Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant (Rehab Assistant)

The Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to prepare graduates to work as assistants to Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists. Graduates of the program may find employment in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, extended care facilities, the client’s home or in private practice.

This program 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 January 31, 2012 for the period until November 30, 2018.

For information regarding accreditation contact:

  • The Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, c/o Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (250) 494-0677, www.otapta.ca.

  • Program Status: Accepting applications.
    Start Length Credentials Campus Part- or Full-time
    September 2 years Diploma Broadway Full-time

    Apply Now

    Apply Now

    Applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible. Students who have officially applied and met all admission requirements are sent a letter of acceptance approximately four to five months before the next available start date. Upon acceptance, a first payment is required to reserve a seat in the program.

    Online Fax / Mail In Person
    If you're ready and know the program you want, apply now. Download and complete the (PDF) application/registration form and fax to 604.443.8450 Visit us at one of our campus locations.

    After you apply, you can check application status to see if all of the requirements have been met or to update contact information. Please use the temporary login ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you used to complete your original online application.

    Program Description

    Program Description

    Upon successful completion of this program, students will have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to:

    • Practise as an occupational therapist assistant or physical therapist assistant in a professional and ethical manner
    • Work effectively as a member of the health care team
    • Implement the assigned occupational and/or physical therapy interventions safely and competently
    • Apply rehabilitation theory to promote movement, activity, and daily functioning
    • Communicate and work effectively with clients, families, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other health care team members
    • Gather and record information and data relevant to the client’s status as assigned by the occupational therapist and/or physical therapist
    • Contribute to an effective practice environment
    • Promote health and wellness for self and others
    • Perform all duties in a responsible and accountable manner

    This 2 year health program consists of 5 terms. The first year has three terms and the second year has two terms. As part of the program, students are assigned practicum placements in both year one and year two. Classes are generally held from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, Monday - Friday. (class times are subject to change).

    Students enrolled in the Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant program at VCC should note that some of their courses are transferable to Thompson Rivers University. For further information see: http://www.bctransferguide.ca.

    Admission Requirements

    Admission Requirements


    VCC welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

    As Vancouver Community College is a post-secondary institution committed to educating adult learners, applicants should be 18 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school.

    Please note that you must submit official transcripts and educational documents to support your application; unfortunately, we cannot accept photocopies or fax versions.

    Program Specific

    Missing prerequisites? VCC offers courses in Adult Upgrading and English as an Additional Language to help you meet your goals.
    • Grade 12 graduation, or equivalent
    • English 12 with a B, or equivalent and English language proficiency
    • Human Biology 12, or VCC BIOL 0983 & 0993
    • Math 11 with a C+ or higher. If a C+ was not achieved in Math 11, applicants must write the VCC Basic Arithmetic Assessment and score 80% or higher
    • 30 hours of paid or volunteer experience working with people with disabilities as verified by a supervisor, employer or educational institute. Click here for the Work Experience Verification form
    • Immunizations in the following are strongly recommended, and may be required for practicum placement in the program:
      • Pertussis/Diphtheria/Tetanus
      • Polio
      • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
      • Hepatitis B
      • Influenza (required on an annual basis

    All requests for transfer credits or course exemptions for all courses in the program must be submitted with application to the program. Click here for Request for Transfer Credit (PDF) form.

    Seats are offered to applicants who have met all admission requirements, on a first-qualified, first-served basis

    Upon acceptance:

    • A Criminal Record Check (CRC) is required in accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act. All individuals who work with vulnerable adults and/or children must complete a Criminal Records Check through the Ministry of Justice. Applicants to this program should be aware that some practicum placement in hospitals and schools may require completion of a Criminal Records Check indicating no relevant criminal record. After submitting an admissions application, applicants will receive by email a web link and unique college access code to apply and pay for a Criminal Record Check online
    • Current CPR - Level C
    • Proof of a negative TB skin test or chest xray. For further information about Health requirements click here

    Recommended Characteristics:

    • Ability to communicate effectively with people of all ages
    • Good health and physical stamina
    • Patience, empathy and a genuine interest in promoting the independence of others
    • Good observational and organizational skills
    • Ability to follow directions and work as part of a team
    • Updated immunizations (Students who do not have up to date immunizations, including influenza during “flu season” may be denied a practicum placement. This is beyond the control of the college and is totally at the discretion of the clinical facility
    • Basic computer and word processing skills

    Health Requirements

    • Applicants with a repetitive stress injury should contact the Department regarding the physical requirements of this program and occupation
    • Updated immunizations strongly recommended: measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B vaccine and current influenza vaccination. Please review Important Health Requirements for the VCC School of Health Sciences.

    Fees and Other costs

    Application Fee $35
    Tuition Fee $5,810
    Student Union Fee $130
    College Initiative Fee $167
    Student Union Health Plan Fee $325
    Student Union Dental Plan Fee $310
    U-Pass Fee $722
    Other Costs $41 - Graduation Fees
    $232 - Campus Resource Fee
    $395 - Material Fee
    $500 - Textbooks

    Fees are approximate and subject to change without notice. Students are responsible for any increase in fees if advanced payments are made. The application fee is non-refundable. For more information, see withdrawals and refunds specific to this program.

    Info Sessions

    Info Sessions

    Work side-by-side with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other health care professionals to promote healthy living.

    Graduates of this two-year program can find employment in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, long-term care facilities, residential care facilities, client homes or in private practice.

    Attend an information session to take a tour of VCC’s state-of-the-art learning facilities and speak to instructors about entrance requirements.

    Join us at VCC’s Broadway campus, 1155 East Broadway at Glen Drive, across from VCC/Clark SkyTrain station.

    View all Info Sessions/Tours >>

    Contact Us/Request Info

    Contact Us/Request Info


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    Career Prospects

    Career Prospects

    Course Schedule

    Courses Schedule

    Term 1

    Health Care Concepts (OPTA 1102) 3.0 credits
    Fitness, Health and Wellness (OPTA 1103) 2.0 credits
    Conditions 1 (OPTA 1110) 2.0 credits
    Rehabilitation Skills (OPTA 1114) 3.0 credits
    Communications 1 (OPTA 1117) 2.0 credits
    Anatomy and Physiology (OPTA 1206) 3.0 credits

    Term 2

    Clinical Kinesiology (OPTA 1101) 2.0 credits
    Communications 2 (OPTA 1217) 1.5 credits
    OTA Principles and Practice 1 (OPTA 1218) 2.5 credits
    PTA Principles and Practice 1 (OPTA 1219) 2.5 credits
    Conditions 2 (OPTA 1220) 2.5 credits
    Practicum 1 (OPTA 1221) 4.0 credits

    Term 3

    OTA Principles and Practice 2 (OPTA 1308) 3.0 credits
    PTA Principles and Practice 2 (OPTA 1309) 3.0 credits
    Conditions 3 (OPTA 1310) 1.5 credits
    Growth & Development 1 Pediatrics (OPTA 1325) 1.5 credits

    Term 4

    OTA Principles and Practice 3 (OPTA 2108) 3.0 credits
    PTA Principles and Practice 3 (OPTA 2109) 3.0 credits
    Conditions 4 (OPTA 2110) 1.5 credits
    Practicum 2 (OPTA 2111) 6.0 credits
    Growth & Development 2 Geriatrics (OPTA 2125) 1.5 credits

    Term 5

    OTA Principles and Practice 4 (OPTA 2208) 2.0 credits
    PTA Principles and Practice 4 (OPTA 2209) 2.0 credits
    Practicum 3 (OPTA 2211) 8.0 credits
    Administrative and Support Skills (OPTA 2214) 1.0 credits
    Community Practice (OPTA 2215) 2.0 credits