The National Occupational Therapy Certification Board, Inc. (NBCOT ®) is a national non-profit organization providing occupational therapy professionals with certification. NBCOT ® develops, manages, and continually reviews its certification process based on current and valid standards providing reliable indicators of occupational therapy skills.

NBCOT® also work with the state regulatory authorities to provide credentials, professional behavior, and renewal issues related to regulation and certification. As a national board of certification body, its long-term objective is to deliver the interests of people by promoting customer care and professional practice through evidence-based certification standards and validating the knowledge necessary for effective occupational therapy practice.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCAA) accredited and developed NBCOT ® certification programs. National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapist also proudly represent itself as a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

Since the year 1996, the law on Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility includes new pre-screening certification guidelines for foreign health care workers desiring visas. The American Occupational Therapy Association is successful in maintaining the ability of the profession to facilitate these OT practitioner requirements, and then the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board now becomes the known NBCOT ® today or the National Occupational Therapy Certification Board.

NBCOT ® regulated by a board of directors consisting of Registered Occupational Therapists (OTR), Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA), and members of the public. It is the board’s responsibility to set up the organization’s strategic vision and oversight of management.

The board is also pledged to a fair, valid, and reliable evaluation of the examination while observing well-established procedures for the determination of the examination content, as well as the completion of a practice analysis study.

NBCOT ® conducts regular studies of OTR and COTA practice analysis following the certification industry standards to determine the domains, tasks, and knowledge needed to exercise occupational therapy successfully.  

NBCOT ® Examinations Purpose

The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) and Occupational Therapy Registered (OTR) tests are designed to measure the entry-level skills and knowledge of candidates who have met the eligibility requirements. NBCOT ® certification examinations primary purpose is to protect people’s interest by certifying only those candidates who know necessary to practice occupational therapy.

Test Development

Depending on the results of studies of practice analysis, the OTR and COTA exams built. The study results are used to create the examination outlines and guide the examination construction. A practice analysis study’s primary goal is to make sure there is a representative link between examination content and practice. By the end of 2016 up to 2017, NBCOT ® carried out revalidation of the practice analysis studies for the national certification examinations; OTR and COTA. External credentialing standards require certification organizations such as NBCOT ® to perform these every five years to confirm the relevance of the test to current entry-level practice.

Aspiring candidates can use resources that contain in-depth Occupational Therapy practice questions for efficient NBCOT exam preparation. They get to familiarize themselves with the test’s structure and subject matter by studying these questions from reliable sources such as TrueLearn, which correspond to the material covered in the OTR and COTA examinations.

Occupational Therapy Registered  Passing Rates & Certification Activities

Since the year 2016, 8,848 brave souls who are candidates for the said exam having a passing rate of 74%, with a total professional population of 115, 481. This population increased as 9, 822 candidates took the 2017 OTR examinations with 72% passing rate and a total of 123, 592 certified professionals. Last year, 2018, OTR examination has a passing rate of 71%  out of the 10, 119 candidates and an increase of 132,968 to the total population of professionals.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Passing Rates & Certification Activities

There is  49 566 population of certified assistants since 2016, and a total of 7,311 candidates passed the COTA exam with a passing rate of 64%. This data further expand in the year 2017, having  67% of the 7,526 candidates passed the test, that adds up to a total of 51, 467 professionals. This result includes all applicants taking the certification examination, whether it is their first time taking the test or not. In the year 2018, 7,143 candidates who took the COTA examination, and 62% of which passed the COTA examination, and 56,858 of the total population are certified, assistants.

Renewal of Certification

NBCOT ® entitled certification for three years. Professionals are required 36 PDUs for renewal and 29 hours of which is from an AOTA approved provider. 1.25 PDUs is convertible to 1 contact hour. The deadline for these requirements is every three years by the 31st of March. If your scheduled date meets all these certification renewal requirements, then you will be given active functional standing status for another period of three years.


For how many years NBCOT ® has been a home for registered occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants, helping these people enhance their skills and knowledge. The board ensures that these professionals can care and give the public’s needs by providing evidence-based occupational therapy practices and services.