Home Programs & Courses Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant

Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant

Waitlisted for Fall 2022

Length: 2 years Credential: Diploma Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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Next information session

There are no events scheduled for this program. Please visit the link below to see all upcoming and on-demand information sessions.

Upcoming Information Sessions

This program will be delivered in a blended format (OA, OS, OR and OF/CLAS) for the Winter 2022 semester.
Some courses will be delivered online while others occur on-campus.
Learn more about our course delivery options


This program is currently under review for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Medical advances permit a growing number of children and adults to live successfully with disabilities. Clients who have experienced an injury or a health condition that has impacted their ability to function in day-to-day life, can maximize their physical, mental, and social abilities through rehabilitation. Under the supervision of an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, the therapist assistant works with clients across the lifespan with the goal of facilitating their active participation in our society. Therapist assistants also support facility administration by managing therapeutic supplies and maintaining equipment.

SAIT's Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant diploma program trains students to become knowledgeable and skilled assistants in occupational and physical therapy, and the curriculum meets or exceeds the essential competencies required for support personnel in both professions.

The Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant program is two years in length and comprised of four semesters. The first semester of the program addresses key concepts of rehabilitation and healthcare delivery. Observational visits to the clinical settings assist learners in integrating knowledge of normal physical and psychological function with basic therapeutic skills. More advanced rehabilitation concepts, common health conditions, and therapeutic skills used in occupational therapy and physical therapy are taught in the second semester.

In the third semester of the program, advanced therapeutic skills and complex health conditions are taught. Professionalism and communication skills are also emphasized and practiced during a four-week practicum. In the fourth and final semester of the program, professional practices are integrated throughout a 12-week practicum. Students spend the final three weeks of the semester at SAIT, engaging in comprehensive practical examinations and consolidating their experiences.

Is this the right fit for me?

Students who experience success in this program and profession:

  • have at least basic computer skills
  • possess effective communication skills in both written and spoken English
  • Are physically fit and able to lift a minimum weight of 50 pounds
  • have higher secondary or post-secondary grades
  • are self-directed, highly motivated, detail-oriented and well-organized
  • Are disciplined for learning in classroom, online, and clinical settings, as well as through self-study required of all courses
  • are professional and flexible
  • enjoy working in a team environment and in diverse settings
  • above all, enjoy relating to others.
  • Previous experience working or volunteering in a health or wellness related field is an asset.


The Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant Program at SAIT 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 granted to the program on April 30, 2016, for the period until April 30, 2022.

For more information please contact the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, c/o Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, 226.636.0632


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant diploma with both the occupational therapist assistant (OTA) and the physical therapist assistant (PTA) discipline designations.

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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities in rehabilitation centres, mental health facilities, long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools and private physiotherapy and occupational therapy centres. Potential positions include: 

  • physical and occupational therapy assistant 
  • rehabilitation therapy assistant

Related careers include: 

  • physical therapist 
  • occupational therapist

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $4,533
Year 2: $3,951

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available.

Admission requirements

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2022 are accepted from Oct. 6, 2021, to  March 31, 2022.
Classes begin Year start date Year end date
Fall 2021 Sept. 7, 2021  April 29, 2022
Fall 2022 Sept. 6, 2022 April 28, 2023

How to apply

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection*

  • Fall 2022 start: applications are accepted Oct. 6, 2021 to  March 31, 2022.

*This program does not accept international students

Admission Requirements

Completion of the following courses or equivalents with an overall average of at least 60%:

  • English Language Arts 30-1,
  • Biology 30,
  • Chemistry 20 or Science 20.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our  international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Direct entry: Four-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply to Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full. 

Step 4: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply

Practicum Requirements

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students are frequently required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practicum such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs. 

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • Current Heart and Stroke Foundation  Basic Life Support Level (C) CPR
  • Updated immunization records
  • Security clearance - Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • N95 respiratory mask fitting
  • Health and wellness status

Learn more


This program is currently under review for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Program Outline

Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

First Year

Semester 1 - Fall

Course Code Course Name Credit
ANPH-209*  Anatomy and Physiology  3.0
ORNT-208 Orientation to Rehabilitation  3.0
PROF-210  Introduction to Healthcare Delivery 1.5
PSYC-210  Lifespan Development 3.0
RHAB-230  Anatomy of Movement 3.0
RHAB-232  Fundamentals of Client Care 3.0
Semester 1 Total 16.5

Semester 2 - Winter

Course Code Course Name Credit
COMM-263 Practice Skills - Communication 3.0
RHAB-203 Applied Client Care 1.5
RHAB-240 Practice Skills - Modalities 3.0
RHAB-242 Practice Skills - Occupational Therapy Assistant Foundations 3.0
RHAB-244 Practice Skills - Exercise 3.0
RHAB-246 Health Conditions I 3.0
Semester 2 Total 16.5
First Year Total 33.0

Second Year

Semester 3 - Fall

Course Code Course Name Credit
PRCT-200 Practicum I 3.0
RHAB-260 Practice Skills - Mental Health Concepts 3.0
RHAB-262 Occupational Therapy Assistant Advanced Practice Skills 3.0
RHAB-264 Physical Therapy Assistant Advanced Practice Skills 3.0
RHAB-266 Communication Disorders 1.5
RHAB-268 Health Conditions II 3.0
Semester 3 Total 16.5

Semester 4 - Winter

Course Code Course Name Credit
PRCT-234  Practicum II 6.0
PROF-260  Professional Practice  3.0
RHAB-270  Practicum Consolidation 1.5
Semester 4 Total 10.5
Second Year Total 27.0
Program Total

 *Available by correspondence or online learning. The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the program outline. Please contact the Academic Chair prior to enrolling in any online or correspondence courses. 


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Transfer Options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer in, within or on from SAIT is available. Visit transfer options to learn more.


2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $3,200 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $4,533
2 $2,518 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $3,951

*Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame. 


Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $183.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $150
Student technology fee: $150

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

Books and supplies*

  • Books, supplies and lab fees are approximately $2,500. All fees are not located on the bookstore list. Some courses have online resources that will be discussed on the first day of class. The lab fees are assessed at different points in the program and will be discussed at the start of the course that requires lab fees.
  • Students require a personal computer with Internet access in order to complete the required courses. While a desktop computer will facilitate participation in some activities, a laptop or tablet is required to support the CompTracker software that is used throughout this program. Please note that a tablet is preferred as it is easier to use with the software. If you are using a laptop for this purpose, you may be required to use data from your phone to support the use of the software in areas where there is no access to wifi. For an estimate of the costs associated with purchasing a device that meets the standard hardware and software requirements, see our computers and laptops page.
  • Students pay a mandatory $75 Comp Tracker fee per term.
  • Students are responsible for all practicum costs such as food and transportation. A practicum location outside of Calgary is a requirement of the program. Relocation costs, such as food, housing, transportation and costs for any additional practicum documentation for out of town placements are the responsibility of the student.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a police information check including Vulnerable Sector Check and is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP.)
  • Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
  • There is a fee, approximately $50-$100, associated with an Electronic Student Permit Checking submission which is required for clinical practicum placements, payable to Synergy Gateway through the Verified software platform.
  • CPR certification must be completed yearly. Cost associated with CPR training are the responsibility of the student.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

✅ Plan ahead ❗️

You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day. 

Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

Get started on pre-orientation requirements

Fall 2021


Your program orientation will take place Sept. 2 on campus. Check your schedule in mySAIT for the time and location details.

Learn more about your orientation.

We are expecting to meet you at new student orientation. Important program information is discussed to ensure you are prepared to begin classes which start on day one. Orientation is a mandatory part of your learning experience to ensure student success.

How to register for classes

You'll follow a fixed block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

Required equipment/tools

You will be evaluated on your level of competency performance during practicum which is logged using a tracking system called CompTracker. You will require a wi-fi enabled tablet (Apple or Android) to support the CompTracker system. Any size tablet is acceptable. Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory. Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker. There is a required user license fee billed on a per semester basis. Each program will have a different student fee depending on how the system is used within the program. More information will be shared at orientation.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

Other requirements

  • CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR course (no later than Sept. 30)
  • N95 Mask-fit testing
  • Police Information Clearance with Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Immunization record (no later than Sept. 30)
  • Health and Wellness Status 

Preparation courses

To support your success, you’ll be automatically registered in two short courses to prepare you for the academic year: 

PERS 050: Student Rights and Responsibilities

This course is designed to introduce you to student rights and responsibilities at SAIT. You will learn about SAIT's rich and diverse community, become familiar with guidelines and procedures that create a safe, respectful learning experience for you, and gain practical tips for how you can engage in the SAIT community in a positive and responsible way. PRES-050 must be completed within 30 days from the start of the semester.

PREP 100: The SAIT Experience

Get tips and insider information on time management, exam preparation, effective notetaking and more through this free, online short course for new students. Plus, learn about discussion boards, online communication and submitting assignments online. Course completion is recommended by the end of your first semester.

Both courses can be accessed through  Brightspace (D2L) before the first day of classes.

Required textbooks

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.


Phone: 403.284.8481
Email: hps.info@sait.ca

Next steps for all students

Here's what else you'll need to do to get ready!

Next steps for accepted students

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

School of Health and Public Safety

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