Part 76, Occupational Therapy

§76.1 Professional study of occupational therapy. | §76.2 Supervised experience. | §76.3 Licensing examinations. | §76.4 Limited permits. | §76.5 Definition of occupational therapy practice. | §76.6 Definition of occupational therapy assistant practice and the use of the title occupational therapy assistant. | §76.7 Requirements for authorization as an occupational therapy assistant. | §76.8 Supervision of occupational therapy assistant. | §76.9 Occupational therapy assistant student exemption. | §76.10 Continuing competency for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.

§76.1 Professional study of occupational therapy.

To meet the professional education requirement for licensure in this State, the applicant shall present evidence of:

  1. a bachelor's or master's degree in occupational therapy from a program registered by the department or accredited by a national accreditation agency which is satisfactory to the department; or
  2. a certificate in occupational therapy from a program registered by the department or accredited by a national accreditation agency which is satisfactory to the department following the completion of a bachelor's degree from an institution acceptable to the department; or
  3. completion of a program satisfactory to the department of not less than four years of postsecondary study which includes the professional study of occupational therapy and which culminates in the degree or diploma accepted by the civil authorities of the country in which the studies were completed as preparation in occupational therapy in that country.

§76.2 Supervised experience.

  1. The six months of full-time supervised experience in occupational therapy may be completed as part of the basic program described in section 76.1 of this Part. Full-time experience not completed as part of an approved program shall be under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.
  2. For candidates who have accumulated other than full-time supervised experience, part-time experience may be counted if it is obtained at the rate of at least two full days per week (minimum of 15 hours) and for continuous periods of not less than two months for an accumulated total of six months.

§76.3 Licensing examinations.

The department may accept grades satisfactory to the State Board for Occupational Therapy on the certificate examination of the American Occupational Therapy Association, which may be used in whole or in part.


§76.4 Limited permits.

Limited permits issued or renewed pursuant to Education Law, section 7905, shall also be subject to the following requirements:

  1. The applicant shall submit satisfactory evidence of completion of a registered program in occupational therapy or a registered program for occupational therapy assistants, as applicable, or the substantial equivalent of a registered program.
  2. Limited permits may be renewed once for a period not to exceed one year at the discretion of the department because of personal or family illness or other extenuating circumstances which prevented the permittee from becoming licensed.
  3. Supervision.
    1. A written supervision plan, acceptable to the occupational therapist or licensed physician providing direction and supervision, shall be required for each permittee providing services pursuant to section 7905 of the Education Law. The written supervision plan shall specify the names, professions and other credentials of the persons participating in the supervisory process, the frequency of formal supervisory contacts; the methods (e.g. in-person, by telephone) and types (e.g. review of charts, discussion with permittee) of supervision; the content areas to be addressed; how written treatment notes and reports will be reviewed, including, but not limited to, whether such notes and reports will be initialed or co-signed by the supervisor; and how professional development will be fostered.
    2. Documentation of supervision shall include the date and content of each formal supervisory contact as identified in the written supervision plan and evidence of the review of all treatment notes and reports.
    3. The determination of the level and type of supervision shall be based on the ability level and experience of the permittee providing the delegated occupational therapy services, the complexity of client needs, and the setting in which the permittee is providing the services. The supervision plan shall require that the supervisor be notified whenever there is a clinically significant change in the condition or performance of the client, so that an appropriate supervisory action can take place.
    4. Direct supervision shall mean that the supervisor:
      1. initiates, directs and participates in the initial evaluation to the extent required in the supervision plan, interprets the evaluation data, and develops the occupational therapy services plan with input from the permittee;
      2. participates, on a regular basis, in the delivery of occupational therapy services to the extent required in the supervision plan;
      3. is responsible for determining the need for continuing, modifying, or discontinuing occupational therapy services;
      4. takes into consideration information provided by the permittee about the client’s responses to and communications during occupational therapy services; and
      5. is available for consultation with the permittee in a timely manner, taking into consideration the practice setting, the condition of the client and the occupational therapy services being provided.
    5. In no event shall the occupational therapist or licensed physician supervise more than five permittees, or its full time equivalent, provided that the total number of permittees being supervised by a single occupational therapist or licensed physician shall not exceed ten.

§76.5 Definition of occupational therapy practice.

  1. A functional evaluation within the meaning of Education Law, section 7901 may include screening, observing, consulting, administering and/or interpreting standardized and non-standardized assessment tools, and simulating and analyzing activities or environments for the purpose of:
    1. assessing levels of functional abilities and deficits resulting from developmental deficit, injury, disease or any limiting condition; and/or
    2. identifying areas of function and dysfunction in daily life tasks; and/or
    3. determining the need for and the types of initial and/or subsequent occupational therapy.
  2. Purposeful activity is defined as goal-directed behavior aimed at the development of functional daily living skills in the categories of self-care, work, homemaking or play/leisure.
  3. A treatment program within the meaning of Education Law, section 7901 shall be consistent with the statutory scope of practice and may:
    1. Include the therapeutic use of goal-directed activities, exercises, or techniques to maximize the client's physical and/or mental functioning in life tasks. Treatment is directed toward maximizing functional skill and task-related performance for the development of a client's vocational, avocational, daily living or related capacities.
    2. Relate to physical, perceptual, sensory, neuromuscular, sensory-integrative, cognitive or psychosocial skills.
    3. Include, where appropriate for such purposes, and under appropriate conditions, modalities and techniques based on approaches taught in an occupational therapy curriculum and included in a program of professional education in occupational therapy registered by the department, and consistent with areas of individual competence. These approaches are based on:
      1. The neurological and physiological sciences as taught in a registered occupational therapy professional education program. Modalities and techniques may be based on, but not limited to, any one or more of the following:
        1. sensory integrative approaches;
        2. developmental approaches;
        3. sensorimotor approaches;
        4. neurophysiological treatment approaches;
        5. muscle reeducation;
        6. superficial heat and cold; or
        7. cognitive and perceptual remediation.
      2. The behavioral and social sciences as taught in a registered occupational therapy professional education program. Modalities and techniques may be based on, but not limited to, any one or more of the following:
        1. behavioral principles;
        2. work-related programs and simulation;
        3. group dynamics and process; or
        4. leisure/avocational activities.
      3. The biomechanical sciences as taught in a registered occupational therapy professional education program. Modalities and techniques may be based on, but not limited to, any one or more of the following:
        1. passive, active assistive, and active range of motion;
        2. muscle strengthening and conditioning;
        3. positioning;
        4. participation in design, fabrication, and/or application, and patient education related to orthotics and adaptive equipment;
        5. evaluation of appropriateness, participation in design concept, application and patient education related to prosthetics;
        6. daily life tasks;
        7. adapting the client's environment; or
        8. work-related programs.
  4. Any treatment program described in this regulation shall be rendered on the prescription or referral of a physician. In accordance with section 7901 and articles 131 and 153 of the Education Law, nothing contained in this regulation shall be construed to permit any licensee hereunder to engage in the practice of medicine or psychology, including psychotherapy.

§76.6 Definition of occupational therapy assistant practice and the use of the title occupational therapy assistant.

  1. An "occupational therapy assistant" shall mean a person authorized in accordance with this Part who provides occupational therapy services under the direction and supervision of an occupational therapist or licensed physician and performs client related activities assigned by the supervising occupational therapist or licensed physician. Only a person authorized under this Part shall participate in the practice of occupational therapy as an occupational therapy assistant, and only a person authorized under this Part shall use the title "occupational therapy assistant."
  2. As used in this section, client related activities shall mean:
    1. contributing to the evaluation of a client by gathering data, reporting observations and implementing assessments delegated by the supervising occupational therapist or licensed physician;
    2. consulting with the supervising occupational therapist or licensed physician in order to assist him or her in making determinations related to the treatment plan, modification of client programs or termination of a client's treatment;
    3. the utilization of a program of purposeful activities, a treatment program, and/or consultation with the client, family, caregiver, or other health care or education providers, in keeping with the treatment plan and under the direction of the supervising occupational therapist or licensed physician;
    4. the use of treatment modalities and techniques that are based on approaches taught in an occupational therapy assistant educational program registered by the Department or accredited by a national accreditation agency which is satisfactory to the Department, and that the occupational therapy assistant has demonstrated to the occupational therapist or licensed physician that he or she is competent to use; or
    5. the immediate suspension of any treatment intervention that appears harmful to the client and immediate notification of the occupational therapist or licensed physician.

§76.7 Requirements for authorization as an occupational therapy assistant.

To qualify for authorization as an occupational therapy assistant pursuant to section 7906(7) of the Education Law, an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements:

  1. file an application with the Department;
  2. have received an education as follows:
    1. completion of a two-year associate degree program for occupational therapy assistants registered by the Department or accredited by a national accreditation agency which is satisfactory to the Department; or
    2. completion of a postsecondary program in occupational therapy satisfactory to the Department and of at least two years duration;
  3. have a minimum of three months clinical experience satisfactory to the state board for occupational therapy and in accordance with standards established by a national accreditation agency which is satisfactory to the Department;
  4. be at least eighteen years of age;
  5. be of good moral character as determined by the Department;
  6. register triennially with the Department in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (h) of this section, sections 6502 and 7906(8) of the Education Law, and sections 59.7 and 59.8 of this Subchapter;
  7. pay a fee for an initial license and a fee for each triennial registration period that shall be one half of the fee for initial license and for each triennial registration period established in Education law for occupational therapists; and
  8. except as otherwise provided by Education Law section 7907(2), pass an examination acceptable to the Department.

§76.8 Supervision of occupational therapy assistant.

  1. A written supervision plan, acceptable to the occupational therapist or licensed physician providing direction and supervision, shall be required for each occupational therapy assistant providing services pursuant to section 7906(7) of the Education Law. The written supervision plan shall specify the names, professions and other credentials of the persons participating in the supervisory process, the frequency of formal supervisory contacts, the methods (e.g. in-person, by telephone) and types (e.g. review of charts, discussion with occupational therapy assistant) of supervision, the content areas to be addressed, how written treatment notes and reports will be reviewed, including, but not limited to, whether such notes and reports will be initialed or co-signed by the supervisor, and how professional development will be fostered.
  2. Documentation of supervision shall include the date and content of each formal supervisory contact as identified in the written supervision plan and evidence of the review of all treatment notes, reports and assessments.
  3. Consistent with the requirements of this section, the determination of the level and type of supervision shall be based on the ability level and experience of the occupational therapy assistant providing the delegated occupational therapy services, the complexity of client needs, the setting in which the occupational therapy assistant is providing the services, and consultation with the occupational therapy assistant.
  4. The supervision plan shall require that the occupational therapist or licensed physician be notified whenever there is a clinically significant change in the condition or performance of the client, so that an appropriate supervisory action can take place.
  5. Direction and supervision means that the occupational therapist or licensed physician:
    1. initiates, directs and participates in the initial evaluation, interprets the evaluation data, and develops the occupational therapy services plan with input from the occupational therapy assistant;
    2. participates, on a regular basis, in the delivery of occupational therapy services;
    3. is responsible for determining the need for continuing, modifying, or discontinuing occupational therapy services, after considering any reports by the occupational therapy assistant of any changes in the condition of the client that would require a change in the treatment plan;
    4. takes into consideration information provided about the client’s responses to and communications during occupational therapy services; and
    5. is available for consultation with the occupational therapy assistant in a timely manner, taking into consideration the practice setting, the condition of the client and the occupational therapy services being provided.
  6. In no event shall the occupational therapist or licensed physician supervise more than five occupational therapy assistants, or its full time equivalent, provided that the total number of occupational therapy assistants being supervised by a single occupational therapist or licensed physician shall not exceed ten.

§76.9 Occupational therapy assistant student exemption.

To be permitted to practice as an exempt person pursuant to section 7906(4) of the Education Law, an occupational therapy assistant student shall be enrolled in a program as set forth in section 76.7(b)(1) of this Part and shall practice under the direction and supervision of:

  1. an occupational therapist; or
  2. an occupational therapy assistant who has obtained authorization pursuant to section 7906(7) of the Education Law and who is under the supervision of an occupational therapist.

§76.10 Continuing competency for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.

  1. Definitions. As used in this section:
    1. Acceptable accrediting agency means an organization accepted by the Department as a reliable authority for the purpose of accreditation at the postsecondary level, that applies its criteria for granting accreditation in a fair, consistent and nondiscriminatory manner, including, but not limited to, an agency recognized for this purpose by the United States Department of Education.
    2. Independent study means individualized professional study that is self-initiated, goal-driven learning based on reading and research.
    3. Licensee means an individual licensed to practice occupational therapy pursuant to section 7904 of the Education Law or authorized to practice as an occupational therapy assistant pursuant to section 7906(7) of the Education Law.   
    4. Peer reviewed means reviewed by an individual or individuals who have appropriate educational, licensure or other credentials and are recognized experts in the subject which they are reviewing.
    5. Professional subjects means acceptable learning activities, as defined in section 7908(4) of the Education Law and paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of this section, which contribute to continuing competence in the professional practice of occupational therapy, as defined in section 7901 of the Education Law and section 76.5 of this Part, or of an occupational therapy assistant, as defined in section 76.6 of this Part.
    6. Related subjects means acceptable learning activities, as specified in section 7908(4) of the Education Law and paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of this section, relating to legal or regulatory issues, reimbursement issues, general supervision, business practices, pedagogical methodologies or other topics which contribute to continuing competence in the professional practice of occupational therapy as defined in section 7901 of the Education Law and section 76.5 of this Part, or of an occupational therapy assistant as defined in section 76.6 of this Part; or which relate to other matters of health care, law, ethics and professional responsibility which contribute to the health and welfare of the public.
    7. Self-study means structured study based on audio, audio-visual, written, on-line, and other media that is provided by a sponsor approved by the Department pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section.
  2. Applicability of requirement.
    1. Each licensed occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant, required under Article 156 of the Education Law to register with the Department to practice in New York State, shall comply with the mandatory continuing competency requirements as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section, except those licensees exempt from the requirement or who obtain an adjustment to the requirement pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision or who are subject to a different requirement pursuant to this section.
    2. Exemptions and adjustments to the requirement.
      1. Exemptions. The following licensees shall be exempt from the continuing competency requirements, as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section:
        1. licensees for the triennial registration period during which they are first licensed to practice occupational therapy or as an occupational therapy assistant in New York State, except for licensees who have been previously licensed in occupational therapy or authorized as an occupational therapy assistant in another state or jurisdiction; and
        2. licensees who are not engaged in the practice of occupational therapy or as an occupational therapy assistant as evidenced by not being registered to practice in New York State, except as otherwise provided in subdivision (e) of this section for purposes of meeting the requirements for the resumption of practice in New York State after a lapse in practice.
      2. Adjustments to the requirement. An adjustment to the continuing competency requirement, as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section, may be made by the Department, provided that the licensee documents good cause that prevents compliance, which shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following reasons: poor health certified by a physician; or a specific physical or mental disability certified by an appropriate health care professional; or extended active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States; or other good cause which in the judgment of the Department makes it impossible for the licensee to comply with the continuing competency requirements in a timely manner.
  3. Mandatory continuing competency requirement.
    1. General Requirement.  
      1. During each triennial registration period, meaning a registration period of three years' duration, an applicant for registration shall complete at least 36 continuing competency hours of acceptable learning activities, as defined in paragraph (2) of this subdivision and within the limitations prescribed in such paragraph, provided that at least 24 continuing competency hours of such acceptable learning activities shall have as their primary focus one or more professional subjects, as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section; and the remaining hours of such acceptable learning activities shall have as their primary focus one or more related subjects, as defined in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of this section. A licensee who seeks registration in both occupational therapy and as an occupational therapy assistant shall be required to complete such continuing competency requirement applicable to the profession of occupational therapy, which shall be considered compliance with the requirements of this section for both registrations.
      2. Proration.
        1. Unless otherwise prescribed in this section, during each registration period of less than three-years duration, an applicant for registration shall complete acceptable learning activities, as defined in paragraph (2) of this subdivision and within the limitations prescribed in such paragraph, on a prorated basis at a rate of one hour per month up to 36 continuing competency hours in the registration period, provided that at least two-thirds of such hours of acceptable learning activities shall have as their primary focus one or more professional subjects, as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section, and the remaining hours of acceptable learning activities shall have as their primary focus one or more related subjects, as defined in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of this section.
        2. Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (a) of this subparagraph, any licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant whose first registration date following February 13, 2013 occurs less than three years from such date, shall complete acceptable learning activities on a prorated basis at the rate of one half hour per month for the period beginning February 13, 2013 up to the first registration date thereafter, provided that at least two-thirds of such hours of acceptable learning activities shall have as their primary focus one or more professional subjects as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section, and the remaining hours of acceptable learning activities shall have as their primary focus one or more related subjects as defined in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of this section. Such acceptable learning activities shall be completed during any time in the registration period which immediately precedes the first registration date following February 13, 2013.
    2. Acceptable learning activities shall meet the requirements of this paragraph and be subject to the limitations prescribed in this paragraph.
      1. Subjects. Acceptable learning activities shall have as their primary focus one or more professional subjects as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section, or one or more related subjects as defined in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of this section.
      2. In those instances where subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph sets forth an upper limit on the number of continued competency hours which may be earned for a learning activity, the licensee shall be responsible for assigning a reasonable number of hours to such activity, subject to a final determination, if necessary, by the Department.   
      3. Types of learning activities. Acceptable learning activities shall be in one or more of the types of activities prescribed in this subparagraph, and shall be subject to the limitations prescribed in this subparagraph.
        1. Coursework or training offered by an approved sponsor. Acceptable learning activities may include coursework or training offered by a sponsor, approved pursuant to the requirements of subdivision (i) of this section, which may include but need not be limited to the following types of offerings by such approved sponsors: formal continuing education courses or workshops; or formal academic study offered as part of a registered program pursuant to Part 52 of this Title or an equivalent program that is accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or in-service training programs offered by an employer to its employees; or self-study, as defined in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of this section, provided that no more than two-thirds of the mandatory continuing competency requirement may be completed through self-study.
        2. Independent study. Acceptable learning activities may include independent study as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of this section. A licensee who completes independent study to meet the mandatory continuing competency requirement shall prepare a narrative account of what was learned and an overall written evaluation of the learning activity. Such licensee shall maintain a copy of the narrative account and written evaluation for six years after completion of this learning activity. Study in conjunction with supervision of fieldwork education conducted as part of a program of study as set forth in section 76.1 or 76.7 (b) of this Part may be considered independent study. A licensee who completes study in conjunction with such fieldwork supervision shall prepare and retain a narrative account of the preparation associated with the supervision in addition to the other requirements of this clause, and shall retain a letter of verification or certificate from the program that includes the dates of fieldwork. Three clock hours of independent study shall equal one continuing competency hour. No more than one-third of the mandatory continuing competency requirement may be completed through independent study.
        3. Mentoring or receiving mentoring as a mentee. Acceptable learning activities may include mentoring or receiving mentoring as a mentee in accordance with the requirements of this clause.
          1. The mentoring shall be a one-to-one relationship between a mentor and a mentee. The mentorship shall provide a minimum of 15 clock hours of direct contact between the mentor and the mentee.
          2. The mentor shall be licensed as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, or in another profession licensed pursuant to Title VIII of the Education Law and have at least five years of post-licensure experience in the subject of the mentoring. The mentee shall be licensed as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
          3. The mentor and the mentee shall develop written mentee goals that shall be met during the mentorship by the mentee.
          4. The mentor shall develop a written teaching plan that shall guide the mentorship and shall provide for the formal evaluation of the mentee in writing.
          5. The mentee shall prepare a narrative account of what was learned in the mentorship and an overall evaluation of the mentorship.
          6. A licensee who is either a mentor or mentee who completes a mentorship that meets the requirements of this clause shall receive up to 10 continuing competency hours of credit for each mentoring relationship, except that no more than one-half of the mandatory continuing competency requirement may be completed through either mentoring or receiving mentoring as a mentee, and the mentor or mentee shall not receive credit for activity that is conducted as part of their professional employment.
          7. Each licensee who meets a portion of his or her continuing competency requirement through participation in a mentorship either as a mentor or as a mentee shall maintain the following records for a period of six years from the date of the completion of this activity: name of the mentor and mentee, mentee goals, the teaching plan of the mentor, the evaluation of the mentee by the mentor, the narrative account of the mentee of what was learned, and the evaluation of the mentorship by the mentee or mentor, as applicable.
        4. Publication. Acceptable learning activities may include publication of a written work by the licensee during the registration period in accordance with the requirements of this clause.
          1. A licensee may receive up to 10 continuing competency hours of credit for publishing, as primary or co-author, an article, the subject of which shall be a professional subject as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section in a professional journal that is peer reviewed as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of this section, or a chapter in a text book, the subject of which shall be a professional subject as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section.  A licensee shall receive up to five continuing competency hours of credit for publishing, as primary or co-author, an article, the subject of which shall be a professional subject as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section in a professional journal that is not peer reviewed as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of this section, or in a non-professional journal.  
          2. A licensee may receive up to 10 continuing competency hours of credit  as primary or co-primary investigator in research activities, the subject of which shall be a professional subject as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section, conducted by an educational program registered pursuant to Part 52 of this Title or an equivalent program that is accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency, or up to five  continuing competency hours of credit for developing instructional materials, including but not limited to training manuals, multimedia or software programs, the subject of which shall be a professional subject as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section, except that no more than one-half of the mandatory continuing competency requirement may be completed through such publication.
          3. A licensee may receive up to five continuing competency hours of credit for the peer review as defined in subdivision (a) of this section, of an article in a professional journal, or a chapter in a professional text book, the subject of which shall be a professional subject as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section, except that no more than one-half of the mandatory continuing competency requirement may be completed through such peer review.
        5. Presentation at a professional conference. Acceptable learning activities may include a presentation by the licensee at a professional conference sponsored by a bona-fide organization that has an established record of sponsoring conferences for a profession licensed pursuant to Title VIII of the Education Law. A licensee who makes one or more such presentations during the registration period shall receive up to five continuing competency hours in total for this learning activity, except that no more than one-sixth of the mandatory continuing competency requirement may be completed through such a presentation.
        6. Chairing a professional practice committee. Acceptable learning activities may include chairing a professional practice committee of an international, national, state or local professional association that has an established record of providing support and guidance for the practice of occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants.  A licensee who serves as such chair for at least one year during the registration period shall receive up to five continuing competency hours in total for this learning activity, except that no more than one-sixth of the mandatory continuing competency requirement may be completed through such activity. Such activity shall be considered a learning activity in a related subject as defined in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of this section, and may only be credited as such in meeting the mandatory continuing competency requirement.
        7. Participation in a professional study group. Acceptable learning activities may include participation in a professional study group in accordance with the requirements of this clause.
          1. The professional study group shall be composed of three or more licensed occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants.
          2. The study group shall have written goals for what it expects to accomplish and a written study plan to meet these goals. The study group shall evaluate the learning activity in writing when the group has met its study goals.
          3. The study group shall maintain attendance records and meeting notes for what transpired at each meeting of the study group.
          4. Each licensee who meets a portion of the continuing competency requirement through participation in a study group shall maintain the following records for a period of six years from the date of the completion of this activity: a list of participants, an attendance record, goals of the group, study plan, notes of meetings, and the evaluation of the learning activity.
          5. Two clock hours of participation in a study group pursuant to this clause shall equal one continuing competency hour. No more than one-half of the mandatory continuing competency requirement may be completed through participation in a study group.
  4. Renewal of registration. At each renewal of registration, licensed occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants shall certify to the Department that they have either complied with the continuing competency requirements, as prescribed in this section, or are subject to an exemption or adjustment to such continuing competency requirements, as prescribed in subdivision (b) of this section.
  5. Requirement for lapse in practice.
    1. Registrations prior to February 13, 2016. A licensee returning to the practice of occupational therapy or as an occupational therapy assistant after a lapse in practice, defined as not being registered to practice in New York State, whose first registration date after such lapse in practice begins prior to February 13, 2016, shall complete acceptable learning activities on a prorated basis at the rate of one-half hour per month for the period beginning February 13, 2013 up to the first registration date thereafter. Such licensee shall also complete acceptable learning activities, prorated at the rate of one continuing competency hour for each month for which the licensee was not authorized to practice occupational therapy or as an occupational therapy assistant as applicable, in any jurisdiction in the three-year period prior to the commencement of the new registration period, up to an additional 36 continuing competency hours. At least two-thirds of the total number of continuing competency hours shall be in acceptable learning activities in one or more professional subjects, as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section, and the remaining hours shall be in acceptable learning activities in one or more related subjects, as defined in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of this section. The continuing competency hours required by this paragraph shall be completed in the three-year period prior to the commencement of the new registration period, except that at least 12 of the total number of continuing competency hours shall be completed in the 12 months preceding the commencement of the new registration period.
    2. Registrations on or after February 13, 2016. A licensee returning to the practice of occupational therapy or as an occupational therapy assistant after a lapse in practice, defined as not being registered to practice in New York State, whose first registration date after such lapse in practice begins on or after February 13, 2013, shall complete 36 continuing competency hours of acceptable learning activities. Such licensee shall also complete acceptable learning activities, prorated at the rate of one continuing competency hour for each month for which the licensee was not authorized to practice occupational therapy or as an occupational therapy assistant, as applicable, in any jurisdiction in the three-year period prior to the commencement of the new registration period, up to an additional 36 continuing competency hours. At least two-thirds of the total number of continuing competency hours shall be in acceptable learning activities in one or more professional subjects as defined in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of this section, and the remaining hours shall be in acceptable learning activities in one or more related subjects as defined in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of this section. The continuing competency hours required by this paragraph shall be completed in the three-year period prior to the commencement of the new registration period, except that at least 12 of the total number of continuing competency hours shall be completed in the 12 months preceding the commencement of the new registration period.
  6. Conditional registration.
    1. The Department may issue a conditional registration to a licensee who admits to noncompliance with the continuing competency requirements of this section, provided that such licensee meets the following requirements:
      1. the licensee agrees to remedy such deficiency within the conditional registration period;
      2. the licensee agrees to complete the regular continuing competency requirement prorated at the rate of at least one continuing competency hour per month during such conditional registration period, and the licensee agrees to complete such additional continuing competency requirements during such conditional registration period as the Department may require to ensure the licensee's proper delivery of professional care consistent with the licensee's practice of occupational therapy or as an occupational therapy assistant, as applicable.
    2. The duration of such conditional registration shall not exceed one year and shall not be renewed or extended.
  7. Licensee records.
    1. Each licensee subject to the requirements of this section shall maintain, and ensure access by the Department to, the following records:
      1. a learning plan for continuing competency that shall record current and anticipated goals; and
      2. a comprehensive list of acceptable learning activities completed, which includes for each learning activity:
        1. the sponsor's name, if any, and any identifying number;
        2. a written verification of attendance, if attendance was required;
        3. the date and location of the learning activity; and
        4. the number of continuing competency hours completed.
    2. In addition to meeting the recordkeeping requirement prescribed in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, each licensee who meets a portion of his or her continuing competency requirement through independent study, participation in a mentorship either as a mentor or as a mentee, or participation in a professional study group, shall meet the recordkeeping requirements prescribed in subparagraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section, applicable to that learning activity.
    3. Such records shall be retained for at least six years from the date of completion of the activity and shall be available for review by the Department in the administration of the requirements of this section.
  8. Measurement of continuing competency learning activities. Continuing competency credit shall be granted only for learning activities that meet the requirements set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of this section. A minimum of 50 minutes of formal continuing education courses or workshops shall equal one continuing competency hour of credit. For credit-bearing university or college courses, each semester-hour of credit shall equal 15 continuing competency hours of credit, and each quarter-hour of credit shall equal 10 continuing competency hours of credit. For credit-bearing university or college courses not organized on a semester hour or quarter-hour basis, an equivalent competency hour determination shall be made by the Department.  For activities that carry continuing education units (CEUs), one-tenth of a CEU shall equal one continuing competency hour.
  9. Sponsor approval.
    1. To be approved by the Department, sponsors of coursework or training offered to licensed occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants to meet the continuing competency requirement shall meet the requirements of either paragraph (2) or (3) of this subdivision.
    2. The Department shall deem approved as a sponsor of coursework or training offered to licensed occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants to meet the continuing competency requirement:
      1. Sponsor Approval.
      1. A sponsor of coursework or training that is approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association, the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, the New York State Occupational Therapy Association, the International Association for Continuing Education and Training, or an equivalent organization determined by the Department to have adequate standards for approving sponsors of continuing education for professionals regulated by Title VIII of the Education Law that include but are not limited to standards that are equivalent to the standards prescribed in clauses (3)(ii)(a) (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this subdivision; or
      2. postsecondary institutions, provided that such approval is limited only to the offering of courses in programs that are registered by the Department pursuant to Part 52 of this Title, or in equivalent programs that are accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or
      3. postsecondary institutions, or a consortium of such institutions, that offer programs that are registered pursuant to Part 52 of this Title as leading to licensure in occupational therapy or authorization to practice as an occupational therapy assistant or postsecondary institutions that offer equivalent professional education programs accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency, for credit and noncredit offerings.
    3. Department review of sponsors.
      1. The Department shall conduct a review of sponsors that apply for approval of coursework or training offered to licensed occupational therapists or to occupational therapy assistants to meet the continuing competency requirement and that are not deemed approved pursuant to the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision.
      2. Organizations desiring to offer course work or training based upon a Department review under this paragraph shall submit, with the fee as set forth in subdivision (j) of this section, an application for advance approval as a sponsor at least 90 days prior to the date for the commencement of such coursework or training that documents that the organization:
        1. will offer courses of study in one or more professional subjects, as defined in subdivision (a) of this section or one or more related subjects as defined in subdivision (a) of this section;
        2. is an organized educational entity or is an entity that has expertise in the professional area that will be taught, including but not limited to, a postsecondary degree-granting institution; or an occupational therapy association; or a hospital or health maintenance organization; or a public school;
        3. provides instructors who are qualified to teach the courses which will be offered, including but not limited to, faculty of an occupational therapy or an occupational therapy assistant program accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or instructors who are authorities in the health sciences specially qualified, in the opinion of the Department after consultation with the State Board for Occupational Therapy, to conduct such courses;
        4. has a method of assessing the learning of participants, and describes such method; and
        5. will maintain records for at least six years from the date of completion of coursework, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the name and curriculum vitae of the faculty, a record of attendance of licensed occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants in such coursework, an outline of the course of instruction, date and location of the coursework, and the number of hours for completion of the coursework. In the event an approved sponsor discontinues operation, the governing body of such sponsor shall notify the Department and shall transfer all records as directed by the Department.
      3. Sponsors that are approved by the Department pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph shall be approved for a three-year term.
      4. The Department may conduct site visits of or request information from a sponsor approved pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph to ensure compliance with such requirements, and a sponsor shall cooperate with the Department in permitting such site visits and in providing such information.
      5. A determination by the Department that a sponsor approved pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph is not meeting the standards set forth in this paragraph shall result in the denial or termination of the approved status of the sponsor.
  10. Fees.
    1. At the beginning of each registration period, a mandatory continuing competency fee of $45 shall be collected from licensees engaged in the practice of occupational therapy in New York State and a mandatory continuing competency fee of $25 shall be collected from licensees authorized to practice as an occupational therapy assistant in New York State, except for those exempt from the requirement pursuant to subparagraph (b) (2) (i) of this section. This fee shall be in addition to the registration fee required by section 7904 of the Education Law for licensees engaged in the practice of occupational therapy, and the registration fee required by section 76.7 of this Part for individuals authorized to practice as an occupational therapy assistant.
    2. Licensees applying for a conditional registration, pursuant to the requirements of subdivision (f) of this section, shall pay a fee that is the same as and in addition to, the fee for the triennial registration required by section 7904 of the Education Law. In addition, such licensees shall pay the mandatory continuing competency fee required by section 7908(6) of the Education Law.
    3. Organizations desiring to offer coursework or training based upon a department review, pursuant to paragraph (i) (3) of this section, shall submit an application fee of $900.00 with its application for the issuance of a permit from the department to become an approved sponsor of coursework or training offered to occupational therapists and/or occupational therapy assistants to meet the continuing competency requirement. Application for a three-year renewal of the permit shall be accompanied by a fee of $900.00.
Last Updated: January 15, 2014