California Occupational Therapy License Renewal Requirements

California Occupational Therapy License Renewal Requirements

If you’re an OT in California, you must periodically renew your California Occupational Therapy license in order to continue your practice. The requirements for license renewal, including any mandatory continuing education, vary from state to state. This guide will help you understand what California’s Board of Occupational Therapy requires for license renewal.

California OT License Renewal Requirements

The Board of Occupational Therapy determines the requirements for Continuing Competency in the state of California. Technically, these are called Professional Development Units (PDUs), but many other states refer to them as Continuing Education Units (CEUs). No matter what you call them, it all boils down to the number of contact hours each course, presentation, or activity is worth. 

The Continuing Competency requirements for a California OT license are as follows:

  • 24 contact hours biennially
    • At least half of the hours must be directly related to the delivery of OT services
    • No more than 6 hours may be carried over to a future renewal period
    • Proof is required only under audit

These PDU requirements are the same for OTs and OTAs alike.

How do I complete my California CEU requirements?

There are many ways to fulfill your 24 contact hours. You could attend a class, webinar, or workshop, so long as the course qualifies as a PDU and you receive a certificate of completion. 

These courses may cover a wide range of topics, from ethics to treatments to taxes and state law. Importantly, you’ll need to make sure at least half (12) of the hours are directly related to the delivery of Occupational Therapy services. That means you can spend the remaining half on other OT-related topics, such as administrative and professional development courses.

Additionally, an academic or professional activity may qualify for PDU credit, such as attending a board meeting, editing a book, or participating in research. If you supervise OT students, you might be able to earn 1 contact hour per student, up to 12 hours each renewal period.

For more details on California CEU options, check out the California Board of OT Regulations.

What kind of CEU Providers can I use?

Most OTs and OTAs complete their competency requirements through coursework. You’ll just want to make sure the coursework provider meets the board’s standards.

The California Board of OT pre-approves any CEUs from the following providers: American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC), any post-professional accredited institution, and any provider that meets the criteria in Section 4161(b).

Can I complete California OT CEUs online?

Nowadays continuing education occurs in all kinds of formats, whether as weekend workshops or virtual webinars. California’s Board of Occupational Therapy Practice hasn’t set any stipulations for the format of your continuing education. That means you could complete all of your CEUs online, through streaming video courses, internet workshops, and live webinars.   

Best California OT CEU Provider: MedBridge

MedBridge is a leading provider of OT CEUs for a number of reasons, one being the wide variety of course topics and formats available with each yearly subscription. Their impressive library of 1300 courses is available to browse – even before signing up! 

As a Physical Therapist, I use MedBridge to satisfy my state’s CEU requirements each license renewal period. And I’ve found that the quality of these CEUs is top-notch. You’ll learn from some of the best therapy professionals through engaging video presentations and a user-friendly format.

With MedBridge, you can fulfill all your CEU courses from one provider at an affordable price. Plus, you’ll enjoy the variety of courses available and the convenience of online learning.

For my full review on MedBridge Online CEUs, check out this article.

If you want to give MedBridge a try for your next renewal, use the promo codePTProgress to save $175 on your subscription! 

May I carry over any completed CEUs?

Yes. The California Board of Occupational Therapy allows up to 6 hours of PDUs/CEUs to be carried over to a future renewal period. 

Do I need to submit proof of my completed CEUs?

Every approved CEU provider, including MedBridge, issues a certificate of completion when you finish a CEU course or activity. However, the California Board of Occupational Therapy does not require this document or any other proof of your CEU completion with your license renewal. 

Instead, you will simply report the CEU information on your application and retain the records for at least 4 years after your license renewal period ends. Be sure to store these documents safely in case you are selected by the board for a continuing competency audit.

When does a California OT license expire?

Your OT license is valid for two years but will expire biennially on the last day of your birth month. If you were born in an odd-numbered year, then your license will expire on odd-numbered years (and vice versa for even-numbered years).

How do I renew my OT license?

You may apply for your license renewal online through this portal.

How much is the renewal fee for a California OT license?

OTs pay $220 to renew their licenses each period; OTAs pay $180. 

How long does it take to renew a California OT license?

Processing times can take 4-6 weeks. Don’t wait until the last minute to begin the renewal process!

California OT License Renewal Requirements

For more information on renewing your OT license in California, contact the California Board of Occupational Therapy

Tim Fraticelli DPT, MBA, CFP®

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of PTProgress.com. He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.