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Alaska Occupational Therapy Continuing Education

How many continuing education hours are required during a reporting period?

Occupational Therapists:  OTs in Alaska need twenty-four (24) contact hours of continuing education or evidence of current certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) every two (2) years.

New Licensees:  An applicant for renewal of an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant license who has been licensed for less than twelve (12) months of the concluding licensing period shall have:

    • Completed, during that period, twelve (12) contact hours of continuing education;
    • Passed the national occupational therapy examination during the twelve (12) months immediately before the date that the applicant's license is due to lapse; or
    • Evidence of current certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

Occupational Therapy Assistants: OTAs in Alaska need twenty-four (24) contact hours of continuing education or evidence of current certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) every two (2) years.

How is credit hour defined?

One "contact hour" equals a minimum of fifty (50) minutes of instruction.

One continuing education unit awarded by a professional health care association equals ten (10) contact hours.

One academic semester credit hour equals fifteen (15) contact hours.

One academic quarter credit hour equals ten (10) contact hours.

How long is the reporting period?

Two (2) years.

Can CE credits be carried over into the next reporting period?

N/A

Are there any specific requirements for continuing education?

N/A

What types of activities can be used for the continuing education requirements?

An applicant for renewal of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant license shall document:

    • Having provided occupational therapy services for at least 60 hours during the concluding licensing period; or
    • Successful completion during the concluding licensing period of one of the following:
      • The applicable of the following certification examinations sponsored by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy:
        • For an occupational therapist, the Certification Examination for Occupational Therapist, Registered; or
        • For an occupational therapy assistant, the Certification Examination for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant;
      • An addition to the contact hours of continuing education required, 40 contact hours of continuing education that is consistent with the requirements of 12 AAC 54.710 - 12 AAC 54.720;
    • A review course sponsored by a school of occupational therapy approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association; or
    • An occupational therapy internship of 150 hours approved by the board.

Are there limitations on the types of courses that can be taken?

An applicant shall complete at least one-half of the required contact hours in courses or programs offered by an accredited academic institution or a professional organization approved by the board.

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

The following continuing education activities are approved for continuing education credit if they meet the requirements:

Courses recognized by:

    • The Alaska Occupational Therapy Association;
    • The American Occupational Therapy Association;
    • The World Federation of Occupational Therapy;
    • The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT);
    • Other state occupational therapy associations; or
    • Other state occupational therapy licensing boards.

Continuing education activities sponsored by a professional organization or university approved by the Alaska Occupational Therapy Association or the American Occupational Therapy Association.

What type of courses or activities are not allowed?

The following activities will not be accepted for continuing education contact hours under this section:

    • Routine staff meetings attended by the applicant;
    • Rounds conducted by the applicant;
    • Routine courses required for employment, including courses on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, and training related to Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements

What are the reporting requirements?

Occupational Therapy Continuing Education Worksheet

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Records must be retained for three (3) years from the date the contact hours were obtained.

Waiver

An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who meets the requirements of this section is exempt from the continuing education requirements for renewal of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant license for the biennial licensing period immediately following a period of service by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant during which an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States.

To obtain an exemption under this section, an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant must submit official documentation satisfactory to the board of active duty military service.

The board will waive half of the continuing education hours, if the board determines that the applicant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States for at least six (6) consecutive months during the concluding licensing period.

The board will waive all continuing education hours, if the board determines that the applicant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States for twelve  (12) or more months during the concluding licensing period.

In this section, "engaged in active duty military service" means military personnel serving in an active capacity, including (1) active duty personnel in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard; and (2) reservists and National Guard personnel in a combat zone for a named United States military conflict; in this paragraph, "combat zone" means an area that the President of the United States designates by executive order as an area in which the armed forces of the United States are engaging or have engaged in combat.

Audit

After each renewal period the board will, in its discretion, audit renewal applications to monitor compliance with the continuing competency requirements.

A licensee selected for audit shall, within 30 days after the date of notification, submit documentation that verifies completion of the contact hours claimed and occupational therapy service hours or an alternative.

Refusal to cooperate with an audit will be considered an admission of an attempt to obtain a license by material misrepresentation.

Reference

12 AAC 54.700

12 AAC 54.705

12 AAC 54.710

12 AAC 54.715

12 AAC 54.725

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