FAQS

 

Questions

Licensing

  1. How long will it take to get a license?
  2. How much does it cost to get a license and what are the various fees?
  3. How do I get verification of my license?
  4. How do I apply for a license?
  5. When are license issued?
  6. What is the Licensing process?
  7. Can Foreign trained therapists, who have not taken and passed the NBCOT exam, be licensed in the state?
  8. Who completes the Certificate of Moral Character forms?
  9. What if the state that I worked in did not require licensure at the time that I worked there?
  10. When does my license expire?
  11. How will I obtain my User ID and Password to take the Jurisprudence Exam required for my application for Licensure?
  12. I have not practiced occupational therapy for more than 24 months.  Is the licensure process different for me?
  13. My NC license has ben expired for more than 24 months.  Can I renew my license or do I have to re-apply?

Renewal and Continuing Competence

  1. How do I renew my license?
  2. Do I have to renew my license using the online renewal procedure?
  3. Do we need to continue to be certified by NBCOT in order to renew our license?
  4. What is the difference between “continuing education” and “continuing competence activities”?
  5. What is a continuing competence “point”?
  6. How many “points” do I need to renew my license?
  7. What can I do to complete my continuing competence requirements?
  8. Do I need to send in the documentation for my continuing competence activity?
  9. If my facility requires that I take CPR, HIPPA, HIV or Infection Control classes each year, can I use them toward my continuing competence requirement?
  10. What are the requirements for the Ethics continuing competence activity (CCA)?
  11. How do I store my continuing competence activity online?
  12. What if I have a question about whether or not a CCA is acceptable?

License Verification

  1. How do I verify a license number?
  2. What is the verification process?

Links to Other Related Boards

  1. How do I contact the National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)?
  2. How do I contact the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)?
  3. How do I contact the North Carolina State Occupational Therapy Association (NCOTA)?

Forms

  1. How do I change my name on my license?
  2. Where can I find the forms for renewing my license if I chose not to renew online?
  3. Where can I find a sample mentorship agreement?
  4. Where can I find the Group Study Form?

Supervision Questions

  1. Does an OTA have to have a supervisor to work PRN?
  2. How often do I have to have face to face supervisory visits with an experienced OTA?
  3. Do I have to notify the Board every time I change supervisors or supervisees if I work PRN?
  4. I’m an occupational therapy assistant who has several supervisors.  Which one should I use when completing the online Renewal Application?
  5. How often do I have to have face to face supervisory visits with a new graduate OTA?
  6. Does the OT have to meet with the client before delegating assessments to the OTA to administer as evaluation tools?

  7. How often does the supervising OT need to make home visits to supervise an OTA providing home health care?

General Information

  1. When are new directories published?
  2. Do I have to update my online profile every time I move or change employers?
  3. Now that I’m licensed, what letter do I put after my signature?
  4. I’ve maintained my National Certification but correspondence from the NC Board does not indicate that I am Nationally Certified.
  5. What would my responsibility be as an OT PRN if I did an evaluation on a patient, set up the plan of care for the patient, but did not provide treatment to the patient?
  6. Use of Modalities by Occupational Therapists.
  7. Can an OTA fabricate splints on a "splint only" Dr. order?
  8. Is a OTA allowed to complete discharge summaries?
  9. Can we treat in groups in the schools if it is stated on the IEP?
  10. Does an OT have to have a doctor's order to treat a patient?
  11. Can an OTA perform screenings?
  12. How do I report a possible infraction of the NC Occupational Therapy Practice Act or Rules of the Board?
  13. How do I notify the Board of a name change?
  14. Can an OT or OTA provide wound care?
  15. Can I put my license on "Inactive" status?
  16. Why does the Board ask the same questions each year about education, practice setting, practice specialty and race?
  17. How can I get a duplicate copy of my license certificate or renewal card?

Licensing

1. How long will it take to get a license?

Application requests are normally processed within a week of receipt by the Board office. Licenses are usually issued on Fridays within two (2) weeks after the application and all required documentation is received and processed by the Board office.  Click the License Verification tab of the website after 5:00 p.m. on Fridays or call the Board office after 5:00 p.m. and press 1 for the voicemail listing of licenses issued that day.

2. How much does it cost to get a license and what are the various fees?

Annual License Renewal Fee

$50

Application Packet

$10

Directory (for non-licensees)

$15

Duplicate License Certificate

$15

Duplicate Renewal Card

$5

Initial License Fee

$100

Late Renewal Fee

$50

License Verification Fee

$20

Mailing List

$300

Practice Act Booklet

$15

Returned Check Fee

$35

 

3. How do I get verification of my license?

You may go to the License Verification tab of this website (free of charge) or submit a written verification request to the Board office along with a $20 fee.  The fee must be in the form of a certified check or money order if your NC license is not current at the time of the request.

NO LICENSE VERIFICATIONS ARE DONE BY PHONE OR FAX

4. How do I apply for a license?

Please refer to Application Process link.

5. When are license issued?

Licenses are usually issued on Fridays within two (2) weeks after the application and all required documentation is received and processed by the Board office. Check the License Verification tab of the website after 5:00 p.m. on Fridays or call the Board office after 5:00 p.m. and press 1 for the voicemail listing of licenses issued that day.

6. What is the Licensing process?

Please refer to the Application Process link.

7. Can Foreign trained therapists, who have not taken and passed the NBCOT exam, be licensed in the state?

No, foreign trained therapist who have not taken and passed the NBCOT exam are not eligible for licensure in North Carolina.

8. Who completes the Certificate of Moral Character forms?

The forms should be completed by two different occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants who have at one time been certified by the NBCOT.

9. What if the state that I worked in did not require licensure at the time that I worked there?

If the state did not require licensure at the time of your practice, include a written statement to that effect with your application.

10. When does my license expire?

Licenses expire on June 30th every year.  If your license is issued between January 1st and March 31st, it will expire on June 30th of the same year it is issued.  If it is issued between April 1st and December 31st, it will expire on June 30th of the following year.

11.  How will I obtain my User ID and Password to take the Jurisprudence Exam required for my application for licensure? 

A letter in your application packet contains all of the information you will need to take the Jurisprudence Exam.

12.  I have not practiced occupational therapy for more than 24 months. Is the licensure process different for me?

The licensure process is not different but Rule .0201(b) states that an applicant re-entering the field after more than 24 months shall complete 90 days of general supervision and shall provide to the Board a written plan for the supervision within 10 days of accepting employment and monthly documentation confirming that the supervision is being provided.

13.  My NC license has been expired for more than 24 months. Can I renew my license or do I have to re-apply?

You need to re-apply just as if you’d never held a NC license before. Please see the Application Process tab on this website.

 

 

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Renewal and Continuing Competence

1.  How do I renew my license?

Please refer to the Renewals tab of the website for detailed instructions.

2. Do I have to renew my license using the online renewal procedure?

Online renewal will not be mandatory for the 2013 – 2014 renewal period. The necessary forms to renew your license will be available at the Renewals tab on this website.

3. Do we need to continue to be certified by NBCOT in order to renew our license?

No. You do not need to maintain your certification with the NBCOT in order to be licensed in NC. However, the NBCOT owns the trademarks OTR and COTA. If you wish to use those letters, you must maintain certification with NBCOT or you will be violating trademark laws.

4. What is the difference between “continuing education” and “continuing competence activities”?

Continuing education is a structured educational experience beyond entry-level academic degree work that is intended to provide advanced or enhanced knowledge in a particular area.  Continuing education is only one of several types of continuing competence activities.  Section .0805 of the Rules of the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Board lists the activities that qualify as continuing competence activities.

5. What is a continuing competence "point"?

One contact hour of continuing competence equals 60 minutes in a learning activity, excluding meals and breaks.  Each contact hour equals one (1) point.

6. How many "points" do I need to renew my license?

OTs and OTAs are both required to complete fifteen (15) continuing competence activity points annually.

7. What can I do to complete my continuing competence requirements?

All continuing competence courses and activities must relate to roles and responsibilities in occupational therapy and must enhance the therapist’s continuing competence.  Qualified activities are set out in Rules .0803(a) and .0805 and contain many opportunities for completing continuing competence requirements.

8. Do I need to send in the documentation for my continuing competence activity?

Licensees do not submit proof of completion of continuing competence activities but shall keep such proof for at least two (2) years and may be subject to random audits by the Board.

9. If my facility requires that I take CPR, HIPPA , HIV or Infection Control classes each year, can I use them toward my continuing competence requirement?

No. Rule .0802(d) states that continuing competence activities may not include new employee orientation or annual training required by the employer.

10. What are the requirements for the Ethics continuing competence activity (CCA)?

Rule .0802(b) states for each renewal period, each licensee shall document completion of at least one contact hour (one point) of an ethics course related to the practice of occupational therapy. The one point may be included in the total of the required point total for the renewal period.

Ethics is not required for the 2014 renewal but will be required for your 2015 renewal and every renewal thereafter.

The ethics course must meet the requirements for continuing competence activity found in Rules Section .0800 (Rules .0801 - .0808). Additionally, whoever presents the course must meet the requirements of Rule .0803(b). It may not be an in-service offered by a co-employee who attended an ethics course.

Enter your ethics activity in the CCA category Ethics regardless of what category of CCA it belongs. This allows the computer to recognize it as your ethics requirement.

11. How do I store my continuing competence activity online?.

You are now able to store your continuing competence activity online by clicking on the Continuing Competence tab and following the detailed instructions.

12. What if I have a question about whether or not a CCA is acceptable?

The occupational therapy Board does not pre-approve individual continuing competence activities. Rule .0804 states that CCA must be related to roles and responsibilities in OT and must serve to protect the public by enhancing the licensee's continuing competence.

Courses that are sponsored or approved by the NCOTA, AOTA, or NBCOT are considered to be pre-approved by the NC Board. There is a pre-approval process that CE providers may complete in order to have their courses pre-approved by the NCBOT but it is not mandatory that they do so.

Read Section .0800 of the Rules of the North Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy for more information about continuing competence activities.

 

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License Verification

1. How do I verify a license number?

Please refer to the License Verification link.

2. What is the verification process?

Please refer to License Verification link

 

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Links to Other Related Boards

1. How do I contact the National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)?

See Links

2. How do I contact the American Occupational Therapy Association?

See Links

3. How do I contact the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association (NCOTA)?

See Links

 

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Forms

1. How do I change my name on my License?

Name change requests are still required to be submitted to the Board office by mail, along with a photocopy of proof of your name change, i.e.: marriage license, divorce papers, or court documents relating to legal change of birth name. Please use the Name Change Only Notification Form located under the Information Update tab on the website.

2. Where can I find the forms for renewing my license if I chose not to renew online?

Please refer to Renewals tab on the website.

3. Where can I find a sample mentorship agreement?

Please refer to Continuing Competence tab on the website.

4. Where can I find the Group Study Form?

Please refer to Continuing Competence tab on the website

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Supervision Questions

1. Does an OTA have to have a supervisor to work PRN?

Yes, an OTA must always have an OT supervisor.  Please refer to the Practice Act pages 34 - 37 and 41.

2. How often do I have to have face to face supervisory visits with an experienced OTA?

The amount of supervision will depend on the experience and service competency demonstrated by the OTA.  Supervision needs to be an interactive process between the OT and the OTA.  Refer to pages 34 – 37, and 41 of the Practice Act and Rules Booklet.

3. Do I have to notify the Board every time I change supervisor if I work PRN?

Yes.  Paragraph .0901 of the Rules of the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Board states: “Occupational therapy assistants and supervising occupational therapists must notify the Board office in writing of any change in ceasing or assuming supervision.  The occupational therapist is responsible for supervision of the occupational therapy assistant until official notice that supervision has ceased is received at the Board office.  Failure to notify the Board may subject both the occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant to disciplinary action.  Notices must be signed.  Telephone or email notices shall not be accepted.

4. I’m an occupational therapy assistant who has several supervisors.  Which one should I use when completing the online Renewal Application?

Your supervising OT is the person who has determined that you are competent to provide treatment in your particular work setting and who determines that you are receiving the appropriate supervision.

5. How often do I have to have face to face supervisory visits with a new graduate OTA?

If you refer to pages 35 through 39 of the "Practice Act Booklet" you will find Section .0900 of the Rules relating to supervision and roles of the OTA.  Rule .0903 states that entry-level OTAs require close supervision.  Close supervision is defined in Section .0103(21) on page 17 as "daily, direct contact at the service delivery site (where treatment is provided)."  It is the Board's opinion that working under close supervision of an OT during the first year of practice is critical for an OTA in order to develop clinical reasoning skills and a background of experience to make clinical decisions.  If the facility does not have an OT to provide proper and adequate supervision, the OTA may not continue to provide OT services.  Contact by phone is considered "indirect supervision" and is not appropriate for a new graduate.

6. Does the OT have to meet with the client before delegating assessments to the OTA to administer as evaluation tools?

Rule .0905(1)(a)(ix) of The Rules of the North Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy states that the OT must initiate the evaluation.  In occupational therapy practice, the term initiate is understood to mean making the first, in person, face-to-face contact with the client. 

In the initial contact with the client the OT: (1) determines the need for service, (2) defines the problems within the domain of occupational therapy that need to be addressed, (3) determines the client’s goals and priorities, (4) establishes intervention priorities, (5) determines specific further assessment needs, and (6) determines specific assessment tasks that can be delegated to the OTA. 

After the initial contact with the client by the OT, the OTA may implement specifically delegated assessments for which service competency has been established, demonstrated and documented. 

The OT is then responsible for completing the evaluation, interpreting the information provided by the OTA who completed the assessments, establishing intervention priorities, and developing the intervention plan.

7. How often does the supervising  OT need to make home visits to supervise an OTA providing home health care?

How often an OT visits the home depends on the frequency of the OTA visits. Historically, the Board has been of the opinion that the supervising OT should be onsite with the OTA at least once a month, although the number and frequency of the visits is not specified in the statute.  Supervision continues to be an interactive process, with the OT and the OTA sharing responsibility to see that the supervision is adequate.  Since the OT is responsible for evaluations, assessments and discharges, it makes sense that the OT be familiar with the patient and the Board has recommended once a month as the frequency for OT supervisory visits.

The OTA with less than one year experience will require direct, daily supervision at EACH home care site for EACH home care patient.  Home care is a difficult environment because many times there is no one present except the home care patient and the OTA.  This is not an environment that lends itself to OTAs with less than one year of experience.

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General Information

1. When are the new directories published?

In an effort to “go green” the Board is no longer mailing directories to all licensees. If you need a directory complete the Directory Request Form and mail it to the Board at PO Box 2280, Raleigh, NC 27602. If you are not currently licensed by the Board there is a $15 charge for the directory.

2. Do I have to update my online profile every time I move or change employers?

Yes. Pursuant to Section .0401 of the Rules, it is the licensee’s responsibility to notify the Board of each change of name, residence, trade name, business address or mailing address within ten days of such change. You may now do this online by going to the Information Update tab of the website and following the detailed instructions. Do not mail written updates to the Board office after you update your online profile.

3. Now that I’m licensed, what letter do I put after my signature?

See the Practice Act (N.C.G.S.90-2570.78 (3)) which lists the abbreviations you may use once you are licensed. Remember that the NBCOT owns the trademarks OTR and COTA. If you wish to use those letters, you must maintain certification with NBCOT or you will be violating trademark laws.

4. I’ve maintained my National Certification but correspondence from the NC Board does not indicate that I am Nationally Certified.

The Board does not require that you maintain your certification with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and does not use the C for OTAs or the R for OTs in its records.  You may use such designations if you maintain your national certification.

5. What would my responsibility be as an OT PRN if I did an evaluation on a patient, set up the plan of care for the patient, but did not provide treatment to the patient?

First, there is no distinction between a full-time OT and an OT who is working PRN. They both must follow the rules regarding patient care and supervision of OTA’S. If a PRN OT cannot provide adequate supervision for the OTA, the OTA should not accept the patient for treatment and the PRN OT should not allow the OTA to provide treatment. Please be mindful of your legal and ethical responsibilities.

6. Use of Modalities by Occupational Therapists.

The Occupational Therapy Practice Act does not specifically mention physical agent modalities.  Therefore, they are not specifically allowed or disallowed in OT practice.  It is the opinion of the NC Board that an OT may use PAMs, in the course of their occupational therapy practice, so long as they are trained and competent to do so AND their competency has been demonstrated and documented, provided they are billing for OT services.  It is also the opinion of the Board that an OTA may use PAMs, in the course of their occupational therapy practice, so long as they AND their supervising OT are trained and competent to do so AND their competency has been demonstrated and documented, provided they are billing for OT services. 

The burden is on the occupational therapy practitioners to prove that they are competent to provide the treatment.

7. Can an OTA fabricate splints on a "splint" only Dr. order?

Yes, under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist.

8. Is a OTA allowed to complete discharge summaries?

The OT is responsible for the overall completion of the discharge summary. The OT should write the discharge summary or should provide or review the information the OTA uses to write the discharge summary for the OT. The OT should sign the discharge summary. The OTA may report data for the discharge summary and may formulate discharge and/or follow-up plans under the supervision of the OT.

9. Can we treat in groups in the schools if it is stated on the IEP?

Yes, you can treat in groups if that is what is on the IEP.

10. Does an OT have to have a doctor's order to treat a patient?

It is not a requirement of the NCBOT but may be required by some facilities, billing services or third party payers.

11. Can an OTA perform screenings?

Whether or not an OTA can do "screens" depends on the information sought to be gathered in the "screen". An OTA can state or write observations but cannot make an evaluation, request an order for occupational therapy or determine a need for occupational therapy services. This must be determined and requested by an OT.

12. How do I report a possible infraction of the NC Occupational Therapy Practice Act or Rules of the Board?

Go to the How to File a Complaint tab at the Board’s website and follow the instructions.

13. How do I notify the Board of a name change?

Name change requests are still required to be submitted to the Board office by mail, along with a photocopy of proof of your name change, i.e.: marriage license, divorce papers or court documents relating to legal change of birth name. Please use the Name Change Only Notification Form located under the Information Update tab of this website.

There is a $5 charge for a duplicate renewal card or a $15 charge for a duplicate license certificate. You may print out a license verification at the License Verification tab at this website at no charge.

14. Can an OT or OTA provide wound care? 

  1. An OT may provide wound care, including sharp wound debridement, so long as it is in the course of OT treatment and the OT is trained and competent to provide wound care, including sharp wound debridement, and such competency has been demonstrated and documented.
  2. An OTA may provide wound care, excluding sharp wound debridement, so long as it is in the course of OTA treatment and the OTA and the supervising OT are trained and competent to provide wound care, excluding sharp wound debridement, and such competency has been demonstrated and documented by both the supervising OT and the treating OTA
  3. In all instances, the burden of proof is on the therapist (OT or OTA) to prove competency to provide wound care.

15. Can I put my license in "Inactive" status?

There is no “Inactive” status.  Your license is either current or expired.  If you choose to renew your license within 24 months of the expiration date, you will still be required to complete the continuing competency requirements and pay the renewal fees for the period of time your license was not current, along with any applicable late fee.

Persons whose license has expired for more than 24 months, and who desire to reinstate their license, must make a new application for licensure and meet all requirements then existing.

16. Why does the Board ask the same questions each year about education, practice setting, practice specialty and race?

In 2006 the Board agreed to participate annually with the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC Chapel Hill in collecting data for their annual publication on NC Health Professions. Each year the Center publishes a book with data from approximately 20 health care professions. This data is used by the legislature, policy makers, educators, the press and others in identifying emerging health workforce issues, monitoring trends in health professional supply and distribution and providing policy makers with objective, timely data for informed health workforce policy debates. You may get more information on this program at http://www.shepscenter.unc.edu.

17.  How can I get a duplicate copy of my license certificate or renewal card?

There is a $15 fee for a duplicate license and a $5 fee for a duplicate renewal card. Send a written request to the Board office along with the appropriate fee. Beginning with the 2012 – 2013 renewal period you will be able to print your own renewal card.

 

 

 

 

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