The following statement reflects the position of University of Southern California, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Western Psychological Services (USC/WPS) in partnership, regarding the guidelines for minimum qualifications needed for the use of the sensory integrative frame of reference in therapeutic practice. This statement is intended to promote uniformly high standards of practice in the delivery of services for clients with sensory integrative disorders in order to:
The sensory integration frame of reference is used primarily by occupational therapists in the area of pediatrics. Other professions have adapted this information for use with their clients; however, certification through USC/WPS is restricted to professionally qualified occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech and language pathologists. Paraprofessionals such as occupational therapy assistants or physical therapy assistants are not eligible for certification. While these individuals may apply sensory integration principles in their practice area, it is always done under the direct supervision of a professional in their discipline who specializes in sensory integration according to the guidelines established with their professional license/registration.
Competencies in the use of sensory integration theory and its application are developed primarily through postgraduate continuing education, mentoring, and clinical experience. In order to support these aims, USC and WPS in partnership offer the Comprehensive Program in Sensory Integration leading to certification in sensory integration including administering and interpreting the Sensory Integration and Practice Tests. Additionally, USC provides a 4-month clinical training program in sensory integration. Advanced training in sensory integration may also be provided through university curricula, clinical practica, and mentorship by occupational therapists certified and experienced in sensory integration theory and practice.
Certification in Sensory Integration is highly recommended when using sensory integration in occupational therapy. Upon completion of the Comprehensive Program in Sensory Integration and related requirements, USC/WPS awards a numbered certificate that indicates that the therapist has obtained Certification in Sensory Integration including the Administration and Interpretation of the SIPT. Certification is the minimum requirement for developing competencies in sensory integration.
In order to maintain competencies in the application of sensory integration theory, the following is required to ensure that skills learned through certification are honed and continually advanced:
The following core content is essential knowledge for the occupational therapist using the sensory integrative frame of reference in best practice.
July 6, 2003