16 Feb 2015
From 1 July 2015, arrangements that allowed some occupational therapists to become registered as the profession joined the National Scheme1 will expire.
Occupational therapists who have not yet applied for registration will be affected.
After 1 July 2015, the only way to become registered will be by completing an approved program of study, demonstrating substantial equivalence or doing an exam or assessment as required by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (the National Board).
Occupational therapists joined the National Scheme and became regulated on 1 July 2012; practitioners who were previously practising as an occupational therapist are able to register with the National Board through a Grandparenting Standard2.
The intent of the grandparenting provisions was to ensure that practitioners who were legitimately practising before 1 July 2012 (particularly in those jurisdictions that did not require registration) were not unjustly disadvantaged by the move to the National Scheme.
Under section 52 of the National Law3, an individual is eligible to apply for general registration if they have successfully completed a qualification recognised under the National Law as an approved program of study, or if they hold an overseas qualification which is considered by the National Board as equivalent to an approved program of study.
Only occupational therapists who are registered with the National Board can practise using protected titles or make claims to be qualified to practise a regulated health profession. Penalties exist if you pretend to be registered (or lead someone to believe that you are) when you are not. You can check whether you are registered on the AHPRA website using the Check your health practitioner is registered form.
More information on the Grandparenting standards is available on our Registration Standards page.
1National Registration and Accreditation Scheme
2Section 303 of the National Law sets out the ‘grandparenting’ provisions for individuals to be eligible to apply for registration to the profession but who do not hold an academic qualification gained by completing an approved program of study.
3Health Practitioner Regulation National Law as in force in each state and territory