What is NBCOT Certification?

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If you want to be an occupational therapist, you need to take the NBCOT certification. But, what is the NBCOT certification? Here, you are able to read the explanation about NBCOT certification so that if you want to take this certification, you will know what you have to prepare.

About NBCOT Certification

NBCOT CertificationNBCOT stands for The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. According to the NBCOT Certification Renewal Handbook, it is the national certification body for occupational therapy professionals in the United States. It is also explained that NBCOT tries to serve the public interest in its diversity by advancing just, equitable and inclusive client care and professional practice through evidence-based certification practice and the validation of knowledge essential for effective and safe practice in occupational therapy. NBCOT visualizes certified occupational therapy professionals providing services which are just, equitable, inclusive and effective evidence-based across all areas of practice worldwide.

Now, NBCOT initial certification is needed by 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia for occupational therapy state regulation. Accreditation received by the programs of NBCOT certification is given and maintained by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NBCOT becomes the Institute for Credentialing Excellence’s member.

Renewal Process of NBCOT Certification

As explained on the official website of NBCOT, NBCOT certification is given for a three-year period. Let’s say that you finish all of the certification renewal requirements by your scheduled renewal date. If so, you will be given Active in Good Standing certification status for another three-year period.

Renewal season is held between January and March annually, no matter what your initial certification date is. You have to renew by your scheduled renewal date. If not, your status will change to Inactive and as a result you are not able to use your OTR or COTA credential.

What are the requirements for renewal? If you want to renew your Active in Good Standing certification, you are able to follow the step below according to the NBCOT site.

  • First, you need to read the Certification Renewal Handbook. The link to the handbook can be found on the site of NBCOT.
  • Then, you have to earn 36 units during your three-year renewal cycle. It is important for you to know that accepted activities are listed on the Certification Renewal Activities Chart. You have the option to keep track of units that you have earned with the Renewal Log.
  • You have to read and agree to abide by the NBCOT Certificant Attestation.
  • The renewal application must be completed through your MyNBCOT account and you must pay the $65 fee. Let’s say that you renew using the paper application which costs $75. If so, it will take 10 to 15 business days before your certification status is updated.

What do we have to do if we did not renew our certification within our renewal year? If so, you need to apply for reinstatement and be approved before you use your OTR or COTA credential.

It is important for you to note that you need to get your certificate and wallet card in the mail three to four weeks after your application is processed. Let’s say that you do not get your certification. If so, you are able to contact NBCOT within two months of renewing to be reissued a certificate at no cost.

The Meaning of Certification Status

Earlier, it was explained that if you complete all of the certification renewal requirements by your scheduled renewal date, you will be given Active in Good Standing certification status for another three-year period. But, what does Active in Good Standing certification status mean? Here is the meaning of Active in Good Standing and also the other status of NBCOT certification.

  • Active in Good Standing
    This status is given to individuals currently certified with NBCOT and who have met the certification renewal requirements. People who are granted this status can identify themselves to the public as an OTR or COTA. The OTR or COTA credential can be used by these people after their name.
  • Retired in Good Standing
    As explained on the NBCOT Renewal Handbook that for OTR and COTA certificants who have Active in Good Standing status with NBCOT, they are able to request their certification status to be changed to Retired in Good Standing. NBCOT must be informed by you about this status change and submit a Retired in Good Standing request. If the request has been processed, retired certificants are able to identify themselves to the public as an OTR, Retired or COTA, Retired. These people are able to use “OTR, Retired” or “COTA, Retired” after their name.
  • Expired
    If people do not satisfy the NBCOT certification renewal requirement by their scheduled renewal date, they have expired status and they are not able to identify themselves to the public as an OTR or COTA or use the OTR or COTA credential after their name.

NBCOT Navigator Competency Assessment Platform

What is NBCOT Navigator? It is a suite of online tools which is designed to be able to help you assess your competency across various areas of occupational therapy. All tools were made based on current practice and evidence-based literature. You are required to complete the tools to get competency assessment units (CAUs) to renewal, develop your occupational therapy knowledge and skills and stay current in your practice.

Navigator is able to be accessed by certificants through their MyNBCOT account on www.nbcot.org. The tool suite is able to be used by occupational therapists and therapy assistants to prepare for certification renewal and accrue CAU. Besides, it is also able to be used to stay current in their practice areas year-round.

Navigator highlights 15 main practice areas which are different and those are listed below.

  • Acute Care
  • Orthopedics
  • Administration and/or Management
  • Pediatrics (clinic-based, early intervention)
  • Developmental Disability
  • Pediatrics (school system)
  • Geriatrics/Productive Aging
  • Rehabilitation (inpatient)
  • Health and Wellness
  • Rehabilitation (outpatient)
  • Home Health
  • Skilled Nursing
  • Mental Health
  • Work and Industry
  • OT Education and/or Research

Navigator Tools:

  • Case Simulations
  • Management Challenge
  • Mini Practice Quizzes
  • Orthotic Builder
  • OT Knowledge Library
  • Physical Agent Modalities (PAMs)
  • PICO
  • Practice Assessments

For your information, at the end of every tool, there is a customized feedback report and recommended reading list.

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