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Massachusetts Occupational Therapy Definitions 

The Massachusetts occupational therapy legal and regulatory definitions. 

“AOTA”- American Occupational Therapy Association. Approved/Accredited Educational Program. An occupational therapy educational program currently accredited by AOTA's Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

“Assessment”- An assessment is a standardized or non-standardized tool or instrument used in the evaluation process.

“Board” - The Massachusetts Board of Allied Health Professions.

“Business Records” - Any materials other than Patient Records kept in the ordinary course of a Physical Therapy business.

“Business Record Endorsement” - A process of licensure based on the determination that a current license from another United States of America jurisdiction is consistent with Board requirements.

“Client”- A client is the entity receiving occupational therapy services. Clients may include:

    • Individuals and other persons relevant to an individual's life, including family, caregivers, teachers, employers, and others who also may help or be served indirectly;
    • Organizations such as businesses, industries or agencies; and
    • Populations within a community. Evaluation. The process of obtaining and interpreting data necessary for an intervention, including planning for and documenting the evaluation process and results.

“Co-operative Education” - An educational approach which provides alternating or parallel periods of classroom study and supervised employment in which:

    • There is a formal agreement with the institution, the student and the employer;
    • The rotation between academic study and work experience is structured to further the student's education and employability; and
    • The services performed by the student during the work experience are commensurate with their level of education and training.

“Direct Supervision” - A process by which a supervisor is on the premises and available to provide supervision in the form of aid, direction, and instruction when procedures or activities are performed.

“Employee Record” - A list of all individuals employed by a Physical Therapy Facility, including the following information for each employee: name; address; date of birth; job title; license type and license number for all professional licenses held; and dates of employment at the Physical Therapy Facility.

“Examination”- The examination currently administered by the NBCOT.

“Expired” - The date of validity has passed. A lapsed or inactive license is also expired.

“Intervention Plan”- An outline of selected approaches and types of interventions, based on the results of the evaluation process and developed to reach the client's identified targeted outcomes.

“License”- A document granted by the Board as proof of the privilege that the licensee has been approved by the Board to practice his/her discipline. The license must be kept on the licensee's person and posted/filed at the site of practice.

“Limited Liability Company or L.L.C.” - Any "limited liability company" or "foreign limited liability company" as defined by M.G.L. c. 156C, § 2. Limited Liability Partnership or L.L.P. Any "registered limited liability partnership" or "foreign registered limited liability partnership", as defined in M.G.L. c. 108A, § 1.

“NBCOT”- National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. is the national, non-governmental credentialing agency certifying qualified persons as occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.

“Occupational Therapy” - The application of principles, methods and procedures of evaluation, problem identification, treatment, education, and consultation which utilizes purposeful activity in order to maximize independence, prevent or correct disability, and maintain health. These services are used with individuals, throughout the life span, whose abilities to interact with their environment are limited by physical injury or illness, disabilities, poverty and cultural differences or the aging process.

“Occupational Therapy Aide”- An occupational therapy aide is an individual who provides supportive services to the occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant. Occupational therapy aides do not provide skilled occupational therapy services. An occupational therapy aide is trained by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant to perform specifically delegated tasks. The occupational therapist is responsible for the overall use and actions of the occupational therapy aide. An occupational therapy aide must first demonstrate competency to be able to perform any assigned, delegated client or non-client tasks.

“Occupational Therapy Service Delivery Process” - The process of evaluation, intervention planning, intervention implementation, intervention review, and outcome evaluation for a client.

“Occupational Therapist” - A person who is duly licensed to practice occupational therapy in Massachusetts.

“Occupational Therapy Assistant” - A person duly licensed in Massachusetts and who assists in the practice of occupational therapy who works under the supervision of a duly licensed occupational therapist.

“Patient Record” - All recorded information regarding a patient’s clinical history, clinical examination findings, diagnosis, treatment, and consent, including billing records associated with and documenting patient care.

“Screening”- An initial brief assessment to determine the need for occupational therapy evaluation and intervention, consisting of record review, observation, and consultation.

“Service Competency”- Demonstration of specific knowledge and skills to permit safe and competent delivery of occupational therapy services.

“Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics” - The Standards of Practice for Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics published by the AOTA, as the same may be amended and republished.

“Student” - Any person pursuing a supervised course of study leading to a degree in athletic training, occupational therapy or physical therapy in an accredited or approved program, including co-operative education programs and post-doctoral clinical education programs. Students involved in clinical affiliations which are part of their educational program may perform duties commensurate with their level of education, in addition to those duties which may be performed by aides, as set forth in 259 CMR 3.01, 3.02, 5.01 and 5.02. Students whose employment is not part of a co-operative education program may only perform those duties which may be performed by aides, as set forth in 259 CMR 3.01, 3.02, 5.01 and 5.02.

“Supervisor” - A person who holds a current unrestricted license issued by the Board authorizing such person to practice the same discipline as the supervisee(s). A supervisor possesses skill, experience or education in excess of that possessed by the supervisee(s). The supervisor is responsible for the standard of services performed by the supervisee(s) and shall have knowledge of the patients/clients receiving treatment from the supervisee(s) and the issues/problems involving such treatment. A supervisor must co-sign all treatment documentation of a temporary license holder.

“Supervision” - A process by which two or more people participate in joint effort to establish, maintain and elevate a level of performance. Supervision requires the physical presence of all parties at regularly scheduled supervision sessions. Supervision is structured according to the supervisee's qualifications, position, level of preparation, depth of experience and the environment within which the supervisee functions.

“Temporary License” - A license granted under certain prescribed conditions for a limited period of time in the profession of Occupational Therapy and Athletic Training. A holder of a temporary license must practice under the supervision of a supervisor in that discipline.


M.G.L. 112 Section 23A

259 CMR 2.01

259 CMR 3.01

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