I am an overseas Practitioner
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.
Australian registered occupational therapists
If you are a registered, practising Occupational Therapist in Australia, you can apply for registration under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act. Please click here for more information.
Applying for registration
To apply for registration you must:
- Complete an online application.
- Make the appropriate payment. The application fee for registration as an overseas qualified applicant is NZD$1188 (inc GST).
- Provide the required documents listed to the address below.
Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand
22-28 Willeston Street
Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand
PO Box 9644
Required documentation for overseas qualified applicants
You must provide two forms of identity documentation and evidence of any changes to your name. One of these must have a photograph. Acceptable forms of identification are:
• Birth Certificate
• Current Passport (current)
• Driver’s Licence (current)
• Deed Poll Change and/or Marriage Licence
You must hold a relevant occupational therapy qualification for registration. Qualifications are individually assessed by Board appointed occupational therapists.
You are required to submit:
• Your Occupational Therapy Qualification Certificate
• Your Academic Transcript
• Academic Syllabus / Detailed course description relating to your qualification
The OTBNZ may also list on the register any other tertiary qualifications you have completed such as a Master or PhD qualification. Proof of the qualification must be supplied.
The OTBNZ may require you to apply for Primary Source Verification in order to ensure that your identity and qualifications are valid. This would be at your own cost. You will be advised if this is necessary following the submission and initial assessment of your application.
Criminal history checks
You are required to declare any criminal convictions you may have and consent to a criminal history check in Aotearoa New Zealand (unless you have never been to New Zealand)
You are required to apply and pay for an International Criminal History Check (ICHC) conducted online by Fit2work (international) or Fit2work (Australia). This is required for all countries you have lived in for more than 6 months over the last 10 years. The cost for this can be estimated here. Further information about Criminal Conviction reports is available here.
If you have any convictions then we will ask for information to enable us to understand how this may impact your application. More information about this is available here.
You must declare any physical or mental health condition/s that may impact your ability to practice as an occupational therapist. We may ask for more information to enable us to understand how this may impact your application. More information about this is available here.
You must supply 3 references. At least one of these must be an occupational therapist with whom you have worked for more than 6 months in the last 2 years. This person will be required to view your competence self-assessment and confirm that it accurately represents your practice.
Referees should be:
• Older than 18 years old
• Have known you for more than 12 months
• Not be a relative
• Not live at the same address as you
• Be a person of good standing in the community
Referees must complete the reference form. The form must be returned by the referee themselves directly to the OTBNZ.
If English is not your first language you will be required to provide proof of your ability to communicate effectively in English. The OTBNZ accepts OET or IELTS results as detailed here.
Current and previous registration
You will need to supply a certificate of good standing from any regulatory authorities you are currently or have previously been registered with. You will also need to supply information about any complaints, investigations, or disciplinary action that may have been taken while you were registered/licensed or is pending.
Certificates of good standing must be no older than 6 months when processed by the OTBNZ
Assessment of competence
Practitioners returning to the register and those who have not practised in more than 3 years must complete a competence assessment. This involves:
- Completion of a free online course: Mauriora Foundations of Cultural Competency
- Completion of a competence self-assessment. You will need to show this to your occupational therapist referee so they can comment on it in their reference.
- Providing your current Curriculum Vitae/Resume. Please explain any gaps in your resume.
- Completing a Return to Practise plan (if it has been more than 5 years since you last practised as an occupational therapist)
You must be registered and hold a practising certificate before you can work as an occupational therapist in Aotearoa New Zealand. You may apply for a practising certificate during the online application process, or after your application has been approved. The fee for practising certificates is NZD$500 for up to 12 months, or NZD$190 for up to 3 months (inc GST).