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Occupational Therapist Assistant / Physiotherapist Assistant

Algonquin College
Program overview
2 years
Diploma / certificate
Scholarships available

Start dates
September 2023

September 2024

September 2025
Algonquin College

About this program

Occupational Therapist Assistant / Physiotherapist Assistant

Choose a career in promoting health, restoring function and improving quality of life.

The two-year Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Ontario College Diploma program gives you the knowledge and skills to work under an Occupational Therapist and/or Physiotherapist. Occupational Therapist Assistants and Physiotherapist Assistants play a vital supporting role in the assessment, planning and implementation of therapeutic care for patients, with the goal of achieving functional independence and occupational performance. They help teach clients to cope with limits in movement, daily functioning and activities.

Through classroom theory, lab techniques, group work and practical experience, you prepare to work with patients coping with health limitations. During various clinical placements, you apply theory and knowledge while further developing your skills. With more than 600 hours of clinical placements during the program, you increase your understanding of the field and gain confidence assisting professional therapists in various healthcare facilities.

Admission requirements

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Enjoy the challenges of working with and accepting people of all ages and stages of development and of varying backgrounds.
  • Possess good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Function well in a team environment.
  • Possess strong problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Are able to effectively handle physically demanding situations.
  • Enjoy physical and hands-on work.

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics Grade 12 (MAP4C or equivalent).
  • Biology Grade 11 or 12.
  • All applicants must complete an assessment of their knowledge and skills through the Test Centre, and pay an exam fee. Results from the Algonquin College Health Program Admissions Test (AC-HPAT) will be utilized to establish minimum eligibility and applicant ranking. The AC-HPAT can only be written once per academic cycle. For further information on the HPAT and how to book your assessment, please visit Algonquin`s Test Centre.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency. Domestic applicants with international transcripts must be evaluated through the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) or World Education Services (WES).
  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with a minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening 20; Speaking 20; Writing 20.

International Applicants:

International applicants who meet the program eligibility requirements are required to complete preparatory courses (4-months in duration): Introduction to Canadian Health Studies (ICHS). Students who successfully complete the introduction will then proceed to their original health program of choice. The ICHS requires applicants to submit an academic IELTS score.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the college website.

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Program content

Level: 01

  • Interpersonal Communication Skills in Rehabilitation
  • Communications I
  • Environmental Citizenship
  • Rehabilitation and the Healthcare System
  • Rehabilitation Concepts Through the Lifespan
  • Introduction to Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology for Health Care
  • Choose one from equivalencies:
    • General Education Elective

Level: 02

  • OTA Therapeutic Skills: Musculoskeletal
  • PTA Therapeutic Skills: Musculoskeletal
  • Fundamentals of the Musculoskeletal System
  • Musculoskeletal Conditions
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Clinical Placement I
  • Seminar I

Level: 03

  • Ota and Pta Therapeutic Skills: Cardiorespiratory and Complex Condi
  • Cardiorespiratory and Complex Conditions
  • Fundamentals of the Cardiorespiratory System
  • Concepts in Mental Health
  • Professional Practice in Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Placement II
  • Seminar II

Level: 04

  • Pta Therapeutic Skills: Neurological
  • Ota Therapeutic Skills: Neurological
  • Fundamentals of Neurological Structures
  • Communication and Function
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Clinical Placement III
  • Seminar III

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the college website for more information.


For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 


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, 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 apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Career paths

Graduates may find employment as an assistant to an occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

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About this institute

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op.  With more than 300 programs, including degrees and graduate certificates, we have the...

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Why study at Algonquin College

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Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario

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