Continuing Competence Program
The College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba operates a Continuing Competence Program (CCP) to assist Manitoba OTs to assume professional accountability for maintaining and developing their own continuing competence. The program is designed as a series of 5 steps with all members participating each year at the bottom two steps (Competence Maintenance and Competence Enhancement) and a declining number in each of the remaining steps. The top two steps are not yet in operation.
1. Competence Maintenance
Competence maintenance describes the things OTs do for the continuation of essential practice knowledge and skills. COTM views it as the most basic level of a complete package of continuing competence activities which are themselves a component of ongoing professional development and lifelong learning. All OTs participate in maintaining competence and this level is not formally addressed in the CCP.
Tools and methods to demonstrate this level of continuing competence are those that facilitate practice reflection and documentation of continuing education activities and time spent in active practice such as professional portfolios, records of employment hours (especially to meet a minimum standard within a specified period) and continuing education logs.
2. Competence Enhancement
Within a program of Continuing Competence, Competence Enhancement activities are intended to result in ongoing improvement in current skills and knowledge, especially those related to understanding and complying with legal, ethical and regulatory requirements. Regular update and enhancement assists the OT to integrate and apply their knowledge, skills, judgements and interpersonal attributes in order to practice safely and ethically in a designated role and setting. COTM has developed tools that are part of the required program and that faciliate reflection, documentation and goal directed enhancement of individual practice. The tools are available to members in the Member area.
3. Competence Review
Within the Manitoba CCP, Competence Review refers to objective or direct inspection of evidence of continuing competence by designated regulatory representatives. The COTM CCP is designed to provide at least one Competence Review experience for registered OTs in each five year period.
COTM staff will randomly select approximately 120 OTs per year who will be required to submit copies of completed Continuing Competence Program materials including Self-Assessments, Professional Development Plans (PDP) and completed Prescribed Regulatory Education Module worksheets. The Paper Audit process provides an objective examination of member CCP materials to ensure that the program requirements are being met and to identify needed improvements to the program.
COTM is currently exploring methods of reviewing competence via objective feedback from clients and coworkers, similar to the Multisource Feedback surveys used in Ontario. This stage of the step is not yet ready for full implementation. COTM members will receive notice in advance of it going into effect.
4. Competence Evaluation
Competence Evaluation involves an objective measure of the occupational therapist’s capacity to perform adequately in the essential knowledge, skills/abilities, required roles, and necessary work context. Competence Evaluation will only be carried out if there is a need for more assessment identified during a Competence Review.
COTM is currently exploring methods such as onsite peer assessment and will post findings in this section as they become available. This component of the CCP is not ready for implementation. COTM members will receive notice in advance of it going into effect.
5. Competence Improvement
Competence Improvement refers to prescribed activities which are intended to improve or increase skills, knowledge and attitudes in an effort to assist the occupational therapist to reach an acceptable level of competence. Some examples of Competence Improvement activites might be a period of Supervised Practice (authorized by COTM) or participation in required coursework or learning activities e.g. completion of a specific Prescribed Regulatory Education module. This component of the CCP is not ready for implementation. COTM members will receive notice in advance of it going into effect.
COTM welcomes your input as the CCP unfolds. Contact us at CCP@cotm.