J Educ Eval Health Prof.  2016;13:37. 10.3352/jeehp.2016.13.37.

Continuing education requirements among State Occupational Therapy Regulatory Boards in the United States of America

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA. yuen@uab.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE
The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the contents of each state's occupational therapy (OT) regulatory board requirements regarding licensees' acquisition of continuing education units in the United States of America.
METHODS
Data related to continuing education requirements from each OT regulatory board of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the United States were reviewed and categorized by two reviewers. Analysis was conducted based on the categorization of the continuing education requirements and activities required, allowed, and not allowed/not mentioned for continuing education units.
RESULTS
Findings revealed non-uniformity and inconsistency of continuing education requirements for licensure renewal between OT regulatory boards and was coupled with lack of specific criteria for various continuing education activities. Continuing education requirements were not tailored to meet the needs of individual licensee's current and anticipated professional role and job responsibilities, with a negative bias towards presentation and publication allowed for continuing education units. Few boards mandated continuing education topics on ethics related to OT practice within each renewal cycle.
CONCLUSION
OT regulatory boards should move towards unifying the reporting format of continuing education requirements across all states to reduce ambiguity and to ensure licensees are equipped to provide ethical and competent practice. Efforts could be made to enact continuing education requirements specific to the primary role of a particular licensee. Finally, assigning the amount of continuing education credits to be awarded for different activities should be based on research evidence rather than arbitrary determination.

Keyword

Continuing education; Licensure; Occupational therapy; Professional competence; United States

MeSH Terms

Americas*
Awards and Prizes
Bias (Epidemiology)
Education, Continuing*
Ethics
Licensure
Occupational Therapy*
Professional Competence
Professional Role
Publications
United States*
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