the College of Occupational Therapists’ re-entry to practice processes. 


  • Return to Work Research
    • Have you ever wondered what factors are supported by the research when developing your return to work program?  What really works? The Institute for Work and Health has done a systematic review of the research and narrowed it down... There are only 249 + factors found to impact Return To Work.  No wonder things get complex. There were Seven Principles that demonstrated strong evidence to impact the duration of disability.  Here is a link to the 2014 version of the Seven Principles.  
  • Occupational Therapy and Return to Work: A Systematic Literature Review
  • OSOT Memo - PL Insurance extended to Re-Entry or Internationally Educated OT Candidates - 2015 (pdf)
  • Tips for Finding a Re-entry to Practice Placement (pdf)
Additional strategies to support re-entry to OT Practice

  • Browse our website for information that relates to evolving policy and practice. Our news and events section on the homepage would be a place to start but jump into the Members Only section where our Teams have helped to create resources for various practice sectors.
  • Become familiar with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario's website and particularly their resource room resources - the standards of practice, guidelines, etc.  Completing past PREP (Prescribed Regulatory Education Program) modules would be a helpful way of refreshing on the core regulatory information that forms a framework for any therapists practice.
  • If there is a particular focus of practice to which you wish to return (i.e. mental health, pediatrics, older adults) you might wish to spend some time on the web searching for new literature in these areas.  Use of Google is not a bad a resource for a start.  Reviewing some of the current literature can be a good basis for interactions with mentors or professional advisors - you can talk about the pros and cons of a certain article, etc.  Use OSOT’s Finding Evidence for Your Practice webpage as a resource for more sources.
  • If there is a particular focus of practice that you wish to engage in, you might explore OSOT's OT Interest Group List which can be accessed in the Members' Only section of our website.  See our Networking and Mentorship page.  You may find groups of OTs who link around a particular practice focus who may be an interesting group to link with.  Most groups either meet or have capacity to communicate location isn't always a factor.
  • Canadian OT’s new national resource and guideline for occupational therapy is CAOT's publication, Enabling Occupation II:  Advancing an occupational therapy vision for health, well-being and justice through occupation.  In terms of refreshing or preparing for the new language and models of thinking, this might be a good resource to access....either from a local health library or colleague or purchasing through CAOT (
  • CAOT's website is also a good resource to browse the emerging position statements and guidelines for practice.  OSOT, for example, endorses our national standards and guidelines so as to ensure that a common vision and platform for OT is supported.
  • Contact a university OT program for a reading list that supports their curriculum.  This might direct you to texts and articles that relate to your focus of interest and that are currently used for preparing entry level clinicians.  View a a listing of OT programs and contact information.
  • Seek a mentor - linking with a practising OT who is willing/able to provide mentorship and consultation may be a real advantage.  OSOT recruits members to self identify if they are willing to be contacted as a potential mentor.  Mentoring relationships can vary depending on the mentee's needs and the mentor's availability.  In some cases, mentees engage a contract or offer to pay someone for their assistance but not always.  OSOT has not set up a formal mentorship program to date but there are some resources from organizations that have that you might find of interest.  
    • For example, Mentorlink  describes a program in Australia.  The responsibilities and principles endorsed by participants in a mentoring relationship would be useful and relevant to any mentoring situation.  
    • OSOT can assist you to find a mentor.  Contact the OSOT Office to see if we can provide a self-identified member who would be willing to be contacted about mentoring.
  • The OT Examination and Practice Preparation program (OTEPP) may be a resource if you are feeling in need of more formalized re-orientation to the practice context and current theory and frameworks of practice.  This program is currently offered through McMaster University.  View for an overview of the program and curriculum.  Structured to enable classroom participation at McMaster University in Hamilton, the program is also offered in a distance based learning format over interactive internet services. Contact OTEPP through their website.
Supervised clinical practice – a refresher requirement – let OSOT be your resource!

The College will review applications for re-entry to practice and determine the length of a refresher supervised practice experience and whether or not an applicant must write the national certification exam.  Candidates will be provided with guidelines and resources for the requirements of the supervised practice experience they must undertake but it is the responsibility of the applicant to secure their own placement.

The Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists is not in a position to locate placements for re-entry candidates but we do offer consultation resources which may include;
  • Discussion of strategies to identify potential employment settings to approach for a re-entry placement
  • Discussion of organization and funding of OT services in Ontario if this is a need
  • Consultation re strategies to successfully promote oneself as a re-entry candidate
  • Access to group accident replacement insurance which may be required by potential placement sites
  • Access to other re-entry candidates who may be completing similar programs at the same time for the purposes of networking
Contact the OSOT Office if you wish to participant in a consultation session to address the above.