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  ( Chapter 5.6 repealed and added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 697, Sec. 3.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 or occupational therapy assistant and who is trained by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant to perform, under appropriate supervision, delegated, selected client and nonclient-related tasks for which the aide has demonstrated competency. An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant licensed pursuant to this chapter may utilize the services of one aide engaged in client-related tasks to assist the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in the practice of occupational therapy. The occupational therapist shall be responsible for the overall use and actions of the aide.

(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) “Continuing competence” means a dynamic and multidimensional process in which the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant develops and maintains the knowledge, performance skills, interpersonal abilities, critical reasoning, and ethical reasoning skills necessary to perform current and future roles and responsibilities within the profession.

(f) “Examination” means an entry level 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.

(g) “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 licensing or standard-setting body within five years prior to application or renewal of the person’s license.

(h) “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. The occupational therapist is responsible for and directs the evaluation process and develops the intervention plan.

(i) “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.

(j) “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.

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

(l) “Occupational therapy” means the therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful goal-directed activities (occupations) with individuals, groups, populations, or organizations, to support participation, performance, and function in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for habilitation, rehabilitation, and the promotion of health and wellness for clients with disability- and nondisability-related needs or to those who have, or are at risk of developing, health conditions that limit activity or cause participation restrictions. Occupational therapy services encompass occupational therapy assessment, treatment, education, and consultation. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory-perception and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts and environments to support engagement in occupations that affect physical and mental health, well-being, and quality of life. 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. Through engagement in everyday activities, occupational therapy promotes mental health by supporting occupational performance in people with, or at risk of experiencing, a range of physical and mental health disorders. Occupational therapy techniques that are used for treatment involve teaching activities of daily living (excluding speech-language skills); designing or fabricating 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 populations.

(m) “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.

(n) “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. 2018, Ch. 490, Sec. 1. (AB 2221) Effective January 1, 2019.)