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, 2019.

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, (226) 636-0632, www.otapta.ca.

Program Hours: On campus: Full time, Monday to Friday, 8a.m. and 4 p.m. Practicums: 40 hours per week, times and days vary according to the practicum site.

Program Status:
Accepting applications

Program one-pager
Start Length Credentials Campus Part- or Full-time
Sep 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 Mail In Person
If you're ready and know the program you want, apply now. Download and complete the (PDF) application/registration form and mail it to VCC Registrar's Office 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


This program welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Program options for international students can be found at VCC International.

As Vancouver Community College is a post-secondary institution committed to educating adult learners, applicants should be 16 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
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Biology 12 with a C+ or higher, completed within the last 5 years
  • Completion of a Medical Terminology course with a 70% or higher
  • 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. Click here for the Work Experience Verification form
  • Attend a VCC OPTA Program Info session
  • 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 (within 6 months) CPR - Health Care Provider Level
    • Proof of a negative TB skin test or chest xray. For further information about Health requirements click here
  • 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)

Recommended Characteristics:

  • Ability to work with people who have physical, emotional, mental health and/or cognitive challanges
  • 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 enviroment
  • Mature, trustworthy, reliable and dependable
  • Basic computer and word processing skills, internet searching

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 $8400.00
Student Union Fee $260
College Initiative Fee $242
Student Union Health Plan Fee $292
Student Union Dental Plan Fee $292
U-Pass Fee $943
Other Costs
$40 - Graduation Fees
$336.00 - Campus Resource Fee
$411 - Material Fee
$500 - Approximate textbooks, supplies,
At the time of acceptance, a $300 non-refundable deposit will be required to hold your seat if accepted more than two months before the start date of the program. Full payment of the first installment will be required within two months before the start date.

For book lists and prices, check Bookstore.

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. Fees are refunded according to the refund policy. For further clarification, see withdrawals and refunds information page.

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.

Date Day Time Room Location
September 25, 2019 Wednesday 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Building B 4205 Broadway
November 20, 2019 Wednesday 10 - 11 a.m. Building B 4205 Broadway
December 18, 2019 Wednesday 2 - 3 p.m. Building B 4205 Broadway

Sign up for an info session
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Course Schedule

Courses Schedule


Term 1

(OPTA 1131) Anatomy and Physiology for OTAs and PTAs
course schedule schedule
6 credits course outline
(OPTA 1132) Health Care and Rehabilitation
course schedule schedule
3 credits course outline
(OPTA 1133) Introduction to Rehabilitation Skills
course schedule schedule
5.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1134) Health Promotion and Recreation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1135) Communications 1
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1136) Introduction to Professional Practice
course schedule schedule
1.5 credits course outline

Term 2

(OPTA 1231) Conditions 1
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1232) Physical Therapist Assistant 1
course schedule schedule
4.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1233) Occupational Therapist Assistant 1
course schedule schedule
4.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1234) Lifespan Development
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1235) Communications 2
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1236) Professional Practice 1
course schedule schedule
1.5 credits course outline

Term 3

(OPTA 1331) Conditions 2
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 1332) Physical Therapist Assistant 2
course schedule schedule
2.5 credits course outline
(OPTA 1333) Occupational Therapist Assistant 2
course schedule schedule
2.5 credits course outline
(OPTA 1334) Professional Practice 2
course schedule schedule
1.5 credits course outline
(OPTA 1335) Practicum 1
course schedule schedule
7.0 credits course outline

Term 4

(OPTA 2431) Conditions 3
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 2432) Physical Therapist Assistant 3
course schedule schedule
4.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 2433) Occupational Therapist Assistant 3
course schedule schedule
4.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 2434) Professional Practice 3
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 2435) Practicum 2
course schedule schedule
8.0 credits course outline

Term 5

(OPTA 2531) Conditions 4
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 2532) Inter-Professional Practice
course schedule schedule
5.0 credits course outline
(OPTA 2533) Professional Practice 4
course schedule schedule
4.5 credits course outline
(OPTA 2534) Practicum 3
course schedule schedule
8.0 credits course outline