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Table 1.

Standards of Conduct for Occupational Therapy Personnel

Section Standards of Conduct 
1. Professional Integrity, Responsibility, and Accountability: Occupational therapy personnel maintain awareness and comply with AOTA policies and Official Documents, current laws and regulations that are relevant to the profession of occupational therapy, and employer policies and procedures. 
  • 1A. Comply with current federal and state laws, state scope of practice guidelines, and AOTA policies and Official Documents that apply to the profession of occupational therapy. (Principle: Justice; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice)

  • 1B. Abide by policies, procedures, and protocols when serving or acting on behalf of a professional organization or employer to fully and accurately represent the organization’s official and authorized positions. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice)

  • 1C. Inform employers, employees, colleagues, students, and researchers of applicable policies, laws, and Official Documents. (Principle: Justice; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice)

  • 1D. Ensure transparency when participating in a business arrangement as owner, stockholder, partner, or employee. (Principle: Justice; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice)

  • 1E. Respect the practices, competencies, roles, and responsibilities of one’s own and other professions to promote a collaborative environment reflective of interprofessional teams. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice, collaboration, service delivery)

  • 1F. Do not engage in illegal actions, whether directly or indirectly harming stakeholders in occupational therapy practice. (Principle: Justice; key words: illegal, unethical practice)

  • 1G. Do not engage in actions that reduce the public’s trust in occupational therapy. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: illegal, unethical practice)

  • 1H. Report potential or known unethical or illegal actions in practice, education, or research to appropriate authorities. (Principle: Justice; key words: illegal, unethical practice)

  • 1I. Report impaired practice to the appropriate authorities. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: illegal, unethical practice)

  • 1J. Do not exploit human, financial, or material resources of employers for personal gain. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: exploitation, employee)

  • 1K. Do not exploit any relationship established as an occupational therapy practitioner, educator, or researcher to further one’s own physical, emotional, financial, political, or business interests. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: exploitation, academic, research)

  • 1L. Do not engage in conflicts of interest or conflicts of commitment in employment, volunteer roles, or research. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: conflict of interest)

  • 1M. Do not use one’s position (e.g., employee, consultant, volunteer) or knowledge gained from that position in such a manner as to give rise to real or perceived conflict of interest among the person, the employer, other AOTA members, or other organizations. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: conflict of interest)

  • 1N. Do not barter for services when there is the potential for exploitation and conflict of interest. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: conflict of interest)

  • 1O. Conduct and disseminate research in accordance with currently accepted ethical guidelines and standards for the protection of research participants, including informed consent and disclosure of potential risks and benefits. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: research)

 
2. Therapeutic Relationships: Occupational therapy personnel develop therapeutic relationships to promote occupational well-being in all persons, groups, organizations, and society, regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, origin, socioeconomic status, degree of ability, or any other status or attributes. 
  • 2A. Respect and honor the expressed wishes of recipients of service. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients)

  • 2B. Do not inflict harm or injury to recipients of occupational therapy services, students, research participants, or employees. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, students, research, employer, employee)

  • 2C. Do not threaten, manipulate, coerce, or deceive clients to promote compliance with occupational therapy recommendations. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients)

  • 2D. Do not engage in sexual activity with a recipient of service, including the client’s family or significant other, while a professional relationship exists. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, sex)

  • 2E. Do not accept gifts that would unduly influence the therapeutic relationship or have the potential to blur professional boundaries, and adhere to employer policies when offered gifts. (Principle: Justice; key words: relationships, gifts, employer)

  • 2F. Establish a collaborative relationship with recipients of service and relevant stakeholders to promote shared decision making. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, collaboration)

  • 2G. Do not abandon the service recipient, and attempt to facilitate appropriate transitions when unable to provide services for any reason. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, client, service recipients, abandonment)

  • 2H. Adhere to organizational policies when requesting an exemption from service to an individual or group because of self-identified conflict with personal, cultural, or religious values. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: relationships, client, service recipients, conflict, cultural, religious, values)

  • 2I. Do not engage in dual relationships or situations in which an occupational therapy professional or student is unable to maintain clear professional boundaries or objectivity. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, colleagues, professional boundaries, objectivity, social media)

  • 2J. Proactively address workplace conflict that affects or can potentially affect professional relationships and the provision of services. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: relationships, conflict, clients, service recipients, colleagues)

  • 2K. Do not engage in any undue influences that may impair practice or compromise the ability to safely and competently provide occupational therapy services, education, or research. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, colleagues, impair, safety, competence, client, service recipients, education, research)

  • 2L. Recognize and take appropriate action to remedy occupational therapy personnel’s personal problems and limitations that might cause harm to recipients of service. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, personal, safety)

  • 2M. Do not engage in actions or inactions that jeopardize the safety or well-being of others or team effectiveness. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, colleagues, safety, law, unethical, impaired, competence)

 
3. Documentation, Reimbursement, and Financial Matters: Occupational therapy personnel maintain complete, accurate, and timely records of all client encounters. 
  • 3A. Bill and collect fees justly and legally in a manner that is fair, reasonable, and commensurate with services delivered. (Principle: Justice; key words: billing, fees)

  • 3B. Ensure that documentation for reimbursement purposes is done in accordance with applicable laws, guidelines, and regulations. (Principle: Justice; key words: documentation, reimbursement, law)

  • 3C. Record and report in an accurate and timely manner and in accordance with applicable regulations all information related to professional or academic documentation and activities. (Principle: Veracity; key words: documentation, timely, accurate, law, fraud)

  • 3D. Do not follow arbitrary directives that compromise the rights or well-being of others, including unrealistic productivity expectations, fabrication, falsification, plagiarism of documentation, or inaccurate coding. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: productivity, documentation, coding, fraud)

 
4. Service Delivery: Occupational therapy personnel strive to deliver quality services that are occupation based, client centered, safe, interactive, culturally sensitive, evidence based, and consistent with occupational therapy’s values and philosophies. 
  • 4A. Respond to requests for occupational therapy services (e.g., referrals) in a timely manner as determined by law, regulation, or policy. (Principle: Justice; key words: occupational therapy process, referral, law)

  • 4B. Provide appropriate evaluation and a plan of intervention for recipients of occupational therapy services specific to their needs. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, evaluation, intervention)

  • 4C. Use, to the extent possible, evaluation, planning, intervention techniques, assessments, and therapeutic equipment that are evidence based, current, and within the recognized scope of occupational therapy practice. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, evaluation, intervention, evidence, scope of practice)

  • 4D. Obtain informed consent (written, verbal, electronic, or implied) after disclosing appropriate information and answering any questions posed by the recipient of service, qualified family member or caregiver, or research participant to ensure voluntary participation. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: occupational therapy process, informed consent)

  • 4E. Fully disclose the benefits, risks, and potential outcomes of any intervention; the occupational therapy personnel who will be providing the intervention; and any reasonable alternatives to the proposed intervention. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: occupational therapy process, intervention, communication, disclose, informed consent)

  • 4F. Describe the type and duration of occupational therapy services accurately in professional contracts, including the duties and responsibilities of all involved parties. (Principle: Veracity; key words: occupational therapy process, intervention, communication, disclose, informed consent, contracts)

  • 4G. Respect the client’s right to refuse occupational therapy services temporarily or permanently, even when that refusal has potential to result in poor outcomes. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: occupational therapy process, refusal, intervention, service recipients)

  • 4H. Provide occupational therapy services, including education and training, that are within each practitioner’s level of competence and scope of practice. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, services, competence, scope of practice)

  • 4I. Reevaluate and reassess recipients of service in a timely manner to determine whether goals are being achieved and whether intervention plans should be revised. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, reevaluation, reassess, intervention)

  • 4J. Terminate occupational therapy services in collaboration with the service recipient or responsible party when the services are no longer beneficial. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, termination, collaboration)

  • 4K. Refer to other providers when indicated by the needs of the client. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, referral, service recipients)

  • 4L. Provide information and resources to address barriers to access for persons in need of occupational therapy services. (Principle: Justice; key words: beneficence, advocate, access)

  • 4M. Report systems and policies that are discriminatory or unfairly limit or prevent access to occupational therapy. (Principle: Justice; key words: discrimination, unfair, access, social justice)

  • 4N. Provide professional services within the scope of occupational therapy practice during community-wide public health emergencies as directed by federal, state, and local agencies. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: disasters, emergency)

 
5. Professional Competence, Education, Supervision, and Training: Occupational therapy personnel maintain credentials, degrees, licenses, and other certifications to demonstrate their commitment to develop and maintain competent, evidence-based practice. 
  • 5A. Hold requisite credentials for the occupational therapy services one provides in academic, research, physical, or virtual work settings. (Principle: Justice; key words: credentials, competence)

  • 5B. Represent credentials, qualifications, education, experience, training, roles, duties, competence, contributions, and findings accurately in all forms of communication. (Principle: Veracity; key words: credentials, competence)

  • 5C. Take steps (e.g., professional development, research, supervision, training) to ensure proficiency, use careful judgment, and weigh potential for harm when generally recognized standards do not exist in emerging technology or areas of practice. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: credentials, competence)

  • 5D. Maintain competence by ongoing participation in professional development relevant to one’s practice area. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: credentials, competence)

  • 5E. Take action to resolve incompetent, disruptive, unethical, illegal, or impaired practice in self or others. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: competence, law)

  • 5F. Ensure that all duties delegated to other occupational therapy personnel are congruent with their credentials, qualifications, experience, competencies, and scope of practice with respect to service delivery, supervision, fieldwork education, and research. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: supervisor, fieldwork, supervision, student)

  • 5G. Provide appropriate supervision in accordance with AOTA Official Documents and relevant laws, regulations, policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines. (Principle: Justice; key words: supervisor, fieldwork, supervision, student)

  • 5H. Be honest, fair, accurate, respectful, and timely in gathering and reporting fact-based information regarding employee job performance and student performance. (Principle: Veracity; key words: supervisor, supervision, fieldwork, performance)

  • 5I. Do not participate in any action resulting in unauthorized access to educational content or exams, screening and assessment tools, websites, and other copyrighted information, including but not limited to plagiarism, violation of copyright laws, and illegal sharing of resources in any form. (Principle: Justice; key words: plagiarize, student, copyright, cheating)

  • 5J. Provide students with access to accurate information regarding educational requirements and academic policies and procedures relative to the occupational therapy program or educational institution. (Principle: Veracity; key words: education, student)

 
6. Communication: Whether in written, verbal, electronic, or virtual communication, occupational therapy personnel uphold the highest standards of confidentiality, informed consent, autonomy, accuracy, timeliness, and record management. 
  • 6A. Maintain the confidentiality of all verbal, written, electronic, augmentative, and nonverbal communications in compliance with applicable laws, including all aspects of privacy laws and exceptions thereto (e.g., Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). (Principle: Autonomy; key words: law, autonomy, confidentiality, communication, justice)

  • 6B. Maintain privacy and truthfulness in delivery of occupational therapy services, whether in person or virtually. (Principle: Veracity; key words: telecommunication, telehealth, confidentiality, autonomy)

  • 6C. Preserve, respect, and safeguard private information about employees, colleagues, and students unless otherwise mandated or permitted by relevant laws. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: communication, confidentiality, autonomy)

  • 6D. Demonstrate responsible conduct, respect, and discretion when engaging in digital media and social networking, including but not limited to refraining from posting protected health or other identifying information. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: communication, confidentiality, autonomy, social media)

  • 6E. Facilitate comprehension and address barriers to communication (e.g., aphasia; differences in language, literacy, health literacy, or culture) with the recipient of service (or responsible party), student, or research participant. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: communication, barriers)

  • 6F. Do not use or participate in any form of communication that contains false, fraudulent, deceptive, misleading, or unfair statements or claims. (Principle: Veracity; key words: fraud, communication)

  • 6G. Identify and fully disclose to all appropriate persons any errors or adverse events that compromise the safety of service recipients. (Principle: Veracity; key words: truthfulness, communication, safety, clients, service recipients)

  • 6H. Ensure that all marketing and advertising are truthful, accurate, and carefully presented to avoid misleading recipients of service, research participants, or the public. (Principle: Veracity; key words: truthfulness, communication)

  • 6I. Give credit and recognition when using the ideas and work of others in written, oral, or electronic media (i.e., do not plagiarize). (Principle: Veracity; key words: truthfulness, communication, plagiarism, students)

  • 6J. Do not engage in verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual harassment of any individual or group. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: inappropriate communication, harassment, digital media, social media, social networking, professional civility)

  • 6K. Do not engage in communication that is discriminatory, derogatory, biased, intimidating, insensitive, or disrespectful or that unduly discourages others from participating in professional dialogue. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: inappropriate communication, professionalism, professional civility)

  • 6L. Engage in collaborative actions and communication as a member of interprofessional teams to facilitate quality care and safety for clients. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: communication, collaboration, interprofessional, professional civility, service recipients)

 
7. Professional Civility: Occupational therapy personnel conduct themselves in a civil manner during all discourse. Civility “entails honoring one’s personal values, while simultaneously listening to disparate points of view” (Kaslow & Watson, 2016, para. 1). These values include cultural sensitivity and humility. 
  • 7A. Treat all stakeholders professionally and equitably through constructive engagement and dialogue that is inclusive, collaborative, and respectful of diversity of thought. (Principle: Justice; key words: civility, diversity, inclusivity, equitability, respect)

  • 7B. Demonstrate courtesy, civility, value, and respect to persons, groups, organizations, and populations when engaging in personal, professional, or electronic communications, including all forms of social media or networking, especially when that discourse involves disagreement of opinion, disparate points of view, or differing values. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: values, respect, opinion, points of view, social media, civility)

  • 7C. Demonstrate a level of cultural humility, sensitivity, and agility within professional practice that promotes inclusivity and does not result in harmful actions or inactions with persons, groups, organizations, and populations from diverse backgrounds including age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, origin, socioeconomic status, degree of ability, or any other status or attributes. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: civility, cultural competence, diversity, cultural humility, cultural sensitivity)

  • 7D. Do not engage in actions that are uncivil, intimidating, or bullying or that contribute to violence. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: civility, intimidation, hate, violence, bullying)

  • 7E. Conduct professional and personal communication with colleagues, including electronic communication and social media and networking, in a manner that is free from personal attacks, threats, and attempts to defame character and credibility directed toward an individual, group, organization, or population without basis or through manipulation of information. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: civility, culture, communication, social media, social networking, respect)

 
Section Standards of Conduct 
1. Professional Integrity, Responsibility, and Accountability: Occupational therapy personnel maintain awareness and comply with AOTA policies and Official Documents, current laws and regulations that are relevant to the profession of occupational therapy, and employer policies and procedures. 
  • 1A. Comply with current federal and state laws, state scope of practice guidelines, and AOTA policies and Official Documents that apply to the profession of occupational therapy. (Principle: Justice; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice)

  • 1B. Abide by policies, procedures, and protocols when serving or acting on behalf of a professional organization or employer to fully and accurately represent the organization’s official and authorized positions. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice)

  • 1C. Inform employers, employees, colleagues, students, and researchers of applicable policies, laws, and Official Documents. (Principle: Justice; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice)

  • 1D. Ensure transparency when participating in a business arrangement as owner, stockholder, partner, or employee. (Principle: Justice; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice)

  • 1E. Respect the practices, competencies, roles, and responsibilities of one’s own and other professions to promote a collaborative environment reflective of interprofessional teams. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: policy, procedures, rules, law, roles, scope of practice, collaboration, service delivery)

  • 1F. Do not engage in illegal actions, whether directly or indirectly harming stakeholders in occupational therapy practice. (Principle: Justice; key words: illegal, unethical practice)

  • 1G. Do not engage in actions that reduce the public’s trust in occupational therapy. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: illegal, unethical practice)

  • 1H. Report potential or known unethical or illegal actions in practice, education, or research to appropriate authorities. (Principle: Justice; key words: illegal, unethical practice)

  • 1I. Report impaired practice to the appropriate authorities. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: illegal, unethical practice)

  • 1J. Do not exploit human, financial, or material resources of employers for personal gain. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: exploitation, employee)

  • 1K. Do not exploit any relationship established as an occupational therapy practitioner, educator, or researcher to further one’s own physical, emotional, financial, political, or business interests. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: exploitation, academic, research)

  • 1L. Do not engage in conflicts of interest or conflicts of commitment in employment, volunteer roles, or research. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: conflict of interest)

  • 1M. Do not use one’s position (e.g., employee, consultant, volunteer) or knowledge gained from that position in such a manner as to give rise to real or perceived conflict of interest among the person, the employer, other AOTA members, or other organizations. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: conflict of interest)

  • 1N. Do not barter for services when there is the potential for exploitation and conflict of interest. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: conflict of interest)

  • 1O. Conduct and disseminate research in accordance with currently accepted ethical guidelines and standards for the protection of research participants, including informed consent and disclosure of potential risks and benefits. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: research)

 
2. Therapeutic Relationships: Occupational therapy personnel develop therapeutic relationships to promote occupational well-being in all persons, groups, organizations, and society, regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, origin, socioeconomic status, degree of ability, or any other status or attributes. 
  • 2A. Respect and honor the expressed wishes of recipients of service. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients)

  • 2B. Do not inflict harm or injury to recipients of occupational therapy services, students, research participants, or employees. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, students, research, employer, employee)

  • 2C. Do not threaten, manipulate, coerce, or deceive clients to promote compliance with occupational therapy recommendations. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients)

  • 2D. Do not engage in sexual activity with a recipient of service, including the client’s family or significant other, while a professional relationship exists. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, sex)

  • 2E. Do not accept gifts that would unduly influence the therapeutic relationship or have the potential to blur professional boundaries, and adhere to employer policies when offered gifts. (Principle: Justice; key words: relationships, gifts, employer)

  • 2F. Establish a collaborative relationship with recipients of service and relevant stakeholders to promote shared decision making. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, collaboration)

  • 2G. Do not abandon the service recipient, and attempt to facilitate appropriate transitions when unable to provide services for any reason. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, client, service recipients, abandonment)

  • 2H. Adhere to organizational policies when requesting an exemption from service to an individual or group because of self-identified conflict with personal, cultural, or religious values. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: relationships, client, service recipients, conflict, cultural, religious, values)

  • 2I. Do not engage in dual relationships or situations in which an occupational therapy professional or student is unable to maintain clear professional boundaries or objectivity. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, colleagues, professional boundaries, objectivity, social media)

  • 2J. Proactively address workplace conflict that affects or can potentially affect professional relationships and the provision of services. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: relationships, conflict, clients, service recipients, colleagues)

  • 2K. Do not engage in any undue influences that may impair practice or compromise the ability to safely and competently provide occupational therapy services, education, or research. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, colleagues, impair, safety, competence, client, service recipients, education, research)

  • 2L. Recognize and take appropriate action to remedy occupational therapy personnel’s personal problems and limitations that might cause harm to recipients of service. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, personal, safety)

  • 2M. Do not engage in actions or inactions that jeopardize the safety or well-being of others or team effectiveness. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: relationships, clients, service recipients, colleagues, safety, law, unethical, impaired, competence)

 
3. Documentation, Reimbursement, and Financial Matters: Occupational therapy personnel maintain complete, accurate, and timely records of all client encounters. 
  • 3A. Bill and collect fees justly and legally in a manner that is fair, reasonable, and commensurate with services delivered. (Principle: Justice; key words: billing, fees)

  • 3B. Ensure that documentation for reimbursement purposes is done in accordance with applicable laws, guidelines, and regulations. (Principle: Justice; key words: documentation, reimbursement, law)

  • 3C. Record and report in an accurate and timely manner and in accordance with applicable regulations all information related to professional or academic documentation and activities. (Principle: Veracity; key words: documentation, timely, accurate, law, fraud)

  • 3D. Do not follow arbitrary directives that compromise the rights or well-being of others, including unrealistic productivity expectations, fabrication, falsification, plagiarism of documentation, or inaccurate coding. (Principle: Nonmaleficence; key words: productivity, documentation, coding, fraud)

 
4. Service Delivery: Occupational therapy personnel strive to deliver quality services that are occupation based, client centered, safe, interactive, culturally sensitive, evidence based, and consistent with occupational therapy’s values and philosophies. 
  • 4A. Respond to requests for occupational therapy services (e.g., referrals) in a timely manner as determined by law, regulation, or policy. (Principle: Justice; key words: occupational therapy process, referral, law)

  • 4B. Provide appropriate evaluation and a plan of intervention for recipients of occupational therapy services specific to their needs. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, evaluation, intervention)

  • 4C. Use, to the extent possible, evaluation, planning, intervention techniques, assessments, and therapeutic equipment that are evidence based, current, and within the recognized scope of occupational therapy practice. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, evaluation, intervention, evidence, scope of practice)

  • 4D. Obtain informed consent (written, verbal, electronic, or implied) after disclosing appropriate information and answering any questions posed by the recipient of service, qualified family member or caregiver, or research participant to ensure voluntary participation. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: occupational therapy process, informed consent)

  • 4E. Fully disclose the benefits, risks, and potential outcomes of any intervention; the occupational therapy personnel who will be providing the intervention; and any reasonable alternatives to the proposed intervention. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: occupational therapy process, intervention, communication, disclose, informed consent)

  • 4F. Describe the type and duration of occupational therapy services accurately in professional contracts, including the duties and responsibilities of all involved parties. (Principle: Veracity; key words: occupational therapy process, intervention, communication, disclose, informed consent, contracts)

  • 4G. Respect the client’s right to refuse occupational therapy services temporarily or permanently, even when that refusal has potential to result in poor outcomes. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: occupational therapy process, refusal, intervention, service recipients)

  • 4H. Provide occupational therapy services, including education and training, that are within each practitioner’s level of competence and scope of practice. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, services, competence, scope of practice)

  • 4I. Reevaluate and reassess recipients of service in a timely manner to determine whether goals are being achieved and whether intervention plans should be revised. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, reevaluation, reassess, intervention)

  • 4J. Terminate occupational therapy services in collaboration with the service recipient or responsible party when the services are no longer beneficial. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, termination, collaboration)

  • 4K. Refer to other providers when indicated by the needs of the client. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: occupational therapy process, referral, service recipients)

  • 4L. Provide information and resources to address barriers to access for persons in need of occupational therapy services. (Principle: Justice; key words: beneficence, advocate, access)

  • 4M. Report systems and policies that are discriminatory or unfairly limit or prevent access to occupational therapy. (Principle: Justice; key words: discrimination, unfair, access, social justice)

  • 4N. Provide professional services within the scope of occupational therapy practice during community-wide public health emergencies as directed by federal, state, and local agencies. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: disasters, emergency)

 
5. Professional Competence, Education, Supervision, and Training: Occupational therapy personnel maintain credentials, degrees, licenses, and other certifications to demonstrate their commitment to develop and maintain competent, evidence-based practice. 
  • 5A. Hold requisite credentials for the occupational therapy services one provides in academic, research, physical, or virtual work settings. (Principle: Justice; key words: credentials, competence)

  • 5B. Represent credentials, qualifications, education, experience, training, roles, duties, competence, contributions, and findings accurately in all forms of communication. (Principle: Veracity; key words: credentials, competence)

  • 5C. Take steps (e.g., professional development, research, supervision, training) to ensure proficiency, use careful judgment, and weigh potential for harm when generally recognized standards do not exist in emerging technology or areas of practice. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: credentials, competence)

  • 5D. Maintain competence by ongoing participation in professional development relevant to one’s practice area. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: credentials, competence)

  • 5E. Take action to resolve incompetent, disruptive, unethical, illegal, or impaired practice in self or others. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: competence, law)

  • 5F. Ensure that all duties delegated to other occupational therapy personnel are congruent with their credentials, qualifications, experience, competencies, and scope of practice with respect to service delivery, supervision, fieldwork education, and research. (Principle: Beneficence; key words: supervisor, fieldwork, supervision, student)

  • 5G. Provide appropriate supervision in accordance with AOTA Official Documents and relevant laws, regulations, policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines. (Principle: Justice; key words: supervisor, fieldwork, supervision, student)

  • 5H. Be honest, fair, accurate, respectful, and timely in gathering and reporting fact-based information regarding employee job performance and student performance. (Principle: Veracity; key words: supervisor, supervision, fieldwork, performance)

  • 5I. Do not participate in any action resulting in unauthorized access to educational content or exams, screening and assessment tools, websites, and other copyrighted information, including but not limited to plagiarism, violation of copyright laws, and illegal sharing of resources in any form. (Principle: Justice; key words: plagiarize, student, copyright, cheating)

  • 5J. Provide students with access to accurate information regarding educational requirements and academic policies and procedures relative to the occupational therapy program or educational institution. (Principle: Veracity; key words: education, student)

 
6. Communication: Whether in written, verbal, electronic, or virtual communication, occupational therapy personnel uphold the highest standards of confidentiality, informed consent, autonomy, accuracy, timeliness, and record management. 
  • 6A. Maintain the confidentiality of all verbal, written, electronic, augmentative, and nonverbal communications in compliance with applicable laws, including all aspects of privacy laws and exceptions thereto (e.g., Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). (Principle: Autonomy; key words: law, autonomy, confidentiality, communication, justice)

  • 6B. Maintain privacy and truthfulness in delivery of occupational therapy services, whether in person or virtually. (Principle: Veracity; key words: telecommunication, telehealth, confidentiality, autonomy)

  • 6C. Preserve, respect, and safeguard private information about employees, colleagues, and students unless otherwise mandated or permitted by relevant laws. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: communication, confidentiality, autonomy)

  • 6D. Demonstrate responsible conduct, respect, and discretion when engaging in digital media and social networking, including but not limited to refraining from posting protected health or other identifying information. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: communication, confidentiality, autonomy, social media)

  • 6E. Facilitate comprehension and address barriers to communication (e.g., aphasia; differences in language, literacy, health literacy, or culture) with the recipient of service (or responsible party), student, or research participant. (Principle: Autonomy; key words: communication, barriers)

  • 6F. Do not use or participate in any form of communication that contains false, fraudulent, deceptive, misleading, or unfair statements or claims. (Principle: Veracity; key words: fraud, communication)

  • 6G. Identify and fully disclose to all appropriate persons any errors or adverse events that compromise the safety of service recipients. (Principle: Veracity; key words: truthfulness, communication, safety, clients, service recipients)

  • 6H. Ensure that all marketing and advertising are truthful, accurate, and carefully presented to avoid misleading recipients of service, research participants, or the public. (Principle: Veracity; key words: truthfulness, communication)

  • 6I. Give credit and recognition when using the ideas and work of others in written, oral, or electronic media (i.e., do not plagiarize). (Principle: Veracity; key words: truthfulness, communication, plagiarism, students)

  • 6J. Do not engage in verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual harassment of any individual or group. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: inappropriate communication, harassment, digital media, social media, social networking, professional civility)

  • 6K. Do not engage in communication that is discriminatory, derogatory, biased, intimidating, insensitive, or disrespectful or that unduly discourages others from participating in professional dialogue. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: inappropriate communication, professionalism, professional civility)

  • 6L. Engage in collaborative actions and communication as a member of interprofessional teams to facilitate quality care and safety for clients. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: communication, collaboration, interprofessional, professional civility, service recipients)

 
7. Professional Civility: Occupational therapy personnel conduct themselves in a civil manner during all discourse. Civility “entails honoring one’s personal values, while simultaneously listening to disparate points of view” (Kaslow & Watson, 2016, para. 1). These values include cultural sensitivity and humility. 
  • 7A. Treat all stakeholders professionally and equitably through constructive engagement and dialogue that is inclusive, collaborative, and respectful of diversity of thought. (Principle: Justice; key words: civility, diversity, inclusivity, equitability, respect)

  • 7B. Demonstrate courtesy, civility, value, and respect to persons, groups, organizations, and populations when engaging in personal, professional, or electronic communications, including all forms of social media or networking, especially when that discourse involves disagreement of opinion, disparate points of view, or differing values. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: values, respect, opinion, points of view, social media, civility)

  • 7C. Demonstrate a level of cultural humility, sensitivity, and agility within professional practice that promotes inclusivity and does not result in harmful actions or inactions with persons, groups, organizations, and populations from diverse backgrounds including age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, origin, socioeconomic status, degree of ability, or any other status or attributes. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: civility, cultural competence, diversity, cultural humility, cultural sensitivity)

  • 7D. Do not engage in actions that are uncivil, intimidating, or bullying or that contribute to violence. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: civility, intimidation, hate, violence, bullying)

  • 7E. Conduct professional and personal communication with colleagues, including electronic communication and social media and networking, in a manner that is free from personal attacks, threats, and attempts to defame character and credibility directed toward an individual, group, organization, or population without basis or through manipulation of information. (Principle: Fidelity; key words: civility, culture, communication, social media, social networking, respect)

 
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