Learn to assist in the delivery of rehabilitation plans that promote independence and function for patients recovering from illness or injury.
What you will learn
Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to:
- Practise as an Occupational Therapist Assistant or Physical Therapist Assistant in a competent, professional, accountable and ethical manner.
- Utilize evidence-informed rehabilitation knowledge to implement assigned Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy interventions.
- Collaborate as a member of an interdisciplinary team within an evolving health care system.
- Contribute to the development and maintenance of an effective practice environment through direct client care, organization and support of rehabilitation services.
- Identify and report relevant information regarding the client’s status and well-being to the appropriate interdisciplinary team member.
- Communicate effectively, through verbal, nonverbal, written and electronic means, with clients, their families, caregivers and other interdisciplinary team members.
- Collect client information and complete client records.
- Develop and implement strategies to maintain and improve professional competence within the role of the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physical Therapist Assistant.
- Promote, support and encourage health and wellness for self and others.
What to expect
Program Duration and Maximum Time for Completion
The Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant (OPTA) Program is 69 weeks in length. It consists of 5 semesters delivered over two years. Year 1 consists of Semesters 1, 2 and 3 and is scheduled from September to June. Year 2 consists of Semesters 4 and 5 and is scheduled from September to April.
Students must complete the diploma within three years of starting the program.
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 November 30, 2019 for the period until November 30, 2025.
This program is offered on a full-time basis only. Each semester must be successfully completed before the next one can be started. A major emphasis of this program is active student participation. Throughout the program, the instructors will encourage students to become increasingly more self-directed and responsible for their own learning. Students are expected to come to class well prepared for active participation in classroom, lab and clinical activities, including practicums.
Instructors promote an environment conducive to learning through activities such as lectures, pre-readings, guided discussions, debates, audio-visual presentations, group activities, projects, skill-building exercises, role rehearsals, on-line learning, site visits and simulations Students practise and develop their practical skills by practising on each other.
Classes are usually scheduled Monday through Friday from 8 am to 3 pm. Hours may vary depending on the availability of resources and clinical sites.
- Grade 12 graduation or equivalent
- English Language Proficiency as demonstrated by one of the following:
- English 12 with a minimum ‘B’ grade, or equivalent
- English Language Proficiency at an English 12 ‘B’ level
- English 12 with a minimum ‘B’ grade, or equivalent
- Human Biology 12 with a minimum 'C+' grade, or equivalent, completed within the last 5 years
- OACP 1108 Medical Terminology 1 with a minimum 70% grade or equivalent
- 50 hours of paid or volunteer experience working with people with cognitive, emotional, mental or physical disabilities as verified by a supervisor, employer or educational institute; OPTA Work Experience Verification form.
- Attend a Program Information Session
Upon acceptance to the program:
- Students in this program are required to complete a Criminal Record Check (CRC). The CRC must be completed according to VCC's Criminal Record Check instructions. Students whose CRC results indicate they pose a risk to vulnerable populations will not be able to complete the requirements of the program (e.g. practicums) or graduate.
- Current (within 6 months) CPR course – Health Care Provider level
- Submission of a negative Tuberculosis (TB) Skin test. If the TB Skin Test is positive, proof of a negative TB chest x-ray is required. Clinical Facilities may decline individual students for their placement if a student is unable to provide proof of immunization or satisfactory serum titers and TB screening.
- A completed Immunization Record. Immunizations for the following are strongly recommended, and may be required for practicum placements:
- Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DPT)
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (chicken pox)
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza (Flu vaccine) - required annually
- Seats are offered to applicants who have met all admission requirements, on a first-qualified, first-served basis.
- International applicants must be 17 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
- Applicants must submit official transcripts and educational documents as required by their course or program.
- All VCC applicants are required to function successfully in an English-speaking classroom. English requirements vary by program. For details, visit VCC International - English Requirements.
- Ability to work with people who have physical, emotional, mental health and/or cognitive challenges
- Willingness to provide physical and emotional support to clients
- Good health and physical stamina, including the ability to lift 15 kg and stand for a full working day.
- Patience, empathy and a genuine interest in promoting the independence and well-being of others
- Good observational and organizational skills
- Ability to follow instructions and work as part of a team
- Ability to adapt and respond appropriately to changing situations
- Listen, comprehend and clearly communicate in a complex, health care environment
- Mature, trustworthy, reliable and dependable
- Basic computer skills – email, word processing, internet searching
Prior learning assessment and recognition
Prior learning assessment and recognition is not available for this program.
|OPTA 1131||Anatomy and Physiology for OTAs and PTAs||6|
|OPTA 1132||Health Care and Rehabilitation||3|
|OPTA 1133||Introduction to Rehabilitation Skills||5|
|OPTA 1134||Health Promotion and Recreation||3|
|OPTA 1135||Communications 1||3|
|OPTA 1136||Introduction to Professional Practice||1.5|
|OPTA 1231||Conditions 1||2|
|OPTA 1232||Physical Therapist Assistant 1||4|
|OPTA 1233||Occupational Therapist Assistant 1||4|
|OPTA 1234||Lifespan Development||3|
|OPTA 1235||Communications 2||2|
|OPTA 1236||Professional Practice 1||1.5|
|OPTA 1331||Conditions 2||3|
|OPTA 1332||Physical Therapist Assistant 2||2.5|
|OPTA 1333||Occupational Therapist Assistant 2||2.5|
|OPTA 1334||Professional Practice 2||1.5|
|OPTA 1335||Practicum 1||7|
|OPTA 2431||Conditions 3||2|
|OPTA 2432||Physical Therapist Assistant 3||4|
|OPTA 2433||Occupational Therapist Assistant 3||4|
|OPTA 2434||Professional Practice 3||2|
|OPTA 2435||Practicum 2||8|
|OPTA 2531||Conditions 4||2|
|OPTA 2532||Inter-Professional Practice||5|
|OPTA 2533||Professional Practice 4||4.5|
|OPTA 2534||Practicum 3||8|
* This information is intended as a guideline only. Program and course details are subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors.
Fees and other costs*
Tuition Deposit: $12,100 ($5,000 non-refundable)
Tuition deposits are payable usually within two weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.
|Fee description||Fee Amount||Notes|
0 - 1
0 - 2
0 - 3
0 - 4
|Materials||0||not including textbooks|
|Medical & Dental||550|
|Program-specific extra fees||0|
* Fees are approximate and subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors. Students are required to pay any applicable fee increases. Application and assessment fees are non-refundable.
Fees listed are for international students. For domestic programs, visit vcc.ca.
Any refunds are issued according to VCC's international refund policy.
OPEN DATE APPLICATION STATUS*
- Apply Now: Qualified applicants may receive offers of admission if seats are available, or placed on waitlists if seats are full.
- Closed: Applications are not accepted.
- For details about application availability based on study permit status and recommendations if the application status is closed, visit the Availability Status page.
For more information and tips, see Apply page