Occupational therapy, the Order and the Law
The occupational therapy profession is regulated throughout Canada, and each province has its own professional regulatory body. To practice the profession in Quebec, you must be a member of the Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec (the Order). Under the Professional Code (a Quebec law), the Order is the body mandated to ensure protection of the public by overseeing the practice and competence of occupational therapists.
The Law states that any person who wishes to use the title “Occupational Therapist” or “ergothérapeute” in French or to engage in any professional activity restricted to occupational therapists must:
- be licensed by the Order, and
- be entered on the Roll of the Order.
Only registration on the Roll of the Order gives you the right to use the title of ergothérapeute or Occupational Therapist, the abbreviation “erg.”, or the initials “O.T.” or “O.T.R.” and to carry out the activities reserved under the Professional Code for occupational therapists. This means you cannot identify yourself as being an occupational therapist until you have obtained the right to practice the profession in Quebec through registration on the Roll of the Order. If you use the title of occupational therapist while you are not a member of the Order, you could be prosecuted for unauthorized use of the title.
Conditions required to obtain a license
- Hold a degree giving access to the license issued by the Order and recognized by the government (Sec. 1.07); or
- Have your degree or training recognized as equivalent in accordance with the Regulation respecting equivalence standards for the issue of a permit by the Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec; or
- Hold a legal authorization to practice the profession of occupational therapy outside Québec (member of a professional order/regulatory body from another Canadian province) under the terms of this regulation;
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of the French language, in accordance with Section 35 of the Charter of the French Language. The Québec Charter of the French Language establishes that the official language of the province of Quebec is French.
A person is deemed to have the appropriate knowledge of the French language if:
- she/he has received, full time, no less than three years of secondary or post-secondary instruction provided in French, or if
- she/he has passed the fourth or fifth year secondary level examinations in French as the first language, or if
- from and after the school year 1985-86, she/he obtained a secondary school certificate in Québec, or if
- she/he obtained a certificate issued by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), following the successful completion of the OQLF exam.
Obtaining a temporary license
The Order can issue a temporary license valid for a period of 1 year and renewable up to 3 times to a candidate graduating from outside Québec who is unable to provide proof of knowledge of the French language. For all the details relating to the temporary license and the French language examination from the Office québécois de la langue française, please consult this document.
The Admission Commissioner is an independent governmental entity attached to the Office des professions du Québec. The Commissioner is responsible by law for receiving and investigating any complaint from a person relating to admission to a profession. The recourse may be against the Order as well as other persons or organizations involved in the admission process. For more information