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Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA & PTA) (DL)
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School of Health Sciences
Program Length: Two Years
Start Date: September 2020
Rehabilitation Assistants provide a vital supporting role in the delivery of efficient and effective rehabilitation services. They work as members of a health care team, under the supervision of and in collaboration with Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. Rehabilitation Assistants are involved with the safe and proficient delivery of activities that have been established as a treatment plan for clients coping with temporary or permanent limitations in occupational performance and / or functional movement. The role of the Rehabilitation Assistant varies depending on the practice setting, which includes rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, long-term care facilities, community settings, and private practices. The Rehabilitation Assistant works with individuals, families, or groups, helping clients achieve optimal levels of physical, psychosocial and/or cognitive abilities.
To provide the academic knowledge and skills outlined in the competency profiles for Physiotherapist Assistants (Canadian Physiotherapy Association) and Occupational Therapist Assistants (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists).
To apply the learned academic knowledge and skills in clinical practice.
To develop effective communication skills and professional behaviors.
To perform delegated therapeutic skills safely and effectively under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist.
To provide the community with skilled Rehabilitation Assistants who can serve their employers and clients with the highest degree of competence.
The curriculum for this program encompasses six (6) semesters. Students may enroll on a full or part-time basis. The program is offered through the College’s Distributed Learning Service. The Distributed Learning format enables students to take part in education without the restraints of geography and structured time. Technology-enabled learning offers flexibility, collaboration, and interaction without the isolation normally associated with traditional distance education. It also improves access for independent, disciplined students. More information about the Rehabilitation Assistant Program may be found at:
Web based courses are enhanced by hands-on laboratory sessions and structured clinical placements. These activities take place as close as possible to the student’s home location; however, in some cases travel may be necessary. Clinical placements are limited and students will be notified of available locations in their area. Students are responsible for all costs associated with clinical placements.
Graduates of College of the North Atlantic’s Occupational Therapist Assistant or Physiotherapist Assistant Certificate program may apply to enter Semester 4 of the Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA and PTA) program to receive dual certification. Graduates with one certification (OTA or PTA) from another institution are also eligible for advanced standing into the Rehabilitation Assistant program; entry point will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
The Rehabilitation Assistant program at College of the North Atlantic has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was granted to the program on November 30, 2016 for the period until November 30, 2022.
Contact information for the OTA & PTA EAP
Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program
Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West
Eligibility for admission to the Rehabilitation Assistant program requires the applicant to meet one of the following four academic criteria:
High School Graduation Certificate with a 60% overall average in the following (or equivalent):
i. English 3201 or 3202 (minimum 60%)
ii. Mathematics (4 credits) chosen from:
Advanced: 2200, 3200 (50% minimum in each course)
Academic: 2201 (50% minimum), 3201 (60% minimum)
iii. Science – (2 credits) chosen from one of:
Earth Systems: 3209
iv. Electives (2 additional credits) chosen from any of the remaining 3000 level courses offered in the Senior High School Program.
Comprehensive Arts and Science (CAS) Transition
Comprehensive Arts and Science (Transition) Certificate with the following courses:
i. English (minimum 60%):
ii. Math (minimum 60%):
iii. Two Science courses chosen from one of the following three combinations:
It is strongly recommended that CAS students who intend to enroll in the Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA/PTA) program complete both of the Introductory Biology courses.
Adult Basic Education (ABE)
Adult Basic Education (Level III) Graduation with Degree and Technical Profile (overall 60% average) including the following courses (or equivalent):
i. English (minimum of 60%) 3101A, 3101B, 3101C or 3102A, 3102B, 3102C
ii. Mathematics (minimum of 60%) 1101A, 1101B, 1101C, 2101A, 2101B, 2101C, 3101A, 3101B, 3101C
iii. Science from one of the following sections:
a. Biology 1101, 2101A, 2101B, 2101C, 3101A, 3101B, 3101C
b. Chemistry 1102, 2102A, 2102B, 2102C, 3102A, 3102B, 3102C
c. Physics 1104, 2104A, 2104B, 2104C, 3104A, 3104B, 3104C
Applicants with Adult Basic Education (Level III) Graduation with a different Profile (and appropriate grades) may be eligible for admission to the program provided the appropriate selection of courses including those outlined above have been completed.
4. Mature Student Requirements
Applicants who do not meet the education prerequisites for this program, must be at least 19 years at the time of application and out of school for at least one year may be considered on an individual basis under the Mature Student Requirements; for more information regarding the Mature Student Requirements please refer to
Procedure AC-102-PR Admission
Students meeting academic entrance requirements are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Before final acceptance is granted, additional documentation must be submitted; see the Additional Information for Health Sciences Applicants section of the calendar or under the Admissions Regulations section of our website for details.
Anatomy and Physiology
Communications in Health Care
Orientation to Rehabilitation
Introduction to Clinical Skills
Clinical Orientation Placement
Disease, Injury and Intervention I
Communication Disorders in Rehabilitation
Human Movement and Kinesiology
Advanced Clinical Skills
Disease, Injury and Intervention II
Mental Health Concepts and Techniques
Clinical Placement I
Course Lecture (Le) and Lab (La) hours per week are based on a 15 week semester. In intersession the Lecture and Lab hours will be adjusted to reflect the shorter semester length.
Ethics in Health Care
Health Care Organization and Structure
Introduction to Gerontology
Therapeutic Skills I for OTA
Therapeutic Skills I for PTA
Clinical Placement II for OTA
Clinical Placement II for PTA
Therapeutic Skills II for the Rehabilitation Assistant
Course Lecture (Le) and Lab (La) hours per week are based on a 15 week semester. In semester 5 the Lecture and Lab hours will be adjusted to account for the clinical training component.
Clinical Placement III for Rehabilitation Assistant