Code Section

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 5.6. Occupational Therapy [2570 - 2571]
  ( Chapter 5.6 repealed and added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 697, Sec. 3. )


As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

(a) “Appropriate supervision of an aide” means that the responsible occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant shall provide direct in-sight supervision when the aide is providing delegated client-related tasks and shall be readily available at all times to provide advice or instruction to the aide. The occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant is responsible for documenting the client’s record concerning the delegated client-related tasks performed by the aide.

(b) “Aide” means an individual who provides supportive services to an occupational therapist and who is trained by an occupational therapist to perform, under appropriate supervision, delegated, selected client and nonclient-related tasks for which the aide has demonstrated competency. An occupational therapist licensed pursuant to this chapter may utilize the services of one aide engaged in patient-related tasks to assist the occupational therapist in his or her practice of occupational therapy.

(c) “Association” means the Occupational Therapy Association of California or a similarly constituted organization representing occupational therapists in this state.

(d) “Board” means the California Board of Occupational Therapy.

(e) “Examination” means an entry level certification examination for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy or by another nationally recognized credentialing body.

(f) “Good standing” means that the person has a current, valid license to practice occupational therapy or assist in the practice of occupational therapy and has not been disciplined by the recognized professional certifying or standard-setting body within five years prior to application or renewal of the person’s license.

(g) “Occupational therapist” means an individual who meets the minimum education requirements specified in Section 2570.6 and is licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and whose license is in good standing as determined by the board to practice occupational therapy under this chapter. Only the occupational therapist is responsible for the occupational therapy assessment of a client, and the development of an occupational therapy plan of treatment.

(h) “Occupational therapy assistant” means an individual who is licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, who is in good standing as determined by the board, and based thereon, who is qualified to assist in the practice of occupational therapy under this chapter, and who works under the appropriate supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

(i) “Occupational therapy services” means the services of an occupational therapist or the services of an occupational therapy assistant under the appropriate supervision of an occupational therapist.

(j) “Person” means an individual, partnership, unincorporated organization, or corporation.

(k) “Practice of occupational therapy” means the therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful goal-directed activities (occupations) which engage the individual’s body and mind in meaningful, organized, and self-directed actions that maximize independence, prevent or minimize disability, and maintain health. Occupational therapy services encompass occupational therapy assessment, treatment, education of, and consultation with, individuals who have been referred for occupational therapy services subsequent to diagnosis of disease or disorder (or who are receiving occupational therapy services as part of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)). Occupational therapy assessment identifies performance abilities and limitations that are necessary for self-maintenance, learning, work, and other similar meaningful activities. Occupational therapy treatment is focused on developing, improving, or restoring functional daily living skills, compensating for and preventing dysfunction, or minimizing disability. Occupational therapy techniques that are used for treatment involve teaching activities of daily living (excluding speech-language skills); designing or fabricating selective temporary orthotic devices, and applying or training in the use of assistive technology or orthotic and prosthetic devices (excluding gait training). Occupational therapy consultation provides expert advice to enhance function and quality of life. Consultation or treatment may involve modification of tasks or environments to allow an individual to achieve maximum independence. Services are provided individually, in groups, or through social groups.

(l) “Hand therapy” is the art and science of rehabilitation of the hand, wrist, and forearm requiring comprehensive knowledge of the upper extremity and specialized skills in assessment and treatment to prevent dysfunction, restore function, or reverse the advancement of pathology. This definition is not intended to prevent an occupational therapist practicing hand therapy from providing other occupational therapy services authorized under this act in conjunction with hand therapy.

(m) “Physical agent modalities” means techniques that produce a response in soft tissue through the use of light, water, temperature, sound, or electricity. These techniques are used as adjunctive methods in conjunction with, or in immediate preparation for, occupational therapy services.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 307, Sec. 12. (SB 821) Effective January 1, 2010.)