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Code of Conduct

Upheld to the Highest Standards

This Candidate/Certificant Code of Conduct enables NBCOT to define and clarify the standards of personal and professional conduct required for eligibility for both initial and continued certification, i.e., OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST REGISTERED OTR® (OTR) henceforth OTR, and CERTIFIED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT COTA® (COTA) henceforth COTA. Where the term “certificant” is used, the term “applicant or candidate” is included in its scope.

It is vital that NBCOT certificants conduct their work in a professional manner to earn and maintain the confidence and respect of recipients of occupational therapy, colleagues, employers, students, and the public.

As certified professionals in the field of occupational therapy, NBCOT certificants will at all times act with integrity; adhere to high standards for personal and professional conduct; accept responsibility for their actions, both personally and professionally; continually seek to enhance their professional capabilities; practice in a competent, fair, honest, equitable, and just manner; abide by all federal, state, and local laws and regulations; and encourage others to act in a professional manner consistent with the practice standards and responsibilities set forth below.

  • 1

    Principle 1

    Certificants shall provide accurate, truthful, and timely representations to NBCOT, including, but not limited to:
    • The submission of information on the exam application, certification renewal applications, or the renewal audit form;
    • Answers to character review questions and, once certified, the disclosure of any criminal, legal, or other disciplinary matters within 60 days of any such matter;
    • The submission of information requested by NBCOT for alleged violations of NBCOT's policies, requirements,
    and standards. Certificants shall cooperate with NBCOT concerning investigations and requests for relevant information; and
    • The submission of information regarding his/her/their credential(s), professional license(s), and/or education.

  • 2

    Principle 2

    Certificants shall abide by all exam-related security policies including, but not limited to, those involving copying or removing exam content and accessing prohibited devices or materials during their exam.

  • 3

    Principle 3

    Certificants shall be accurate, truthful, and complete in any and all communications, direct or indirect, with any client, employer, regulatory agency, or other parties as they relate to their professional work, education, professional credentials, research and contributions to the field of occupational therapy.

  • 4

    Principle 4

    Certificants shall comply with state and/or federal laws, regulations, and statutes governing the practice of occupational therapy.

  • 5

    Principle 5

    Certificants shall not have been convicted of a serious crime.

  • 6

    Principle 6

    Certificants shall not engage in behavior or conduct, lawful or otherwise that causes them to be, or reasonably perceived to be, a threat or potential threat to the health, well-being, or safety of recipients or potential recipients of occupational therapy services.

  • 7

    Principle 7

    Certificants shall not engage in the practice of occupational therapy while one’s ability to practice is impaired due to chemical (i.e., legal and/or illegal) drug or alcohol abuse.

  • 8

    Principle 8

    Certificants shall not electronically post personal health information or anything, including photos, that may reveal a patient’s/client’s identity or personal or therapeutic relationship, without the patient's/client's written consent. (All statements, regardless of intent, about a patient/client can potentially contain sufficient information for a member of a community to recognize the patient/client, thus violating the state and/or federal law (i.e., Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)).

  • 9

    Principle 9

    Certificants shall not misuse NBCOT’s intellectual property, certification marks, logos, or other copyrighted materials. This includes all NBCOT exam preparation tools, websites, or exam content. Disclosure of practice test questions or examination material content, including examination questions, is strictly prohibited.

Approved June 2002

Revised February 2003, June 2006, October 2008, January 2010, November 2011, October 2013, February 2014, March 2014, October 2016, June 2018, July 2020, March 2021, July 2022