The Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners was established in 1989. Current authority is found at A.R.S. §§32-3401 through 32-3446.
The Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners (Board) was created in 1989 to license persons offering occupational services; to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare; to protect the public from incompetent and unauthorized persons; and to assure the highest degree of professional conduct and care for persons in need of occupational therapy services. Occupational therapists work with individuals who are limited by physical injury, illness, disability or the aging process, to achieve optimum functional performance, maximize independence, prevent disability and maintain health. Their services include evaluation, treatment, development and training in activities of daily living and social skills. In order to practice, a person must have a license issued by the Board. See A.R.S. § 32-3401.
The Board oversees regulation and licensure of applicants, collects fees, and is authorized to deny, revoke or suspend a license, investigate misconduct, conduct hearings and take disciplinary action as needed. The Board may employ an executive director and staff.
The Board consists of five members appointed by the Governor to three-year terms. As a 90/10 board, ten percent of application and license fees collected is deposited in the state General Fund and the remainder is deposited in the Occupational Therapy Fund to be used for expenses, including compensation and expenses of members and staff.
Laws 1989 Chapter 296 created the five-member Board, specified its membership, outlined its powers and duties, created the Occupational Therapy Fund and established fees. The measure prescribed qualifications to obtain a license, allowed the Board to issue a license by endorsement, authorized the Board to deny, revoke or suspend a license, take disciplinary action and impose a civil penalty of not less than $250 nor more than $10,000 per violation. A violation was classified as a class 1 misdemeanor.
Laws 1997, Chapter 47 modified licensing requirements and allowed the Board to issue a “letter of concern” as a non-disciplinary advisory letter to encourage a licensee to modify or eliminate certain practices.
Laws 1999, Chapter 157 required applicants to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Board for the purpose of conducting a state and federal criminal records check.
Laws 2000, Chapter 111 established the Board of Athletic Training as a separate board within the Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners. The measure included an appropriation from the state General Fund to cover startup costs and required repayment. The measure was based on a sunrise application considered by the Senate Commerce, Agriculture and Natural Resources and House of Representatives Health Committee of Reference (COR) on December 15, 1999. The COR recommended the sunrise of the Board of Athletic Trainers. In 2010, legislation was enacted to modify the joint duties of the two boards. See Laws 2010, Chapter 34.
Laws 2007, Chapter 65 allowed the Board to issue a non-disciplinary order requiring a licensee to complete continuing education courses. This applied in cases where the results of an investigation of an allegation did not trigger disciplinary action.
Laws 2008, Chapter 293 was an omnibus measure which modified duties of the Board and executive director, modified procedures regarding violations and investigations and expanded the definitions of “occupational therapy” and “occupational therapy services.”
Laws 2013, Chapter 109 allows the Board to establish a substance abuse recovery program for licensees in lieu of a disciplinary proceeding. Certain conditions apply, including execution of a waiver signed by the licensee that allows the substance abuse recovery program to release certain information to the Board.
Laws 2017, Chapter 327 requires a prospective member of the Board, prior to appointment, to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Governor for purposes of conducting a state and federal criminal records check.
Laws 2019, Chapter 195 allowed the Board to authorize its executive director to issue licenses, certifications, registrations, preceptorships, reinstatements and waivers to eligible applicants who meet the requirements identified in the statute. In addition, the Board may issue temporary licenses of thirty days to qualified applicants who meet the statutory requirements and may adopt rules to carry out the new provisions.
A second enactment in 2019 requires the Board to regulate the unauthorized practice of the profession by investigating complaints and referring verified complaints to the county attorney or attorney general for prosecution. See Laws 2019, Chapter 227.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§32-3401 et seq.
- Arizona Administrative Code §§R4-43-101 et seq.
- Session Laws
- Laws 1989, Chapter 296
- Laws 1997, Chapter 47
- Laws 1999, Chapter 157
- Laws 2000, Chapter 111
- Laws 2007, Chapter 65
- Laws 2008, Chapter 293
- Laws 2010, Chapter 34
- Laws 2013, Chapter 109
- Laws 2017, Chapter 327
- Laws 2019, Chapter 195 and Chapter 227
Arizona State Legislature: Committees of Reference for the Sunrise Hearing of the Athletic Trainers Board, December 15, 1999 Minutes of the Meeting.
Sunrise review for Board of Athletic Trainers, Joint Legislative Audit committee, State of Arizona Research Library: LG 9.2:A 74/ 1999.
Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners website.
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 185 – Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners