Representation of Credentials

All consumers of services offered by professionals licensed by the New York State Education Department have the legal right to verify the credentials of those professionals and know the names and titles of licensed professionals who provide services.

By law, the use of the title "occupational therapist" is limited to a person licensed to practice occupational therapy.

An occupational therapist who holds National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification typically uses the designator "OTR/L."

An occupational therapy assistant who holds NBCOT certification typically uses the designation "COTA."

A student providing occupational therapy services should identify himself/herself as "OT student."

A licensed occupational therapist who does not hold NBCOT certification may identify himself/herself as "OT/L."

A NYS registered occupational therapy assistant who does not hold NBCOT certification may identify himself/herself as "OTA."

There is no provision for occupational therapy aides in New York State. Aides should not be called "OT aides," nor should they be delegated any professional responsibilities.

Use of the title "OT aide" could mislead the public into believing that such aides are authorized to provide professional services.

Last Updated: May 28, 2009