Association Policies. Am J Occup Ther 2016;70(Supplement_2):7012420005. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.706S11
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
The Association supports licensure of qualified occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in order to protect consumers from services by unqualified practitioners, the right of qualified occupational therapists to provide occupational therapy services, and the right of occupational therapy assistants to assist in the provision of occupational therapy services.
The Association respects the autonomy and rights of affiliated state occupational therapy associations and the authority of their respective state legislatures.
The Association supports state licensure models that allow for licensure portability, including but not limited to an interstate licensure compact for occupational therapy.
The Association encourages the use of its Policy E.10 Definition of Occupational Therapy Practice for State Regulation and the Model Occupational Therapy Practice Act to ensure state-by-state uniformity of: (1) standards of practice; (2) scope of occupational therapy practice definitions; (3) supervision standards; (4) entry-level licensing requirements; and (5) consumer protection provisions, as well as to facilitate licensure portability.
The Association supports those legislative bills that are in concert with currently established policies as indicated below:
In the event that any state legislation is proposed that is in conflict with these established policies, the Association President and/or designee(s) are authorized to bring the discrepancies to the attention of all members in the state and work for modifications of the bill or take action necessary to safeguard the integrity of the profession.
Association Policy E.10 Definition of Occupational Therapy Practice for State Regulation and the Model Occupational Therapy Practice Act will be promoted when providing comments, feedback, or input to potential changes in state regulatory language to ensure state-by-state uniformity of state licensure requirements. Refer to Policy E.9 Licensure for additional information regarding the Association’s position on specific requirements.
The expanded mobility of occupational therapy practitioners and clients, the expanded geographic service areas covered by health care systems, and the use of telehealth as part of our nation’s health care delivery system require greater coordination and cooperation among states in the areas of licensure and regulation.
The uniformity of licensure requirements for occupational therapy practitioners throughout the states promotes public safety and public health benefits.
Efforts to improve the state regulation of the profession shall be supported, as many members consider the current system of obtaining licensure for occupational therapy practitioners in multiple states to be time consuming, expensive, and burdensome.
Licensure portability models are being implemented by other health professions and federations of state licensure boards that include adequate safeguards to protect the public. Therefore, the Association believes that licensure portability should be implemented for the occupational therapy profession across the states.
State licensure models that allow for licensure portability, including but not limited to an interstate licensure compact for occupational therapy, are supported.
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