BOARD OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTICE
[Authorized: NDCC Section 43-40-04]
The North Dakota State Board of Occupational Therapy was established in 1983 (S. L. 1983, Ch. 491) for the purpose of licensing occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, and to provide a penalty for violations of a licensee. Occupational therapy means the use of purposeful activity with individuals who are limited by physical injury or illness, psychosocial dysfunction, developmental or learning disabilities, poverty and cultural differences, or the aging process in order to maximize independence, prevent disability, and maintain health.
Board responsibilities include administering examinations and licenses, coordinating discipline of occupational therapists and occupational therapist assistants, and adopting and enforcing rules relating to professional conduct and ethical standards in the practice of occupational therapy as prescribed by law. In 1999 legislation was enacted that related to unprofessional conduct (S. L. 1999, Ch. 394) and in 2009 a violation of the laws became a Class B misdemeanor (S. L. 2009, Ch. 359).
The five members of the board are appointed by the Governor for three year terms: three members are licensed occupational therapists, and one an occupational therapy assistant (S. L. 1983, Ch. 491). All three therapist appointees must be practicing, or teaching, or researching for at least three years prior to their appointment. Initially, the therapists and assistants were selected from names submitted by the North Dakota Occupational Therapy Association. This changed in 1999 (S. L. 1999, Ch. 394). The fifth member represents the public with an interest in the rights of health service to consumers. All members of the board must be North Dakota residents at the time of the appointment. Board members serve three year terms and can serve no more than two consecutive terms (S. L. 1983, Ch. 491). The governor appoints a person to fill unexpired terms. The board may employ an executive secretary and other officers and employees as needed. The board meets the first month of the year to elect a chairman and for other purposes and is required to hold at least one additional meeting before the end of the year.
The board also evaluates the qualifications for all licensees and approves the examination for licensure of occupational therapists. It sets fees for examinations, the initial license, renewals, late renewals, and limited permits. All fees compensate the board for the licensure services. Since 2003 (S. L. 2003, Ch. 375) renewals have been issued biennially. The board has authorization to discipline any violation of standards.
Legislation in 1999 (S. L. 1999, Ch. 394) allowed internationally trained occupational therapists to be licensed if their experience meets the requirements set by North Dakota law. Also in 1999 a new chapter was added to the North Dakota Century Code that provided for the training of students who were supervised by either a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapist assistant. Occupational therapy aides are allowed to assist under the supervision of a licensed therapist assistant or an occupational therapist.
1983 Establishment of the North Dakota State Board of Occupational Therapy Practice provides for the licensing of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants (S. L. 1983, Ch. 491).
1999 Provisions were added to the North Dakota Century Code relating to students of occupational therapy and occupational therapy aides, complaints and investigations, and costs of prosecution and disciplinary proceedings (S. L. 1999, Ch. 394).
2003 License renewal extended (S.L. 2003, Ch. 375).
2009 Violation of state laws considered a Class B misdemeanor (S. L. 2009, Ch. 359).
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Board of Occupational Therapy Practice Website.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.
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