Occupational Therapists must complete either a 4 year undergraduate degree or 2 year Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from a recognized University. Following completion of the degree each therapist must apply to AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) in order to be registered to work as an Occupational Therapist in South Australia. Whilst registration allows Occupational Therapists to provide services, they also must practice according to the guidelines set by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia. Since the introduction of the National Accreditation and Registration Scheme (the National Scheme) on 1 July 2010, the advertising of regulated health services falls under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law). In complying with the criteria for registration, Occupational Therapists must commit to engaging in ‘Continuing professional Development’ (CPD). Each practicing therapist is required to complete 30 hours of CPD per year in order to maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives. For more information regarding AHPRA please click here.
Whilst not essential, Therapists practicing in the area of paediatrics will engage in programs and training specific to working with children. All OTFC therapists are required to attend several internal training days as well as completing external courses and training offered across a variety of child focused areas. At OTFC our core work involves ‘Sensory Integration Therapy’ and all therapists are provided with opportunities to further their knowledge and skills in this approach. Dino Mennillo (Clinical director) and Alison Moss (Clinical Manager) have completed the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) certification course through the University of Southern California. Completed over the 2 years, this is the ‘gold standard’ assessment and training in Sensory Integration therapy worldwide. In 2015/2016, this course was not accessible to therapists in Australia, however, in 2017, OTFC will be bringing this training to their Adelaide Clinic for ALL of their staff. In 2020, a new assessment tool and training course in Sensory Integration will be offered. As we continue to strive to be at the forefront of service provision, Occupational Therapy for Children has asked to be involved in the research and trial period for this new Assessment.
In order for children to be able to access Medicare rebates for Occupational Therapy via the Chronic Disease Management Plan or Better Access to Mental Health Plan Occupational Therapists must first apply to Medicare to obtain a ‘Provider number’ (please click here for further information)
In order to be registered to provide Medicare services for Better Access to Mental Health, OT’s are required to:
- be registered for practice with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia;
- have a Medicare Australia provider number (if you do not have a Medicare Provider Number, please visit the Medicare Australia Website for the form and more information);
- have a minimum of 2 years of supervised practice as an occupational therapist working in mental health; with recency of BAMH relevant practice (at least 6 months full time equivalent in the last 5 years)
- be a full (full-time or part-time) member of Occupational Therapy Australia
- satisfy all units of competency as set out in the Australian Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Mental Health (1999) and also meet the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce 2013.
For further information, please click here.