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NBCOT Announces Retirement of Long-time President/CEO Paul Grace

Gaithersburg, MD – The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) announces the retirement of Paul Grace, president and CEO. Paul has served with distinction for over 23 years, guiding the organization through a period of remarkable growth and innovation. Originally scheduled to retire in February 2020, Paul postponed his departure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under Paul’s visionary leadership, NBCOT has established itself as a leader in the field of occupational therapy certification,” said Dee Berline, MBA, OTR/L, chairperson of the NBCOT Board of Directors. “His commitment to advancing the profession has been instrumental in numerous achievements, including the development of the award-winning NBCOT Navigator® platform, JEDI Reflection Points, and the enhanced role public members play in policy approval.”

Paul’s legacy includes the following accomplishments:

Streamlining Initial Certification: Transitioning from paper-based testing to on-demand computer administration, which has significantly increased accessibility and convenience for thousands of OT candidates testing each year.

Enhancing Professional Development: Implementing a mandatory continuing competency requirement that fosters ongoing development among certified occupational therapists and therapy assistants (OTRs/COTAs), which has contributed to annual renewal rates exceeding 90%.

Achieving Industry Recognition: Securing and maintaining dual accreditations from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the International Accreditation Service (IAS), which demonstrates NBCOT's commitment to rigorous certification standards. Additionally, Paul’s leadership played a crucial role in NBCOT gaining approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a credential validation process, which supports international OTRs seeking to practice in the United States.

Reflecting on his time with the company, Paul said, “NBCOT’s organizational success is a testament to our exceptionally talented staff and volunteers, whose unwavering dedication and focus on our mission drive every achievement and innovation. Their commitment ensures that we continually uphold the highest standards in advancing occupational therapy.”

Beyond NBCOT, Paul has made significant contributions to the credentialing industry.  His dedication is reflected in leadership positions with NCCA and the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (I.C.E.). In 2012, the Citizen Advocacy Center awarded Paul with the Ben Shimberg Public Service Award.

“We are incredibly grateful for Paul’s leadership and dedication,” said Ms. Berline. “Looking ahead, NBCOT is well-positioned for continued success. We have a strong foundation built on an engaged board, exceptional volunteers, and a highly qualified staff.”

JDG Associates, Ltd., has assisted the board of directors in the search for the next president/CEO, safeguarding a smooth transition and continued success for NBCOT in fulfilling its mission. Paul will continue in a consultant role until the end of 2024.


The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) is a national not-for-profit organization that provides certification to over 220,000 occupational therapy professionals. NBCOT develops, administers, and continually reviews its certification process based on current and valid standards that provide reliable indicators of competence of occupational therapy practice. Above all else, our mission is to serve the public interest. Initial certification from NBCOT is a requirement for licensure in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. We also work with state regulators and employers to provide information on credentials, professional conduct, and regulatory issues. NBCOT's certification programs have received and maintained accreditation from the International Accreditation Service (IAS) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).


Angela Macauley / / 301-944-2104