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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
Fax (301) 869-8492

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Early Determination

An individual who is considering entering, or who has already entered, an occupational therapy educational program can have his/her background reviewed prior to actually applying for the exam by requesting an Early Determination Review.

In this Early Determination Review process, the NBCOT may give early or prior approval to take the certification exam, as it pertains to good moral character, provided that the information reviewed is not found to be a violation of any of the principles of the Practice Standards/Code of Conduct.

Each early review case is reviewed on an individual basis. After NBCOT has completed its review, the individual is notified in writing regarding whether he/she would be eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam, provided that all eligibility requirements are met.

It is important to note that the NBCOT staff is only able to advise any individual regarding eligibility after all official documentation has been received and reviewed.  This means that individuals who contact NBCOT requesting a “Yes” or “No” response as to whether his/her background would be cause for disqualification must submit the required documentation and will receive written notification after the review is complete.

Please note, if an individual receives a favorable early determination review, he/she will need to apply for the certification examination upon completion of all academic and fieldwork requirements.  When the individual applies for the exam, he/she will be expected to answer the character questions.  

For consideration of Early Determination Review, the review form, documentation checklist, and all required documents must be submitted.  

Early Determination Review Payment Form (PDF)    

Early Determination Documentation Checklist (PDF)