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Become an OTA and PTA in complex health-care environments

Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Ontario College Diploma program

Become a dual-trained clinician. Placements in a variety of settings will prepare you for a rewarding career in health care.

Program code OPTA
Duration 2 Years
Credential Ontario College Diploma
Delivery Full-time

Program information

Program description

Students are provided with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to function competently in the role of an Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant (OTA and PTA) in a complex health care environment. They are prepared to work under the supervision of and in collaboration with occupational therapists and physiotherapists, and assist therapists to teach and enable clients to effectively cope with limitations in movement and daily functioning, whether temporary or permanent, during and following recovery. Students partake in a combination of practical and theoretical learning achieved through classroom, laboratory and field placements. Learning will take place with an inter-professional approach to meet the needs of clients in acute and community settings.

Intake information

Start date Campus
Fall 2022 Barrie
Winter 2023 Barrie

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

This program includes a clinical placement component where you will gain practical work experience under the supervision of a registered or licensed professional.

What are the admission requirements for the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program?

Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 biology (C or U) OR Grade 12 exercise science (U), or equivalent

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/

Pathways

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:
www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Admission details

Students must have an up-to-date immunization record in compliance with the Public Hospitals Act. Completion and submission of this record is required during registration in order to ensure your placement in clinical and field placement facilities. 

A Hepatitis B vaccination is required for your own safety. It may be obtained at a reduced cost through the student insurance plan.

Students are required to have Level HCP CPR and Standard First Aid during the first semester of the program (on-line courses are not acceptable). It is the student’s responsibility to renew their Level HCP CPR certification every two years while in the program. Students are asked to submit a copy of their current Level HCP CPR and Standard First Aid certificate to the appropriate contact during the first semester for the following semester when field placements take place. A printable permit with all requirements will be provided.

A record of mask fit test (will be done at the college in semester two), renewed every two years, is required prior to the start of placements. 

* Please note that due to the nature of this profession, OTAs and PTAs are required to tolerate regular physical activity during the course of their work day. It is recommended that you have a moderate level of fitness when entering the program.

Information about placement requirements

To help you navigate the requirements to complete the clinical placement component(s) of this program (e.g. immunization, First Aid and CPR, criminal record screening and other non-academic requirements), please review the details below.

For more information about placements, visit the Placement Offices webpage.

Placement requirementsGeorgian College Chevron

In order to provide quality practicum placements (“Placements”), students are placed in a variety of agencies, largely in the region serviced by the campus. Students are required to provide their own transportation to Placements. Placements may vary in length (e.g. six to 12 hour days) and may include weekends and evenings, with varying start and end times (e.g. day, afternoon, overnight).

Many programs, including Health and Wellness, have immunization, First Aid and CPR, criminal record screening and  other non-academic requirements that need to be met prior to Placements starting. You are responsible for carefully reviewing and meeting these requirements. The failure to meet them may mean that the host agency may refuse to accept you for a Placement or, if you have started one, that you may be prevented from continuing. The result may be that you cannot complete your program. Program-specific requirements can be found on page 2 of the Clinical Preparedness Permit specific to your program.

You are responsible for meeting all immunization, criminal screening and other requirements by the deadline provided by your program and before you start your Placement.

Notes regarding the Criminal Record Check (“CRC”) and Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS)

Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not yet pardoned or who have adverse entries on their CRC or VSS will be prohibited from proceeding to a Placement. Such a student will normally be counselled to withdraw from the program because the successful completion of a Placement is a program requirement.

Obtaining the CRC and VSS usually requires a processing time of up to 12 weeks and can vary between police jurisdictions. As some jurisdictions require longer lead time for processing, ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. Record checks and screenings conducted earlier than six months may not be considered current and not be acceptable. Refer to your Clinical Preparedness Permit for information regarding this. A host agency may refuse a Placement if the CRC or VSS is not satisfactory to it. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the necessary completed documents prior to the start of a Placement at the designated check time, and in the format set by Georgian College and stated in the Clinical Preparedness Permit Information Package. More information can be found on the Placement Offices webpage.

The costs associated with the provision of the CRC and VSS, anything related to them (including, if applicable, obtaining a pardon), and meeting any immunization and other Placement requirements, are to be borne by the student. The non-academic requirements of clinical agencies as described in the Clinical Preparedness Permit are subject to change at any time and host agencies may accept or decline students for any reason at their discretion. Georgian College  is not responsible for any of the costs associated with the foregoing, nor for the consequences of failing to comply with, any of the requirements set out above.  

What career paths can I take as a rehab assistant?

Your Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant diploma gives you many career opportunities

An OTA and PTA is a valued member of the Health Care Team. Graduates enter a dynamic and challenging career which offers opportunities in a variety of health and community settings including acute care, complex continuing care, mental health facilities, community agencies, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centres, vocational rehabilitation programs, sports clinics, children’s treatment centres, schools and private industry.

Accreditation

Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program

The Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Program at Georgian College has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was awarded to the program on April 30, 2018 for the period until April 30, 2024.

Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (226) 636-0632, www.otapta.ca.

What courses are included in the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant diploma program?

Course overview

19 Program Courses
4 Clinical Placements

2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program outline.

  • OCPT 1004 – Introductory Rehabilitation Concepts
  • OCPT 1005 – Essentials of Client-centered Practice
  • OCPT 1006 – Treatment Techniques
  • OCPT 1007 – Treatment Fundamentals
  • OCPT 1008 – Clinical Anatomy and Physiology
  • OCPT 1017 – Human Movement Fundamentals
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

Do you have questions about Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant? Contact us!

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