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Accreditation

The OTC accreditation process assesses and monitors Australian entry-level occupational therapy education programs to ensure these programs meet the occupational therapy accreditation standards.

The current standards: the Accreditation Standards for Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Education Programs (December 2013) are:

Accred Standards December 2013

The revised standards that will come into effect on 1 January 2020 are:

Accreditation Standards – December 2018

Accreditation Guidelines for Education Providers

The guidelines for education provides relating to the accreditation of Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Programs in 2019 are: OTC Accreditation Guidelines revised July 2018

The Guidelines and Evidence Guide for the Accreditation of Australian entry-level occupational therapy education programs are effective from January 2020.

Accreditation of Occupational Therapy Education Programs

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). 

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 OTC undertakes an initial accreditation assessment of new programs prior to the first intake of students. If the OTC is reasonably satisfied the program meets the accreditation standard or will meet the accreditation standard within a reasonable time with the imposition of conditions, the program will be accredited by the OTC. The OTC then monitors the program and the education provider to ensure the occupational therapy program and the education provider continue to meet the accreditation standard.

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.

Education providers are encouraged to make early contact with the OTC to receive guidance in the accreditation process.

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 should notify the OTC of its intention to seek accreditation, indicating how the program will be developed. This will ensure it has all details of the accreditation process, and determine whether the planned program is likely to comply with the OTC accreditation standard.

Stage 2 Assessment

Accreditation applications for initial assessment of new occupational therapy programs should be received by the OTC nine to 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 physical resources within the education provider, and commitment from agencies which will provide 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).

The following accreditation decisions are available to the OTC:

  Accreditation This accreditation status indicates the program of study, and the education provider that provides the program of study, meet the approved accreditation standard for the profession. Recommendations relating to quality improvement of the program are generally included in the accreditation report. The program will be monitored to ensure it continues to meet the accreditation standard.
 
  Accreditation with Conditions This accreditation status indicates the program of study, and the education provider that provides the program of study substantially meet the approved accreditation standard for the profession and the imposition of conditions on the accreditation will ensure the program meets the standard within a reasonable time.
New programs will be awarded “accreditation with conditions”. The conditions usually relate to the progressive implementation of the new program.
The education provider will be required to provide reports on its progress in meeting the conditions. Evidence the conditions have been met will be verified by the OTC.
 
  Refusal of Accreditation The program of study, and the education provider that provides the program of study, no longer meet an approved accreditation standard for the profession and it is no longer accredited.
Accreditation may be revoked where the deficiencies in a program are so serious they cannot be addressed in a reasonable period by the imposition of conditions, or where the education provider has not satisfied the OTC that the whole program can be implemented and delivered at a level consistent with the accreditation standards.
 

Fees for program accreditation from 1 January 2019

Accreditation fees are set on a cost recovery basis.

Programs currently accredited

  Annual fee (2019/2020 financial year)  $9,600.00
  Annual fee (2020/2021 financial year)  $9,850.00
  Annual fee (2021/2022 financial year) $10,100.00
  Annual fee (2022/2023 financial year) $10,350.00
  Annual fee (2023/2024 financial year) $10,600.00
  Annual fee (2024/2025 financial year) $10,850.00

Programs of study offered across multiple campuses receive a 50 per cent discount to the annual fee for each additional campus.

Where an education provider offers multiple programs of study, a 50 per cent discount will be applied to each additional program. A 75 per cent discount will be applied to fully embedded programs e.g. a Masters program when it is also delivered as part of a Bachelor/Masters program. There is no additional fee for embedded Honours programs when they are delivered concurrently with a Bachelor level program of study.

New programs seeking initial accreditation

Initial accreditation fee levied at the time the Stage 2 (initial desktop assessment prior to intake of students) accreditation application is received:

  2019/2020 $7,300.00
  2020/2021 $7,500.00
  2021/2022 $7,700.00
  2022/2023 $7,900.00
  2023/2024 $8,100.00
  2024/2025 $8,300.00

The annual fee will commence in the first year of delivery of a new program.

Site visit costs

A site visit fee will be levied at the time of a scheduled accreditation assessment visit. Scheduled visits include the Stage 3 accreditation site visit for new programs prior to the graduation of first cohort, and a re-accreditation site visit every five years for established programs.

  2019/2020 $7,300.00
  2020/2021 $7,800.00
  2021/2022 $8,000.00
  2022/2023 $8,200.00
  2023/2024 $8,400.00
  2024/2025 $8,600.00

An additional fee, typically $2,000 (+CPI) per day, will apply when a site visit requires concurrent review of programs delivered at more than one campus. Additional site visits e.g. to assess major changes to programs of study, will be charged on the same daily fee basis.

Site visits to programs delivered off-shore will be charged on a cost recovery basis.

The OTC will transparently adjust site visit fees where accreditations deviate from the usual process; for example where a site visit requires additional days as described above, or in other specific situations.  In these circumstances, liaison will occur with the head of program prior to the site visit.

Accredited Programs

Here are the current Accredited Programs:

List-of-accredited-programs-April 2019

Explanatory Notes

Explanatory notes (July 2013) relating to the use of simulation in practice education/fieldwork:

Explanatory notes for simulation in practice education – July 2013

Templates for education providers

The templates have been developed to assist education providers prepare accreditation submissions.

Competency standards: learning outcomes and assessment mapping template

Role Clarification

Role clarification OTC OTBA OTA AHPRA