Students are asked about their criminal background on their Lackawanna College application. Background checks are required for all OTA students and are completed in the first semester of the program. If a student has answered the application question dishonestly he/she will be investigated by the director of public safety and will be dismissed from the OTA program and/or Lackawanna College. However, if a student with a criminal background answers the question honestly, a criminal background check will be conducted upon admission and the director of public safety will determine the student’s fitness for the college. If the student is determined to be of low risk to the college, his/her criminal background will not interfere with his/her acceptance to the college.
A student, with a criminal background, accepted into the OTA program may have difficulty being placed for Level II Fieldwork. Some fieldwork sites have policies forbidding the placing of students with certain criminal backgrounds in their settings. It is important for the OTA academic fieldwork coordinator to be aware of any student with a criminal background so efforts may be made, sooner than later, to establish for him or her, a fieldwork site.
NBCOT Character Review
To ensure the protection of the public, all first-time exam applicants undergo a character review. There are eight character questions on the exam application that all applicants must answer. You must submit documentation related to any affirmative response. NBCOT will also conduct a background check, using a third-party vendor, for all first-time applicants as well as anyone reapplying with a new affirmative answer.
Please refer to the Certification Exam Handbook to review the eight character questions and for specific information about the character review process.
For details on NBCOT’s disciplinary action process, visit the Professional Conduct page.
NBCOT Early Determination
If you plan on entering or have already entered an occupational therapy degree program, you can choose to undergo the character review prior to applying for the exam by requesting an Early Determination Review.
After NBCOT has completed its Early Determination Review, you will be notified in writing about whether you will be eligible to take the certification exam, provided that all eligibility requirements are met at the time you apply.
In order to find out if an issue resulting in a “Yes” answer to a character question would result in ineligibility for the exam, you will need to undergo the character review process either through Early Determination Review or when you apply for the exam after graduation.
To request an Early Determination Review, complete and submit the Early Determination Review Payment Form.