Information regarding COVID-19 and the exam:

We are continuously monitoring health authority recommendations and closures and may need to make adjustments to the exam. 

December 2020:

1. The in-person exam that was scheduled for November 14th, 2020 is being replaced by an online exam, overseen by a live, remote proctor.  There is a choice of dates, January 20 or 21, 2021, with a backup date of January 22, 2021.  Registrants currently booked for the November 14th exam are automatically rescheduled for the January exam and have been sent an email with further instruction.  Click here for details. 

2. Candidates writing the January online exam MUST read the new manual “NOTCE Online Examination Manual: Computer-based testing and live remote proctoring”(updated Nov 30, 2020) to avoid problems on exam day (e.g. Safari browser is NOT supported). Please note the break time between exam parts 1 and 2 is now 15 minutes . Contact in advance, with any concerns.  

3. Live remote proctoring is a temporary delivery of the exam that is currently only planned for the January 2021 exam. The NOTCE will be at in-person testing centres starting with the July 2021 exam.

4. After January, the next scheduled exam date is July 7-8, 2021.  If you do not plan to write in January 2021, your provincial regulatory organization may require you to be registered for the July 2021 exam in order to maintain a provisional license (exam registration period: March 21 - May 15, 2021).  Please contact your provincial regulator with any questions about your provisional license. 

5. NOTCE Online exam and computer based testing webinar from December 21st, 2020 (English Recording)

Exam Information


The National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE) format is as follows:  

  • The exam is split into two books, each having 100 questions.
  • 2-hours is allocated for each book. 
  • The total exam consists of approximately 40 case studies.
  • The exam questions are selected according to the examination blueprint (see NOTCE Resource Manual).
  • The exam is in a multiple-choice format.
  • Scoring is one (1) mark for a correct answer; zero (0) for incorrect answer.
  • The pass mark is approximately 70% and is based on criterion referencing. The results are not bell curved.
  • Exam results are uploaded to your CAOT Profile approximately 6 weeks after the written date.


Exam candidates have three attempts to pass the NOTCE. After three attempts, candidates will no longer be eligible to write the NOTCE.


The exam is offered in Canada's two official languages of either English or French.  Plain language is used to reflect a national audience.

Dates and Deadlines

The exam is held twice a year in the months of July and November.

Please note that in order to maintain fair and consistent practice towards all candidates, registration deadlines are strictly enforced.

Exam Date Registration begins: Registration ends:
November 14th, 2020
January 20-21, 2021 (back-up date Jan. 22, 2021)

July 21st, 2020

November 30th, 2020

July 7-8, 2021 (back-up date July 9th, 2021) March 21st, 2021 May 15th, 2021


$655.00, plus taxes

Exam fees cover the cost of all aspects of the exam administration. They are subject to change and may increase along with administration costs. Fees cover:

  • Proctoring 
  • Examination production 
  • Marking and reporting results
  • National office administration costs (staff, overhead cost)
  • Cost of research activities involving the ongoing evaluation of the reliability and validity of the examination
$50.00, plus taxes, please view the Exam Appeals Policy.

Manual Re-score
$65.00, plus taxes, once you receive your exam results, you may request this service. It involves a manual check of your answer sheets versus the use of a scantron machine. 


Registration (only available during registration periods)

Next available exam: July 7-8, 2021 (July 9, 2021 back-up date)
Registration Period: March 21- May 15,  2020

Statement of Candidacy Request Form

If you choose to work as an OT under supervision prior to writing the exam, your provincial regulatory organization may ask for a Statement of Candidacy letter from CAOT. Request one using the Statement of Candidacy Request Form.

Testing accommodations

Testing accommodation requests will be reviewed/accepted subject to the Testing Accommodation Policy Document

To apply for testing accommodations during the exam, please complete:

Form A

Depending on your request, supporting documents can be one of the following:

Form B (completed by a health professional, sent directly to CAOT)
Letter from your university (accessibility department, sent directly to CAOT)
Letter from your religious leader, sent directly to CAOT

Submit form A and have the supporting documentation sent to



Candidates who withdraw their application will be refunded 50% of the examination fee they have paid if CAOT receives written notification of such withdrawal a minimum of 14 days prior to the exam date. Candidates who have not withdrawn their application in writing at least 14 days prior to the exam date will forfeit the entire exam fee.

Candidates who are unable to write the examination due to circumstances beyond their control may apply for a refund. Such candidates must submit written evidence of the circumstances to CAOT. The amount of any such refund will be at the discretion of the Director of Standards.

Postponement of the exam date

If you are unable to write the examination on your chosen exam date, CAOT will hold your exam fee. You must make the request to postpone your exam date in writing at least 14 days prior to your original exam date.

Other policies 

Exam Language

Exam Testing Accommodations

Exam Sites

Exam Appeals

Severe Weather Emergencies/Building Closures

Exam Rewrite 

Annual reports

NOTCE Annual Report 2016
NOTCE Annual Report 2017
NOTCE Annual Report 2018
NOTCE Annual Report 2019

Copyright 2016 Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
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