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Showing posts from August, 2018

When the shoe is on the other foot.

I am going to try to keep this simple, but the underlying message is critical for occupational therapists.

The recent announcement from AOTA that places the entry level degree requirement decision of ACOTE in abeyance was a surprise to most people, whether they agreed with the decision or not.

This post is not going to address the background of the issue, or the reasons for the AOTA reversal, or what some of the controversial elements are.   I want to focus on the response of some OTs who disagree with the decision, most notably program directors who lead academic programs that have to deliver the curricula.

I agree with the fact that some academic programs who were set to follow through on the increase to entry level degrees are left in a difficult situation.  These are a couple of the legitimate complaints that I truly understand:

1. Financial resources have been expended in order to transition their programs.
2. Time and energy has been expended in order to transition their program…

AOTA's claim to authority over entry level degree requirements

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ACOTE released their version of the timeline of their OTD accreditation decision and AOTA released their statement along with the MOU - and now the two sides sit in opposition with the fundamental question being "Who is responsible for setting the entry level educational standards for the occupational therapy profession?"

The quick and easy answer, that apparently may be wrong, is ACOTE.

The more probable answer, buried in documents available on the AOTA website, is the Representative Assembly of the AOTA.

The policy of the AOTA, as determined by the Representative Assembly, sets the entry level educational requirements for the profession.

The next logical question is: Does the Representative Assembly have this authority?  Yes, it does, and this authority is directly granted in the Bylaws:


Does ACOTE have the authority to set AOTA association policy, specifically related to entry level educational requirements for the profession?  No, it does not, and this is very clear in …

Analysis of the ACOTE/AOTA Memorandum of Understanding

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On January 29, 2005, the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education and the American Occupational Therapy Association entered into an agreement that has been commonly referred to as their 'Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).'

As background for understanding this process it is important to consider the relationship between the national member association and its credentialing arm, which is technically a separate organization.  As I have stated for many years, in my opinion, AOTA and ACOTE are functionally indistinguishable.  ACOTE is an "Associated Advisory Council" of the AOTA Executive Board.  It is notable that intertwined relationships exist between the two groups since the creation of the credentialing group.

ACOTE has its own Board of Directors, but ACOTE itself is staffed by AOTA employees who all answer to the AOTA Executive Director, who answers to the AOTA Board of Directors.

Accreditation income generated by ACOTE amounted to over $1.2 m…