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Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Assistants


A person licensed to assist in the practice of occupational therapy, under the supervision of an occupational therapist.

What are OTAs allowed to do?

Licensed occupational therapy assistants may assist in the practice of occupational therapy only under the supervision of an occupational therapist.

The supervisor may assign to a competent occupational therapy assistant the administration of standardized tests, the performance of activities of daily living evaluations and other elements of patient/client evaluation and reevaluation that do not require the professional judgment and skill of an occupational therapist.

What type of therapist supervision is required?

Supervision includes the following:

    • Communicating to the occupational therapy assistant the results of patient/client evaluation and discussing the goals and program plan for the patient/client.
    • Periodically reevaluating the patient/client and, if necessary, modifying the program plan.
    • Case management.
    • Determining program termination.
    • Providing information, instruction and assistance as needed.
    • Observing the occupational therapy assistant periodically.
    • Preparing on a regular basis, but at least annually, a written appraisal of the occupational therapy assistant’s performance and discussing that appraisal with the assistant.

Supervisory Contact

The supervisor shall have supervisory contact with the occupational therapy assistant at least 10% of the time worked by the assistant in direct patient care.

‘‘Supervisory contact’’ means face-to-face individual contact, telephone communication, contact through written reports or group conferences among a supervisor and two or more supervisees. Face-to-face individual contact shall occur onsite at least once a month and shall include observation of the assistant performing occupational therapy. The specific mode, frequency and duration of other types of supervisory contact depend on the treatment setting, the occupational therapy assistant’s caseload, the condition of patients/clients being treated by the assistant and the experience and competence of the assistant as determined by the supervisor. The supervisor shall ensure, however, that supervisory contact within each calendar month includes a combination of face-to-face, telephone and written communication.

Supervisory Plan

The supervisor shall maintain a supervisory plan and shall document the supervision of each occupational therapy assistant. Documentation shall include evidence of regular supervision and contact between the supervisor and the assistant.


63 P.S. ยง 1503

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