I am an overseas Occupational Therapist

Are you an occupational therapist from overseas considering practising in Aotearoa New Zealand?

We’ll need to compare your overseas educational programme against Aotearoa New Zealand standards. Depending on our findings you may be required to attend courses, take an exam, or provide supporting information.

If you received your education in Australia you can register with us under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement.

On this page you’ll find information on:

To practise in Aotearoa New Zealand you need to become registered with us. It’s illegal to practise without registering.

If you want to register because you’ve recently graduated in New Zealand or are a returning occupational therapist registered in Aotearoa New Zealand please see either:

I am studying to be a practitioner

I am a practitioner

If you have questions about registration please email us 

Steps to registration

There are 5 steps to registration:

    1. read about our requirements
    2. complete the forms for registration
    3. send us your registration fee
    4. send any supporting documents
    5. we assess you for registration.

 

 

1. Read about our requirements

Registration Information for Overseas Trained Occupational Therapists (PDF, 268KB, 10 pages)
The key information you need to register as an overseas applicant.

Policy for Registration of Overseas Qualified Applicants (PDF, 283KB, 5 pages)
Our policy on registering overseas applicants, including qualifications and process information.

Checklist for Overseas Qualified Occupational Therapists applying for Registration in Aotearoa New Zealand  (Doc, 18 KB, 2 pages)
A checklist to help you when you are registering in Aotearoa New Zealand from overseas.

Qualifications for Registration (PDF, 315KB, 14 pages)
The qualifications you must hold to register – including a list of overseas programmes we hold information on.

Requirements for Certifying Documents (DOC, 57.5KB, 1 page)
Documents you need to have certified, why you need to do this, and who you can get this done by

Requirements for Translating Documents (DOC, 59.5KB, 2 pages)
We may need you to have documents translated for us; here are our requirements

If you’re registered in Australia and considering practising in Aotearoa New Zealand

Information for Practitioners Applying under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMRA) (DOC, 198KB, 8 pages)
Information to help you when applying for registration through TTMRA.

Policy and Process for Registration in New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (PDF , 274KB, 4 pages)
Our policy and process for registration of applicants who are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Association.

Checklist for Applicants Registering under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA) (DOC, 16 KB, 2 pages)
A checklist to help you when you apply for registration under TTMRA.

2. Complete the forms for registration

myOTBNZ
You can register online through this portal.

Reference Form (DOC, 411KB, 4 pages)

This form must be completed and form part of your application.

Request for Criminal Conviction History – Third Party (PDF, 1MB, 5 pages)
You will need to complete this form and return it to us when you are registering with us.

3. Send us your registration fee

Our Fees(DOC, 294KB, 1 page )
Find out the fee to register.

4. Send any supporting documents

Documentation and Fee Requirements for Registration (PDF, 296KB, 2 page)
The documents and fees we need from you when you apply for registration.

5. We assess you for registration

Assessment of Fitness, Qualifications and Competence for Registration (DOC, 294KB, 2 pages)
Information on how we assess your application for registration.

Fitness Policy(PDF, 369KB, 7 pages)
Policy for assessing of fitness for registration and recertification.

To practise in Aotearoa New Zealand you need a current Practising Certificate. It’s illegal to practise without one.  You can apply for your first Practising Certificate as part of your online registration application. Every year after that, you must recertify.

Practising Certificates are valid from 1 April to 31 March. Each year, we notify all registered practitioners when we open the recertification process. We do this by email, so be sure your information is current in myOTBNZ.

Steps to receive your first Practising Certificate

There are 2 steps to receive your first Annual Practising Certificate:

  • read about our requirements
  • apply and pay for your Annual Practising Certificate.

1. Read about our requirements


Once registered, you’ll be expected to maintain your competence and record how you do this using our ePortfolio tool.

Recertification Policy (PDF, 235KB, 5 pages)
Our policy on recertifying each year.

Policy on When Registration and a Practising Certificate are Required (PDF, 715KB,10 pages)
Our policy on your requirements to be registered and hold a Practising Certificate.

Fitness Policy (PDF, 369KB, 7 pages)
If you have a health condition or conviction.

Keeping your competence current

Once you commence practising, you’ll be expected to maintain your competence and record how you do this using our ePortfolio tool.

ePortfolio tool
Our tool for you to record your professional development against our competencies. You can access ePortfolio through your myOTBNZ login.

ePortfolio handbook (PDF, 5.9MB, 34 Pages)
A guide to help you use e-Portfolio to your best advantage.

OTBNZ competence examination information (DOC, 294KB, 2 pages)
Information you’ll need if we decide to test your competence

2. Apply and pay for your practising certificate

myOTBNZ
Our tool for you to use when applying for your Practising Certificate. 
You can submit your entire application including the fee online through myOTBNZ.

Practising Certificate Application Form (DOC, 379KB, 10 page )
A paper application form for a practising certificate.

Our Fees (DOC, 294KB, 1 page )
Find out the fee for recertifying.

A Practising Certificate application usually includes a third party attestation. You do not need to include this if you are not currently practising in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We’ve created a range of publications to help you provide a safe working environment and safe relationships for you, your co-workers and consumers. This section has some of the publications you’ll need.

Our documents page holds all our current policies, guidelines and forms.

General Scope of Practice (DOC, 308KB, 1 page)
The definition of Scope you work under as an occupational therapist and the qualifications you must have.

Guidelines for Social Media and Electronic Communication (PDF, 756KB, 7 pages)

Information and guidance on maintaining privacy when using social media and electronic communication.

Position Statement: Practice Boundaries for Occupational Therapists (PDF, 302KB, 5 pages)
Our position on providing services beyond the general Scope of Practice.

Practice Boundaries for Occupational Therapists – A Guide for Practitioners (PDF, 302KB, 11 pages)
Information and guidance on maintaining a professional relationship with your clients.

Professional Boundaries for Occupational Therapists (PDF, 810KB, 20 pages)
An Occupational Therapist’s guide to the importance of professional boundaries.

Policy for the use of Occupational Therapy Qualifications and or Titles (DOC, 279KB, 3 pages)
Our policy on when you can use the qualifications and/or titles of occupational therapy.

Policy for Renewing Practising Certificates ( PDF, 232 KB, 5 pages)
Our policy for when you need to be registered and have a current practising certificate.

Competencies Poster (PDF, 544KB, 2 Pages)
A useful reference  for the current 5 competency areas.

We may impose conditions on your Scope of Practice, depending on how recently you’ve graduated or where you’ve come from. These standard conditions are:

if you’re a new graduate – you must receive weekly supervision by a registered occupational therapist for the first 12 months of practice

if you’re an overseas qualified registrant – you must receive fortnightly supervision by a registered occupational for the first six months of practice

if you’re a previously registered practitioner who’s returning to practise in New Zealand – you must receive fortnightly supervision by a registered occupational for the first six months of practice.

You may also receive conditions on your Scope of Practice after a review of your competence and fitness. These are imposed on a case-by-case basis after discussion with you.

General Scope of Practice that occupational therapists work under

General Scope of Practice (DOC, 308KB, 1 page)
The definition of Scope occupational therapists work under and the qualifications they must have.

Conditions that may be placed on your Scope

Fact Sheet Conditions of Scope of Practice (Doc, 250KB, 4 pages)
Information on conditions that may be placed on your Scope.

Policy on Standard Conditions on Scope (Doc, 408KB 4 pages)
Policy for placing conditions on your Scope.

Removing conditions from your Scope

Application for Removal of Conditions on General Scope of Practice (Doc, 416KB, 8 pages)
The form for starting the process of removing conditions from your Scope of Practice.

We require all occupational therapists to receive supervision. You must receive fortnightly supervision from a registered occupational therapist for six months once you’re registered and have an Annual Practising Certificate.

Supervision may also be required if you have a condition on your Scope of Practice. The frequency and length of your supervision depends on why you’re being supervised.

If you’re being supervised

Supervision Requirements for Occupational Therapists(PDF, 971KB, 16 pages)

Guide on supervision requirements for occupational therapists

Quick Guide to Supervision (PDF, 124KB, 2 pages )

The key information you need to know about supervision.

Example of Supervison Log (DOC, 41KB 1 page) 
An example of the records that should be kept as part of your supervision.

Available Supervisors (DOC, 279KB, 1pages) 
A list of supervisors you may wish to use.

Competencies

We’re responsible for setting standards of clinical competence, cultural competence, and ethical conduct (under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003). To be registered, you must demonstrate threshold competence in each competency area. Once you’re registered and practising, you need to maintain the required standard of competence to obtain a current Practising Certificate. Your growth and development is recorded in our online platform: ePortfolio.

How we assess your competency and fitness

Assessment of Fitness, Qualifications and Competence for Registration (DOC, 294KB, 2 pages)
Information on how we assess your application for registration.

Competencies for Registration and Continuing Practise  (PDF,  550KB, 12 pages)
Information on the five key areas you need to remain competent in, what is expected from you and how to demonstrate your competency.

Fitness Policy (PDF, 369KB, 7 pages)
Policy to efficiently and consistently assess registration in regards to fitness.

Where to go to improve your cultural competency

www.mauriora.co.nz (external website for cultural awareness training)
The provider of our approved cultural competence course.

Code of Ethics

You’re expected to practise to the standard of conduct laid out in our Code of Ethics. Our ethics protect the safety of consumers and your integrity as an occupational therapist.

Code of Ethics (PDF,  649KB, 12 pages)
The ethical standards occupational therapists must adhere to.

When returning to practise, you must ensure you’re registered and hold a current Practising Certificate. If you’ve been away for more than three years we’ll need to assess your competence.

Competence Assessment Application Form  (DOC, 286KB, 10 pages)

You need to complete this form so we can assess your competence.

Information on Returning to Practise  (DOC, 64KB, 4 page)

What you need to know if you’re returning to practise after an absence.

Policy for Registered Occupational Therapists Returning to Practise in NZ after Three Years (DOC, 225KB,3 pages)

Our policy if you’re returning to New Zealand to practise after an absence of 3 years or more.

Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa
OTNZ-WNA is the national association representing Occupational Therapy professionals in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ministry of Justice – criminal records
Find out more about criminal convictions and Police reporting from our Justice Department.

myOTBNZ user guide (PDF, 360KB, 5 pages)
How to use myOtbnz for practitioners.

Immigration 
We don’t provide immigration advice – find out about requirements for moving to New Zealand through Immigration New Zealand.

Health Practitioners Assurance Act 2003
The statutory law we must adhere to.

Mauriora Health Education
Mauriora Health Education offers the Foundation Course in Cultural Competency (Maori) necessary for competence assessment.

OTBNZ | Code of Ethics (Video, 3:05)
This video covers the Code of Ethics for Occupational Therapists in Aotearoa New Zealand.

OTBNZ | ePortfolio (Video, 6:36)
This video provides an overview of the online tool you will use to record your professional development.

OTBNZ | Competencies (Video, 7:36)
This video provides an overview of the competencies for continuing registration.