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.

  1. Following recognition of the equivalence of your degree or your training, the Order may issue you with a regular licence or a temporary licence (if the French language requirements are not fulfilled). To obtain a licence, you must pay the required fees.

    Fees: $86.23 ($75 + $3.75 GST + $7.48 QST) (CAN), non-refundable.

    Warning: This procedure must be completed within three years of obtaining the recognition of equivalence. Otherwise, you will have to use a different procedure (application for a licence after more than three years). 

    • Regular license

      To obtain a regular licence, you must provide proof of working knowledge of the French language, in accordance with Section 35 of the Charter of the French Language.

      A person is deemed to have the appropriate knowledge if :

      • he has received, full time, no less than three years of secondary or post-secondary instruction provided in French; or if
      • 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, he obtains a secondary school certificate in Québec, or if
      • he has obtain a certificate issued by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) after successful completion of the OQLF exam, or hold a certificate defined as equivalent by regulation of the Government.
    • 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 Quebec 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.

  2. The licence to practice gives you the right to be entered on the Roll of the Order. Registration on the Roll requires the payment of annual dues. Unless you are entered on the Roll, you do not have the right to use the title of occupational therapist or to practice the activities reserved under the Professional Code for occupational therapists.

    Warning: If you are not entered on the Roll:

    • You cannot use the title of occupational therapist or allow yourself to be introduced or designated as such, nor give the impression that you are an occupational therapist;
    • You cannot carry out professional activities reserved for members of the Order.

    If you do so, you could be subject to criminal charges for unauthorized use of title or for illegal practice of activities reserved for occupational therapists by the Professional Code, which can lead to fines of $1,500 to $20,000. Your employer could also receive a fine. 

    For more information on registration on the Roll see : Mon inscription au Tableau de l'Ordre

    If you have any questions: contact us.