NBCOT Renewal Requirements

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Learn about the requirements for renewing NBCOT certification with this article. You'll find information about the steps you need to take to complete the renewal process and some educational resources that can assist with this process.

Renewing NBCOT Certification

You will need to renew your National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification every three years to maintain an Active in Good Standing certification. There is an annual window for recertification from January to March. If you miss your recertification, your status will become Noncompliant-Inactive. You can recertify from this status though the steps are slightly different.

Renewing in Good Standing

To renew your certification while in good standing, you will need to look over the certification renewal handbook and complete a mix of 36 Competency Assessment Units (CAU) and Professional Development Units (PDU) over a three-year period. You can choose between 29 different activities to earn these units. A full list of all of your options is available on the NBCOT's website (

You will also need to complete a certificant attestment created by the NBCOT.

You can submit your renewal online or through the mail. Online renewal requires you to set up an account on the NBCOT website and will allow you to update your certification instantly. The renewal fee is $65. It may take 2 weeks to update your certification if you send it in by mail and the renewal fee is $70.

Renewing While Noncompliant-Inactive

You will need to complete a few extra steps to renew your certification if you have a Noncompliant-Inactive. In addition to reading over the certification renewal handbook and completing the 36 units for recertification, you will need to finish either an NBCOT OTR or COTA self-assessment. These assessments can be used to identify areas where you should explore professional development options. The tests are located on the NBCOT website.

It's important to note that at the start of April 2016, if you miss more than one renewal term you will have to go through a different set of steps. In addition to your application, you will have to complete 12 PDUs from specific categories, 18 PDUs of your choice from the renewal activities chart (which can be found on the NBCOT website), and 6 CAUs inclusive of the NBCOT Navigator Self-Reflection.

You can complete your reinstatement application on the NBCOT website. Keep in mind that your application is only good for 6 months, and if you do not complete all of the required steps in that time period you will have to apply for reinstatement again. At the start of April 2016, the application will only be good for four months.

The late fee for renewal is $25. If you miss one renewal period, the application fee is $115, and if you miss more than one, the fee is $150.

Occupational Therapy Education

There's a variety of options available to you as you consider continuing education in this field. If you choose coursework, make sure it is offered through an organization that is accredited or approved by NBCOT.

Consider these topics as you decide what to study:

The video lessons in these chapters cover important information that can be applied to your therapeutic practice. View short video lessons to learn more about how you can increase your understanding of these subjects.

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