OTA Position Statements & Frameworks

Occupational Therapy Australia produces a range of position statements and frameworks on professional issues.

For quick access to guide you on this page click on the link below to find what you are looking for:

For information on the development process Occupational Therapy Australia uses to produce Position Papers, the Position Paper development process is outlined below.

Draft Position Papers

Occupational Therapy Australia are developing guidance in a range of different practice areas. Occupational Therapy Australia thanks the relevant Special Interest Groups who developed these papers:

Occupational Therapy and Chronic Pain Management
OTA is pleased to advise that an informed view on the role of Occupational Therapists in Chronic Pain Management has been developed by occupational therapy experts in the field. OTA welcomes your feedback. The draft will be available for comment up until Friday 27 May 2022. Please forward any feedback you would like to make to professionalpracticeadmin@otaus.com.au by 27 May 2022. View the document here.

Current Position Papers

Bed Sticks, Poles and Rails Position Statement | September 2020

The Bed Sticks, Poles and Rails Position Statement informs services of the requirement for occupational therapist involvement in the prescription of bed sticks/poles and rails and aims to assist occupational therapists in understanding and mitigating risks associated with bed stick/pole and rail use. 

Evidence-Based Practice Position Statement | January 2019

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a key element of best practice in occupational therapy. This position paper covers what evidence based practice is, the rationale for using EBP, the different contexts for use and the responsibilities of occupational therapists, employers, and the wider profession for the use of, and contribution to, EBP.

WFOT's Occupational Therapy in Work Related Practice | 2016

This statement presents WFOT's position on the rights of people, regardless of their ability, to participate in productive occupations, and the related role of occupational therapists.

OTA Frameworks

Professional Supervision Framework | 2019

Occupational Therapy Australia’s Supervision Framework aims to provide best practice guidance and resources on supervision for all occupational therapy members across Australia.

Occupational Therapy Scope of Practice Framework | June 2017

A clear framework for articulating scope of practice and identifying personal scope of practice will provide a guide as to the broad description of occupational therapy scope of practice that can inform practitioners, managers, academic course coordinators, employers, consumers, regulatory agencies, funding bodies, policy makers and others.

Advanced Practice Templates and Examples

Occupational Deprivation (April 2016) 
The purpose of the Occupational Deprivation position statement is to outline the position of Occupational Therapy Australia in relation to occupational deprivation. This position statement is intended for occupational therapists but may also be useful for individuals and groups interested in working towards the creation of a fairer and more socially inclusive Australia.

Occupational Therapy and Driver Assessment and Rehabilitation (October 2015) - Amended March 2022
This Position Paper is currently under review. For further information, please contact OTA.

Developed to guide future practice and developments, and facilitate consistency of practice nationally in the area of driver assessment and rehabilitation, this position paper:

  • outlines Occupational Therapy Australia’s position in relation to the advanced practice status of occupational therapy driver assessment and rehabilitation
  • documents assessing and training of drivers with disabilities or impairments must be performed by occupational therapists with post-graduate driver qualifications for Driver Trained Occupational Therapists
  • documents the current status of driver assessment and rehabilitation in Australia
  • outlines a range of policy and environmental factors shaping this area of practice
  • provides practice guidelines for occupational therapy in driver assessment and rehabilitation

The role of Allied Health Assistants in Supporting Occupational Therapy Practice (October 2015) 
This Position Paper is currently under review. For further information, please contact OTA.
For many years allied health (OT) assistants have been part of many public sector occupational therapy departments. With the increased opportunities for assistants arising from the NDIS and aged care reforms and with many workforce reviews in progress by Governments, Occupational Therapy Australia, like many of our other allied health association colleagues, have been developing position statements to guide practice in this area.

This paper acknowledges the value these roles can bring but highlights the importance of supervision, clear lines of delegation and core training and identifies key tasks that assistants can appropriately conduct.

Occupational Therapy and Palliative Care (August 2015) 
This position paper:

  • outlines the role of occupational therapy in palliative care in Australia
  • provides an overview of the contextual factors experienced by the profession of occupational therapy in this practice setting
  • proposes recommendations to improve practice and relevant policy

Occupational Therapy and Oncology (August 2015)

This position paper:

  • outlines the role of occupational therapy within integrated person-centred care in oncology
  • aims to inform consumers, clinicians, academics, health service managers, professional associations and government bodies as to occupational therapy practice in oncology
  • will inform service and policy development at a local and national level

The following development process is used for the range of practice and standards documents produced by Occupational Therapy Australia:

  • a position paper is drafted
  • the draft paper is reviewed by the National Professional Practice and Standards Committee
  • the paper is endorsed for member circulation by the Board of Occupational Therapy Australia
  • the draft paper is released for member comment
  • a consumer consultation process occurs, as well as limited release to key stakeholders
  • the paper is approved for publication by the Board of Occupational Therapy Australia
  • the paper is published

Position papers are regularly reviewed, and new papers written in response to environmental factors. In line with evidence-based practice principles, statements of evidence are collated to underpin the content of all statements, and are available from the National Manager. Please contact OTA for more information.


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