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California Occupational Therapy FAQs

We've combined the California laws, board rules, and statements to create a clear guide on the rules that must be followed by OTs and OTAs in California.  Members have full access to the material and can also email us regarding any billing or compliance issue, please consider joining today if you need assistance.  Learn more about how we provide additional support for members. 


Scope of Practice

    • How is occupational therapy defined in California?
    • What is included in the practice of occupational therapy?
    • What is specifically excluded from the practice?
    • Are there any special trainings or requirements?

Referrals and Direct Access

    • CA is a direct access state

Hand Therapy

    • Application
    • Required Hours
    • Using Physical Agent Modalities

Physical Agent Modalities

    • Application
    • Required Hours

Topical Medications

    • Types of Medications
    • Standard of Practice

Swallowing Assessment, Evaluation, or Intervention

    • Role of the OT
    • Education and Training Requirements


    • License Requirement
    • Informed Consent
    • Evaluations
    • Standard of Care


    • What must be included in the client record?
    • What are the assistant’s documentation responsibilities?
    • Signature requirements
    • How long do client records need to be retained?

Identification and Notifications

    • How can I use “Dr” in my title?
    • Required designation for occupational therapists
    • Are there any specific requirements for posting notifications or licenses?
    • When does an OT have to notify the board of any information changes?

Infection Control

    • Standard precautions
    • Proper hand hygiene
    • Use of personal protective equipment
    • Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette
    • Patient/client care

Continuing Education

    • How many continuing education hours are required during a reporting period?
    • Can CE credits be carried over into the next reporting period?
    • Are there any specific courses that must be taken?
    • What types of activities can be used for the continuing education requirements?
    • What type of approval is needed for the courses?
    • What are the reporting requirements?
    • Waivers and audits 

    Supervision and Delegation

      • What are the different levels of supervision?
      • Which services can only be performed by an OT?
      • What are the responsibilities of the OT when delegating?


      • Which services are OTAs allowed to practice?
      • Are there specific services that OTAs are prohibited from practicing?
      • What type of supervision is required?
      • What does the OT need to consider when delegating to an OTA?
      • Does the supervising OT need to co-sign documentation created by the OTA?
      • Who can be supervised by an OTA?
      • What is the ratio between supervising OTs and OTAs?


      • What tasks can an aide perform?
      • What is an aide expressly prohibited from doing?
      • What are the responsibilities of the OT when delegating to an aide?
      • What type of supervision is required?
      • What is the ratio between supervising OTs and aides?
      • Required designation for aides

    Students and Graduates

      • Can students practice in a clinical setting?
      • What kind of supervision is required for student OTs and OTAs?
      • How must students identify themselves?
      • Who is eligible for a limited permit?
      • What is required for the application?
      • What type of supervision is required for a temporary permit holder?
      • Duration of the limited permit
      • Co-signature requirements

    Ethical Standards of Practice

    Unprofessional Conduct

      • When am I obligated to report to the board?
      • What are some important prohibitions?

    California Occupational Therapy Board Fees

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