New competency standards for occupational therapists are in effect

02 Jan 2019

The new Australian occupational therapy competency standards (the competency standards) have been in effect since 1 January 2019. The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (the Board) expects all occupational therapists to understand and apply them in their practice.

The competency standards outline professional behaviours all occupational therapists should demonstrate to practise safely and ethically. They affect occupational therapists working across all practice settings, including research, education, management and other roles not involving direct contact with clients.

They specifically acknowledge the need for occupational therapists to enhance their cultural responsiveness and capabilities for practice with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. They also include reference to the integration of evidence, reflective practice, digital literacy and the use of appropriate assistive technology.

They also focus on four conceptual areas of occupational therapy practice: professionalism, knowledge and learning, occupational therapy process and practice, and communication. Each of these is supported by a number of practice behaviours which address specific core competencies.

The competency standards are available here.

Page reviewed 2/01/2019