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South Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy

Continuing Education Frequently Asked Questions

I do not want to waste time and money taking continuing education courses to just meet licensure requirements. How do I choose continuing education that will really be a benefit to me by targeting my growth in occupational therapy skills, my skill sets, and my growing or changing interests?
The Board feels that you would benefit in selecting continuing education of true value for continuous professional development. They suggest that you take a self assessment evaluation offered from NBCOT to help direct you toward CE course choices; and the Board will allow one (1) continuing education hour of credit for taking this self evaluation. If you have changed jobs or treatment settings/populations, this assessment tool could be very helpful in looking in a new direction. Please keep documentation of your assessment for renewal credit. Go to www.NBCOT.org and look under Competency Resources and then choose Self Assessment to get started.

General CE Questions:

1. What are the types of setting requirements for continuing education?
The SCBOT has elected to divide educational experiences into four types or settings: 1) in-services, 2) conferences, 3) teaching, and 4) other experiences. In-services are less structured educational experiences. They are often offered within the work facility or in local special interest group meetings. The Board will only allow 4 of the 16 CE hours required to come from this type of education. Conferences, workshops, and seminars are more structured and often sponsored through professional organizations or companies that specialize in providing continuing education. Teaching includes experiences where the practitioner presents information related to occupational therapy to others (occupational therapy students and peers or other consumers of OT services). Teaching may be formal through an educational setting as an instructor or professor as well as a
guest lecturer. Only a maximum 8 hours of credit will be allowed per renewal period from this type of continuing education. Other experiences can include various types of structured or less structured education, to include on line courses, as detailed in the question below.

2. What is meant by Setting/Type I/C/T/O and the documentation for each?
In-services (I): Presenter qualifications, topic outline, in-service title, date, location, number of hours and participant's name are needed to complete CE Reporting Form. No more than four (4) hours will count toward credit.
Conferences, workshops, and seminars (C): Proof of attendance to include an original certificate, or notarized copy, with participant's name, date, location, course title, presenter(s) and number of program contact hours are needed. If all of this information is not located on the certificate of attendance, then additional materials must be maintained. The licensee may submit a true, certified copy in lieu of the original certificates. Often this information can be found on the program brochure. Conferences, which are sponsored by an organization and have many presenters, do not need to list all presenters' names, but the sponsor's name must be on the certificate of attendance in place of individual presenters. Formal self-study with testing through an agency may be counted in this category. Unlimited hours are allowed.
Teaching (T): Course title, content outline, date, location, and duration of presentation are needed. No more than eight (8) hours will count toward credit.
Other (O): Structured experiences (formal college coursework with a transcript) or less structured experiences (self-study, journal reviews, on line, video and audio reviews) are in this area. Unlimited hours are allowed.

3. What are the documentation requirements?
The South Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy (SCBOT or Board) is offering a continuing education reporting form to you in advance with the recommendation that it be utilized for professional record keeping. Licensees should maintain CE records for three years. The form and documentation will only be gathered from licensees who are selected for the random audit. In the event of an audit, you must be prepared to submit the following materials listed below under the different Settings/Types for proof of your continuing education hours. An incomplete audit packet will be returned for resubmission.

4. What are the differences between in-services and conferences?
In-services are typically programs offered by employers or departments that have not gone through the additional credentialing or standards necessary for a freestanding educational experience. In-service is more informal in nature than a conference.
Conferences, workshops, and seminars are more formalized experiences than in-services. These programs are offered within a structured setting by a facility, a professional organization, or CE provider with stated learning objectives and goals. Brief "bios" should be provided on the presenters. Original certificates of attendance must be given which participant's name, date, location, course title, presenter(s), and number of contact hours.

5. What are the two category requirements for continuing education?
Educational experiences are divided into two categories: 1) Direct, which refers to education related to direct client/patient services in occupational therapy services and 2) Professional/Health Care Related, which refers to education related to professional development. Occupational therapy practitioners can wear many hats (clinician, supervisor, administrator, educator, etc.). An example of education in these areas may be attending a workshop on improving student supervisory skills. Even when a clinician's primary responsibilities are not in providing direct client/patient services, that clinician often supervises or educates those that do or will provide direct client/patient OT services. For this reason, every licensee is required to obtain a minimum of 8 of the 16 hours in content areas that relate to direct client/patient OT services (ex. positioning techniques, splinting, spinal cord precautions, insurance/billing documentation, etc.). For occupational therapy practitioners who do not work within a traditional medical model, this "direct care" category also includes other areas, which could be called direct OT service provision (industrial/ergonomic consultation, OT within a wellness model, community mental health, etc.). The remaining 8 hours submitted for credit may also be in the area of direct client/patient services or they may be in the area of professional development such as grant writing, regulatory/political issues, general business education, teaching methods, etc.)

6. Will the SCBOT accept college coursework for credit?
Yes. College credit taken through an accredited institution will be accepted for continuing education credit. College courses require 15 hours of classroom instruction for every hour of credit. Therefore, a three-credit course would provide 45 hours of instruction. If the course is not related to direct occupational therapy patient care, only 8 of the course hours would count toward the 16 continuing education hours. A copy of the college transcript, the course instructor, description and outline should be maintained in your files. If the course is audited (meaning you attended but were not required to perform the evaluation and measurement components) then it will be counted as an in-service. Please refer to the maximum hours accepted in the in-service group.

7. What is structured self- study credit? Does this include on line?
Many professional organizations or education providers have begun to offer continuing education credit for reading or reviewing materials and submitting a test for credit. These offerings have established amounts of credit already attributed to them. This includes on line courses. There is no limit set on the number of self-study hours used for continuing education credit; however, the SCBOT recommends a critical selection process to promote optimum learning. Please note: the Regulations governing the Board do not permit acceptance of credit for independent reading, peer review, or related studies, as is accepted by other organizations such as NBCOT.

8. What is the acceptable use of video, audiotapes, and on line courses for continuing education credit?
Video or audio materials will only be accepted if they met the requirements of in-service, workshop, conference, or seminar.

9. What is the policy on CPR, universal precautions, HIPAA, and other entry-level healthcare education?
The SCBOT places high value on the knowledge gained by participating in these experiences; however, continuing education credit will not be granted. These experiences are viewed as entry-level and do not promote advanced occupational therapy competency. The South Carolina Occupational Therapy Board uses the resources and the recommendations of multiple occupational therapy relevant organizations to determine what materials are deemed entry-level versus beyond entry-level.

10. How does the SCBOT define performance beyond the entry-level?
The SCBOT regularly refers to national standards offered through NBCOT, AOTA, and ACOTE to assist the Board in justifying what is entry-level practice and what is beyond entry level. NBCOT is the national credentialing body for occupational therapists; AOTA is the American Occupational Therapy Association; and ACOTE is the organization that accredits occupational therapy educational programs.

11. What is the policy on research performance?
The SCBOT feels research is essential to the growth of the profession. The Board is unable to measure participation and learning through research performance. However, publications or presentations, which arise out of research, can be attributed credit on a case-by-case basis.

12. What organizations/groups are considered "spresumptively" approved for conferences, seminars and workshops?
Certain organizations have developed a history of providing quality educational experiences that comply with the requirements in 94-08 (2). These courses are considered presumptively accepted for credit in the system. Refer to the Related Links on the Board Site Map on the website at www.llr.state.sc.us/pol for the most up-to-date information or call the Board office. The list is not all-inclusive, nor is it intended to suggest any limitations in the value, quality or acceptability of other offerings. Be aware that, although the educational offerings are considered of acceptable quality, it does not guarantee that the offerings are relevant to your area of practice of occupational therapy. The burden of demonstrating how the course contributes to professional practice remains on each licensee. The Board does not pre-approve continuing education courses for licensees. You as a professional can make these decisions.

13. How does the SCBOT address meetings that combine business and educational components?
Business meeting portions of workshops/meetings will not be considered for credit. The meeting outline should identify the time attributed to each component.

14. How is "germane to your practice as an occupational therapy practitioner" defined?
Education selected for credit should directly relate to your current area of practice or any anticipated change in practice area and be beyond entry-level.

15. Do "grand rounds/IEPs" count?
Many facilities offer "grand rounds" opportunities. When these experiences are in a patient case review format, they will not be considered for credit. This would be similar to the IEP development in the school system environment. When "grand rounds" are in a presentation style and structured around a topic, they will be considered for in-service credit. In-services may not be counted for more than 4 of the 16 hours required.

16. Can I receive credit for involvement in professional activities?
Yes. The SCBOT wishes to acknowledge the intense work required of people who volunteer for professional activities. The Board does not have a complete list of activities that would qualify for credit; however, the intent is to identify activities that substantially contribute to clinical knowledge. An example would be the role of an item writer for the NBCOT's OTR or COTA registration examinations. Credit in this type of activity will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. When completing the form, these activities would be recorded under "Other" for setting/type.

17. Can I receive credit for supervising students?
Yes. Time spent educating students often promotes growth also in the educator. Orienting students to patient care or OT service provision activities (example: instruction in how to perform the components of an evaluation) and other basic skills are not likely to significantly promote a practitioner's knowledge or competency. However, advanced skill education may count as in-service experiences even if it is individual or one-on-one in nature. Documentation should meet in-service requirements and include topic, presenter's name, date, location, number of hours, and objectives/outline of the content. As with other forms of teaching, you may not receive credit more than once in a renewal period for supervising the same material/activity.

18. How is teaching considered?
Teaching may take the form of preparing and teaching an entire course or portions of a course in occupational therapy through an accredited institution. Instructors may receive up to eight (8) contact hours of credit for the preparing and teaching portion of the experience. Teaching non-occupational therapy related material would not be granted credit. Instructors cannot receive credit for teaching the same material more than once in the renewal period. Teaching through an in-service is to be counted in the teaching category, not the in-service category. Literature research can be considered as self-study.


Revised 11/23/10

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