Legislation enacted in 2013 requires that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants be licensed by June 1, 2014. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) posted initial information about this process on its website on March 13. Read the full announcement from DORA here.
According to the announcement, occupational therapists who hold active registration with DORA will automatically be converted to licenses.
Occupational therapy assistants in Colorado must apply to be licensed. The announcement states:
Beginning on June 1, 2014, Occupational Therapy Assistants will also require licensure in order to practice in Colorado. Applications will be available on the DORA website the beginning of April 2014. Please note that the application for licensure must be complete and approved before an Occupational Therapy Assistant can practice as an OTA, can call themselves one, or use the designation “/L” or the term “licensed” with their credential (e.g., OTA/L, COTA/L). One cannot practice as an OTA or call themselves one by simply submitting an application; it must be complete and approved by the Director.
Occupational therapy assistant licensure application materials are not yet available, but the announcement lists several things that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants can do now:
- Know that it is your responsibility to make sure that DORA has your current address, both e-mail and physical mailing addresses;
- Download and read, understand, and comply with the OT Practice Act, which went into effect July 2013; it is located on the DORA Occupational Therapy home page;
- Assure that your OT and OTA colleagues are aware of the licensure status and process, especially those with whom you have a supervisory relationship; and
- Forward this email to your OT and OTA colleagues, employers, human resource departments, and other involved parties.
Please know that the most current information regarding an individual’s license is available on our web site at www.colorado.gov/dora/licensing. Please review the DORA website frequently for updates and new information at www.dora.colorado.gov/professions/occupationaltherapists.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado (OTAC) also recommend that occupational therapy assistants in Colorado review the occupational therapy registration application (available here) to get a sense for the documentation that will be required for the licensure application.
AOTA is working with OTAC to advocate for a smooth transition process to licensure for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.