Ontario College Diploma | 4 semesters | Barrydowne Campus

This 2-year Ontario College Diploma program is an evidence-based and clinically-focused program that provides the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to work as an Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant (OTA and PTA).

As valued members of the health care team, OTAs and PTAs work in a support role under the direction of, and in collaboration with, occupational therapists and/or physiotherapists. OTAs and PTAs work directly with clients whose ability to function and adapt has been impacted or compromised due to injury, illness, or disease.

Through this program, students will develop the skills to be compassionate and client-centered OTAs and PTAs who can support clients with limitations in movement and activities of daily living, whether temporary or permanent. Students will learn to assist occupational therapists and/or physiotherapists in the assessment, planning, and implementation of treatment plans and programs focused on restoring and maximizing physical function and occupational performance. 

This profession does include a level of physicality. You must be able to assist clients with transfers and ambulation, complete exercise programs with clients, and move equipment.

Program Highlights

  • 2 years - 4 semesters
  • A combination of practical skills and theoretical knowledge achieved through classroom discussion, hands-on lab activities and clinical field placements
  • 540 hours of clinical field placements completed in various settings 

Field Placement

Students will complete 540 clinical field placement hours in a variety of settings related to both occupational therapy and physiotherapy prior to graduation. These placements provide the opportunity to apply classroom studies to actual work situations and gain extensive on-the-job experience. Cambrian College has affiliated clinical partners at placement sites across Canada. Please note that when you accept a seat in the program, you also accept to go to any of the program's affiliated clinical sites available at the time of your placement.

Please note that all costs associated with travel, parking, and living expenses for placement are the responsibility of the student.

Placement Requirements

Students must meet the following requirements to attend field placement courses. These requirements must be completed by the prescribed deadline prior to semester 3. Students are responsible for any expenses incurred in meeting these requirements.

  • CPR-HCP and First Aid training
  • N-95 mask fit testing
  • Obtain a Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening
  • AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) certification
  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) certification
  • Ministry of Labour 4-Step Work Health and Safety Awareness certification
  • Immunizations:
    • Varicella
    • Measles, mumps, rubella
    • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
    • Polio
    • Hepatitis B
    • Two-step tuberculosis screening
    • Influenza
    • COVID-19 immunization

Quick Links

How to Apply

Health Sciences, Nursing, and Emergency Services

Admission Requirements

For graduates of the new curriculum (OSS): Ontario Secondary School Diploma (30 credits) or equivalent or mature student status, including:

  • Any grade 12 English (C) or (U)
  • Any grade 11 (C) or (U) or grade 12 biology (U)

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Program Delivery


This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Winter Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Winter 2024
  2. SEMESTER 2 Spring 2024
  3. SEMESTER 3 Fall 2024
  4. SEMESTER 4 Winter 2025


This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Fall Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Fall 2024
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2025
  3. SEMESTER 3 Fall 2025
  4. SEMESTER 4 Winter 2026

Winter Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Winter 2025
  2. SEMESTER 2 Spring 2025
  3. SEMESTER 3 Fall 2025
  4. SEMESTER 4 Winter 2026

For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the Academic Schedule on our website.

Program of Study for 2024-25 Academic Year 

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Credits
COM 2425 Client & Career Communication 3
BIO 1680 Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Conditions 6
ENG 1121 Research & Writing/Health Sciences 3
HEA 1185 Health Systems and Ethics 3
HEA 1190 Health Promotion and Wellness 3
One General Education Course. 1 3
Semester 2
BIO 2121 Anatomy Physiology and Disease 3
HEA 1171 Seating and Mobility 3
HEA 2010 Assessments and Modalities 3
HEA 2080 Therapeutic Exercise 3
HEA 1275 OTA Clinical Approaches 3
PSY 1135 Issues in Developmental Psychology 3
One General Education Course. 1 3
Semester 3
HEA 1720 Neurological Health Conditions 3
HEA 2200 Complex Health Conditions 4
HEA 2330 Exercise Modification 2
HEA 2520 Case Studies for OTA/PTA 3
FPL 1302 OTA/PTA Field Placement I 5
Semester 4
HEA 2521 Comprehensive Review 3
FPL 1401 OTA/PTA Field Placement II 10
One General Education Course. 1 3
 Total Credits75

For more information regarding General Education courses, click here.


Tuition and Ancillary Fees

Please see our fees page for the breakdown of tuition and mandatory ancillary fees by program and semester for both domestic and international students.

Books & Supplies

The cost of books for Year 1 is estimated at $125. There will be no additional book fees in Year 2. The cost of uniforms for the program is estimated at $100. This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.

Pre-Placement Fees

Students will be expected to complete mandatory training courses (e.g. CPR) and other pre-placement requirements (e.g. immunizations) at their own expense near the end of Year 1, in preparation for placements beginning in semester 3. These trainings and fees are estimated at $400 in total. This cost will vary depending on the number of vaccinations students must obtain to meet the pre-placement requirements. This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.

Placement Expenses

Placement sites occur at clinics and organizations across Canada and you may be required to complete your placement at any of these sites. All related placement expenses such as travel, parking, and accommodations are the responsibility of the student.

Graduate Options

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of this program will be prepared to pursue positions as an OTA, PTA, OTA/PTA or Rehabilitation Assistant within a wide range of organizations and settings which include:

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Private retirement residences
  • Private practice clinics
  • Children's treatment centers and schools
  • Home care

College/University Degree Opportunities

Students who graduate from this program with a minimum 75% average can receive 42 credits toward an Honours Bachelor's degree in Health Promotion (BPHE HEAL) at Laurentian University in Sudbury, ON.

Graduates from this program may continue their studies at additional colleges/universities and may receive credit for their prior College education.

Refer to College/University Agreements for further information.

Please note: Cambrian College strives to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website. Please note that the academic curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that Cambrian's programs and courses remain relevant. The College reserves the right to cancel or make changes to any course or program, fee, procedure, or campus location at any time.