In February, the New York State Board of Occupational Therapy within the Department of Education published the following notice on their website:
Effective February 13, 2013, to renew your registration as an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant, New York State Education Law requires completion of 36 contact hours of approved continuing competency within each three-year renewal period. However, these requirements will be phased in during the first three years, therefore, only requiring one-half hour of continuing competency for each month beginning in March 2013 through February 2016, for those registrants whose three-year renewal period falls within this time frame.
Commencing with March 2016, registrants will be required to complete the full 36 hours of continuing competency. The complete standards for continuing competency for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants can be found in section 76.10 of the Commissioner’s Rules and Regulations. More information regarding this requirement will be available on our website in coming months.
The AOTA State Affairs Group has been monitoring the process of proposed regulations in NY. The proposed regulations included provisions regarding the approval of sponsors, but did not specifically mention AOTA or AOTA Approved Providers. AOTA contacted the Board and filed comments.
Although the final regulations did not specifically add AOTA and AOTA Approved Provider to the language regarding approval of sponsors, the Board staff did provide AOTA with written communication saying that AOTA “may consider this response to be the Department’s determination that AOTA has the adequate standards for approving sponsors of continuing education required by our regulations at 8 NYCRR 76.10(i)(2)(i), and we will deem approved those sponsors that AOTA has approved for purposes of that regulation.”
So although not specifically indicated in the regulations, AOTA and AOTA Approved Providers are recognized in NY as approved sponsors of CE activities. This is a very positive outcome for AOTA Approved Providers and the more than 11,000 OT licensees and 4,000 OTA registrants regulated in NY who will have access to a wide variety of CE that is relevant to OT and recognized by the Board for their triennial licensure renewal.
Professional Development Resources is an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) approved provider of continuing education (#3159) offering over 60 online courses for New York-licensed OTs and OTAs @ https://www.pdresources.org/profession/index/5
Occupational therapists are licensed rehabilitation care professionals who work to restore or improve physical abilities, promote behavioral changes, adapt surroundings, and teach new skills; the goal is to have the individual achieve her or his best physical and/or mental functioning in daily life tasks. Occupational therapists provide these services on the referral or prescription of a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.
Occupational therapy assistants provide treatment according to a plan developed by or in collaboration with a licensed occupational therapist. They must work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist or a licensed physician.
Occupational therapy practitioners help people adapt to a variety of challenges:
- developmental disabilities
- learning disabilities
- job-related injuries
- neurological problems
- orthopedic injuries
- birth defects
- psychosocial disorders
- chemical dependency
- age-related disorders
They help with:
- impaired physical functioning which hampers the ability to perform daily life tasks
- psychosocial problems which hamper the ability to function in daily life
- special needs which require modification of the physical environment and/or use of specialized equipment and technologies (e.g., changes in the home or job site for a person in a wheelchair)
New York Board of Occupational Therapy website: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/ot/