College Introduces Vulnerable Sector Checks

To help achieve the College’s mandate of public protection, effective September 1, 2021, all applicants will be required to submit the results of a Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check with their application to the College. 

The College recognizes that the results of criminal record screening may not predict future conduct nor guarantee good character. However, the College of Occupational Therapists of Nova Scotia endorses criminal record screening as an important tool for helping to ensure public safety. 

It should be noted that a conduct history does not automatically result in a denial of registration. However, there must be nothing in your previous conduct that will impact your ability to practice occupational therapy safely and ethically. 

  • This requirement applies to applicants who were previously registered with COTNS and have surrendered, been suspended, revoked, or had their registration expire. 
  • When registered, occupational therapists (OTs) will be required to submit the results of a VS Check every five (5) years. 
  • The College will use the results of the VS Check to verify self-declarations made during the application and renewal processes, and updates made throughout the year. 
  • The College has a duty to regulate occupational therapy in the public interest and ensure that all OTs will practice safely and ethically.  One of the ways to College does this is by setting entry-to-practice requirements that applicants must meet prior to being issued registration. 
  • While registered with the College, OTs must continue to meet a wide range of ongoing professional obligations and responsibilities. 

OTs who are currently registered will be placed in a staggered 5-year cycles. The first group will start with the next renewal period in April/May 2022.  Registrants will be notified when they will be required to submit a Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check.  Only registrants notified will be required to provide a VS Check. 

For more information, please see the Vulnerable Sector Check page.  If you have any questions please contact Kevin Wong, Registrar,