Vol. 29 Iss. 1 - September 10, 2012

Chapter 80
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The Board of Medicine is claiming an exemption from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 4 a of the Code of Virginia, which excludes regulations that are necessary to conform to changes in Virginia statutory law where no agency discretion is involved. The Board of Medicine will receive, consider, and respond to petitions from any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision.

Title of Regulation: 18VAC85-80. Regulations Governing the Licensure of Occupational Therapists (amending 18VAC85-80-90, 18VAC85-80-100).

Statutory Authority: § 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: October 10, 2012.

Agency Contact: William L. Harp, M.D., Executive Director, Board of Medicine, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23233, telephone (804) 367-4558, FAX (804) 527-4429, or email


The amendments modify the meaning of the term "practice of occupational therapy" to (i) include the therapeutic use of occupations for habilitation and rehabilitation to enhance physical health, mental health, and cognitive functioning; and (ii) clarify that the practice of occupational therapy includes the design of adaptive equipment and assistive technologies and consultation concerning the adaptation of sensory and social, as well as physical, environments.

Part IV
Practice of Occupational Therapy

18VAC85-80-90. General responsibilities.

A. An occupational therapist renders services of assessment, program planning, and therapeutic treatment upon request for such service. The practice of occupational therapy includes therapeutic use of occupations for habilitation and rehabilitation to enhance physical health, mental health, and cognitive functioning. The practice of occupational therapy may include supervisory, administrative, educational or consultative activities or responsibilities for the delivery of such services.

B. An occupational therapy assistant renders services under the supervision of an occupational therapist that do not require the clinical decision or specific knowledge, skills and judgment of a licensed occupational therapist and do not include the discretionary aspects of the initial assessment, evaluation or development of a treatment plan for a patient.

18VAC85-80-100. Individual responsibilities.

A. An occupational therapist provides assessment by determining the need for, the appropriate areas of, and the estimated extent and time of treatment. His responsibilities include an initial screening of the patient to determine need for services and the collection, evaluation and interpretation of data necessary for treatment.

B. An occupational therapist provides program planning by identifying treatment goals and the methods necessary to achieve those goals for the patient. The therapist analyzes the tasks and activities of the program, documents the progress, and coordinates the plan with other health, community or educational services, the family and the patient. The services may include but are not limited to education and training in basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL); the design, fabrication, and application of orthoses (splints); guidance in the design, selection, and use of adaptive equipment and assistive technologies; therapeutic activities to enhance functional performance; prevocational vocational evaluation and training; and consultation concerning the adaptation of physical, sensory, and social environments for individuals who have disabilities.

C. An occupational therapist provides the specific activities or therapeutic methods to improve or restore optimum functioning, to compensate for dysfunction, or to minimize disability of patients impaired by physical illness or injury, emotional, congenital or developmental disorders, or by the aging process.

D. An occupational therapy assistant is responsible for the safe and effective delivery of those services or tasks delegated by and under the direction of the occupational therapist. Individual responsibilities of an occupational therapy assistant may include:

1. Participation in the evaluation or assessment of a patient by gathering data, administering tests, and reporting observations and client capacities to the occupational therapist;

2. Participation in intervention planning, implementation, and review;

3. Implementation of interventions as determined and assigned by the occupational therapist;

4. Documentation of patient responses to interventions and consultation with the occupational therapist about patient functionality;

5. Assistance in the formulation of the discharge summary and follow-up plans; and

6. Implementation of outcome measurements and provision of needed patient discharge resources.

VA.R. Doc. No. R13-3347; Filed August 10, 2012, 8:31 a.m.