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Program Information

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Approved Provider Program (APP) enables providers of continuing education (CE) to demonstrate their ability to meet established AOTA Criteria and Guidelines for the development and delivery of CE activities relevant and meaningful to occupational therapy. CE providers can do this through one of two ways:

  • They can become an AOTA Approved Provider, which allows them to award AOTA continuing education units (CEUs) to courses that are relevant to occupational therapy. This method is appropriate for providers who conduct more than two learning activities per year that are relevant to occupational therapy audiences. Get more information on Approved Provider status.
  • They can apply for Single Course Approval through the AOTA Approved Provider Program. This method is appropriate for providers who conduct one or two learning activities per year that are relevant to occupational therapy audiences.

MISSION & PURPOSE

The mission of AOTA is to advance the quality, availability, use, and support of occupational therapy through standard setting, advocacy, education, and research on behalf of its members and the public. One of the primary objectives of AOTA is to promote high professional standards and the continuing competence of occupational therapy practitioners throughout their careers. To support such a mission, AOTA developed the AOTA Approved Provider Program.

The purpose of the AOTA APP is to promote the quality and integrity of CE activities offered to occupational therapy practitioners by various providers and to assist in the identification of activities that are relevant to the foundation and/or practice of occupational therapy.

Because the full Approved Provider Program may not meet the needs of providers who offer only an occasional course that is relevant to occupational therapy practitioners, AOTA developed the Single Course Approval format based on the same Criteria and Guidelines as the full Approved Provider Program.

THE AOTA CEU

The continuing education unit (CEU) is a standard unit of measurement for participation in a CE activity. One generic CEU is defined as 10 contact (clock) hours of participation in an organized CE activity, excluding meals and breaks. One clock hour is 60 minutes.

Courses that are awarded AOTA CEUs must meet not only the standards of time measurement for the generic CEU, but also the standards of the AOTA Approved Provider Program and must be relevant to the foundation and/or practice of occupational therapy.

APP SINGLE COURSE APPROVAL PROCESS: Ensuring Relevance to Occupational Therapy

The AOTA APP Single Course Approval is a voluntary application and review program available to providers of continuing education. It is based on criteria and guidelines established by AOTA that promote relevance of continuing education for occupational therapy practitioners.

Providers are required to submit specific course information using the Course Information Form, along with their application materials. The course information will be entered into our database, and if it is intended to be an open course (not just for employees or invited guests), it will appear on CE WebFind, AOTA's searchable database of CE from AOTA Approved Providers or Single Course Approved CE. If the course is intended for internal audiences only, it will not appear in CE WebFind.

Course information is used for internal auditing purposes by AOTA and will also be made available to state regulatory bodies that formally recognize AOTA Approved Providers.

AOTA Classification Codes for CONTINUING EDUCATION Activities

In order to assign AOTA CEUs to a CE activity, Providers must ensure that the content of each activity falls within at least one area of the AOTA Classification Codes for Continuing Education Activities. The AOTA codes for CE consist of three categories: Domain of OT, Occupational Therapy Process, and Professional Issues. They are based in large part on the contents found in The Reference Manual of the Official Documents of the AOTA, Inc., a collection of documents that reflects

  • standards established by the Association for practice, continuing competence, and education;
  • the Code of Ethics for the profession;
  • the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain & Process; and
  • other official guidelines, position papers, and statements by AOTA related to various occupational therapy practice and professional issues.

Applicants who do not have access to the above documents can purchase a copy of The Reference Manual of Official Documents through the AOTA Online Store (store.aota.org) or by calling 877-404-AOTA.

PROMOTIONAL REQUIREMENTS & USE OF LOGO

Providers who have been granted Single Course Approval by AOTA may award AOTA CEUs for that specific course and may use the APP Single Course Approval logo and statement in marketing or promotional materials for that approved CE activity only. The APP Single Course Approval logo and statement must be used without any modifications. Providers are not considered full AOTA Approved Providers (that is reserved for providers who apply and are accepted into the full Approved Provider Program); rather they are Approved Single Course Providers and may identify themselves as Approved Single Course Providers, but not as AOTA Approved Providers.

BENEFITS

Benefits of the Approved Provider Program - Single Course Approval include:

  • Recognition throughout the profession that the approved course has met AOTA's Approved Provider Program standards as a quality continuing education activity
  • Course acceptance by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) in its voluntary certification renewal program
  • Recognition by many state occupational therapy licensure boards as a preapproved course for licensure renewal
  • Free basic course listings on AOTA's high-traffic Web site on CE WebFind
  • Highlighted designation in printed AOTA publications for paid advertisers
  • Authorization to use the AOTA APP Single Course Approval logo in the course's promotional materials for heightened visibility

GENERAL INFORMATION

Only live CE events will be accepted, including conferences and workshops.

  • For distance learning approval, providers must apply to become a full Approved Provider.
  • Approval can be granted for no more than two CE activities per provider within a 12 month period.
  • Approved CE activities can only be offered one time for each approval.
  • AOTA CEUs may only be awarded after the course has been approved and may not be granted retroactively. Applicants may not use statements such as "ABC Company has applied to AOTA's Approved Provider Program for Single Course Approval" in promotional materials prior to approval since this can be interpreted by participants to imply that the course will be approved.
  • AOTA Approved Provider and Approved Single Course Provider Criteria and Guidelines are based on the 2005 Criteria and Guidelines for Quality Continuing Education and Training Programs: the CEU an Other Measurement Units established by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

APPLICATION, REVIEW PROCESS, & FEES

Application Packet

  • The application packet for Single Course Approval is available online. All application materials, including attachments, must be completed electronically and submitted as a Word document or PDF file.
  • The application form includes an instruction page, Criteria and Guidelines with a series of questions requiring response, and an agreement that the applicant must sign.
  • The two page signed agreement (and only the agreement) must be returned by mail with the application fee.
  • Providers must also complete and submit the Course Information Form along with their application. This form includes essential information about the course including the title, provider, location, CEUs, learning objectives/outcomes, and other details that will be recorded in our database of CE activities provided by Approved Providers and Approved Single Course Providers. For courses open to the public, this information will be available on CE WebFind.
  • The Keyword List for CE WebFind is included in the packet as well as the Single Course Approval Fact Sheet.

Applications

  • Applications must be received at least 60 days in advance of the CE activity date.
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $275 must accompany the application.
  • The initial review process will take up to 4 weeks. If the application is incomplete or additional clarification is requested by the reviewers, a memo will be sent via email to the provider requesting that information.
  • No courses can be approved until all application requirements have been met.
  • A complete, comprehensive application, when submitted, will assure a faster approval process.
  • Early application submissions are encouraged.
  • Application reviews may be delayed 1 week if the application time coincides with the AOTA Annual Conference & Expo or is between December 25th and January 1st.

Application for a Second Occurrence of a Single Course

  • Providers may submit an application for approval of a second occurrence of an identical course at a reduced fee of $175. Information must be identical to the original course submission with the exception of course presenter, date, and location. The course date for the second occurrence must be within 12 months of the course date of the original approved course.
  • Applications must be received at least 30 days in advance of the CE activity date.
  • Follow the application instructions for Single Course-Second Occurrence Approval on the website.

Expedited Applications

  • Expedited application reviews are available for shorter timelines.
  • Applications must be received at least 30 days in advance of the CE activity date.
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $450 must accompany the expedited application.
  • The initial review process will take up to 2 weeks. If the application is incomplete or additional clarification is requested by the reviewers, a memo will be sent via email to the provider requesting that information.
  • No courses can be approved until all application requirements have been met.
  • If an applicant selects an expedited review, no guarantee is made regarding date of approval, as length of time varies depending on the quality and thoroughness of the application.
  • Expedited Reviews will not be accepted 2 weeks before and during the AOTA Annual Conference & Expo each year and between December 15th and January 1st.

Recognition by Regulatory Bodies

Courses offered by AOTA Approved Providers and Approved Single Course Providers are accepted by NBCOT for practitioners who choose to renew their NBCOT certification. AOTA has also continued to work with state occupational therapy regulatory bodies about including specific language that recognizes courses by AOTA Approved Providers in their licensure laws and regulations. Until we have written acknowledgement from those states that have continuing education requirements, organizations should continue to seek acceptance for individual courses they offer if preapproval is a requirement of the state.

There are 28 states that recognize AOTA Approved Providers, either in regulatory language or by formal written communication to AOTA.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information, or questions regarding the application process, contact AOTA:

Email: APP@aota.org
Phone: 301-652-6611 x2834
800-377-8555 TDD