National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

DOMAIN, TASK, AND SKILL STATEMENTS for the Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant COTA®

Entry-level COTA Self-assessment Tool

Throughout this document the use of the term client is intended to include individuals and groups such as patients, consumers, workers, students, children, and others who receive occupational therapy services.

Statement of Target Audience

This tool is designed for OTA students and the CERTIFIED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT COTA®. Candidates may use this tool to guide overall test preparation strategies relative to general occupational therapy practice.

Definition of the Entry-level Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

The entry-level CERTIFIED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT COTA® certificant has from zero to three years of professional experience. The COTA works with clients whose occupational performance is impaired or at risk of impairment to facilitate engagement in meaningful occupation across the lifespan. Under the supervision of and in partnership with the OTR, the COTA uses collaborative, client-centered strategies to obtain information regarding personal and environmental factors that impact occupational performance to formulate conclusions toward development of an intervention plan. The COTA collaborates with the OTR in the selection and implementation of interventions to support participation in basic and instrumental activities of daily living, education, work, play, leisure, and social participation. The COTA engages in professional development activities to maintain competence and uphold standards of practice.


0 = No knowledge or skills - Unfamiliar with concept or practice of the skill
1 = General knowledge through observation and academic learning - Familiar with general knowledge related to the skill through academic learning and observation but did not have an opportunity to apply this during fieldwork
2 = General clinical skills under supervision - Familiar with general clinical application of the skill and occasionally applied this under direct supervision during Level II fieldwork
3 = Entry-level competence – Implemented the skill across routine situations within guidelines of Level II fieldwork practice setting

As you proceed through the self-assessment tool, you can view the rating scale presented above by clicking on the question mark icon located on the right hand side of each page.