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Occupational Therapists Board

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Initiatives of the Occupational Therapists Board

As a means to enhance communication with the profession, the Occupational Therapists (OT) Board at its 30th meeting on 31 August 2007 decided that highlights of topics discussed at the Board Meetings would be shared with registrants regularly.

Highlights of the recent initiatives of the OT Board are summarized below -

I. Registration system

Review of the assessment criteria for registration under Section 12(1)(b) of the Supplementary Medical Professions (SMP) Ordinance
[Chairman of the Board Registration Committee: Dr Andrew SIU]

At present, applications for registration from holders of qualifications other than those prescribed in section 4 of the OT (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations are considered on individual merits under section 12(1)(b) of the SMP Ordinance having regard to the applicant’s academic qualification and professional experience with relevance to the practice of the profession.

The Board Registration Committee is conducting a review of the current assessment criteria in handling applications for registration under Section 12(1)(b) of the SMP Ordinance. The review aims at enhancing the objectiveness in assessing non-prescribed qualifications and to promote transparency of the system. Registrants will be informed of the outcome of the review.


Universal registration examination
[Chairman of the Board Registration Committee: Dr Andrew SIU; Chairman of the Board Accreditation and Review Committee: Mr Andrew TSE; Chairman of the Board Examination Committee: Mr Bacon Ng]

The OT Board and the other 4 SMP Boards have proposed to introduce the universal registration examination (URE) as a standardized and objective tool for assessing a person’s qualification for registration in the respective SMP.

Under the proposal, all applicants, except for those holding local qualifications exempted by the OT Board, have to pass the URE for registration as OT. The standard and criteria for granting exemption to local graduates for URE will be proposed by the Accreditation and Review Committee to the OT Board for further discussion. Existing registrants, however, will not be affected as the existing means for Part II registrants to obtain Part I registration will be maintained. The proposal for URE, which was endorsed by the SMP Council, has been passed to the Food and Health Bureau for arrangement of legislative amendments.


Temporary and limited registration
[Chairman of the Board Registration Committee: Dr Andrew SIU]

To facilitate the bringing-in of overseas expertise, the OT Board and the 4 other SMP Boards have drawn up the proposals for temporary and limited registration. Under the proposal, overseas experts may be granted registration on a temporary basis (14 days in the case of temporary registration and one year for limited registration) for providing training or conducting research involving hands-on practice in the government, universities and other specified organisations. The proposal for temporary and limited registration, which was endorsed by the SMP Council, has been passed to the Food and Health Bureau for arrangement of legislative amendments has been submitted to the relevant Working Group under the SMP Council for consideration.


II. Continuing Education

[Chairman of the Board Education Committee: Ms Linda WONG]

The Board believes that in an ever-evolving knowledge-based environment, OT will need to keep updated on current development in professional knowledge and skills to ensure quality professional service to the public. To encourage registrants to enhance their professional knowledge, the Board has implemented a Voluntary Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Scheme for OT. Four Program Providers, namely, the Hospital Authority, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Hong Kong Occupational Therapy Association, and the SAHK, are accredited by the Board for assigning CPD credit points to programmes they organized.

The Board Education Committee is considering ways to encourage active participation from OT. The Committee will also review the scheme design, accreditation system, and logistical arrangements of the CPD programme in order to further fine-tune the system.


III. Code of Practice

[Chairman of the Working Group to Review the Code of Practice: Mr Peterson CHUI]

A Working Group has been established under the Board to review the Code of Practice for OT, which was last updated in the 1990s. The scope of the review covers the following -

(a)  Review of provisions relating to practice promotion with a view to relaxing advertising restrictions;


Applicability of the provisions of the Code to registrants with temporary and limited registration;


Need for doctor’s referral for the provision of occupational therapy service in community centers; and


Suitability and feasibility of accepting referrals from Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Chiropractors.

Please visit the Board's website at for the latest news and update.

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