What is COTNS?

The College of Occupational Therapists of Nova Scotia (COTNS) is a governing body established by the provincial government to regulate the practice of Occupational Therapy in our province.

The College is different from professional associations, which are professional interest organizations.

The College's mandate is to protect the public interest by setting standards for practice, establishing programs to ensure that OTs practice safely and competently, and investigating concerns raised about registrants' practice.

What Do Occupational Therapists do?

Where do occupational therapists work?

Occupational therapists work in a wide variety of settings including:

Facilities such as hospitals, rehabilitation centres, private clinics, nursing homes and mental health centres.

Community organizations such as schools, health boards, community health centres, community action groups, worker's compensation boards and government agencies.
Businesses such as insurance companies, construction and architectural firms, occupational health departments, large industries and vocational rehabilitation companies.

What are the qualifications of occupational therapists?

Occupational therapists are health professionals who are university-trained and who have completed a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised fieldwork experience. Depending on the province, occupational therapists may be required to pass a national certification examination before they are eligible to practise.

In the province of Nova Scotia, a qualified occupational therapist must be registered with the provincial regulatory body, COTNS.

Who covers the cost of occupational therapy?

In the province of Nova Scotia you do not require a referral from a physician to be assessed or treated by an Occupational Therapist, however, your family doctor can refer you to an occupational therapist whose services are covered under your provincial medical plan.

If you have private health insurance, check with your insurance company to see if it offers occupational therapy as an extended health care benefit. If you would like to have occupational therapy included as part of your insurance benefit plan, you may wish to write to your insurance company or speak to the people, at your place of work, who are in charge of arranging and/or negotiating the extended health benefit packages.

Occupational Therapy services may be covered by Worker's Compensation and auto insurance plans - check with your provider.

Your employer may cover the cost of an ergonomic assessment or jobsite analysis, by an Occupational Therapist, as a means of identifying risks for work-related injuries and/or proposing modifications to your worksite to enhance work safety and productivity.

As well, there are many self-employed occupational therapists who can offer you competitive rates for their services. To find a self-employed occupational therapist, check the yellow pages of your local telephone directory.

How Do I apply to become a member?

New Applicants

for therapists who are not currently licensed with COTNS (i.e., new graduates or out of province therapists wishing to practice in Nova Scotia)

How do I update my contact information?

Updating contact information

How often do I need to renew my membership?

Annual Registration

What if I don't renew my membership?

Surrendering your license

registrants who do not wish to renew their registration with COTNS may surrender their license by notice in writing, to the Board prior to May 31st of the registration renewal year.

How do I contact COTNS?

You can contact COTNS via email at admin@cotns.ca or by phone at: (902) 455-0556