I am an Occupational Therapist

As a practitioner in Aotearoa New Zealand, you’ll need information on:

As a practitioner in Aotearoa New Zealand, you’re responsible for making sure you’re registered while you’re practising. You gain registration with us, the Occupational Therapy Board. We ensure the public’s safety by ensuring you’re competent and fit to practise.

You’re also required to hold an annual Practising Certificate. You’ll need to recertify for this each year. To recertify, your ePortfolio information must be up to date and you’ll need to show your continued development against our competencies.

Once we’ve granted you registration and issued you a Practising Certificate, you’re legally allowed to work as an occupational therapist in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We’ve created a range of publications to help you provide a safe working environment and safe relationships for you, your co-workers and consumers. This section has some of the publications you’ll need.

Our documents page holds all our current policies, guidelines and forms.

General Scope of Practice (DOC, 308KB, 1 page)
The definition of Scope you work under as an occupational therapist and the qualifications you must have.

Guidelines for Social Media and Electronic Communication (PDF, 756KB, 7 pages)

Information and guidance on maintaining privacy when using social media and electronic communication.

Position Statement: Practice Boundaries for Occupational Therapists (PDF, 302KB, 5 pages)
Our position on providing services beyond the general Scope of Practice.

Practice Boundaries for Occupational Therapists – A Guide for Practitioners (PDF, 302KB, 11 pages)
Information and guidance on maintaining a professional relationship with your clients.

Professional Boundaries for Occupational Therapists (PDF, 810KB, 20 pages)
An Occupational Therapist’s guide to the importance of professional boundaries.

Policy for the use of Occupational Therapy Qualifications and or Titles (DOC, 279KB, 3 pages)
Our policy on when you can use the qualifications and/or titles of occupational therapy.

Policy for Renewing Practising Certificates ( PDF, 232 KB, 5 pages)
Our policy for when you need to be registered and have a current practising certificate.

Competencies Poster (PDF, 544KB, 2 Pages)
A useful reference  for the current 5 competency areas.

To practise in Aotearoa New Zealand you need a current Practising Certificate. It’s illegal to practise without one. We’ll issue your first one along with your registration when you apply for it. Every year after that, you must renew your certificate if you wish to practise as an occupational therapist.
Practising Certificates are valid from 1 April to 31 March. Each year, we notify all registered practitioners when we open the recertification process. We do this by placing information on this site and by email, so be sure your information is current in 
myOTBNZ.

2017/18 Renewal Quick Reference
A short overview of what you need to do in order to renew your practising certificate. (2 pages, 465kb)

What to do if you want to take a break – explains how to take a break from renewing your practising certificate.

Steps to renewal

There are 3 steps to renewal:

  1. Read about our requirements
  2. Update your continuing competence
  3. Apply and pay for your practising certificate.

1. Read about our requirements

Renewal Policy (PDF, 235KB, 5 pages)
Our policy on renewing your practising certificate each year.

Policy for Late Renewal of Annual Practising Certificate Applications (DOC, 213KB, 3 pages)
Our policy for applying for your renewal of an annual practising certificate after 31 March.

Policy on When Registration and Practising Certificate are Required (PDF, 715KB,10 pages)
Our policy on your requirements to be registered and hold a Practising Certificate.

Fitness Policy (PDF, 369KB, 7 pages)
Our policy on  how we ensure you are fit to practice.

2.  Update your continuing competence

Once you commence practising, you’ll be expected to maintain your competence and record how you do this using our ePortfolio tool.

ePortfolio tool
Our tool for you to record your professional development against our competencies. You can access this through your myOTBNZ account.

ePortfolio handbook (PDF, 5.9MB, 34 Pages)
A guide to help you use e-Portfolio to your best advantage.

3. Apply and pay for your practising certificate

myOTBNZ
Our tool for you to use when applying for your practising certificate.

myOTBNZ User Guide (PDF, 360.95KB, 5 pages)
How to use myOtbnz for practitioners

You can submit your entire application including the fee online through myOTBNZ, or you can use the form below:
Practising Certificate Application Form (DOC, 379KB,10 pages)
A paper application form for a practising certificate.

Our Fees (DOC, 294KB, 1 page )
A list of our fees.

We may impose conditions on your Scope of Practice, depending on how recently you’ve graduated or where you’ve come from. These standard conditions are:

if you’re a new graduate – you must receive weekly supervision by a registered occupational therapist for the first 12 months of practice

if you’re an overseas qualified registrant – you must receive fortnightly supervision by a registered occupational for the first six months of practice

if you’re a previously registered practitioner who’s returning to practise in New Zealand – you must receive fortnightly supervision by a registered occupational for the first six months of practice.

You may also receive conditions on your Scope of Practice after a review of your competence and fitness. These are imposed on a case-by-case basis after discussion with you.

General Scope of Practice that occupational therapists work under

General Scope of Practice (DOC, 308KB, 1 page)
The definition of Scope occupational therapists work under and the qualifications they must have.

Conditions that may be placed on your Scope

Fact Sheet Conditions of Scope of Practice (Doc, 250KB, 4 pages)
Information on conditions that may be placed on your Scope.

Policy on Standard Conditions on Scope (Doc, 408KB 4 pages)
Policy for placing conditions on your Scope.

Removing conditions from your Scope

Application for Removal of Conditions on General Scope of Practice (Doc, 416KB, 8 pages)
The form for starting the process of removing conditions from your Scope of Practice.

We require all occupational therapists to receive professional supervision in accordance with the Code of Ethics.

Supervision is required if you have a condition on your general Scope of Practice (as laid out in the Health Practitioner Competence Assurance Act 2003). The frequency and length of your supervision depends on why you’re being supervised.

If you’re being supervised

Supervision Requirements for Occupational Therapists(PDF, 971KB, 16 pages)

Guide on supervision requirements for occupational therapists

Quick Guide to Supervision (PDF, 124KB, 2 pages )

The key information you need to know about supervision.

Example of Supervison Log(DOC, 41KB 1 page)

An example of the records that should be kept as part of your supervision.

Supervisors List (DOC, 279KB, 1pages)

A list of supervisors you may wish to use.

If you’d like to become a supervisor

If you’d like to become a supervisor, please contact us or complete the expression of interest form below.

Expression of Interest Form for Supervisors (PDF, 280KB, 1 page)

Form to use if you’d like to be a supervisor.

Supervison agreement (PDF, 227KB3 pages)

An example of the agreement you should have with those you supervisor.

Supervison Log (DOC, 41KB 1 page)

An example of the records that should be kept as part of your role as supervisior.

Supervision Report (DOC, 417KB 8 pages)

An example of a supervisor’s report you will need to write for those you supervise.

Starter questions for self reflection for Competency Area 2 (PDF, 479KB, 2 pages)

Questions to help guide your self reflection for Competency Area 2 – Practising appropriately for bicultural Aotearoa New Zealand.

Competencies

We’re responsible for setting standards of clinical and cultural competence,  ethical conduct and fitness to practice (under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003). To be registered, you must demonstrate threshold competence in each competency area. Once you’re registered and practising, you need to maintain the required standard of competence to obtain a current Practising Certificate.

How we assess your competence and fitness

Assessment of Fitness, Qualifications and Competence for Registration (DOC, 294KB, 2 pages)
Information on how we assess your application for registration.

Competencies for Registration and Continuing Practise (PDF, 550KB, 12 pages)
Information on the five key areas you need to remain competent in, what is expected from you and how to demonstrate your competency.

Fitness Policy (PDF, 369KB, 7 pages) 
Policy to efficiently and consistently assess registration in regards to fitness.

Policy Validity of Competence and Attestation (DOC, 216KB,  3 pages)

Our policy on ensuring information on your competence and its attestation is valid.

How you prove your competency once you’re practising

Attestation of Competence Form (DOC, 225KB, 7 pages)

A form you must complete, sign and return to us with your registration or recertification application

Competence Assessment Application Form (DOC,674KB, 12pages)

You need to complete this form so we can assess your competence

ePortfolio tool 
Our tool for you to record your professional development against our competencies. You can access ePortfolio through your myOTBNZ account.

ePortfolio handbook (PDF, 5.9MB, 34 Pages)
A guide to help you use e-Portfolio to your best advantage.

Where to go to improve your cultural competency

www.mauriora.co.nz (external website for cultural awareness training) 
The provider of our approved cultural competence course

Code of Ethics

You’re expected to practise to the standard of conduct laid out in our Code of Ethics. Our ethics protect the safety of consumers and your integrity as an occupational therapist.

Code of Ethics (PDF,  649KB, 12 pages)
The ethical standards occupational therapists must adhere to

You may be thinking about taking a break from practising. Maybe you’re going back to study, having a baby, or are off on your big overseas experience. We acknowledge that everyone needs a break.

If you plan to return to practise, we suggest you retain your registration and continue to get information from us. You can do this by paying a registration maintenance fee. 

If you’re a previously registered occupational therapist and your name has been removed from the register, you can apply to have it restored.

If you’re planning a break

It’s easier to return to practice when you feel a sense of connectedness with the profession. Some ways to consider keeping your professional connectedness are:

  • keeping links with your occupational therapy colleagues
  • keeping up with current theories and models of practice
  • keeping up with current influences on the profession
  • belonging to the New Zealand Association for Occupational Therapists or local networking groups
  • post-graduate training and /or attending in-service training and education in your area
  • ensuring you keep your myOTBNZ and ePortfolio records up to date
  • maintaining your registration with us.

Letter of Good Standing

If your break is from Aotearoa New Zealand and you’re planning to practise in the country you move to, you should request a Letter of Good Standing from us.

Request for Verification of Registration Certificate (DOC, 132KB, 1 page) 
The form you need to complete and return to us with payment to receive verification of registration.

If you’re returning from a break

When returning to practise, you must ensure you’re registered and hold a current Practising Certificate. If you’ve been away for more than three years we’ll need to assess your competence.

Information on Returning to Practise  (DOC, 64KB, 4 page) 
What you need to know if you’re returning to practise after an absence.

Policy for Registered Occupational Therapists Returning to Practise in NZ after Three Years (DOC, 225KB,3 pages) 
Our policy if you’re returning to New Zealand to practise after an absence of 3 years or more.

Checklist for Returning to Practice Applicants (DOC, 18kb, 2 pages)
A checklist to help you when you are applying to return to practice from a break.

If you want to restore your name to the register

Registration Information for Previously Registered Occupational Therapists Applying for Restoration to the Register (DOC,250KB,8 pages)
Information on how to restore your name to the register.

Checklist for Restoration Applicants (DOC, 16KB, 2 pages)
A checklist to help you when you are restoring your name to the register.

If you have questions about taking a break that aren’t covered above, please email us.

Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa
Join the New Zealand Association for Occupational Therapists.

Ministry of Justice – criminal records
Find out more about criminal convictions and Police reporting from our Justice Department.

myOTBNZ user guide (PDF,360KB, 5 pages)
How to use myOtbnz for practitioners.

ePortfolio handbook (PDF, 5.9MB, 34 Pages)
A guide to help you use e-Portfolio to your best advantage.

Competencies Poster (PDF, 544KB, 2 Pages)
A useful reference to  for the current 5 competency areas.

Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003
The statutory law we must adhere to.

Health and Disability Commissioner

Ministry of Health

Mauriora Health Education
Mauriora Health Education offers the Foundation Course in Cultural Competency (Maori) necessary for competence assessment.

To practise in Aotearoa New Zealand you need to be registered with us. It’s illegal to practise without registering.

If you want to register because you’ve recently graduated in New Zealand, or you’re considering moving from overseas, see either:

I am a graduating practitioner

I am an overseas practitioner

If you have questions about registration please email us.

To change your name on the register, you must provide a certified copy of the certificate that proves your new name (for example, your marriage or civil union certificate). You must send the copy citied and signed by a Justice of the Peace, NZ Barrister or Solicitor.  A scanned copy is not adequate.

OTBNZ | Code of Ethics (Video, 3:05)
This video covers the Code of Ethics for Occupational Therapists in Aotearoa New Zealand.

OTBNZ | ePortfolio (Video, 6:36)
This video provides an overview of the online tool you will use to record your professional development.

OTBNZ | Competencies (Video, 7:36)
This video provides an overview of the competencies for continuing registration.