Through the occupational therapy Codes of Ethics, competency documents and the annual process of ongoing competence assessment, the OTBNZ established ways of managing risk to the population--risk to the public from occupational therapists, risk to employers of occupational therapists and risks associated for the Government through its provision of healthcare.
These complimentary documents cement the occupational therapy specific professional norms of ethical practice, as they are read together and refer to one another, providing a combined framework used by professional and managerial supervisors, the OTBNZ and the occupational therapy schools to guide the assessment of the competence of occupational therapists.
It is a specifically identified skill in the competencies, but is also the underlying approach in the mandatory ongoing assessment of competence process introduced by the OTBNZ in 2004 (Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand, 2004b).
This research required access to the OTBNZ minutes which was granted by the Chief Executive Officer.
It required the OTBNZ to monitor the ongoing competence of occupational therapists, which resulted in the introduction of a Continuing Competence Framework for Re-certification (CCFR) process that created a direct link to legal regulation.
The surveillance of at least two other occupational therapists (the supervisor and third party), and possibly the OTBNZ via its auditing processes in the CCFR, had become a normalised practice.
Over the last three years the OTBNZ has been aware of more therapists practising non-traditionally, not using the title of occupational therapist, and not applying for an annual practising certificate (J.
This has been in the form of published articles (Gordon, 1994; Henare, 1992, 1993; Hopkirk, 2013; Jeffery, 2005; Jungerson, 1992, 2002), organisation and participation in consultative hui (Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand, 1997, 1999, 2000b), contracted consultant services to the OTBNZ (Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand, 1998), a Master's thesis (Hopkirk, 2010), and the publication of a Maori occupational therapists' workforce strategy (Te Rau Matatini, 2009).
Participants were more easily able to identify how experiences and activities undertaken during their break could be linked to OTBNZ competences and the Competence Assessment Application (CAA), they felt a stronger link to current practice and used their career break experiences to assist in gaining employment and to support their practice.
Keeping a record of activities undertaken whilst on a career break could be linked to the OTBNZ competencies (e.
The findings indicate that the OTBNZ needs to strengthen the support they offer therapists returning to practice.
Likewise, understanding the OTBNZ registration requirements for gaining an annual practicing certificate, being able to locate flexible employment opportunities and support from occupational therapists within the workplace are all equally important.