Frequently Asked Questions – Assessment
To gain more information in relation to the Stage 1 and Stage 2 processes, please refer to the Stage 1 Explanatory Notes and Stage 2 Guidelines available in the “form” section of this website.
What is the Occupational Therapy Council (Australia & New Zealand) Ltd (OTC)?
The OTC, a not-for-profit organisation, has a three-fold function:
- the assessment of qualifications and skills of overseas-trained occupational therapists for the purpose of migration to Australia under the Department of Education and Training and Department of Immigration and Border Protection skilled migration program for the occupation of occupational therapist ANZSCO Code 252411;
- the assessment of qualifications and skills of overseas-trained occupational therapists for the purpose of registration to practise in Australia;
- the accreditation of occupational therapy programs in Australia.
How do I commence the process for registration in or migration to Australia?
You need to complete the Stage 1 desktop assessment and forward the form and required documentation in the mail to the OTC. The explanatory notes and application form are in the “forms” section of this website.
If you are an Australian-trained practitioner with a qualification that has been accredited for registration to practise in Australia, and you need the Stage 1 assessment for immigration purposes, you do not need to do the Stage 2 period of supervised practice.
Can I submit these documents via email?
As there is a requirement to provide certified copies of documents to accompany your application, you will need to forward these in the mail to:
PO Box 959
South Perth Western Australia 6951
Supplying all the necessary documents, with all copies certified appropriately with the correct fee in Australian dollars and drawn on an Australian bank will assist with reducing the assessment time. There is also a credit card payment form.
What if my qualification is not equivalent to an Australia bachelor degree?
It may be that you would need to do an approved conversion program in Australia to meet the equivalent of a Bachelor degree. These courses are provided at various universities around Australia. You would need to contact individual universities in Australia to source the most suitable.
What if my qualification was not accredited by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) at the time of graduation?
This would need to be assessed independently, and it may be a requirement that you undertake an approved conversion program in Australia to complement the program undertaken. You would need to check with relevant universities in Australia to suit your location and requirements.
What are the English language requirements?
High-level competence in English language is essential for the practice of occupational therapy in Australia. The practitioner must submit evidence to demonstrate sufficient English language skills to work as an occupational therapist in an English language environment. Practitioners applying for skilled migration or practice in Australia should read the Stage 1 explanatory notes (in the “forms” section our website) to seek clarification on the requirements.
How do I get my documents certified?
Documentation must be certified appropriately as true copies of the original by an appropriate person. In Australia, people who are authorised to certify copies are:
- Justices of the Peace (JP).
- Legal practitioners (lawyers/solicitors).
- Persons eligible to sign statutory declarations.
- Employees authorised by the OTC.
In countries outside Australia:
- Notary public.
- Registered legal practitioners.
- Australian Embassy or Australian High Commission personnel.
To have copies certified, the practitioner must present both the original and the copy to the person carrying out the certification.
Each copy of the document must be certified separately and must show clearly:
- the words “certified true copy of the original”
- the signature of the certifying officer; and
- the name, address, position and phone number (with international dialling codes) of the certifying officer legibly printed below the signature. It must be possible, from the details provided, for the OTC to contact the certifying officer if necessary.
If necessary, how do I get my documents translated?
If your qualification has been undertaken in a language other than English, please provide translation documentation to accompany that in the original language. Translation should be undertaken by an accredited NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translations and Interpreters Ltd) translator. Further information can be found on its website at www.naati.com.au.
What is a statement of service?
A statement of service is a mini CV (no more than two pages) to demonstrate you have been practising as an occupational therapist in the last five years.
If you are newly graduated (no more than three months) please indicate this on your application form for the desktop assessment.
What if I my application for the Stage 1 assessment is not approved?
There is an appeal process you can follow.
What is the Stage 2 period of supervised practice?
The Stage 2 period of supervised practice can be undertaken in a paid or voluntary capacity. It is for a minimum of six months’ full-time equivalent.
Who can be a supervisor?
The supervisor needs to be an occupational therapist with general unconditional registration with AHPRA (no conditions or notations on their registration).
- the supervisor needs to have at least two years’ occupational therapy experience and practice in Australia;
- previous supervision experience of either students or other occupational therapists;
- preferably have the same principal place of employment as the applicant to allow supervision and support as required.
What happens if I am offered a position to do my practice audit in a remote rural area where I am the only occupational therapist?
Prior to accepting the position, you would need to advise the OTC of the details of employment and provide evidence of how you would meet the supervision requirements, in particular the weekly face-to-face requirement for the first six weeks.
One of the ways to achieve this would be via video conferencing, and details of this would need to be provided and approved prior to commencement.
What constitutes full-time equivalent?
Full-time equivalent is based on 30 hours per week.
What do I do if my supervisor changes?
You need to advise us of the change within 24 hours, and provide us with a new supervision agreement for your new supervisor. You cannot commence supervision with the new supervisor until the agreement has been approved.
What do I do if my employment changes prior to completion of the practice audit?
You need to advise the OTC of this situation within 24 hours so a plan can be worked out on what documentation is required in relation to the position you will be vacating.
Prior to commencing your new position, you will need to provide the OTC with a new supervision agreement and within two weeks of commencing your new position, you will need to submit a new Stage 2 application and associated documents applicable to your new role.
What happens if I have nearly completed my practice audit and I change positions?
You will need to inform the OTC of your situation, and it will be assessed independently.
What happens if I do not get a favourable assessment from my supervisor at the conclusion of the practice audit period?
There is an appeals process you can commence.
Whilst doing the practice audit, am I able to supervise other occupational therapists?
During the period of supervision, it is not appropriate for you to have supervisory responsibilities of other occupational therapy staff or students for the first six (6) weeks of the period of supervised practice. Following this period, the supervisor needs to contact the OTC to request you be allowed to undertake supervision of others and should support such a request with confirmation of your competence thus far.
Am I able to accept a non-clinical role to do my practice audit?
Yes, you are able to do this.