Register November 2011 No. 671
Chapter OT 4
OT 4.01   Authority and purpose.
OT 4.02   Scope of practice.
OT 4.03   Standards of practice.
OT 4.04   Supervision and practice of occupational therapy assistants.
OT 4.05   Supervision of non-licensed personnel and therapy aides.
OT 4.01 OT 4.01 Authority and purpose. The rules in this chapter are adopted by the board under the authority of ss. 15.085 (5) (b), 227.11 (2) and 448.965, Stats., to govern the standards of practice and supervision requirements for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.
OT 4.01 History History: CR 02-026: cr. Register December 2002 No. 564, eff. 1-1-03.
OT 4.02 OT 4.02 Scope of practice.
OT 4.02(1)(1) "Occupational therapy," as defined at s. 448.96 (5), Stats., may include the following interventions:
OT 4.02(1)(a) (a) Remediation or restitution of performance abilities that are limited due to impairment in biological, physiological, psychological or neurological processes.
OT 4.02(1)(b) (b) Adaptation of task, process or environment, or the teaching of compensatory techniques, in order to enhance performance.
OT 4.02(1)(c) (c) Disability prevention methods and techniques which facilitate the development or safe application of performance skills.
OT 4.02(1)(d) (d) Health promotion strategies and practices which enhance performance abilities.
OT 4.02(2) (2) Occupational therapy services include, but are not limited to the following:
OT 4.02(2)(a) (a) Screening, evaluating, developing, improving, sustaining or restoring skills in activities of daily living, work or productive activities, including instrumental activities of daily living, and play and leisure activities.
OT 4.02(2)(b) (b) Evaluating, developing, remediating, or restoring sensorimotor, cognitive, or psychosocial components of performance.
OT 4.02(2)(c) (c) Designing, fabricating or training in the use of assistive technology, upper extremity orthotic devices and lower extremity positioning orthotic devices.
OT 4.02(2)(d) (d) Training in the use of prosthetic devices, excluding gait training.
OT 4.02(2)(e) (e) Adaptation of environments and processes, including the application of ergonomic principles, to enhance performance and safety in daily life roles.
OT 4.02(2)(f) (f) Application of physical agent modalities based on a physician order as an adjunct to or in preparation for engagement in treatment. Application is performed by an experienced therapist with demonstrated and documented evidence of theoretical background, technical skill and competence.
OT 4.02 Note Note: An example of standards for evaluating theoretical background, technical skill and competence is the position paper on physical agent modalities issued by the American occupational therapy association (AOTA). AOTA may be contacted on the web at, and by mail at American occupational therapy association, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220.
OT 4.02(2)(g) (g) Evaluating and providing intervention and case management in collaboration with the client, family, caregiver or other involved individuals or professionals.
OT 4.02(2)(h) (h) Educating the client, family, caregiver, or others in carrying out appropriate nonskilled interventions.
OT 4.02(2)(i) (i) Consulting with groups, programs, organizations, or communities to provide population-based services.
OT 4.02 History History: CR 02-026: cr. Register December 2002 No. 564, eff. 1-1-03.
OT 4.03 OT 4.03 Standards of practice. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants shall adhere to the minimum standards of practice of occupational therapy that have become established in the profession, including but not limited to the following areas:
OT 4.03(1) (1)Screening.
OT 4.03(1)(a)(a) An occupational therapist, alone or in collaboration with an occupational therapy assistant, when practicing either independently or as a member of a treatment team, shall identify individuals who present deficits or declines in occupational performance areas and performance components.
OT 4.03(1)(b) (b) Screening methods shall take into consideration the occupational performance contexts relevant to the individual.
OT 4.03(1)(c) (c) Screening methods may include interviews, observations, testing and records review to determine the need for further evaluation and intervention.
OT 4.03(1)(d) (d) The occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant shall transmit screening results and recommendations to all appropriate persons.
OT 4.03(2) (2)Referral and physician orders.
OT 4.03(2)(a)(a) Evaluation, rehabilitation treatment, and implementation of treatment with individuals with specific medical conditions shall be based on an order from a physician, dentist or podiatrist.
OT 4.03(2)(b) (b) Referrals may be accepted from advanced practice nurses, chiropractors, optometrists, physical therapists, physician assistants, psychologists, or other health care professionals.
OT 4.03(2)(c) (c) Although a referral is not required, an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant may accept a referral for the purpose of providing services which include consultation, habilitation, screening, client education, wellness, prevention, environmental assessments, and work-related ergonomic services.
OT 4.03(2)(d) (d) Physician orders shall be in writing. However, oral referrals may be accepted if they are followed by a written and signed order by the referring physician within 72 hours from the date on which the client consults with the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
OT 4.03(2)(e) (e) Physician order or referral from another health care provider is not required for evaluation or intervention if an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant provides services in an educational environment, including the child's home, for children and youth with disabilities pursuant to rules promulgated by the federal individuals with disabilities education act, the department of public instruction and the department of health services, or provides services in an educational environment for children and youth with disabilities pursuant to the code of federal regulations.
OT 4.03(3) (3)Evaluation.
OT 4.03(3)(a)(a) The occupational therapist directs the evaluation process upon receiving a physician order or referral from another health care provider. An occupational therapist alone or in collaboration with the occupational therapy assistant shall prepare an occupational therapy evaluation for each individual referred for occupational therapy services. The occupational therapist interprets the information gathered in the evaluation process.
OT 4.03(3)(b) (b) The evaluation shall consider the individual's medical, vocational, social, educational, family status, and personal and family goals, and shall include an assessment of how occupational performance components and occupational performance contexts influence the individual's functional abilities and deficits in occupational performance areas.
OT 4.03(3)(c) (c) Evaluation methods may include observation, interviews, records review, and the use of structured or standardized evaluative tools or techniques.
OT 4.03(3)(d) (d) When standardized evaluation tools are used, the tests shall have normative data for the individual's characteristics. If normative data are not available, the results shall be expressed in a descriptive report. Collected evaluation data shall be analyzed and summarized to indicate the individual's current status.
OT 4.03(3)(e) (e) Evaluation results shall be documented in the individual's record and shall indicate the specific evaluation tools and methods used.
OT 4.03(3)(f) (f) Evaluation results shall be communicated to the referral source and to the appropriate persons in the facility and community.
OT 4.03(3)(g) (g) If the results of the evaluation indicate areas that require intervention by other health care professionals, the individual shall be appropriately referred or an appropriate consultation shall be requested.
OT 4.03(3)(h) (h) Initial evaluation shall be completed and results documented within the time frames established by the applicable facility, community, regulatory, or funding body.
OT 4.03(4) (4)Program planning.
OT 4.03(4)(a)(a) The occupational therapist is responsible for the development of the occupational therapy intervention plan. The occupational therapist develops the plan collaboratively with the client, and may include the occupational therapy assistant and team working with the client, including the physician – as indicated.
OT 4.03(4)(b) (b) The program shall be stated in measurable and reasonable terms appropriate to the individual's needs, functional goals and prognosis and shall identify short and long term goals.
OT 4.03(4)(c) (c) The program shall be consistent with current principles and concepts of occupational therapy theory and practice.
OT 4.03(4)(d) (d) In developing the program, the occupational therapist alone or in collaboration with the occupational therapy assistant shall also collaborate, as appropriate, with the individual, family, other health care professionals and community resources; shall select the media, methods, environment, and personnel needed to accomplish the goals; and shall determine the frequency and duration of occupational therapy services provided.
OT 4.03(4)(e) (e) The program shall be prepared and documented within the time frames established by the applicable facility, community, regulatory, or funding body.
OT 4.03(5) (5)Program implementation.
OT 4.03(5)(a)(a) The occupational therapy program shall be implemented according to the program plan previously developed. The occupational therapist may delegate aspects of intervention to the occupational therapy assistant dependent on the occupational therapy assistant's demonstrated and documented service competency.
OT 4.03(5)(b) (b) The individual's occupational performance areas and occupational performance components shall be routinely and systematically evaluated and documented.
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