The organization providing certification of occupational therapists is the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT).
NBCOT, which certifies occupational therapists for practicing their profession, continually reviews its certification process to reflect current practice standards and new research in the field while also working with state regulators charged with overseeing practitioners. NBCOT provides them with information on credentials and professional conduct, as well as regulatory and certification renewal issues.
When taking the exam, candidates should arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before the test to complete the necessary registration process. They must present two types of identification. The acceptable types of primary identification include a state driver’s license, a military ID card, a state ID card, a passport, a state driver’s permit, or a green card (permanent resident), and the first and last name on all forms of identification must be the same as those on the authorization to test (ATT) letter, submitted in advance. At least one photo ID with a legible signature is required. Secondary identification can include a current major credit card with an expiration date, an ATM card, an employee ID card, a voter registration card or letter, a student ID card, or a current green card of permanent status.
NBCOT’s certification examination dates for 2011, for example, were scheduled as follows: March 2 and 16, April 6 and 20, May 4 and 18. The annual blackout period was December 16, 2011 to January 2, 2012.
Scoring the NBCOT exams can take up to four weeks, but the board makes unofficial pass or fail results available online on the next business day after the scoring date or as soon as possible thereafter.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) also offers graduates of occupational therapy schools national certification. Application requirements include:
- Professional degree or equivalent in occupational therapy.
- Certification or licensing by an AOTA-recognized credentialing or regulatory body.
- A minimum of five years of practice as an occupational therapist.
- A minimum of 5,000 hours of experience as an occupational therapist in the certification area within the past five calendar years.
- Employment verification as a practicing occupational therapist.