Occupational Therapy: Requirements and Continuing Education
Notice: The practice of occupational therapy with a lapsed license may make a practitioner's billings vulnerable to legal challenge from insurance companies and payers.
Initial Application For Licensure
- The application must be submitted on completed forms as supplied by the board.
- A photograph of the applicant taken within six months prior to filing application must be submitted with the application. (Passport size recommended; scanned or computer-generated photographs must be printed on photo quality paper.)
- Application fees in the form of a check or money order must be submitted in full with the application. Personal checks may delay processing of your application for up to ten (10) days.
- Verification of registration or certification may be provided in any of the following ways.
- Written verification must be received by the board directly from the national board for certification in occupational therapy (NBCOT) certifying that the applicant’s certification is active and in good standing.
- Written verification of initial certification must be received by the board directly from the national board for certification in occupational therapy (NBCOT) and verification of licensure from each state in which the applicant has been licensed. Such proof of licensure must be received by the board directly from the state boards where currently and previously licensed. For applicants who practiced in states that do not require licensure, verification of employment shall be received by the board office directly from the applicant’s previous employers on a verification of employment form to be provided by the board.
- An occupational therapy assistant (OTA), shall file with the board a signed, current statement of supervision by the occupational therapist (OT) who will be responsible for the supervision of the occupational therapy assistant (OTA). Both the supervisor and supervisee carry responsibility for notifying the board within ten (10) work days when there is a change of supervisor.
- Questions of felony convictions or misdemeanors involving moral turpitude have to be satisfactorily resolved. The board may require proof that the person has been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust. Proof of sufficient rehabilitation may include, but not be limited to; certified proof of completion of probation or parole supervision, payment of fees, community service or any other court ordered sanction.
Any persons who have completed the education and experience requirements of the occupational therapy act and who have applied for the national board for certification in occupational therapy (NBCOT) examination may apply for a provisional permit.
- The provisional permit allows the applicant to practice occupational therapy under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist as defined in 16.15.3 NMAC.
- The provisional permit is in effect for a maximum of six (6) months after issuance. Failure to sit for the NBCOT examination within six (6) months automatically voids the provisional permit. A license may be issued when results of the examination have been made public.
- The provisional permit will automatically be invalidated upon notice to the board that the applicant has failed the examination.
- Any previous failures of the NBCOT certification exam will prevent a person from obtaining a provisional permit.
- Persons practicing on a provisional permit shall file with the board a signed current statement of supervision by the occupational therapist or occupational therapists (OT or OTs) who will be responsible for the supervision of the person practicing on a provisional permit. Both the supervisor and supervisee carry responsibility for notifying the board within ten (10) work days when there is a change of supervisor.
- Persons practicing on a provisional permit pending certification as an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) or an occupational therapist (OT) are not eligible to supervise. (Refer 16.15.3 NMAC)
- All provisional permits are the property of the board and shall forthwith be returned to the board, if requested.
- The provisional permit requires the official board seal and is valid for no more than six months.
Annual Continuing Education Requirements
Every licensed occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant must earn a minimum of twenty (20) continuing education contact hours per year during each year of licensure. Continuing education contact hours must be earned prior to license renewal the following year. The first year during which twenty (20) contact hours must be earned is the year beginning on October 1st following license issuance and ending on the following September 30th. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants licensed during the first year will be expected to pay the annual renewal fee and may submit continuing education contact hours during this first year for carryover. A maximum of twenty (20) contact hours may be carried over.
A renewal notice will be mailed to each licensee at least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date of the license.
Licenses may be renewed via an on-line renewal application through the board’s on-line professional licensing system or by regular mail, and must include the applicable annual renewal fee, and proof of continuing education requirements pursuant to regulations of the board.