COVID-19 and Accredited Hand Therapist

The Credentialing Council acknowledges the serious impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on our everyday lives, including the way in which we are able to practice hand therapy. Notwithstanding the necessity to uphold standards of practice, our priority is to the wellbeing of all members. We are therefore recommending the following changes to accreditation and reaccreditation for 2020:
 
Accreditation
AHT candidates may apply for an extension of 6 months to complete the requirements for accreditation by providing documentary evidence of any of the following:

  • Reduction in employment hours in hand therapy since March 1, 2020
  • Disruption to mentoring relationship since March 1
  • Cancellation of AHTA courses in which they were enrolled since March 1
  • Financial hardship as a result of Covid-19
  • Other extenuating circumstances related to Covid-19 

The Credentialing Council may revise the period of extension, if the current disruptions to course access and employment continue beyond 6 months.
 
Reaccreditation
For all current AHT’s, and those awarded AHT before August 31, 2020, the time period over which CPD hours, and clinical practice hours must be completed will be extended by 6 months. i.e. reaccreditation will now be due 5 years and 6 months from the date of accreditation. You will have 5 years and 6 months to accrue 2000 hours of clinical practice and 150 hours of CPD.

There will be no audit of CPD activities undertaken in 2020.

It is incumbent upon all members (Associate and AHT) to comply with AHPRA requirements for maintenance of registration during this time.

AHT members who have been able to complete the requirements for reaccreditation, despite disruptions to professional development opportunities and work practice may apply for reaccreditation from 4 years and 9 months from the date of accreditation.
The Credentialing Council may revise the period of extension, if the current disruptions to course access and employment continue beyond 6 months.
 
Thank you everyone for continuing your contributions to the profession during this challenging time. The Committee of Management and Subcommittees have all been working overtime in response to the health crisis. It’s so encouraging to see members sharing their designs for protective equipment and suggestions for ways to continue service provision. Keep a log and a screenshot of these contributions for your Reaccreditation applications. Evidence for telehealth training or Covid-19 infection control training can also be used for your CPD. Hand therapists are resilient and resourceful clinicians. we will get through this together.
 

Tracey Clark | Chair AHTA Credentialing Council

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