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 and made the Occupational Therapy Assistant Application available April 11. Additional information from DORA can be found 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.
In order to be eligible for an occupational therapy assistant license, an applicant must submit proof of passing the NBCOT examination within two years immediately preceding submission of an application for licensure. For applicants submitted by May 31, 2015, licensure by examination will be granted regardless of when you passed the NBCOT exam if you have complied with Rule 10 of the Emergency Rules and Regulations, effective April 9, 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.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado (OTAC) are working to ensure a smooth transition process to licensure for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.
Please contact DORA, OTAC or AOTA if you have questions or concerns about this process.