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California Occupational Therapy Continuing Education

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

Occupational Therapists: Twenty-four (24) professional development units (PDUs).

New Licensees: No 

OTAs: Twenty-four (24) professional development units (PDUs).

How is credit hour defined?

One (1) hour of participation in a professional development activity qualifies for one (1) PDU; 

One (1) academic credit equals ten (10) PDUs; 


One (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) equals ten (10) PDUs. 

How long is the reporting period?

Biennial.  The renewal period begins the day after your license expires and ends on your expiration date. For example, if your license expires on October 31, 2009, your PDUs must have been completed during the period November 1, 2007 – October 31, 2009.

Unless renewed, a license issued by the board shall expire at 12 midnight on the last day of the holder's birth month during an odd year if the licensee was born in an odd year or during an even year, if the licensee was born in an even year. The initial license fee shall be prorated from the month of issuance based on the holder's birth month and birth year. 

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

A maximum of three (3) PDUs in excess of the required twelve (12) PDUs may be carried over to the next renewal period for those practitioners renewing after one year.

A maximum of six (6) PDUs in excess of the required twenty-four (24) PDUs may be carried over to the next renewal period for those practitioners renewing after two (2) years.

Are there any specific requirements for continuing education?

Of the total number of PDUs required for each renewal period, a minimum of one half of the units must be directly related to the delivery of occupational therapy services, may include:  models, theories or frameworks that relate to client/patient care in preventing or minimizing impairment, enabling function within the person/environment or community context. Other activities may include, but are not limited to, occupation based theory assessment/interview techniques, intervention strategies, and community/environment as related to one's practice. 

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

Activity

Hour Calculation

Maximum

Involvement in structured special interest or study groups with a minimum of three (3) participants.

Three (3) hours of participation equals one (1) PDU.

Six (6) PDUs per renewal period.

Structured mentoring with an individual skilled in a particular area.

 For each twenty (20) hours of being mentored, the practitioner will receive three (3) PDUs.

Six (6) PDUs per renewal period.

Structured mentoring of a colleague to improve his/her skills.

Twenty (20) hours of mentoring equals three (3) PDUs.

Six (6) PDUs per renewal period.

Supervising the fieldwork of Level II occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant students.

The supervision shall not be the primary responsibility of the licensee’s employment.


Credit for PDUs shall only be earned for the dates of supervision occurring during the renewal period.

For each sixty (60) hours of supervision, the practitioner will receive .5 PDU.

Twelve (12) PDUs per renewal period.

Fieldwork supervision hours of a single student may be divided between licensees. 

Total weekly hours claimed by more than one licensee sharing supervision of a single student shall not exceed forty (40) hours per week. 

Supervising the fieldwork of a Level I student.

The supervision shall not be the primary responsibility of the licensee’s employment.


Credit for PDUs shall only be earned for the dates of supervision occurring during the renewal period.

For each student supervised the practitioner will receive one (1) PDU/

Twelve (12) PDUs per renewal period.

Publication of an article in a non-peer reviewed publication.

Each article equals five (5) PDUs.

Ten (10) PDUs per renewal period. 

Publication of an article in a peer-reviewed professional publication.

Each article equals ten (10) PDUs.

Ten (10) PDUs per renewal period. 

Publication of chapter(s) in occupational therapy or related professional textbook.

Each chapter equals ten (10) PDUs.

Ten (10) PDUs per renewal period.

Making professional presentations at workshops, seminars and conferences.

For each hour presenting, the practitioner will receive two (2) PDUs.

Six (6) PDUs per renewal period.

Attending a meeting of the California Board of Occupational Therapy.

Each meeting attended equals two (2) PDUs.

Six (6) PDUs per renewal period. 

Attending board outreach activities.

Each presentation attended equals two (2) PDUs.

Four (4) PDUs per renewal period.

Partial credit will not be given for the professional development activities listed in the table and a maximum of twelve (12) PDUs may be credited for the activities listed in the table. 

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

N/A

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

Professional development activities acceptable to the board include programs or activities sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or the Occupational Therapy Association of California; post-professional coursework completed through any approved or accredited educational institution, or otherwise meets all of the following criteria: 

  • The program or activity contributes directly to professional knowledge, skill, and ability; 
  • The program or activity must be objectively measurable in terms of the hours involved. 

What type of courses or activities are not allowed?

Not specified. 

What are the reporting requirements?

The occupational therapy practitioner shall record the following information for each activity on the renewal form:

  • The date each course or activity was completed;
  • The provider, course number, and course title, if applicable;
  • A description of the course; and
  • The total number of PDUs.

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Records showing participation in each professional development activity must be maintained by the occupational therapy practitioner for four (4) years following the renewal period.

CE Requirements for Reactivating a License

Applicants who have not been actively engaged in the practice of occupational therapy within the past five (5) years completing continuing competency to qualify for licensure shall submit evidence of meeting the continuing competency requirements by having completed, during the two (2) year period immediately preceding the date the application was received, forty (40) PDUs that are pertinent to the practice of occupational therapy.

The forty (40) PDUs shall include: 

  • Thirty-seven (37) PDUs directly related to the delivery of occupational therapy services, which may include the scope of practice for occupational therapy practitioners or the occupational therapy practice framework; 
  • Three (3) PDUs related to ethical standards of practice in occupational therapy.

Waiver

At the time of applying for renewal of a license, an occupational therapy practitioner may request an exemption from the continuing competency requirements. The renewal application must provide the following information.

  • Evidence that during the renewal period prior to the expiration of the license, the practitioner was residing in another country for one year or longer, reasonably preventing completion of the continuing competency requirements; or
  • Evidence that the practitioner was absent from California because of military service for a period of one year or longer during the renewal period, preventing completion of the continuing competency requirements; or
  • Evidence that the practitioner should be exempt from the continuing competency requirements for reasons of health or other good cause which include:
    • Total physical and/or mental disability for one (1) year or more during the renewal period and the inability to work during this period has been verified by a licensed physician or surgeon or licensed clinical psychologist; or
    • Total physical and/or mental disability for one (1) year or longer of an immediate family member for whom the practitioner had total responsibility, 
    • As verified by a licensed physician or surgeon or licensed clinical psychologist.
    • As verified by a licensed physician or surgeon or licensed clinical psychologist.

Citation

Cal. Code Regs., tit. 16 ยง 4161

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