Guidelines for Education Providers
Attached are the guidelines for education provides relating to the accreditation of Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Programs OTC Accreditation Guidelines March 2015
Accreditation of Occupational Therapy Education Programs
The Occupational Therapy Council (Australia & New Zealand) Ltd (OTC) assesses and accredits occupational therapy education programs provided by Australian universities as part of the accreditation functions under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (National Law).The purpose of accreditation is to assure the quality of educational programs, and to promote continuous improvements.
Programs of study leading to a qualification in occupational therapy must be accredited by the OTC prior to approval of the qualification by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (OTBA) as meeting the qualification standard for general registration.
The OTC undertakes an initial accreditation assessment of new programs prior to the first intake of students. If the OTC is reasonably satisfied the program meets the accreditation standard or will meet the accreditation standard within a reasonable time with the imposition of conditions, the program will be accredited by the OTC. The OTC then monitors the program and the education provider to ensure the occupational therapy program and the university continue to meet the accreditation standard.
The sequence for accreditation of occupational therapy programs
In seeking accredited status, universities planning to provide entry-level education programs in occupational therapy must apply for an accreditation assessment and subsequently demonstrate the extent to which their program meets the Occupational Therapy Accreditation Standards. A team of trained assessors determines the extent to which each program meets the criteria outlined in the accreditation standard.
Programs are reviewed for accreditation every five years. Following an accreditation review, a program is required to provide progress reports as outlined in the accreditation report, and to report any major changes that occur subsequent to an accreditation review.
Assessment process for new programs
Stage 1 Assessment
A university proposing to establish a new program in occupational therapy should notify the OTC of its intention to seek accreditation, indicating how the program will be developed. This will ensure it has all details of the accreditation process, and determine whether the planned program is likely to comply with the OTC accreditation standard.
Stage 2 Assessment
Accreditation applications for initial assessment of new occupational therapy programs should be received by the OTC nine to 12 months prior to the planned commencement date. Full details of the program must be provided, with special attention given to the resources available and resources proposed to deliver the program (especially staff and physical resources within the university, and commitment from agencies which will provide fieldwork opportunities). New programs are assessed against the same standard as established programs. At this stage of assessment, accreditation is granted with conditions if the planned program is on track to meet the accreditation standard.
Stage 3 Assessment
A further full accreditation review of the program will occur prior to the graduation of the first cohort of students (usually in the first semester of the program’s final year, or after an extended fieldwork.
The following accreditation decisions are available to the OTC:
|Accreditation||This accreditation status indicates the program has achieved the accreditation standard, and has no serious deficits. Recommendations relating to quality improvement of the program are generally included in the accreditation report. A period of accreditation is normally five years. The program will be monitored to ensure it continues to meet the accreditation standard.
|Accreditation with Conditions||This accreditation status indicates the program substantially meets the standard for accreditation but has deficiencies or weaknesses in one or more areas which can be addressed within a specified, reasonable period of time.
New programs will normally be awarded “accreditation with conditions” which relate to the progressive implementation of the new program and the provision of evidence that the accreditation standard has been met.
The university will be required to provide reports on its progress in meeting the conditions. Evidence that the conditions have been met will be verified by the accreditation assessors.
|Refusal of Accreditation||Accreditation may be refused where the deficiencies in a program are so serious they cannot be addressed in a reasonable period by the imposition of conditions, or where the education provider has not satisfied the OTC that the whole program can be implemented and delivered at a level consistent with accreditation standards|
Fees for program accreditation from 1 January 2015
Accreditation fees are set on a cost recovery basis.
Programs currently accredited
|Annual fee (2015/2016 financial year)||$7900.00|
|Annual fee (2016/2017 financial year)||$8300.00|
|Annual fee (2017/2018 financial year)||$8700.00|
|Annual fee (2018/2019 financial year)||$9100.00|
Programs of study offered across multiple campuses receive a 50 per cent discount to the annual fee for each additional campus.
Where an education provider offers multiple programs of study, a 50 per cent discount will be applied to each additional program. A 75 per cent discount will be applied to fully embedded programs e.g. a Masters program when it is also delivered as part of a Bachelor/Masters program. There is no additional fee for embedded Honours programs when they are delivered concurrently with a Bachelor level program of study.
Phase-in of annual fee
The above fees are being phased in and will commence for each education provider in the year its next accreditation is scheduled. All education providers will be charged a fee of $2,000 for the annual monitoring of each program of study from 1 July 2015. Where an education provider offers multiple programs, a monitoring fee of $1000 will be applied to each additional program or campus and a fee of $500 for fully embedded programs. The monitoring charge is not an additional charge for those education providers paying the full annual fee. It will only apply to those programs that have the benefit of the phase-in fee.
New programs seeking initial accreditation
Initial accreditation fee levied at the time the Stage 2 (initial desktop assessment prior to intake of students) accreditation application is received:
The annual fee will commence in the first year of delivery of a new program.
Site visit costs
A site visit fee will be levied at the time of a scheduled accreditation assessment visit. Scheduled visits include the Stage 3 accreditation site visit for new programs prior to the graduation of first cohort, and a re-accreditation site visit every five years for established programs.
An additional fee, typically $2000 (+CPI) per day, will apply when a site visit requires concurrent review of programs delivered at more than one campus. Additional site visits e.g. to assess major changes to program of study changes, will be charged on the same daily fee basis.
Site visits to programs delivered off-shore will be charged on a cost recovery basis.
The OTC will transparently adjust site visit fees where accreditations and re-accreditations deviate from the usual process; for example where a site visit requires additional days as described above, or in other specific situations. In these circumstances, liaison will occur with the head of program prior to the site visit.
The OTC intends to undertake a review of the costs of program accreditation in 2018/19 with a view to setting the fees for the five-year period commencing 1 July 2020.
* The 2015/2016 fee applies from 1 January 2015 until 30 June 2016.
Here are the current Accredited Programs:
Following the period of public consultation concluding in February 2013, the attached accreditation standards are effective from 1 December 2013.
Explanatory notes (July 2013) relating to the use of simulation in practice education/fieldwork:
News – Accreditation function
November 2013 – for information relating to the transition of accreditation functions from 1 January 2014, please click on the Communique OTC and OTAL – Nov 2013