Board and Specialty Certifications

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Advance Your Career With AOTA Board Certification or Specialty Certification

Stand out from your colleagues and demonstrate your commitment to the profession by earning your credential for either Board Certification or Specialty Certification.  Being awarded these credentials demonstrates to your peers, employers, and clients that you are a dedicated occupational therapy professional with expertise in your chosen certification area(s). Board and Specialty Certification are voluntary and signify that you have gone above and beyond to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities that highlight your continuing competence.

Benefits of AOTA Board and Specialty Certification

  • Demonstrates your proficiency in your chosen area(s)
  • Highlights your professional and personal accomplishments as an occupational therapy professional
  • Encourages career development and life-long learning through credential maintenance
  • Be better equipped to provide customized care to your clients

Application Process

AOTA certification is based on a peer-reviewed process in which applicants submit a reflective portfolio that addresses identified criteria, a self-assessment, and development of a professional development plan.

Criteria that define aspects of either advanced (Board) or specialized (Specialty) occupational therapy practice are at the core of each of the Board Certification and Specialty Certification programs. These criteria represent knowledge, critical and ethical reasoning, and interpersonal and performance skills that are specifically geared to occupational therapy.

Successful applicants for AOTA certification are granted a credential that corresponds with their Board or Specialty area, and they are eligible to use this credential for a period of 5 years, at which time a renewal application must be completed. Read Mapping the Path to Board and Specialty Certification (pdf), which lays out the detailed steps of the process. Download the Letter for Sponsorship (pdf) template to request employer support.

View the Portfolio Scoring Guidelines (pdf) for more information on what reviewers look for in certification applications.

Nine Certification Areas 

Board Certification 

Specialty Certification 
(OT and OTA)

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted each year in June and December. Upcoming dates are:

  • June 13, 2018
  • December 12, 2018