Rehabilitation Assistants work as members of a health care team under the supervision of and in collaboration with Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. Rehabilitation Assistants are involved with the safe and proficient delivery of activities that have been established as a treatment plan for clients coping with temporary or permanent limitations in occupational performance and/or functional movement. The role of the Rehabilitation Assistant varies depending on the practice setting, which includes rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, long-term care facilities, community settings, and private practices. The Rehabilitation Assistant works with individuals, families, or groups, helping clients achieve optimal levels of physical, psychosocial, and/or cognitive abilities.
This part-time program is offered through distributed learning offering flexibility, collaboration, and interaction with a cohort model to minimize isolation often associated with distance education. Online courses are enhanced by laboratory sessions and structured clinical placements (nineteen weeks at 4 points throughout the program).
Graduates of this program will be equipped with the technical and theoretical skills required to work as Rehabilitation Assistants in hospitals, health centers, community organizations, rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care facilities. Rehabilitation Assistants work under the supervision of Occupational Therapists and/or Physiotherapists.
Graduates of College of the North Atlantic’s Occupational Therapist Assistant or Physiotherapist Assistant Certificate program may apply to the Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA and PTA) program to receive dual certification. Graduates with one certification (OTA or PTA) from another institution are also eligible for advanced standing into the Rehabilitation Assistant program; entry point will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Upon successful completion of the Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA/PTA) program, graduates will be able to:
- Apply the academic knowledge and skills outlined in the competency profiles for Physiotherapist Assistants (Canadian Physiotherapy Association) and Occupational Therapist Assistants (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists).
- Apply the learned academic knowledge and skills in clinical practice.
- Apply effective communication skills and professional behaviors.
- Perform delegated therapeutic skills safely and effectively under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist.
- Provide the community with skilled Rehabilitation Assistants who can serve their employers and clients with the highest degree of competence.
The Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA/PTA) program is accredited by Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program until November 30, 2023.
Clinical placements are a required element of this program and students will be assigned placements at approved training sites. Additional sites may be considered in consultation with program faculty. There is no guarantee that students will receive their preferred placement. All expenses associated with the completion of clinical placement will be the responsibility of the student.
Students require a clear Certificate of Conduct (Criminal Record Check and Vulnerability Sector Check) to be permitted into a clinical placement. Students with an unclear Certificate of Conduct are advised to speak with program faculty at the beginning of the program.
Eligibility for admission to the Rehabilitation Assistant program requires the applicant to meet one of the following four academic criteria:
1. High School
High School Graduation Certificate with a 60% overall average in the following (or equivalent):
i. English 3201 or 3202 (minimum 60%)
ii. Mathematics (4 credits) chosen from:
Advanced: 2200, 3200 (50% minimum in each course)
Academic: 2201 (50% minimum), 3201 (60% minimum)
iii. Science – (2 credits) chosen from one of:
Earth Systems: 3209
iv. Electives (2 additional credits) chosen from any of the remaining 3000 level courses offered in the Senior High School Program.
2. Comprehensive Arts and Science (CAS) Transition
Comprehensive Arts and Science (Transition) Certificate with the following courses:
i. English (minimum 60%): CM1060
ii. Math (minimum 60%): MA1040
iii. Two Science courses chosen from one of the following three combinations:
a. Biology: BL1020
b. Chemistry: CH1030
c. Physics: PH1050
It is strongly recommended that CAS students who intend to enroll in the Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA/PTA) program complete both of the Introductory Biology courses.
3. Adult Basic Education (ABE)
Adult Basic Education (Level III) Graduation with Degree and Technical Profile (overall 60% average) including the following courses (or equivalent):
i. English (minimum of 60%) 3101A, 3101B, 3101C or 3102A, 3102B, 3102C
ii. Mathematics (minimum of 60%) 1101A, 1101B, 1101C, 2101A, 2101B, 2101C, 3101A, 3101B, 3101C
iii. Science from one of the following sections:
a. Biology 1101, 2101A, 2101B, 2101C, 3101A, 3101B, 3101C
b. Chemistry 1102, 2102A, 2102B, 2102C, 3102A, 3102B, 3102C
c. Physics 1104, 2104A, 2104B, 2104C, 3104A, 3104B, 3104C
Applicants with Adult Basic Education (Level III) Graduation with a different Profile (and appropriate grades) may be eligible for admission to the program provided the appropriate selection of courses including those outlined above have been completed.
4. Mature Student Requirements
Applicants who do not meet the education prerequisites for this program, must be at least 19 years at the time of application and out of school for at least one year may be considered on an individual basis under the Mature Student Requirements; for more information regarding the Mature Student Requirements please refer to Procedure AC-102-PR Admission
5. International Applicants – English Proficiency
All international applicants must meet the College’s English language proficiency requirements for acceptance into regular programs. The College will accept these recognized tests of English language proficiency (TOEFL paper based 550, TOEFL Internet based 79, TOEFL computer based 213 or equivalent, IELTS Academic Test overall band score of 6.0, or Pearson PTE 53 or greater, etc.).
If a language proficiency test other than those referenced above was used, applicants can forward for assessment.
If an international applicant has attended an educational institution (high school or post-secondary) for a period of three years or more where the official language of instruction was English, the English language proficiency test will not be required.
: Some programs may require specific English language requirements and proficiency scores that differ from those stated above; therefore international applicants are advised to please refer to the specific program admission requirements as identified in the College Calendar.
Students meeting academic entrance requirements are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Before final acceptance is granted, additional documentation must be submitted; see the Additional Information for Health Sciences Applicants section of the calendar or under the Admissions Regulations section of our website for details.
Additional Entrance Requirements
- Valid** Certificate of Conduct, including Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Check.
- Students will require a current Certificate of Conduct (Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Check) prior to starting their program. Applicants with a criminal offense listed on their Certificate of Conduct (Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Check) may be denied access to clinical placement by the College’s clinical partners and may be unable to complete their program.
- Students will need to complete a Student Pre-Placement Immunizations and Communicable Diseases Screening with their Health Care Provider. Completing the immunization record will require physician's visits, blood tests, and a TB screening test; detailed instructions are included on the Student Pre-Placement Immunizations and Communicable Diseases Screening. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that all medical requirements are fulfilled, and the screening form complete before submission. Certain vaccinations require a series of immunizations over a period; therefore, it is essential to start the process as early as possible. The applicant is also responsible for all associated costs (vaccinations, laboratory testing, physician fees, certificate of conduct fees, etc.).
(See the Additional Information for Health Sciences Applicants (Definitions and Regulations
) section of the calendar or under the Admissions Regulations section of our website for details.)