Program_OPTA

Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Diploma

Train to become an Occupational Therapist Assistant or Physical Therapist Assistant, and provide assistance to Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and clients in a variety of health care settings.
Domestic Status:
Waitlisted
International Status:
Waitlisted
Next Start date:
Diploma
2 Years
Accepting International Students
Full-Time On Campus

About the Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Diploma

Enter this high demand field and enjoy the benefits of a dynamic work environment. You will get the opportunity to assist a variety of people in a range of settings, making each day unique. 

You will be rewarded each day in this career as you make a difference in people’s lives by improving their movement and quality of life. With clients of all ages and backgrounds, each with their own unique goals and challenges, you will be trained to help clients to learn new skills, maintain and regain mobility, recover from injuries, and overcome challenges to independence.  

This program prepares you to become an Occupational and/or Physical Therapist Assistant.   

The Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Red Deer Polytechnic has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was awarded to the program on November 30, 2020 for the period until November 30, 2026. 

Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (226) 636-0632, otapta.ca 

Work-integrated Learning

Students in the Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Diploma will participate in three practicums as part of their studies. Students will complete practicums throughout the province of Alberta. 

Further Study

University of Calgary 
Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Diploma graduates will be considered for entrance into the University of Calgary's 10 full course equivalent Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation program. 

Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning 
Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant Diploma graduates will be granted a maximum of 54 transfer credits into the Bachelor of Health Science. 

Transfer arrangements are different at each university, and you are advised to consult the Alberta Transfer Guide, your Chairperson, academic advisors and the university to which you will transfer for more information. 

Brittany Parker_OPTA Testimonial
"The OPTA instructors were fantastic; they were approachable, supportive, and knowledgeable in their fields. The program balances background information, theory, and therapeutic knowledge with hands-on practice to reinforce classroom learning. Practicum placements provided real-world opportunities to apply skills in different settings with diverse populations. Overall, the OPTA program exceeded my expectations and made me confident to begin my career in rehabilitation."
Brittany Parker, 2023

Intakes

Fall (Domestic) - Start Date: Sep 04, 2024
  • Application window:
    -
  • Registration start date:
  • Fee payment deadline:
  • First day of classes:
Fall (International) - Start Date: Sep 04, 2024
  • Application window:
    -
  • Registration start date:
  • Fee payment deadline:
  • First day of classes:

NOTES:  

  • International students have to pay their tuition deposit to receive their letters of acceptance
  • Important dates may change 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for specific programs will often refer to Alberta Grade 12 course groups. Visit the Admission Requirements page for detailed group descriptions.   

International Students: If you are an international student or have completed your high school education outside of Alberta, please refer to our International Course Equivalencies page for information on how your coursework may align with our admission requirements. 

Eligibility for admission to the Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant program at Red Deer Polytechnic requires applicants to meet minimum academic requirements. Qualified applicants who meet all minimum requirements will be offered admission on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Academic Requirements  

Students applying to OPTA must have a minimum of 60% in:    

  • ELA 30-1, or equivalent 

  • Biology 30, or equivalent 

A minimum of 50% in: 

  • A 30-level math course (Math 30-1 or Math 30-2, Math 30 Applied or equivalent) or another 30-level science course 

Additional Requirements

Technology

It is to your advantage to have basic computer literacy with a working knowledge of word processing software. 

English Language Proficiency

Applicants who declare English as a first language are exempt from ELP requirements. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) for admission to credit programs by providing official documentation to the Office of the Registrar after an online application has been submitted. All ELP tests must have been obtained within two years of the date their program starts. ELP requirements are in addition to the other admission requirements noted above.  

Study Permits

Students with Study Permits that are admitted to a program that has a practicum or clinical placement in childcare, primary/secondary school teaching or health service field occupations must complete their Medical Authorization as required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada one month prior to the start of classes. 

Health & Safety

Health workers are responsible to attain and maintain required health and safety certifications and maintain recommended immunization standards. 

For clinical and practicum placements, as a student of a Health program, you also are required to meet these standards of practice

These health and safety requirements do not need to be submitted as part of your application. However, failure to submit the required documents will affect your progression in your chosen program. 

View details about health & safety requirements for work-integrated learning (clinical and practicum) placements, including document submission deadlines.  

Practicum

Students must complete a minimum of one third of their practical training in each area (OT or PT) and will be placed in a variety of therapeutic environments, which may include: hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, private rehabilitation clinics/services, and home care and community care services. 

Practicum Expenses – The RDP Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant diploma program includes three practicum courses which are 170 hours each. Students are responsible for all expenses associated with practicum. Practicum expenses can vary depending on the practicum location. Minimum costs will be room and board, relocation costs, and travel to and from the workplace. You will require appropriate professional clothing or uniform attire, as well as proper footwear, for working with the public in a professional setting. 

Practicum Travel – Due to practicum availability, students will be required to travel to any location within the province of Alberta in order to complete the practicum requirements. In extreme circumstances, the Institution may need to delay completion of a practicum until a placement becomes available. 

Prior Learning and Transfer

Students presenting courses from other recognized post-secondary institutions may be granted transfer credit towards the Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant program, visit our Recognition of Prior Learning and Transfer Credit page to learn more.   

Program Cost

Students from Canada
Year 1
$11,009.50
Year 2
$7,085.00

These costs are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.       

NOTE: Additional fees apply. View here for a detailed, estimated breakdown of tuition, non-instructional mandatory fees, health and dental plan costs, and estimated textbooks and supplies costs.    

International Students
Year 1
$27,304.50
Year 2
$17,005.00

These costs are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.      

NOTE: Additional fees apply. View here for a detailed, estimated breakdown of tuition, non-instructional mandatory fees, health and dental plan costs, and estimated textbooks and supplies costs.     

Program Content

View our course guide for additional program and course information. 

Graduation Requirements

You must pass all courses and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.  Due to the changing nature of health care, students must complete the program within 4 academic years from the term when they were first admitted.  

Continuing and Professional Education

Further your career by advancing your existing skills through flexible courses, micro-credentials and programs.