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Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Temporary Permits

A temporary license may be granted by the board to a person who has completed the education and experience requirements of this act in the following categories:

    • A person who has applied for a license and who is, in the judgment of the board, eligible to take the examination.
    • A person who has applied for a license, has failed the required examination but has applied for reexamination, provided the temporary license shall expire automatically upon receipt by that person of notice of failure of the reexamination and that the person shall not be eligible for a temporary license for a period of one (1) year from the date of such reexamination.
    • The issuance by the board of a temporary license shall authorize the practice of occupational therapy or providing services only as an assistant under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist.

Nonresidents

A temporary license may be granted to a person engaged in the performance of occupational therapy services who is a nonresident of this Commonwealth, provided the services of the licensee are performed for not longer than a six (6) consecutive month period in a calendar year and are performed in association with a licensed occupational therapist and that one of the following exists:

    • The person is licensed under the laws of a state, District of Columbia, or territory of the United States which has licensure requirements substantially equal to the requirements of this act.
    • The person has met the requirements for certification, as an occupational therapist registered (O.T.R.) or a certified occupational therapy assistant (C.O.T.A.), established by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Requirements

The Board may issue a temporary license to an applicant who pays the required fee and submits evidence satisfactory to the Board, on forms provided by the Board, that the applicant:

Has met requirements for licensure.

Is eligible and has applied to take the licensure examination or has failed the licensure examination but applied to retake the examination on the next scheduled date if the following applies:

    • The temporary license shall expire automatically upon the failure of the applicant to take the licensure examination, except for an appropriate excuse approved by the Board.
    • The temporary license shall expire automatically upon receipt by the applicant of notice of failure of reexamination, and the applicant may not be eligible for another temporary license for a period of one (1) year from the date of the notice.
    • Even after one (1) year from the date of notice of failure of reexamination, the applicant may not be issued another temporary license, except at the discretion of the Board.

A temporary license authorizes the practice of occupational therapy only as an assistant under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

The Board may also issue a temporary license to an applicant who:

    • Pays the required fee.
    • Submits evidence satisfactory to the Board, on forms provided by the Board, that the applicant is not a resident and is not licensed in this Commonwealth.
    • Submits evidence to the Board that the applicant is either licensed under the laws of the District of Columbia or of a state or territory of the United States which has licensure requirements substantially equal to the requirements of the act or has met the requirements for certification, as an occupational therapist registered or a certified occupational therapy assistant, established by NBCOT.
    • Certifies that the applicant will perform services for not longer than a six (6) consecutive month period in a calendar year, in association with an occupational therapist licensed under the act.

Supervision

The supervisor is onsite at least 25% of the time worked by the temporary licensee and at all other times is available for prompt consultation by telephone or otherwise.

‘‘Onsite’’ means that the supervisor is physically present and available in the facility or other location where the temporary licensee is working. When the facility comprises more than one contiguous building, availability means that the supervisor is readily accessible for face-to-face consultation with the supervisee.

Supervision includes the following:

    • Communicating to the temporary licensee 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.
    • Preparing on a regular basis, but at least every three (3) months, a written appraisal of the temporary licensee’s performance and discussing that appraisal with the temporary licensee.

Face-to-Face Contact

The supervisor has face-to-face individual contact with the temporary licensee at least weekly in the case of a temporarily licensed occupational therapist and at least daily in the case of a temporarily licensed occupational therapy assistant. This contact shall include observation of the temporary licensee performing occupational therapy.

The supervisor has face-to-face, telephone or written supervisory contact with the temporary licensee at least daily in the case of a temporarily licensed occupational therapist and as needed in the case of a temporarily licensed occupational therapy assistant. For purposes of this paragraph, face-to-face contact may include group conferences among the supervisor and two or more supervisees.

Supervisors shall intensify supervision consistent with a temporary licensee’s experience, competence and performance or when other factors, such as failing the licensing examination, indicate that greater oversight is needed.

Responsibilities of the Supervisor

Additionally, supervision of a temporary licensee requires that the supervisor:

    • Evaluate the patient/client.
    • Prepare a written program plan.
    • Assign treatment duties based on that program plan to a temporary licensee who has been specifically trained to carry out those duties.
    • Monitor the temporary licensee’s performance.
    • Accept professional responsibility for the temporary licensee’s performance.

Tasks a Temporary Licensee May Preform

The supervisor may assign to a temporarily licensed occupational therapist elements of patient/client evaluation and reevaluation and elements of preparing a written program plan. These assignments shall be consistent with the training, experience and competence of the temporary licensee.

The supervisor may assign to a competent temporarily licensed 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.

Supervisory Plan

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

Substitute Supervisor

A supervisor who is temporarily unable to provide supervision shall arrange for substitute supervision by an occupational therapist currently licensed by the Board. The substitute shall provide supervision that is as rigorous and thorough as that provided by the permanent supervisor.

Citation

49 Pa. Code § 42.23

49 Pa. Code § 42.15

63 P.S. §§ 1509

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