The Occupational Therapy Council of Australia Ltd (OTC) assesses and accredits occupational therapy education programs provided by Australian education providers as part of the accreditation functions under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (National Law).
The OTC uses accreditation standards to assess the occupational therapy programs for accreditation. The OTC also use the standards when monitoring accredited programs and providers.
The previous standards: the Accreditation Standards for Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Education Programs (December 2013) are:
Programs of study leading to a qualification in occupational therapy must be accredited by the OTC prior to approval of the qualification by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (OTBA) for students and graduate of the program to be qualified for registration with the OTBA.
The sequence for accreditation of occupational therapy programs
In seeking accredited status, education providers planning to provide entry-level education programs in occupational therapy must apply for an accreditation assessment and subsequently demonstrate the extent to which their program meets the Occupational Therapy Accreditation Standards. A team of trained assessors determines the extent to which each program meets the criteria outlined in the accreditation standard.
Programs are accredited every five years. Following an accreditation assessment, a program is required to provide progress reports as outlined in the accreditation report, submit annual reports and report any major changes that occur subsequent to an accreditation assessment.
Assessment process for new programs
Stage 1 Assessment
An education provider proposing to establish a new program in occupational therapy must make direct contact with the OTC via the Intent to submit – application for new programs form. This form must be submitted 12-18 months before the planned program commencement date. You will be contacted by the OTC to give you guidance in the accreditation process and to determine whether the planned program is likely to comply with the OTC accreditation standard.
Stage 2 Assessment
Accreditation application for initial assessment of new occupational therapy programs must be received by the OTC 9-12 months prior to the planned commencement date. Full details of the program must be provided, with special attention given to the resources available and resources proposed to deliver the program (especially staff and practice education/fieldwork opportunities). New programs are assessed against the same standard as established programs. At this stage of assessment, accreditation is granted with conditions if the planned program is on track to meet the accreditation standard.
Stage 3 Assessment
A further full accreditation review of the program will occur prior to the graduation of the first cohort of students (usually in the first semester of the program’s final year, or after an extended practice education/fieldwork placement in the final year).
An education provider may be granted the following accreditation status:
- Accreditation with Conditions
- Accreditation Revoked
Please see Guidelines for Education Providers for further details.