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Research Article
Issue Date: November/December 2016
Published Online: December 20, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
Association Policies
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / The Association
Research Article   |   December 20, 2016
Association Policies
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2016, Vol. 70, 7012420005. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.706S11
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2016, Vol. 70, 7012420005. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.706S11
Policy E.9
Subject: Licensure
Effective: 10/77
Revised: 4/78, 3/81, 4/96, 4/99, 5/02, 6/03, 10/16
BPPC Reviewed: 10/01, 1/02, 1/03, 1/04, 1/09, 7/15, 8/16
Code: RA Resolution 400-74, 500-77 and 501-77 (Supersedes Resolution 376-74), RA Motion 2003M54
Rescinded:
Purpose: To state the Association’s position regarding the licensure of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.
It Shall Be the Policy of the Association That:
  1. 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.

  2. The Association respects the autonomy and rights of affiliated state occupational therapy associations and the authority of their respective state legislatures.

  3. The Association supports state licensure models that allow for licensure portability, including but not limited to an interstate licensure compact for occupational therapy.

  4. 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.

  5. The Association supports those legislative bills that are in concert with currently established policies as indicated below:

    • a. The legislation should include licensing of both occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.
    • b. The legislation should include temporary or provisional licensure for new graduates and for new residents of an election area.
    • c. The legislation should include minimum licensure requirements. Under the legislation, an applicant applying for a license as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the state licensing board or agency:
      • i) “Good standing,” as defined in the Model Occupational Therapy Practice Act, meaning the individual’s license, certification, or registration is not currently suspended or revoked by any state regulatory entity.
      • ii) Successful completion of academic requirements of an educational program for occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) or predecessor organizations.
      • iii) Successful completion of a period of supervised fieldwork experience required by the recognized educational institution where the applicant met the academic requirements described in Section (4)(c)(ii) of this document.
      • iv) Passing of the entry-level examination approved by the state regulatory board for occupational therapy.
    • d. The legislation should include minimum continuing competence requirements for licensure renewal. Because of institutional accountability to consumers and practitioners, the Association supports the enforcement role of the state licensing board or agency as the only appropriate regulatory entity in assuring the ongoing qualifications of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants and recognizing multiple methods and pathways for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants to demonstrate their continuing competence.
    • e. Exclusion clauses in the legislation should only deal with those professions and occupations licensed in the state.

  6. 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.

Policy E.12
Subject: Licensure Portability
Effective: 10/16
Revised:
BPPC Reviewed: 8/16
Code: RA Motion 2016AprilC7
Rescinded:
Purpose: To state the Association’s position on licensure portability.
It Shall Be the Policy of the Association That:
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The uniformity of licensure requirements for occupational therapy practitioners throughout the states promotes public safety and public health benefits.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. State licensure models that allow for licensure portability, including but not limited to an interstate licensure compact for occupational therapy, are supported.