OTs converge in Bendigo

From left to right: Meredith Bickley, Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency, Dr Carol McKinstry and Dr Mary RussellEvent organiser and coordinator of the occupational therapy program at La Trobe University, Dr Carol McKinstry said national registration is a good thing for the community, employers and the occupational therapy profession.

‘A public listing of nationally registered occupational therapists will be available for people who use occupational therapy services and for employers of occupational therapists,’ said Dr McKinstry.

‘Occupational therapists will need appropriate qualifications and evidence of continuing professional education in order to obtain and maintain their registration with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia.

‘This means that the community and employers can have greater confidence that high standards of professional practice and service will be provided,’ Dr McKinstry added.

The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia will handle complaints, investigations and disciplinary hearings and also assess overseas trained occupational therapists wishing to practice in Australia.

The Board has developed guidelines on continuing professional development, in line with other medical and allied health boards of registration.

Dr McKinstry said that consumers of occupational therapy services have the right to expect that occupational therapists will provide services in a competent and contemporary manner that meets best practice standards.

‘Ongoing learning is needed to maintain and extend knowledge, expertise and competence through an occupational therapist’s career.  In order to be registered, occupational therapists must demonstrate that they have completed a minimum of 30 hours of continuing professional development each year,’ said Dr McKinstry.

To reach the maximum number of occupational therapists in northern Victoria, the session is being video-conferenced to the La Trobe University campuses in Mildura, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton where over thirty therapists will link into the session to hear the latest information and have the opportunity to ask questions. 

More than fifty therapists and students will attend in Bendigo where Board Chair, Dr Mary Russell will present information on what will be required to become a registered occupational therapist and answer questions that therapists and students may have.  

Dr Russell is on staff at the University of South Australia, in a teaching and research role.  She has had extensive experience on the Occupational Therapy Board of South Australia and has been a member of the Occupational Therapy Council, overseeing the assessment of overseas trained therapists. 

The Board consists of six board members who have occupational therapy backgrounds and three community members who have backgrounds such as business and law.                                                                                                       

ENDS

Media enquiries

Dr Carol McKinstry, Ph (03) 5444 7416 M 0411 623 917 E c.mckinstry@latrobe.edu.au

or

Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E z.knight@latrobe.edu.au

or

Tom O’Callaghan, Ph (03) 5444 7415 F +613 5444 7526 M 0408 900 469 E t.ocallaghan@latrobe.edu.au