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AOTA/NBCOT Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact Initiative Update

Stakeholder Review Process Begins June 1; Licensure Compact Language Posted on AOTA’s and NBCOT’s Websites

May 29, 2020

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) are pleased to share this update from Dan Logsdon from the National Center for Interstate Compacts regarding progress that is being made on the joint AOTA/NBCOT Occupational Therapy Interstate Licensure Compact Initiative.

The Occupational Therapy Interstate Licensure Compact initiative is steadily moving forward to create an occupational licensure compact for the OT profession with support from AOTA and NBCOT.

The Drafting Team for the Occupational Therapy Compact met in late February 2020 to begin writing a draft occupational licensure compact for the OT profession. These discussions were informed by recommendations developed by the project Advisory Group over the course of 4 months beginning in October 2019. The Drafting Team for the Occupational Therapy Compact finalized the draft compact in April 2020 and the document is now ready for stakeholder feedback.

A robust stakeholder review process is crucial for the success of interstate compact development. The Council of State Governments (CSG) will solicit comments on the draft Occupational Therapy Compact for an 8- to 10-week period. The draft compact will be vetted by state licensing boards, state legislators, state legislative staff, state membership organizations, and OT practitioners. The project Drafting Team will analyze the comments received and make changes to the draft compact as warranted.

While we will be reaching out to specific stakeholders, including state regulatory board members/staff, state association leaders, employers, and others, all occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students are stakeholders in this process. You are invited to send comments or questions about the licensure compact to OTCompact@csg.org.

The project team is determined to have a legislative proposal ready for consideration by state legislatures in 2021.

Dan Logsdon
Director, National Center for Interstate Compacts
The Council of State Governments

National Center for Interstate Compacts Logo 

Check AOTA’s website for more information on the occupational therapy interstate licensure compact, including links to the draft licensure compact language as well as the timeline for the initiative.

Check NBCOT’s website for updates on the occupational therapy interstate licensure compact, including links to the draft licensure compact language.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Chuck Willmarth, CAE
Vice President of State Affairs and Health Policy
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
cwillmarth@aota.org

AOTA logo 

Shaun Conway, OTR
Senior Director, External & Regulatory Affairs
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
sconway@nbcot.org

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AOTA/NBCOT Occupational Licensure Compact Initiative Progress:
Initial OT Compact Legislation Drafted

March 10, 2020

On February 25 and 26, 2020, the Council of State Governments (CSG) convened the Occupational Therapy Drafting Team at the Hall of the States in Washington, DC. This group is charged with developing language for the new model interstate licensure compact for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. The meeting started with a review of the occupational therapy compact process as well as the obligations of the Drafting Team. The Team then addressed numerous topics including necessary compact definitions, state participation requirements, compact privileges, consideration of special provisions, and effects of adverse actions. As a projected outcome, CSG then developed initial draft legislation for the group to review.

The Drafting Team is expected to complete a draft compact this spring, which will be reviewed by the Occupational Therapy Advisory Group for comment. From there the draft will be distributed to stakeholders for comment in the summer of 2020.

The goal is to work with stakeholders to come to a consensus and finalize the occupational therapy compact legislation by early fall 2020. The process will then include efforts to work with state occupational therapy associations and state regulatory boards/agencies to introduce the licensure compact legislation in multiple states during the 2021 state legislative sessions.

Check AOTA’s website for more information on the interstate professional licensing compact, including background, the general timeline, and what it would mean for occupational therapy practitioners.

Check NBCOT's website for updates on the interstate OT licensure compact.

OT-Compact-Drafting-Team
Members of CSG’s Occupational Therapy Interstate Compact Advisory Group

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Chuck Willmarth, CAE
Vice President of State Affairs and Health Policy
cwillmarth@aota.org

AOTA logo 

Shaun Conway, OTR
Senior Director, External & Regulatory Affairs
sconway@nbcot.org

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AOTA/NBCOT Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact Initiative Update

January 30, 2020

We are pleased to share this update from Dan Logsdon from the National Center for Interstate Compacts regarding progress that is being made on the joint AOTA/NBCOT Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact Initiative.

The Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact initiative is steadily moving forward to create an occupational licensure compact for the OT profession with support from AOTA and NBCOT. The Advisory Group for the project held its initial meeting during the last week of October 2019 in Washington, DC. Since that initial meeting, the Advisory Group has convened by phone to develop recommendations for the project Drafting Team which will meet in late February to begin drafting the text of the compact.

The Drafting Team is expected to complete a draft compact in early May. That document will then go back to the Advisory Group for comment before being distributed to stakeholders for comment in the summer of 2020.

The project team is determined to have a draft ready for consideration by state legislatures in 2021.

Dan Logsdon
Director, National Center for Interstate Compacts
The Council of State Governments

National Center for Interstate Compacts Logo 

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Chuck Willmarth, CAE
Vice President of State Affairs and Health Policy
cwillmarth@aota.org

AOTA logo 

Shaun Conway, OTR
Senior Director, External & Regulatory Affairs
sconway@nbcot.org

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AOTA/NBCOT Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact Initiative Moves Forward

CSG Convenes Occupational Therapy Compact Advisory Group in Washington

By Chuck Willmarth, CAE; and Shaun Conway, OTR

November 11, 2019

The Council of State of Governments (CSG) convened the first meeting of the Occupational Therapy Interstate Licensure Compact Advisory Group from October 29 to 30 at the Hall of the States in Washington, DC. The role of the advisory group is to engage in a thoughtful dialogue regarding the needs of occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, students, state licensure boards, and other stakeholders as those needs pertain to the development of an interstate licensure compact.

OT-Interstate-Compact-Advisory-Group
Members of CSG’s Occupational Therapy Interstate Compact Advisory Group

The 2-day meeting began with a briefing by CSG staff members to provide the background and history of interstate compacts, and was followed by a review of existing compacts in medicine, nursing, physical therapy, and other health professions. Staff briefed the advisory group on the findings of their research into the state regulation of occupational therapy. A key finding is that the core licensure requirements for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are consistent across jurisdictions. Specifically, all states require OTs and OTAs to graduate from accredited programs, complete supervised fieldwork requirements and pass the entry-level certification exam administered by NBCOT®. The group identified some variations in state requirements; for example, at least 12 states require a state jurisprudence exam (usually an open-book test regarding the state’s occupational therapy statutes and regulations).

While no final decisions were made, the group came to consensus on a number of key points:

  • The licensure compact will be referred to as the “Occupational Therapy Compact” or “OT Compact” for short.
  • Licensed occupational therapists and licensed occupational therapy assistants, in good standing, will be eligible to participate in the compact.
  • The home state license authorizes practitioner participation in the compact.
  • The “mutual recognition model” was recommended by the Advisory Group. This means practitioners must have a home state license and then will apply for privileges to practice in other states.
  • A mininmum of 10 states will be needed to activate the Compact Commission (a quasi-governmental organization that will implement the compact).
  • Practitioners with an encumbered license will not be able access compact privileges.
  • Participating states must implement FBI fingerprint-based criminal background checks.

While the Compact Advisory Group addressed a number of key issues, more work is left to be done. CSG has scheduled calls for November and December to continue the dialogue. The group is expected to meet with the administers of the Physical Therapy Compact and the Nurse Licensure Compact to obtain information about how states have implemented these compacts and the related costs. The group will continue to meet over the next 3 to 6 months. It is expected that the Drafting Team will meet in January or February 2020 to begin drafting the licensure compact langauge. CSG is developing a communications and stakeholder feedback plan to ensure that the profession and all stakeholders have the opportunity to provide input.

Chuck Willmarth, CAE, is AOTA’s Vice President of State Affairs and Health Policy.

 AOTA logo

Shaun Conway, OTR, is Senior Director, External & Regulatory Affairs at NBCOT.

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