I will soon graduate from an occupational therapy/occupational therapy assistant program but the next certification/licensing examination will not be held for several months. How do I get a temporary license?

As a new graduate you are eligible for a temporary license if you are eligible for, and have registered for the next available certification examination. Contact Professional Credential Services, Inc. (PCS) at (877) 887-9727 for an application packet. Your application for a temporary license requires official documentation of eligibility and registration from the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) or its agent. Visit the NBCOT web site at http://www.nbcot.org for additional information about registering for the exam and obtaining documentation of your registration for your temporary license application.

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For how long is a temporary license valid?

A temporary license is valid until you either pass the certification examination and are issued a permanent license, or until you fail to take, or fail to pass the certification examination on which the temporary license was granted. Upon failure to take within three months, or failure to pass the examination, the license is rescinded immediately and you must stop practicing immediately. There is a limit of three temporary licenses; each temporary license requires completion of an application, including documentation of eligibility, registration for the next available examination, and taking that exam within the next three months.

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As a temporary license holder, do I need to practice under supervision?

Holders of a temporary license are required to be supervised by a supervisor in the same discipline. A fully licensed occupational therapist may supervise an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant with a temporary license. A fully licensed occupational therapy assistant may supervise an occupational therapy assistant with a temporary license.

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While I am working under a temporary license must my supervisor be physically present at all times?

No. Only those individuals working under a third temporary license must have DIRECT supervision (on the premises and available to provide aid, direction and instruction when procedures or activities are performed).

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I have a temporary license. What part of my documentation must be signed by a supervisor?

A supervisor must co-sign ALL treatment documentation.

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How do I get an application for a license (temporary and/or permanent)?

Contact Professional Credential Services at 877-887-9727 for a license application packet.

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I have an occupational therapy/occupational therapy assistant license in another state. What do I need for a license in MA?

MA law and regulations require: graduation from high school or a passing score on a high school equivalency test; satisfactory proof of good moral character; graduation from a Board-approved, accredited educational program leading to professional qualification (occupational therapy/occupational therapy assistant); official documentation of a passing score on the licensure examination; and verification of licensure status from every state in which you have ever been licensed.

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I am a graduate of an occupational therapy program in another country. What is required for an occupational therapist license in MA?

The MA Board requires approval of educational credentials by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). If educated in a language other than English, you must also provide official documentation of a score of at least 560 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and 4.5 on the Test of Written English (TWE).

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I am an occupational therapist in another country. Am I eligible for an occupational therapist assistant license?

No. Under MA law, only graduates of a board-approved, accredited occupational therapist assistant program are eligible for licensure as occupational therapist assistants.

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Do I need continuing education (CE) credits to renew my occupational therapist/occupational therapy assistant license?

No. MA does not currently have a requirement for CE as a condition of license renewal. It is recommended that all licensees engage in continuing competence.

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My OT/OTA license has expired. I moved and never received a renewal notice or
I had a MA OT/OTA license in the past. If I want to practice in MA again, what do I need to do to renew the old license?

It is not legal for you to practice in MA after your license expires or lapses.

The requirements for renewal or reactivation of your MA license depend on how long ago the license was last active, and your professional practice since that time.

  • If lapsed for one renewal cycle or less, you must pay the past due license fee, a late fee, and the current license fee ( Fees and License Renewal).
  • If lapsed for more than one renewal cycle, and still practicing in MA you must pay all past due license fees, a late fee, and the current license fee ( Fees and License Renewal). You must sign a statement acknowledging that you have practiced without a valid license. You may be required to appear before the Board to explain your unlicensed practice; Board regulations stipulate that you may also be required to achieve a passing score on the licensing examination.
  • If lapsed for more than one renewal cycle AND if not practicing during the period the license was lapsed, you must pay an application fee, the late fee, and the current license fee ( Fees and License Renewal). You must sign an affidavit, under the penalties of perjury, that you have not practiced while the license was lapsed. You may be required to appear before the Board to explain your unlicensed practice; Board regulations stipulate that you may also be required to achieve a passing score on the licensing examination.
  • If practicing in another state during the period the MA license was lapsed, you must pay an application fee, the late fee, and the current license fee ( Fees and License Renewal). You must provide an official "record of standing" or "certified statement" [license verification] indicating the license is in good standing in the state of current licensure as well as a "record of standing" or "certified statement" indicating the status of the license in every state in which you have been licensed.

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May occupational therapy assistants perform initial screens and do evaluations, including re-evaluations?

No. Performance of an initial screen or an evaluation is the role and responsibility of the occupational therapist. See the Board's Position Statement on this matter under "Board News."

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Revised February 28, 2013