Diploma in Occupational Therapy Assistant/Physiotherapy Assistant

Sault College

Program Description

Diploma in Occupational Therapy Assistant/Physiotherapy Assistant

Sault College

Diploma in Occupational Therapy Assistant/Physiotherapy Assistant

2 Years - 4 Semesters

Ontario College Diploma

Program Overview

With this program, you`ll help others develop skills and perform exercises that will both help strengthen and encourage your clients as they recover from an injury or accident or overcome a challenge.

As a student in the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Diploma program, you will gain hands on experience to help prepare you to work in both fields of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist and/or a Physiotherapist. In addition you will:

  • Learn to assist individuals regain or maintain independent function and mobility
  • Participate in introductory fieldwork activities beginning in the first semester and gain valuable training from experienced clinicians in the workplace
  • Experience student centered learning in active classrooms and small labs with individualized attention
  • Have the opportunity to transfer to other Universities to pursue a degree


The OTA/PTA Program will employ a multidisciplinary and student centered approach to the education and training of Occupational Therapist Assistants and Physiotherapist Assistants. In accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities program standards, the OTA/PTA program at Sault Colleges strives to ensure the graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. 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*
  2. Participate in the effective functioning of interprofessional health care teams within the role of the therapist assistant*
  3. Establish, develop, maintain, and bring closure to client-centred, therapeutic relationships within the role of the therapist assistant*
  4. Ensure personal safety and contribute to the safety of others within the role of the therapist assistant*
  5. Practice competently in a legal, ethical, and professional manner within the role of the therapist assistant*
  6. Document and complete client records in a thorough, objective, accurate, and nonjudgmental manner within the role of the therapist assistant*
  7. Develop and implement strategies to maintain, improve, and promote professional competence within the role of the therapist assistant*
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Enable the clients 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
  11. Enable the clients 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.


Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Program Standards (MTCU 51502), June 2008.

Where You'll Work

As a graduate, you may work as an Occupational Therapist Assistant, Physiotherapist Assistant and/or a Rehab Assistant in a variety of settings including: Acute Care Hospitals, Rehabilitation Hospitals, Children`s Rehabilitation Centers, Community Care (Home Care), Convalescent Care Facilities, Private Physiotherapy Clinics, Occupational Therapy Centers, Disability Management Services and Long Term Care Facilities.

In addition graduates have applied their knowledge and skills in other settings including: Health and Rehabilitation Equipment Vendors, Equipment Repairs, Chiropractic Clinics,Consumer Organizations (for example, Brain Injury Association,Arthitis Society of Canada, March of Dimes) and the Alzheimer`s Society.

Previous graduates of the Occupational Therapist Assistant / Physiotherapist Assistant Diploma program at Sault College have pursued the following University degrees:

  • Exercise Science - Lake Superior State University
  • Athletic Training - Lake Superior State University
  • Human Science - Athabasca University.
  • Gerontology - Laurentian University
  • BSc Physiotherapy Training - University of West England

All graduates are subject to the transfer and entrance requirements set out by each post-secondary institution.

What You'll Need

Ontario Secondary School diploma with Grade 12 English (C) ENG4C and Grade 11 Biology (SBI3C), or mature student status.

What We Recommend

While you consider this program, we encourage you to explore the fields of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy with professionals in the field, and where possible, volunteer in a setting where these services are provided.

In addition to admission requirements (English and Biology),the Ontario high school course Exercise Science (PSE4U) is recommended as an excellent preparatory course.

Mature students who are in need of upgrading, are advised to take an equivalent to Grade 11 Biology and Grade 12 English. The Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) program is offered at Sault College at no tuition cost.

Students in the OTA/PTA program should be in good physical and mental health. Students should demonstrate reliability, accountability, self-direction and good interpersonal communication skills. Any prospective students with concerns regarding their ability to meet the functional demands of the program are advised to discuss this with the program coordinator and their physician.

Dress Code

Dress Code for Fieldwork

As a student in the Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant Program at Sault College, you will develop a professional image and professional behaviours for fieldwork placements. Presenting oneself as a professional is expected by the public served, by the facilities which provide fieldwork opportunities and by the Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists who will supervise you.

When on fieldwork assignments you will wear school uniforms, which consist of Scrubs with Name and Logo.

Detailed information regarding the purchase and use of the uniform will be provided in class in September, Semester One.

Footwear must consist of White Duty or Athletic Shoes (closed heel and toe, non-skid soles).

Clinical and Field Placements

As a student in the OTA/PTA program at Sault College you will begin your first fieldwork assignments in Semester One. You will tour the facilities in Sault Ste. Marie where students are placed in subsequent semesters and become familiar with policies and procedures in a health care setting. The Sault CollegePhysiotherapyClinic on campus provides services to the students and staff at Sault College, and enables OTA/PTA students to gain fieldwork placements on campus.The Health Science Simulation Lab will also be part of your fieldwork preparation. You will have the opportunity to work with high fidelity mannequins, learning how to take vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate. You will participate in simulations such as total hip replacements, amputations and strokes. In Semesters 2 and 3 you will experience a variety of clinical and community fieldwork placements such as:

Sault College Physiotherapy Clinic (information provided under Services), Hospitals, Long Term Care Facilities, Retirement Homes, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Clinics, Children`s Rehabilitation Centres, Community Care Access Centres (Home Care), Schools, Community Agencies such as March of Dimes, Breaking Away and the Sault Ste. Marie Accessibility Centre.

In the latter part of Semester 4 you will complete fieldwork hours on a full-time basis for at least eight weeks, where you may gain valuable work experience and employment references. Students may be assigned as many as two out-of-town fieldwork placements, which could include centres anywhere in the province of Ontario. Any expenses related to travel and accommodation during fieldwork will be the responsibility of each student.

Applicants will be required to submit documentation of the following fieldwork requirements in September of Semester One in order to be eligible to participate in fieldwork assignments:

A current (within one year) Police Records Search is required as you will participate in fieldwork placements which will involve some unsupervised access to vulnerable persons. All costs associated to these requirements are the responsibility of the student.

CPR (Level C), WHMIS, and First Aid Certificates: Students are required to provide evidence of current certification for these. Students are responsible for maintaining annual CPR (C Level) certification throughout their program.

Proof of N95 Mask Fit Test is required.

An Immunization & Health Record Form from the Sault College Health Services office must be completed. As a student of the OTA/PTA program at Sault College you will be required to show evidence of the following immunization requirements:

Required: Two-step TB test initially, with the One-step repeated yearly; Immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella; Current tetanus-diphtheria

Recommended:Current influenza immunization; Hep-B Vaccination

A Statement of Confidentiality will be signed prior to beginning any fieldwork assignments. Due to the physical nature of some of the skills and competencies required for success in the program, a physical demands analysis may be requested by the field placement facility.

In some circumstances students may need to complete their fieldwork hours in the spring semester.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 22, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
Start date Sept. 2017
Canada Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price Request Info