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Serving the public interest by advancing client care and professional practice through evidence-based certification standards and the validation of knowledge essential for effective practice in occupational therapy.


Certified occupational therapy professionals providing effective evidence-based services across all areas of practice worldwide.

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The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®)

12 South Summit Avenue
Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(301) 990-7979

Email NBCOT at

Business Hours
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm, Lunch: 12 pm – 12:45 pm

Friday: 9 am – 4 pm, Lunch: 12 pm – 1 pm


OTR® & COTA® Credential Verification

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Character Review

To ensure that occupational therapy practitioners meet standards of professional conduct prior to entering the profession, all applicants for certification are required to provide information and documentation related to affirmative responses to character questions on the examination application.

The character review consists of eight key questions:

1a. Have you ever been convicted of a felony? (NOTE: Applicants must answer affirmatively even if convictions have been pardoned, expunged, released, or sealed.)

b. Do you currently have a felony charge or charges against you?

2a. Have you ever had any professional license, registration, or certification denied, revoked, suspended, or subject to probationary conditions by a regulatory authority or certification board, including NBCOT®?

b. Do you currently have a professional license, registration, or certification under review for possible disciplinary action?

3a. Have you ever been found by any court, administrative, or disciplinary proceeding to have committed negligence, malpractice, recklessness, or willful or intentional misconduct which resulted in harm to another?

b. Do you currently have a charge(s) of negligence, malpractice, recklessness, or willful or intentional misconduct that resulted in harm to another against you?

4a. Have you ever been suspended and/or expelled from a college or university?

b. Are you currently under active investigation that could lead to being suspended and/or expelled from a college or university?

NBCOT uses a third-party vendor to provide background checks for applicants with affirmative responses to character questions. The following required documentation must also be submitted:

  • A detailed, written explanation regarding the incident(s). Please describe your involvement and behavior in the incident(s), including how your actions were discovered.
  • If you have been on parole or probation at any point within the last seven (7) years, you must include documentation confirming your compliance with or completion of all terms and conditions imposed by the court. This can be a letter from your probation officer, or other official court documentation.

For details on NBCOT’s disciplinary action process, visit the Professional Conduct page.