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California Occupational Therapy Aides

Who is classified as an aide?

“Aide” means an individual who provides supportive services to an occupational therapist and who is trained by an occupational therapist to perform, under appropriate supervision, delegated, selected client and nonclient-related tasks for which the aide has demonstrated competency. An occupational therapist licensed pursuant to this chapter may utilize the services of one aide engaged in patient-related tasks to assist the occupational therapist in his or her practice of occupational therapy.

"Client related tasks" means tasks performed as part of occupational therapy services rendered directly to the client.

"Non-client related tasks" means clerical, secretarial and administrative activities; transportation of patients/clients; preparation or maintenance of treatment equipment and work area; taking care of patient/client personal needs during treatments; and assisting in the construction of adaptive equipment and splints.

What can an aide do?

The primary function of an aide in an occupational therapy setting is to perform routine tasks related to occupational therapy services. Non-client related tasks may be delegated to an aide when the supervising occupational therapy practitioner has determined that the person has been appropriately trained and has supportive documentation for the performance of the services.

Client related tasks that may be delegated to an aide include specifically selected routine aspects of an intervention session. The following factors must be present when an occupational therapist delegates a selected aspect of an intervention to an aide:

  • The outcome anticipated for the aspects of the intervention session being delegated is predictable.
  • The situation of the client and the environment is stable and will not require that judgment or adaptations be made by the aide.
  • The client has demonstrated previous performance ability in executing the task.
  • The aide has demonstrated competence in the task, routine and process.

What is an aide expressly prohibited from doing?

The supervising occupational therapist shall not delegate to an aide the following tasks:

  • Performance of occupational therapy evaluative procedures;
  • Initiation, planning, adjustment, or modification of treatment procedures.
  • Acting on behalf of the occupational therapist in any matter related to occupational therapy treatment that requires decision making.

What type of supervision is required?

“Appropriate supervision of an aide” means that the responsible occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant shall provide direct in-sight supervision when the aide is providing delegated client-related tasks and shall be readily available at all times to provide advice or instruction to the aide. The occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant is responsible for documenting the client’s record concerning the delegated client-related tasks performed by the aide.

An aide providing delegated, client-related supportive services shall require continuous and direct supervision by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.


Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 2570.2

Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 2570.13

Cal. Code Regs., tit. 16 § 4184

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