Recognition of equivalence for internationally trained professionals

The following process applies if you would like to obtain recognition of equivalence of a degree granted outside Canada in order to practice as an occupational therapist in Quebec.

The process to recognize equivalence is based on the Regulation respecting equivalence standards for the issue of a permit by the Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec.

In this process, the Order examines the candidate’s degree and training so as to identify similarities and differences of your competencies with those expected of occupational therapists practicing in Quebec. If competencies that must be acquired are identified, bridge training will be required, which must be completed in order for the training equivalence to be recognized by the Order. It is only following the recognition of equivalence of your degree or your training that the Order will grant a licence.

Note that successful bridge training does not lead to obtaining a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.

For efficient planning

In order to plan your efforts efficiently and take into account the time and cost issues involved, please refer to the planning diagram.

Overall duration of the equivalence recognition process

The overall duration of the equivalency recognition process varies depending on the various steps that may apply.

If no bridge training is required by the admissions committee, the process may take approximately 3 months from the time you have provided all the required documents.

If a bridge training is required, then add the time it will take for this training to be completed as well as the delay for entering the program. For example :

  • A refresher training that would consist solely of an online course on the health and professional system in Quebec will take approximately 2 months to complete, for a total of approximately 5 months.
  • If more extensive refresher training is required, involving the completion of several courses, then consider adding between 1.5 and 3 years depending on the bridge training prescription that will apply to your situation. The overall duration of the equivalence recognition process would then be around 2 to 4 years, considering the delays in entering the program. 

In addition, if a candidate wishes to undergo a skills assessment to demonstrate his skills, approximately 3 months must be added to the overall duration.

Note that these times are indicative only.

Have questions? Contact us.

    • To obtain the occupational therapist licence from the Order

      You do not need to be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen to obtain an occupational therapist licence from the Order.

    • To access bridge training

      If the Order asks you to complete bridge training or clinical fieldwork and classroom training, you must have official proof of your right to work or study in Canada. It would be wise to request this as quickly as possible so as not to delay the beginning of the required training.

    • Tuition fees depend on immigration status

      Permanent residency or Canadian citizenship is not an admission requirement for the bridge training program. However, tuition fees are significantly higher if you do not have either of these legal statuses in Canada. 
      For further information please refer to (in French):

    • Access to free French courses

      Holders of a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ—Quebec selection certificate) are entitled to free French courses (online or in the classroom) via the ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI).

    Who should I contact?

    The immigration process must be done through the immigration authorities. The Order is not involved in this process and cannot answer your questions on this subject. For further information on the immigration process, please consult:

  1. Learning a language is a long and demanding process. The earlier you start, the better you will be equipped both to manage the requirements of having your equivalence recognized and to facilitate your immigration and integration into Quebec society.


    In the equivalence recognition process, it is important to have a good knowledge of the French language in order to:

    • Understand relevant documents (to be read or filled out) and information available on various websites;

    • Be able to demonstrate your competencies if an evaluation of occupational therapy competencies is done (note that this evaluation can however be completed in English); 

      The Order recommends Level 9 proficiency in French (advanced level) on the Immigration Department’s Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes du ministère de l’Immigration.

    • Be eligible for the bridge training program (Université de Montréal); 

      All applicants must demonstrate knowledge of the French language at the level that the University deems to be the minimum to join the program. Consequently, a score of at least 785/990 on the Test de français international (TFI), which represents an advanced level of French language proficiency, must be obtained;

    • Meet the language requirements to complete clinical fieldwork training in the Quebec health and social services network when required by the Order.

      In the network, it is mandatory to offer services in French. Some institutions in the network offer bilingual services, that is, in French and English.

    Francization Program
    of the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec (MIFI)

    MIFI helps people immigrating to Quebec to learn French by offering courses at all levels (beginners, intermediate and advanced) free of charge for CSQ holders.

    IMPORTANT: The MIFI Francization classroom courses lead to a level of knowledge of French that is sufficient to function in daily life (intermediate level). They are not sufficient to obtain the level recommended for an evaluation of occupational therapy competencies by the Order, for a bridge training program or for fieldwork. It is recommended that you have an advanced level of French language proficiency, including the professional vocabulary.

    To complete your learning up to an advanced level of French, it is possible to take advanced online courses from MIFI, or advanced courses at universities or language schools.

    To begin learning French while abroad

    The MIFI can offer financial assistance to immigrants who have taken French courses abroad with a MIFI partner after obtaining their CSQ. For more information, please see: French Courses Abroad | Gouvernement du Québec (


    Learn French | Gouvernement du Québec (

    LEARNING THE PROFESSIONAL VOCABULARY — Dictionaries and glossaries

    Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT): a bilingual index of occupational therapy terms is available


    Being assessed on your French language skills at various times throughout your learning will help you pinpoint skills needing improvement. If you are given the results of such assessments in writing, please attach a copy with your equivalence review application to the Order, to go on your application file.

    If your level of French language proficiency has not been evaluated, we recommend taking the Test de français international (TFI) as it enables you to see where you are situated in relation to the level required for admission to the bridge training program in occupational therapy, which is a score of at least 785/990 on the TFI. The test is available through ETS.


    Many documents pertaining to updating your knowledge in the field, whether as part of a university course or to practice the profession, are in English. It is therefore important to be able to read English easily enough to avoid this being an obstacle to learning during your studies or your practice. So you must be able to take the time required to attain a functional level of reading English.

    • FROM MIFI: Évaluation comparative des études effectuées hors du Québec

      The Évaluation comparative des études effectuées hors du Québec (Comparative evaluation for studies done outside Quebec) is a document issued by the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) that establishes a general comparison between two official educational systems. It indicates which Quebec academic benchmarks (or main diplomas) and areas of training are comparable to studies done outside Quebec.

      Submitting a request and document requirements

      Processing times

      Note there are significant processing times to obtain this document.

      Request for priority treatment

      If you would like the Order to send a letter to MIFI requesting priority treatment, contact

    • From your educational institution

      NOTE: Certain documents will be required by several organizations during your application process. You should therefore make sure you request a sufficient number of copies. For example, your degrees and academic transcripts will be required by MIFI and the Order. Document requirements may differ from one organization to another, including the method of transmission. Consequently, it is important to obtain information about requirements from each agency.

      Degree in Occupational Therapy 

      • Certified true copies of the degree
        A certified true copy is a copy of a document that has been certified by the issuer of the document as being identical to the original. Each page of the document must be so certified. The Order does not accept photocopies certified by an organization or person other than the document issuer. Do not send original documents unless the Order asks for them.

      • Official academic transcript
        Must be sent directly from the educational institution to the Order: Use the Transcript Request form (143 Ko).
        You must make arrangements with the issuing educational institution that they send your official academic transcript directly to the Order in a sealed envelope (with the official seal on the flap) bearing the official name of the institution.

        NOTE: Exceptionally, if the institution refuses to send us the transcript directly, you or someone you know can obtain them under the following conditions: the documents are given to you in a sealed envelope (with the official seal on the flap) bearing the official name of the institution. Do not open this envelope, otherwise the documents inside will lose their authenticity.

      • Detailed course descriptions pertaining to your degree in occupational therapy 
        The curriculum provided must correspond to the period in which you were registered in the program and must come from an official source:
        • They must include as much information as possible on course content, because we will be undertaking a comparison of content of your degree with that of Quebec university programs. For example, for a course about working with a particular clientele, we will need to have the course objectives, theoretical models or approaches, evaluation tools and methods, and the treatment modalities taught in the course;
        • References or bibliographies must be included, but do not need to be translated;
        • The number of theoretical and practical hours (e.g. laboratory) and internships as well as the scale used to calculate a credit or a unit depending on the nature of the course (theoretical, practical or fieldwork) must be indicated or obtained from the institution.
      • Detailed official certifications of successful completion of supervised clinical training 
        you must provide an official certificate from the educational institution or the authorizing organization attesting to the successful completion of each clinical training fieldwork experience, indicating:
        • Name and type of setting;
        • Description of activities carried out;
        • Clientele;
        • Location;
        • Duration (in hours);
        • The dates (from___ to ___ ).

      Master’s in Occupational Therapy: If your degree in occupational therapy is a Master’s, you must also provide documents related to the diploma that led to the Master’s program, including certified true copies of the diploma, official academic transcripts as well as detailed descriptions of required courses leading to your Master’s program that meet the same requirements as those for the occupational therapy degree.

      Any other diploma relevant to occupational therapy: you must also provide documents related to any other diploma including certified true copies of the diploma, official academic transcripts as well as detailed course descriptions that meet the same requirements as those for the occupational therapy degree.

    • From your employers

      You must provide official certificates attesting to your professional experience for each position you have held. These certificates must indicate:

      • The name of the place where you practiced;
      • A description of the functions and responsibilities held including the nature of services offered and the clientele served;
      • The number of hours worked and the period of employment (from ___ to ___).

    • From a regulatory body

      If you are, or have been, a member of a regulatory body in Quebec, Canada or elsewhere in the world you must have the Authorization for Release of Information (Regulatory History- 280 Ko) form filled out by each of these organizations. The first section will need to be completed by yourself, then you will need to forward the form to any regulatory body of which you are or have been a member. Subsequently, the regulatory body must return the completed form directly to the OEQ.

    • Translation of documents

      Submitted documents that are written in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by their translation into French or English. The translation must be certified as being true to the original by a translator who is:

      • A member of the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ); or
      • From the translation service of an embassy or consulate of the country or territory where the original document was issued; or
      • From the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Department of Justice of the country or territory where the original document was issued; or
      • From the translation office of the institution issuing the original document.

      REMINDER: It is not necessary to translate the references or bibliographies included in the course descriptions of your degrees.