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 2024, Winter 2025
Location: Barrie


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.

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:

  1. communicate appropriately and effectively, through verbal, nonverbal, written and electronic means, with clients, their significant others, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and members of the interdisciplinary health care team and others;
  2. participate in the effective functioning of interdisciplinary health care teams to optimize client physical and occupational functions;
  3. establish, develop, maintain, and conclude client-centred, therapeutic relationships;
  4. promote a safe environment that prevents or minimizes potential physical or mental harm to the client, therapist assistant and others;
  5. practice in a legal, ethical, and professional manner within the role of a therapist assistant;
  6. document client records in a thorough, objective, accurate, and timely manner within the role of the therapist assistant;
  7. engage in reflective practice and ongoing professional development activities to maintain and enhance competence;
  8. perform the roles and responsibilities of the therapist assistant effectively through the application of relevant knowledge of health sciences, psychosocial sciences, health conditions, resource management, and clinical procedures;
  9. contribute to the occupational therapist's or physiotherapist's assessment of the client and the development, implementation and modification of intervention/treatment plans;
  10. maximize the client’s occupational performance by accurately and safely implementing the interventions, and related tasks under the direction and supervision of the occupational therapist;
  11. maximize the client’s physical function by accurately and safely implementing the interventions, and related tasks under the direction and supervision of the physiotherapist;
  12. identify and implement environmentally-related initiatives relevant to the OTA and PTA profession;
  13. 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.

Program Progression 

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Fall Intake

  • Sem 1: Fall 2024
  • Sem 2: Winter 2025
  • Sem 3:: Fall 2025
  • Sem 4: Winter 2026

Winter Intake

  • Sem 1: Winter 2025
  • Sem 2: Summer 2025
  • Sem 3:: Fall 2025
  • Sem 4: Winter 2026


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 https://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/academic-regulations/

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 for Prior Learning 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 Program 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.

Program Tracking 

The following reflects the planned course sequence for full-time offerings of the Fall intake of the program. Where more  than one intake is offered  contact the program co-ordinator for the program tracking.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
OCPT 1004 Introductory Rehabilitation Concepts 28
OCPT 1005 Essentials of Client-centered Practice 28
OCPT 1006 Treatment Techniques 28
OCPT 1007 Treatment Fundamentals 28
OCPT 1008 Clinical Anatomy and Physiology 42
OCPT 1017 Human Movement Fundamentals 56
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses  
OCPT 1010 Health Conditions 1 56
OCPT 1012 Physiotherapy Treatment Principles 28
OCPT 1013 Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques 28
OCPT 1014 Occupational Therapy Treatment Principles 28
OCPT 1015 Occupational Therapy Treatment Techniques 28
OCPT 1018 Lifespan Development 42
Clinical Placement  
OCPT 1016 Introduction to Professional Practice 178
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
Semester 3
Program Courses  
HUMD 2000 Cognitive and Perceptual Impairment 28
OCPT 2006 Health Conditions 2 56
OCPT 2008 Advanced Physiotherapy Principles 28
OCPT 2009 Advanced Physiotherapy Techniques 28
OCPT 2010 Advanced Occupational Therapy (OT) Principles 28
OCPT 2011 Advanced Occupational Therapy (OT) Techniques 28
PSYL 2002 Mental Health Challenges 42
Clinical Placement  
OCPT 2007 Intermediate Clinical Practice 157
Semester 4
Clinical Placements  
OCPT 2012 Clinical Consolidation 1 150
OCPT 2013 Clinical Consolidation 2 180
General Education Courses  
Select 2 courses from the general education list during registration. 84
 Total Hours1533

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of two years (as stated above) may take a maximum of four years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Disclaimer: The information in this document 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. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

use +/- to expand menu options