The American Occupational Therapy Association has a Commission on Continuing Competence and Professional Development (CCCPD). The CCCPD is conducting a 5 year review of its standards on continuing competence. This is a good opportunity to assess the AOTA efforts in this area.
Links to the draft document and a survey can be found here: http://www.aota.org/Publications-News/AOTANews/2014/CCCPD-standards-review.aspx
Here are my concerns with the document:
I find the document to be rather vague, and the standards are not
evidence-based. There is no citation that provides information on how
these standards were established or how they were developed. In
comparison, NBCOT develops practice standards that are based on a
Practice Analysis and they can be viewed here: http://www.nbcot.org/practice-standards
The standard on Knowledge is vague and self-referential: "OTs and OTAs
shall demonstrate understanding and comprehension of the information
required for the multiple roles and responsibilities they assume." That
is saying that they need to know what they need to know, which is not a
standard. That is an empty statement. The bullet points that follow
are similarly vague: "Mastery of the core of the practice and profession
of OT," "expertise in client centered OT practice and related primary
responsibilities," etc. These have no meaning. The purpose of
standards is to have something to hold performance up to in comparison.
There are no specifics because it is apparent that these standards were
not based on any evidence. Again, reference the NBCOT document in
comparison, that lists specific Domain and Task knowledge needed for
3. The section on critical reasoning is
incomplete and does not reference the multiple ways that OTs engage in
reasoning processes. Notably lacking is any reference to Mattingly's
(1994) work on narrative reasoning, which seems to be a rather unique
and distinctive method employed by OTs.
4. The section of the
Draft document that relates to Ethics references a 2015 Code of Ethics
source that has not even been approved by the RA or presented in any
final form. It is irresponsible to cite documents that do not even
I am trying to understand why AOTA is
in the continuing competency business. These standards are vague,
self-referential, not evidence based, and cite documents that have not
even been written yet.
The AOTA website states that it
represents 50,000 members. BLS data indicates that there are over 100k+
practicing OTs. According to the AOTA website (http://www.aota.org/education-careers/advance-career/board-specialty-certifications.aspx)
approximately 230 people have pursued the specialty or board
certification programs. That is a barely measurable less than 1 percent participation rate when you measure it against AOTA members. The
percentage of participation in the whole population of practicing OTs is
even less. In my opinion that is rather strong indication that the
AOTA continuing competency program is a waste of resources.
It is obvious from that kind of evidence that AOTA does not belong in
the continuing competency business. I suggest that AOTA should use our
member resources more responsibly and leave continuing competency to
NBCOT who has developed evidence based standards and administers a
robust program that already addresses this concern and are used by the
vast majority of practitioners.
(see links above)
Mattingly, C., & Fleming, M. H. (1994). Clinical reasoning: Forms of inquiry in a therapeutic practice. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Press.