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NEWS  from the MT Representative to Assembly of AOTA

RA Representative for MT: Dr. Shelly Noel

As the new Montana representative to the RA, Shelly Noel will be attending an orientation meeting this coming Wednesday, July 29. On the same date, at noon, all comments and feedback need to be submitted for the current motions. If you are an AOTA member and have not already done so, please take a moment to complete the Feedback Survey on the RA Meeting webpage. To give feedback on the RA Meeting webpage, just click on the red button that says “Give Feedback”. AOTA will compile the data for Montana and provide it to Shelly. She is excited to serve and connect with you over the next 3 years and welcomes you to contact her directly at

  NOTE: The Feedback survey will only allow you to access it one time, then it will shut you out.

In addition to other duties, the RA will meet this year on August 5, November 4, and April 21.


Our fall online Representative Assembly (RA) meeting is fast approaching and will take place November 12–19, 2019, on CommunOT. Please take time to review the Consent Agenda and Member Motion under consideration by the RA.


Please note that consideration of the entry-level degree for occupational therapists will be discussed during the meeting. This motion is coming forward from an AOTA member with new information included in the rationale that was not available at the Spring 2019 RA Meeting. As with any motion received that falls within the purview of the RA, we must allow the process of deliberation and decision on this professional policy request to occur. This is the designated responsibility of the RA as outlined in AOTA Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.


I encourage you to review a copy of reports filed on the RA Meeting webpage and see the status of all motions received, including motions referred to the Representative Assembly Coordinating Committee (RACC) and those rescinded, in the Agenda Committee Report.   


Results from RA 2019 Spring Meeting: Motions Include OT and OTA Entry-Level Mandates



The Representative Assembly (RA) met in person on April 4, 2019, in New Orleans to discuss the following motions.

A full summary of the meeting as well as the minutes will be available within 60 dayson the RA section of

Motion 1: Update Policy E.6 Entry level of OTs and OTAs

Following robust discussion, the RA has voted to support dual entry-level degree levels. OTs may earn an entry-level master’s or doctoral degree, and OTAs may earn an entry-level associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

It shall be the policy of the association that:
1. The Association require entry-level education at the associate or bachelor degree level for occupational therapy assistants. 
2. The Association require entry level education at the master’s or doctoral level for occupational therapists. 

Motion 2: Policy on Recommended versus Mandated Education Levels Defeated 

I move the Representative Assembly establish a policy for utilizing recommendations versus mandates regarding educational degree levels for the profession. This factually informed policy will include criteria stating that prior to considering a mandate, 1) 80% or more of programs will have attained full accreditation level at the potentially mandated degree level and 2) differential outcomes between the degree levels exists to support the mandate, based on outcome data collected from all current programs. The initial report is due to the RA for discussion at the Fall 2019 meeting.

Motion 3: Expand Education and Practice for OTAs Adopted with minor amendments

I move that the Speaker request the Commission on Education (COE) and Commission on Practice (COP) investigate current and future OTA education and practice. COE and COP will then review AOTA documents and standards to define what and if any changes in OTA roles, functions, and supervision requirements are warranted to facilitate future OTA practice with an initial report and recommendations to the Spring 2020 RA meeting.

Other Updates

An item was pulled from the Consent Agenda. The Commission on Practice Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The motion was approved to refer this document back to BPCC and COP for further discussion.



Summary of the RA Fall Online Meeting November 5–12, 2018


·         The Representative Assembly (RA) met online from November 5–12, 2018. There was a request to suspend the rule (#10) requiring RA members with voice and no vote to post “voice/no vote” each time they engaged (posted) in debate. The motion to suspend this rule was defeated, and the Rules of the Day were adopted as originally posted.


·         The outcome of voting on action items included in the meeting agenda was as follows:


·         Motion to Update Policy E.6 Entry-Level Education of Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants: Postponed. A motion to postpone action until Spring 2019 was adopted following discussion that additional information was needed prior to making a decision on the educational point of entry.

·         Approval of Dual-Entry of Practice for OT and OTA Education (Ad Hoc Committee): Adopted. This motion will establish an ad hoc committee to gather information to adequately inform members of the RA in order to discuss and vote on educational point of entry for the OT and OTA.

·         Survey to Obtain Data as to Level of Constituent Support of Entry Level: Adopted. This motion requires that the Speaker request the Board of Directors to authorize a survey regarding level of support from stakeholders for a single point of education entry for the OT and OTA.

·         Preparing for the Faculty Workforce of the Future: Adopted. This motion will establish an ad hoc committee to examine the current and future OT and OTA faculty workforce for the purpose of making a fully informed decision about the capacity of delivering entry-level education at the OTD level and baccalaureate level.

·         Motion to Modify Article III Section 4 of the Official Bylaws of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. Related to Conditions for Membership Revocation: Defeated. This motion was defeated following discussion that it was important to maintain a fair process of membership termination that includes the right of the member to present evidence to protect her or himself.

·         The meeting was adjourned at 3:01 pm on November 12, 2018.

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