Occupational Therapy: Requirements for Licensure
Application for Licensure
- The application must be submitted online through NM-PLUS.
- A photograph of the applicant taken within 6 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 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 6 months after issuance. Failure to sit for the NBCOT examination within 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 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 6 months.
Annual Continuing Education Requirements
188.8.131.52 ANNUAL CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:
A. Every licensed occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant must earn a minimum of 15 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 15 contact hours must be earned is the year beginning on October 1 following license issuance and ending on the following September 30. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants licensed during the first year will be expected to pay the annual renewal fee.
B. No license will be renewed in the absence of satisfactory evidence that the required continuing education contact hours have been earned.
C. The board office will send electronic notifications to all licensees prior to the expiration date of the license.
D. Each licensee is responsible for submitting the required renewal fee and continuing education by the expiration.
E. Each licensee is responsible for filing address changes and maintaining a current address with the board office.
[184.108.40.206 NMAC – Rp, 220.127.116.11 NMAC, 1/30/2015; A, 2/24/2022]
Licenses that have been expired for longer than a year must provide evidence of 15 continuing education hours per year expired to be considered. Please keep in mind before submitting applications that application fees are nonrefundable, and applications without continuing education hours to correspond with every year expired will be held until those hours are provided.
Approval of Continuing Education
18.104.22.168 APPROVAL OF CONTINUING EDUCATION:
A. No licensee may obtain credit for any continuing education contact hours without approval of those continuing education contact hours by the board.
B. Prior approval of continuing education contact hours may be obtained upon request by the licensee or continuing education provider. Final determination of values and approval of continuing education contact hours will remain at the discretion of the board.
C. Continuing education contact hours may be earned in the following ways:
(1) Attendance at a seminar, workshop, webinar, online course, or program; applicants must provide all of the following:
(a) program agenda with number of contact hours;
(b) evidence that the program attended was sponsored by a component of the American occupational therapy association or some other sponsor approved by the board for continuing education credit;
(c) statement of the program’s subject matter and stated objectives;
(d) statement indicating the instructor’s background/expertise; and
(e) proof of actual program attendance; such proof shall be a certificate of completion signed by the presenter or program sponsor.
(2) Preparation and presentation of a workshop/in-service. Credit may be given only once for preparation or presentation of the same workshop and the board will determine the number of continuing education contact hours approved. Applicant must provide proof of preparation and presentation. Proof of preparation may be an outline, copy of handouts, presentation slides, and a copy of the agenda showing name of licensee as presenter. Contact hours for the presenter will be calculated at 3 times the number of hours of audience participation (e.g. a 2-hour workshop equals 6 hours for the presenter).
(3) Completion of accredited university, college, or community courses. Applicant must provide the name of the course, number of credit hours, inclusive dates of attendance, completed transcript or grade report with a passing grade of “C” or better, name of instructor and institution, and a brief summary indicating the course’s relationship to the licensee’s present or future position in the field of occupational therapy. Non-credit community college courses may be accepted at the board’s discretion. A maximum of 20 contact hours is allowed for a 3-credit course; a maximum of 15 contact hours is allowed for a 2-credit course; and a maximum of 10 contact hours is allowed for a 1-credit course.
(4) Attendance at workplace in-service programs. The applicant must provide the name of the program, number of hours spent in the program, inclusive dates of attendance, name of the instructor or supervisor of the program, name of the institution, and a brief course summary indicating the course’s relationship to the philosophical tenets of occupational therapy.
(5) Reading a book. The applicant must provide the name of the book, number of pages, name of the author, and a typewritten summary explaining how the information obtained from the book applies to physical therapy philosophical tenets of occupational therapy. The board may approve, on an individual basis, up to 2 contact hours for each book read.
(6) Writing a book. The applicant must provide a copy of the book written. The book will be returned to the licensee upon request.
(a) The book must have been copyrighted in the year for which the continuing education contact hours are requested.
(b) Up to 40 contact hours may be awarded at the board’s discretion.
(7) Audio or Visual Media. An applicant must provide the title of the audio and visual media, the length of presented material, name of the presenter, and a summary of the presentation and how it pertains to the philosophical tenets of occupational therapy.
(8) Presentation of a paper. The applicant must provide a copy of the paper along with the duration and location of the presentation. The presentation must have been made in the year for which the continuing education contact hours are requested. Credit may be given only once for any individual presentation and the board will determine the number of continuing education contact hours approved.
(9) Publication of a paper or article. The applicant must provide a copy of the published paper, which must have been published prior to license renewal. Publication must be in a recognized journal or publication. The board will determine the number of continuing education contact hours approved.
(10) Conducting research. The board will determine the number of continuing education contact hours approved. The applicant must provide the following:
(a) title and description of research project, including brief timeline;
(b) names of other persons involved in project (i.e., co-investigators or supervisors);
(c) a brief statement indicating philosophical tenants of occupational therapy;
(d) provide a copy of the competed annual research report.
(11) Specialty/certification programs. Applicants or licensees wishing to receive continuing education for certification programs must submit a certificate of completion signed by the program sponsor. The licensee or applicant must indicate how the specialty/certification maintains the philosophical tenets of occupational therapy. The board will determine the number of continuing education contact hours approved.
(12) Supervising level II fieldwork. Applicants should provide a copy of the student evaluation (cover and signature pages only). The student’s name should be blacked out for confidentiality. A maximum of 12 contact hours will be approved for each OT fieldwork II rotation of 12 weeks. A maximum of 8 contact hours will be approved for each OTA fieldwork II rotation of 8 weeks.
(13) Mentoring. Applies to an OT or OTA who has been practicing at least one year prior to entering a new area of practice only. Mentoring shall occur for a minimum of 6 months and no longer than 1 year. The mentor shall have at least 1 year of experience in the specialty area of practice and not be the direct supervisor of the mentored therapist. The mentoring log should be used as proof of hours mentored.
(14) Competency assessment or knowledge and skills assessment related to the practice of occupational therapy. A licensee who completes an online or in person training on competency assessment or on knowledge and skills assessment activities related to occupational therapy that is offered by an employer or an approved provider may claim a maximum of 2 hours of continuing education during each renewal period. If audited, an applicant must provide the following documentation: a certificate of completion or similar document that includes the name of the course or training, the date and location where the training was offered, the sponsoring organization, and the time attended.
D. Credit screening procedures are as follows:
(1) the board or its designee must approve each request for continuing education credit;
(2) the licensee will be informed of the board’s action within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request; and
(3) the licensee whose request has been denied may appeal to the board within 30 calendar days of the notification of the board’s decision.
E. Continuing education audit.
(1) The board shall audit a percentage of renewal applications each year to verify the continuing education requirement.
(2) If a notice of audit letter is received with the annual renewal form, evidence of continuing education hours earned during the renewal year must be submitted to the board as requested and as required in the Occupational Therapy Act and by this rule.
(3) If the licensee is not audited, all documentation of attendance and agendas should be retained by the licensee for a minimum of 3 years immediately preceding the current renewal.
(4) The board reserves the right to audit continuing education attendance certificates whenever there is reasonable doubt the courses submitted, dates, or hours may be incorrect.
(5) Proof of attendance for all continuing education programs is required on all renewal applications submitted after the expiration date.
F. The board will allow a maximum of 15 continuing education contact hours to be carried over into the next licensing year. The 15 continuing education hours must be earned during the renewal period of October 1 through September 30.
G. Ineligible actives include, but are not limited to:
(1) Orientation and in-service programs dealing with organizational structures, processes, or procedures.
(2) Meeting for purposes of policy making.
(3) Annual association or organization and non-educational meetings.
(4) Entertainment or recreational activities or meetings.
(5) Committee meetings, holding of offices or serving as an organizational delegate.
(6) Visiting exhibitors and;
(7) CPR education.