Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Occupational Therapy

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Continuing Competency Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a Professional Development Unit?

A. Sixty minutes (or one contact hour) of participation in a profession development activity qualifies for one Professional Development Unit PDU.

Q. How many PDUs do I need?

A. You are required to complete 24 PDUs, which may be earned any time during your renewal period.

Q. When is my "renewal period?"

A. Your renewal period starts the day after your license expires and continues until your license expiration date or the date you sign your renewal form.

Q. Do I have to take a Board-approved course?

A. No. The Board does not approve courses for continuing competency. Twelve of the 24 units must be directly related to the delivery of OT services. The remaining units may include, but are not limited to, occupation based theory assessment/interview techniques, intervention strategies, and community/environment as related to your practice. All activities must be objectively measurable in terms of hours involved.

Q. Are continuing education courses the only way I can earn PDUs?

A. No. There are a variety of ways you can earn PDUs. Section 4161(c) of Title 16, California Code of Regulations (CCR) outlines how many units can be earned through a variety of activities.

Q. Can I take courses on the internet?

A. Yes. Internet, DVD and video courses are acceptable as long as you receive a certificate of completion from the provider.

Q. Can I earn PDUs by reading books or articles?

A. You cannot count reading unless it is objectively measurable in terms of the hours involved (Title 16 CCR section 4161(b)(3)). If you read an article in a professional journal and receive credits and receive a certificate of completion from a course provider, you may count those units. Note: reading on your own will not be accepted.

Q. Can I carry over units into my next renewal period?

A. If you earn more than the required number of units during your renewal period, you can carry over up to six of the extra hours into the next renewal period.

Q. Can I use the same units that I earned for my advanced practice certification?

A. Yes

Q. Do I have to send my course completion certificates to the Board?

A. No. You will be required certify that you completed the required number of units on your renewal form and list the activities on the back of the renewal form. You must maintain copies of course completion certificates and documentation of other activities completed for a period of four (4) years following the renewal period. The Board will conduct periodic random audits. Failure to complete continuing competency requirements or provide documentation during an audit can result in your license being placed on inactive status, a citation and fine, or other disciplinary action.

Q. My license is inactive. Do I need to earn PDUs?

A. No. Inactive licenses are exempt from continuing competency requirements. At the time that you decide to reactive your license, you will need to complete the required number of PDUs for a single renewal period.

Q. Do I need to earn PDUs for my advanced practice certification?

A. No. Advanced practice certifications do not require renewal and, therefore, do not have continuing competency requirements.