Essential-Functions of an OTA student at KVCC




The KVCC OTA program believes the following essential performance skills are necessary to ensure quality education for all OTA students and safety for prospective clients. It is important to note that Academic Skills vary from Lab and Fieldwork Skills.  The performance criteria is different in academic and lab/fieldwork arenas. These are explained within each syllabus/course activity. Lab and FW skills are based on skill performance.


The following essential performance skills are required of ALL students in the OTA program. ALL students must possess these, and like abilities, and them. Students using accommodations/compensatory techniques/tools must be able to demonstrate these skills accurately, effectively, with competence and professionalism.  This list is not intended to be exhaustive. 


All essential performance skills will be assessed on a P/F basis throughout the student's tenure in the OTA program. If any student is unable to demonstrate competency in any of the above essential performance skills he/she may not progress in the program.


The KVCC OTA Faculty believes that the ability to:

  • Think critically
  • Use emotional/social intelligence and effective communication in all transactions
  • Demonstrate persistence and resiliency
  • Be ethical in behavior

are all required for success to fulfill the role of a competent occupational therapy practitioner.


Please note that each FW site determines the essential skills needed to keep their clients safe. All students must demonstrate these required skills on FW I and II.

Cognitive Skills

The student must:

  1. understand, conceptualize and apply information (academically, socially and clinically) in a timed and/or un-timed environment;
  2. problem solve effectively as a situation demands;
  3. prioritize information for proper decision making;
  4. generalize information for effective use;
  5. use critical thinking and reasoning when assessing/using information;
  6. comprehend and follow instructions independently (both verbal and written);
  7. follow multiple step (4 or more) directions independently;
  8. attend and focus for extended periods of time;
  9. interpret information from varied sources independently (oral, written, diagrams, etc.);
  10. make well informed decisions;


Sensory Skills

The student must be able to:

Use vision, hearing, touch/palpation and physical orientation to others for the purpose of demonstrating adequate safety skills, basic clinical skills (including observation, screening and assessment) and noting necessary supervisory needs.



The student must:

  1. use necessary functional mobility for required tasks, including FW travel;
  2. use adequate strength/coordination to perform gross/fine motor tasks;
  3. successfully perform and instruct various basic clinical techniques (transfers, ADLs, etc.);
  4. deliver information in a clear, concise, succinct and consistent fashion;
  5. perform simple and repetitive tasks as needed, independently;
  6. perform complex and varied tasks as needed, independently;
  7. move about the environment intentionally in the presence of others.


Interpersonal/Behavioral Communications

The student must:

  1. consistently demonstrate emotional intelligence and therapeutic qualities with level of OTA learning;
  2. demonstrate that they can manage their emotional health for full use of their intellectual abilities;
  3. communicate effectively and clearly with others (i.e.-active listening, verbal, non verbal, in writing);
  4. use therapeutic communication autonomously (attend, listen, clarify, explain, facilitate);
  5. adjust communication for intended audiences;
  6. accept and carry out responsibility for detailed, complex tasks;
  7. function independently and as part of a group/team;
  8. perform all required lab skills in the presence of peers and faculty;
  9. lead and follow, as required;
  10. communicate effectively, in all contexts, using accurate verbal and written techniques for all necessary academic and clinical tasks;
  11. relate to others beyond giving and receiving instruction;
  12. explain self clearly and support personal/professional actions;
  13. be confidential (use proprietary information properly);
  14. overtly convey respect and appreciation for diversity and differences.


Professional Skills

The student must:

  1. continuously conduct self in accordance with all KVCC Standards, Student Code of Conduct and the AOTA Code of Ethics;
  2. maintain poise and flexibility with spontaneous changes and in stressful or changing conditions;
  3. maintain composure in time compressed and performance based situations;
  4. identify personal learning needs;
  5. use effective personal management (including time and resources)and organizational skills;
  6. demonstrate effective self- awareness and control;
  7. discuss suitable topics in class/lab and at breaks;
  8. be on time with attendance, assignments, and projects;
  9. manage personal issues
  10. maintain a work pace suitable to a given work load;
  11. assume responsibility for own actions, without assistance;
  12. assume initiative and responsibility for learning in all learning environments;
  13. modify behavior in response to feedback from peers/instructors;
  14. participate in the OTA Program as an adult learner.


Environmental Context

The student must:

  1. work around and with others effectively;
  2. use technology functionally;
  3. manage exposure to environmental demands (including dust, fumes, odors, allergies, human and non-human factors) etc.;
  4. understand and apply knowledge regarding the risk of exposure to infectious agents, secretions, and bodily fluids in all environments;
  5. comply with KVCC policies/OTA lab policies regarding workplace safety;
  6. use proper techniques (as stated in OTA lab policy manual) when using supplies, equipment, and technology;
  7. understand and follow all environmental patterns and changes;


All Essential Performance Skills will be assessed through student self- assessment, peer assessment and/or OTA Faculty assessment throughout each semester. P/F criteria are used. If Faculty determines that a student is not demonstrating performance in any of the above Essential Performance Skills he/she may not be able to progress in the OTA program.



 Program Contact

Julie Larouche, OTD, OTR/L
OTA Program Director
(207) 453-5023


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