Professional Resources

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy(NBCOT)

  • NBCOT is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession.
  • NBCOT serves the public interest by developing, administering, and continually reviewing a certification process that reflects current standards of competent practice in occupational therapy.
  • Certification is regulated by NBCOT
    • Certification indicates that practitioner has completed all education, fieldwork, and exam requirements
    • Certification is generally required for initial licensure, but not for renewal
    • Certification is renewable through application and proof of continuing competence activity
    • Enables practitioner to use credentials: OTR or COTA



The American Occupational Therapy Association(AOTA)

  • AOTA is a membership organization established in 1917.
  • AOTA represents the interests and concerns of occupational therapy practitioners and students of occupational therapy and works to improve the quality of occupational therapy services.
  • AOTA works to promote the professional development of members, which includes sponsoring an annual national conference, offering specialty certifications, and publishing multimedia material.
  • AOTA works to improve consumer access to health care services, which includes partnering with the Tri-Alliance.
  • AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward assuring the quality of occupational therapy services
  • AOTA educates the public and advances the profession by providing resources, setting standards, and serving as an advocate to improve health care.



The North Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy(NCBOT)

  • NCBOT is the state licensure board, which was established by the 1984 session of the NC General Assembly.   The first Board meeting was held in September 1985 and licenses began being issued in 1986.
  • NCBOT responds to questions and concerns from licensees.
  • NCBOT investigates all allegations of impaired or incompetence practice in NC.
  • NCBOT has issued 6952 (OT/L and OTA/L) licenses through 8/9/08.
  • NCBOT enforces the NC Occupational Therapy Practice Act and the Rules.
    • Licensure entitles practitioner to use credentials: /L
    • NC license must be renewed yearly
    • Current NBCOT certification is NOT required for license renewal
    • 15 points of continuing competence is required for annual renewal
    • In odd-numbered years, 1 hour of continuing education regarding ethics in OT is required
    • Licensure period is July 1- June 30
    • Continuing competence period is June 1 – May 31
    • New applicants must pass a jurisprudence exam online



North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association(NCOTA)

  • NCOTA is the state membership association founded in 1957 and later incorporated as a not-for-profit membership organization in 1976.
  • NCOTA posts information about job openings and educational opportunities.  It hosts at least 2 conferences per year for continuing education.
  • NCOTA monitors legislative activities and lobbies for the profession.



The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education(ACOTE)

  • Accreditation has been a stated function of the American Occupational Therapy Association since 1923.
  • ACOTE is recognized as the accrediting agency for occupational therapy education by bothe the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • ACOTE is also an active member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).
  • ACOTE currently accredits approximately 300 occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs in the United States and its territories.


Links from AOTA website for prospective OTA students:
OTA new Graduate Vignettes
Resource Handout (pdf file)


US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics