Early Career Launchpad
OTA Early Career Launchpad
Connect with your peers & profession as you launch into your new career
Launch into your new career path with confidence! OTA's Early Career Launchpad is the place to connect with your peers & your profession, develop your professional skills, discover & access the benefits of OTA membership, and find answers to common questions about working in OT.
Supporting your career transition
Transitioning from student to qualified OT is an exciting time and OTA is here to support you.
Watch the video to find out about the #BenefitsofBelonging and staying connected.
Want to learn?
Early Career Modules
Health care is a complex environment and time management can be challenging. There is always more work to do and there are often short time frames to work with. Honing your time management skills will allow you to provide efficient and effective care to the people who most need it and enable you to be a productive team member.
Supervision is essential for our development as professionals. Supervision focuses on specific case and workload management in order to maintain safety, standards, and compliance within an organisation and profession, with a secondary aim around development. As a clinician you should make a strong commitment to supervision to get the most out of these experiences.
This course covers essential information for all occupational therapists. You will find tips and resources to help you meet practice standards and key registration requirements for occupational therapist. As a professional it is your responsibility to ensure you are compliant with these requirements in your practice as an OT.
Got time to watch something?
Early Career Webinars
Maurice Blackburn have developed a fact sheet on clinical documentation & record keeping from a legal perspective.
This checklist covers some essentials all therapists should know to ensure high quality and safe care in any new role.
Documents & Publications
OTA works with experts in the field to produce formal documents based on the best available evidence to provide guidance on professional practice issues
Documents & Publications
As part of your membership, you have full access to a collection of high quality Occupational Therapy Journals from all over the world.
Update communication preferences from OTA to ensure you receive information relating to your area/s of practice and interest.
As part of your membership with OTA, you also receive a membership with WFOT.
Consult with OTA partners on insurance, legal concerns, or HR issues such as understanding your employment contract
Access a free consultation with OTA partners and talk to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, get HR advice from WorkPlacePLUS, and gain insurance discounts via Aon.
Practice Queries are answered by OTA professional practice advisors who are experienced occupational therapists working across a variety of projects and initiatives for the membership. They provide general, in principle opinions on topics related to professional practice.
Your supervisor can provide clinical support and assist you with specific clinical questions. If you do not have access to a OT supervisor you can use the OTA Find an OT search function to identify OT’s who may be willing to support you (look under Professional Supervision as the area of practice).
Frequently asked questions
I’m an OT Student awaiting registration, can I work as an AHA?
Before you start practising as an occupational therapist, you must be registered with Ahpra. You cannot use the title “occupational therapist” unless your name appears on Ahpra's register of practitioners.
You can work as an allied health assistant (AHA) under the direct supervision of a qualified OT. While working as an AHA, you must work within the scope of an AHA only- refer to your state's or territory's Allied Health Assistant Framework.
Is it mandatory that I have clinical supervision?
OTA strongly recommends regular supervision for best practice and to meet the Ahpra competency requirements.
The frequency may vary across individual needs and determined between the supervisor and supervisee (refer to the OTA Supervision Framework).
How can I access OT supervision/support if it is not available in my workplace?
If you do not have access to OT specific supervision, then you could look at outsourcing supervision. You can use the OTA Find an OT search function to identify OT’s who may be willing to support you (look under Professional Supervision as the area of practice).
To complement your supervision, other options to ensure you remain up to date and practicing effectively are to:
- Complete relevant professional development. You can find the CPD OTA offers here
- Be proactive in discussing your support needs with your manager
- Link with your peers, in similar areas of practice, via meetings in your area.
- Join relevant interest groups
- Link with your OT peers through networking events, social media etc.
I’m a new graduate and registered part way through the CPD cycle, do I need to obtain 20 hours of CPD?
The Ahpra website has all the information you need to know regarding the requirements to meet the CPD standards.
It states that "If you register part-way through a registration period you must complete five hours of CPD for every three months of registration remaining in the registration period".
How do I tell if something is within OT Scope of practice?
As a general rule, we suggest that something is within OT scope of practice if:
- It is usually taught at undergraduate/pre-registration level to OT students.
- OR If it isn’t taught at undergraduate/preregistration level, the OT has completed recognised or accredited training in the modality or approach.
- AND It is clearly linked to an occupational performance treatment or intervention plan which focuses on enabling participation in the usual and meaningful activities and occupations of life.
- AND It is not within the scope of another registered allied health professional.
If an activity/intervention etc is not included in undergraduate or graduate occupational therapy course, then to be considered within scope of practice of an OT:
- The practitioner must have completed a recognised training course at a suitable level
- The practitioner must be using the modality within an occupational performance / occupational engagement capacity, for it to be part of occupational therapy practice and recognised by insurers and our registration body.
It is important to note that even if an activity is within OT scope of practice, you still need to ensure it is within your clinical competence. You will need to inform your Professional Indemnity Insurer if there are concerns regarding scope of practice or additional insurance requirements. You will find more information in the OTA Scope of Practice Framework.
I am looking at a role in private practice, how do I know if the pay and contract I have been offered is fair?
OTA has a partnership with WorkplacePLUS which enables any OTA member to be eligible for a free initial phone consultation on HR and industrial relation issues (including as an employee). You can find more information on the partnership and WorkplacePLUS contact details here.
Other suggestions for reviewing your employment contract include:
- Cross reference your letter of engagement and contract with your position description and the original job advertisement
- Check that the job title, description, grade and salary scale included in the contract match the requirements of the job
- Check the conditions of the probationary period
- Check the employee entitlements the contract is based on
- Start date
- Working hours (including options of flexible working hours
- Where the job is based (single or multiple sites)
- Personal leave
- Carers leave
- Notice period
- Disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures in place in the workplace
- Restrictive clauses (Most relevant to private practice, e.g. limiting your capacity to work for a competitor, poach clients and/or suppliers when you leave their employment).
- Refer to Fair Work Australia’s National Employment Standards for guidance on minimum entitlements if no award is stated
- Refer to Public Health Salaries posted on respective State Department of Health Websites
- Connecting with peers in similar positions will also give a benchmark of conditions/salaries.
- If you have any questions about your contract, contact the organisation’s Human Resources department for clarification
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Become an OTA member today!
Looking for the old New Grad Hub? You can find it here.