National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) is the national certification body for occupational therapy professionals in the United States. Currently, 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico require NBCOT initial certification for occupational therapy state regulation (e.g., licensing).

The primary purpose of the NBCOT certification exams is to protect the public interest by certifying only the candidates who have the necessary knowledge of occupational therapy to practice. The Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR®) and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA®) exams are constructed to measure entry-level competence of candidates who have met eligibility requirements for certification of the respective credential.

For more information on the OTR and COTA exams, visit our website.

Apply for the OTR or COTA Exam

You will not be able to schedule an exam appointment if you have not applied for the exam with NBCOT and paid the exam fee. If you have not applied, you may do so online through your MyNBCOT account.

Exam Information

Learn more about eligibility, requirements, policies, processes, the code of conduct, and more in our online handbook that guides you through the application process.

Testing Accommodations

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), NBCOT provides reasonable and appropriate testing accommodations (TA) for exam applicants with documented disabilities, as defined by the ADA, who are eligible to take the OTR or COTA exam.

Testing accommodations information »

Scheduling Your Exam

Once your exam application is approved, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter by email and in your MyNBCOT account. This letter authorizes you to take the certification exam and provides instructions on how to schedule. It also provides information on the IDs that you need to bring to verify your identity at the test center. Some candidates with testing accommodations may have specific scheduling instructions. Please refer to your ATT letter for details on how to schedule with testing accommodations.

Appointment Length

Please note that your appointment length is longer than the exam time. The APPOINTMENT LENGTH includes ALL components of the testing appointment, including the exam introduction, tutorial, etc. The EXAM TIME is the time that is allocated only for answering and reviewing exam questions. The standard exam time is 4 hours.

Rescheduling or Canceling Your Exam

Exams can be rescheduled or canceled by clicking the "Sign in" button on the right. Rescheduling or canceling must be done at least 48 hours before your appointment. Review full scheduling policies in our online handbook.


Refer to NBCOT's scoring calendar for details on when scores will be released and when you need to take the exam to be included in a specific score release date.

Last updated 2023-12-01