Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant

Program: OPTA
Credential: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 4 Clinical Placements
Length: 4 Semesters
Duration: 2 Years
Effective: Fall 2017, Winter 2018
Location: Barrie


This program provides graduates 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. OTAs and PTAs work under the supervision of and in collaboration with occupational therapists and physiotherapists, respectively and assist these therapists to teach and enable clients to effectively cope with their limitations in movement, daily functioning, and activities whether temporary or permanent, during and following recovery. This program is a combination of practical and theoretical learning achieved through classroom, laboratory and field placements. To meet the needs of clients in agency and community settings, learning will take place with an inter-professional approach.

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.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • communicate appropriately and effectively, through verbal, nonverbal, written and electronic means, with clients, their families, and significant others, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, other health care providers, and others within the role of the therapist assistant;
  • participate in the effective functioning of interprofessional health care teams within the role of the therapist assistant;
  • establish, develop, maintain, and bring closure to client-centred, therapeutic relationships within the role of the therapist assistant;
  • ensure personal safety and contribute to the safety of others within the role of the therapist assistant;
  • practice competently in a legal, ethical, and professional manner within the role of the therapist assistant;
  • document and complete client records in a thorough, objective, accurate, and nonjudgmental manner within the role of the therapist assistant;
  • develop and implement strategies to maintain, improve, and promote professional competence within the role of the therapist assistant;
  • perform effectively within the roles and responsibilities of the therapist assistant through the application of relevant knowledge of health sciences, psychosociological sciences and health conditions;
  • perform functions common to both physiotherapy and occupational therapy practices that contribute to the development, implementation and modification of intervention/treatment plans, under the supervision of and in collaboration with the occupational therapist and/or physiotherapist;
  • enable the client’s occupational performance by contributing to the development, implementation, and modification of intervention/treatment plans, under the supervision of and in collaboration with the occupational therapist;
  • enable the client’s optimal physical function by contributing to the development, implementation, and modification of intervention/treatment plans, under the supervision of and in collaboration with the physiotherapist;
  • identify and implement environmentally-related initiatives relevant to the OTA and PTA profession;
  • apply basic entrepreneurial strategies to identify and respond to new opportunities.

External Recognition

The graduate of this program may choose to become an associate member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

The Program Progression

Fall Intake

  • Sem 1: Fall 2017
  • Sem 2: Winter 2018
  • Sem 3:: Fall 2018
  • Sem 4: Winter 2019

Winter Intake

  • Sem 1: Winter 2018
  • Sem 2: Summer 2018
  • Sem 3:: Fall 2018
  • Sem 4: Winter 2019


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at http://www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

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/policies-procedures/

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:

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.

Additional Information

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.

Graduation Requirements

19 Mandatory Courses
4 Clinical Placements
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.


Mandatory Courses
HUMD 2000Cognitive and Perceptual Impairment
OCPT 1004Introductory Rehabilitation Concepts
OCPT 1005Essentials of Client-centered Practice
OCPT 1006Treatment Techniques
OCPT 1007Treatment Fundamentals
OCPT 1008Clinical Anatomy and Physiology
OCPT 1009Human Movement Fundamentals
OCPT 1010Health Conditions 1
OCPT 1012Physiotherapy Treatment Principles
OCPT 1013Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
OCPT 1014Occupational Therapy Treatment Principles
OCPT 1015Occupational Therapy Treatment Techniques
OCPT 2006Health Conditions 2
OCPT 2008Advanced Physiotherapy Principles
OCPT 2009Advanced Physiotherapy Techniques
OCPT 2010Advanced Occupational Therapy (OT) Principles
OCPT 2011Advanced Occupational Therapy (OT) Techniques
OCPT 2014Lifespan Development
PSYL 2002Mental Health Challenges
Clinical Placement
OCPT 1016Introduction to Professional Practice
OCPT 2007Intermediate Clinical Practice
OCPT 2012Clinical Consolidation 1
OCPT 2013Clinical Consolidation 2
Communications Courses
Select 2 courses from the communications list during registration.
General Education Courses
Select 3 courses from the general education list during registration.

Information contained in College documents respecting programs is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. The college reserves the right to add or delete programs, options, courses, timetables or campus locations subject to sufficient enrolment, and the availability of courses.