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The OT Alphabet Soup: Occupational Therapy Credentials

Have you ever wondered what all of those occupational therapy credentials behind a signature stood for?

Well, we are going to break it down for you. With the amazing, ever-growing, expansive field of occupational therapy, there are many routes to take. Often times, occupational therapy credentials and certifications demonstrate an expertise in a certain area of practice or treatment modality.

These credentials are a way to show that you have demonstrated the above and beyond skills through years of clinical practice, successfully passing a certification exam, or demonstrated a skilled treatment that defines you in the field of occupational therapy.

Credentials specifically related to an OT degree

MOT- Masters in Occupational Therapy

MSOT- Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy

OTD – Doctorate in Occupational Therapy

OTR/L or LOTR (Louisiana) – Occupational Therapist Registered/Licensed

COTA – Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Credentials provided by AOTA

FAOTA – Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Being selected as a member of the Roster of Fellows is an honor given to a therapist who has demonstrated a significant contribution to the field of occupational therapy. Individuals are nominated for these awards and selected by AOTA’s Volunteer Leadership Development Committee (VLDC). Please visit AOTA for more details.

BCG – Board Certified Gerontology

BCMH – Board Certified Mental Health

BCP – Board Certified Pediatrics

BCRP – Board Certified Physical Rehabilitation

SCDCM or SCDCM-A – Specialty Certification in Driving and Community Mobility

SCEM or SCEM-A – Specialty Certification in Environmental Modification

SCFES or SCFES-A – Specialty Certification in Feeding, Eating, and Swallowing

SCLV or SCLV-A – Specialty Certification in Low Vision

SCSS or SCSS-A – Specialty Certification in School Systems

The above board and specialty certifications required the submission of an application and portfolio that is then peer-reviewed to determine if a certification is granted. For more details, please visit here.

Specialty areas of practice in the field of OT

ATP – Assistive Technology Practitioner. To become an Assistive Technology Practitioner you must complete 1,000 hours of direct Assistive Technology practice and have been a licensed therapist for 6 years to be eligible to sit for the certification exam.

CAPS – Certified Aging in Place Specialist. The CAPS certification was developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers Council to help provide training to allow individuals age 50+ to continue to live in their homes successfully. You must complete a series of three courses to become certified and submit 12 hours of related continuing education every 3 years.

CBIS – Certified Brain Injury Specialist. To become CBIS certified you must have 500 hours of direct practice with individuals with brain injury, and successfully pass the certification exam.

CDRS – Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. To become CDRS certified you must have 3,328 hours of direct driving rehabilitation practice and successfully pass the certification exam.

CEAS – Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist. To become CEAS certified you must complete a 15-hour continuing education course (CEAS I) to become proficient in the OSHA-compliant ergonomic analysis. Additional courses are available (CEAS II and CEAS III) to advance your knowledge of ergonomic assessment.

CHT – Certified Hand Therapist. To become of Certified Hand Therapist you must complete 4,000 hours of direct hand therapy practice and have been a licensed occupational or physical therapists for 3 years to be eligible to sit for the certification exam.

CLT – Certified Lymphedema Therapist. To become a Certified Lymphedema Therapist you must have successfully passed a written and practical exam specifically related to the management of lymphedema throughout the entire body. There also an option to become a Certified Lymphedema Therapist of the Upper Extremity (CLT-UE) if the therapist chooses to primarily treat clients with upper extremity lymphedema. A Certified Lymphedema Therapist can take an additional certification exam through Lymphedema Association of North American (LANA) to become CLT-LANA certified.

CPE – Certified Professional Ergonomist. To become CPE certified you must have three years of direct work experience in ergonomics, successfully complete the application process, and successfully pass the certification exam.

NDT – Neurodevelopmental Treatment Certification. To become a certified Neurodevelopmental Therapist, you much successfully take an NDT course in adulthood or pediatrics and be an active member of the Neurodevelopmental Treatment Association (NDTA).

SMS – Seating and Mobility Specialist. To become SMS certified you must complete 1000 or more hours in direct practice involving seating and mobility services. You must also demonstrate at least two professional activities related to providing seating and mobility services. After meeting these requirements, you are then eligible to sit for the SMS certification exam.

Additional degrees that are common for OTs to obtain

MBA – Masters in Business Administration

MPH – Masters in Public Health

DHSc – Doctorate in Health Sciences

ScD – Doctorate of Science

PhD – Doctorate in Philosophy

EdD – Doctorate in Education

ATC – Athletic Trainer Certified

Did we miss something? Let us know! Or if you have a question about some occupational therapy credentials and you are curious what they mean, leave us a comment!

About Lesley Khan-Farooqi

Lesley Khan-Farooqi
Lesley Khan-Farooqi, OTD, OTR/L, CHT is a faculty member at an OTD/MOT program in Austin,Tx. She is also a partner/developer of the popular NBCOT board prep website OTQuestions.com

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