MSOT Professional Behavior and Code of Conduct

Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics

In addition to the Student Code of Conduct Policy, students are to abide by the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2015), which can be obtained on under “Practice / Ethics.”

As described by AOTA (2015), “The Code is an AOTA Official Document and a public statement tailored to address the most prevalent ethical concerns of the occupational therapy profession. It outlines Standards of Conduct the public can expect from those in the profession. It should be applied to all areas of occupational therapy and shared with relevant stakeholders to promote ethical conduct” (p. 1).

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2015). Occupational therapy code of ethics (2015). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(Suppl. 3), 1-8.

The Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards is driven by 6 principles and Stanbridge University has adopted these principles for all instructors of the Occupational Therapy program.  Quoting from the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics, these principles are the following:


Occupational therapy personnel shall demonstrate a concern for the well-being and safety of the recipients of their services.


Occupational therapy personnel shall intentionally refrain from actions that cause harm.


Occupational therapy personnel shall respect the right of the individual to self-determination, privacy, confidentiality, and consent.


Occupational therapy personnel shall promote fairness and objectivity in the provision of occupational therapy services.


Occupational therapy personnel shall provide comprehensive, accurate, and objective information when representing the profession.


Occupational therapy personnel shall treat clients, colleagues, and other professionals with respect, fairness, discretion, and integrity.

Email Etiquette

Please follow email etiquette at all times when communicating with faculty or peers because these messages reflect on our program. Use your subject line for ease of sorting emails. Do not have extended conversations over email, and beware that “voice tone” is absent and your meaning may not be communicated accurately. Be simple and direct, and avoid all capitalizations unless you feel you need them for emphasis. Email should never be substituted for directly contacting someone if there is a crucial conversation that needs to occur. Remember, our time is valuable so do not send chain letters or jokes. Please use a signature that includes your contact information. Most of all, remember that email is not private and can be retrieved and used in a court of law. Do not say anything in an email that you do not want others to see.

MSOT Notice of Deficiency Policy

A Notice of Deficiency may be issued to an MSOT student who exhibits poor academic performance, academic dishonesty, a failure to meet clinical or skills lab objectives or inappropriate behavior on campus, off campus, in a classroom, or in a clinical setting. An accumulation of Notices of Deficiency may result in a negative professional behavior evaluation or dismissal from the University. All Notices of Deficiency forms will be part of the student’s permanent academic file.

MSOT Professional Behavior Evaluation Policy

The MSOT program faculty are responsible for training students to become professionals in the health care field who are entrusted with the care of people whose mental or physical health may be compromised. As such, it is incumbent upon the faculty to assess students’ fitness for the profession through an evaluation of the degree to which students meet professional behavior standards. Professional behavior includes demonstrating a commitment to learning, appropriate interpersonal verbal and non-verbal skills, graduate level written communication, problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, and acceptance of responsibility. In addition, academic honesty, emotional maturity, reliability, and motivation are aspects of professional behavior.  A certain level of professional behavior is expected as a part of the admission requirements to the MSOT program, but professional behavior is continually refined during the didactic phase of the program so that once a Stanbridge University student enters Fieldwork Level I and II, the student’s professional behavior is commensurate with the expectations of professional clinicians in the field of Occupational Therapy.

Each student in the MSOT program will receive a Professional Behavior Evaluation (PBE) by the end of each term in this format:

  • Term 1:  In-person meeting
  • Term 2 & 3:  Optional, either in-person or electronically depending on the situation of the student and preference of the academic advisor
  • Term 4:  In-person meeting
  • Term 6:  In-person meeting

The purpose of the PBE is to provide the student with feedback on his or her professional development to enhance positive scores during fieldwork and ultimately to improve employability. To obtain a satisfactory PBE, students must receive a rating of “in progress” or “satisfactory” on all items in the PBE, as well as a passing grade on the Term Exit Exam for that term. Items rated as “unsatisfactory” are expected to improve to “in progress” by the following term’s PBE. Items rated as “in progress” are expected to improve to “satisfactory” within 2 terms; except in Term 4 where all items in the PBE should be rated as “satisfactory”.  Instructors have the right to issue a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) to any student who is not demonstrating professional behaviors at any point in the program. NODs will be factored into PBEs. Three unsatisfactory PBEs will result in dismissal from the MSOT program. Negative PBEs will not be expunged from a student’s record should that student be dismissed or withdraw from the program for other reasons, and later request reenrollment. Please note that other university policies may supersede this policy.

Dress Code

Student Professional Image Policy

The MSOT program is a professional program and wishes to maintain an atmosphere where learning, scholarship, and community service can occur. Students in the program are expected to be well groomed and appropriately attired at all times during lectures, labs, and all other school-related activities.

Students who violate the dress code will be advised to alter their appearance for reasons of safety, health, or modesty.

Theory Courses

The Student ID must be worn at chest level and be conspicuous at all times.

Undergarments may not be visible.

Business casual is best and full coverage of cleavage and buttocks is mandatory.

Clothing must provide appropriate coverage of the body.

Fieldwork and Lab Courses

For safety and decorum reasons students must follow the recommendations below while on fieldwork:

Shoes and Stockings

  • Shoes must have a rubber/non-conductive sole.  No high heels.
  • Shoes must be closed toe and must be clean at all times.

Jewelry, Hair, and Nails

  • For women: The only visible, pierced jewelry that is acceptable is a small, single, stud earring.  Hoops, large rings, or dangling earrings are not allowed.  Jewelry on the tongue, eyebrows, nose, or lips is not allowed.
  • For men: Visible pierced jewelry is not allowed.  Facial hair must be neatly trimmed to a maximum length of ½ inch to permit proper fit of personal protective equipment (as recommended by the Center for Disease Control), and not be of a faddish or unusual appearance.
  • Only a plain wedding band is acceptable.
  • Hair must be pulled back out of the face and off the shoulders.  Hair color must be of a natural color; faddish or unnatural colors or styles are not permitted.
  • Nails must be trimmed and kept clean at all times.  Nail length must be kept at a maximum of 2 mm overhang.  Artificial nails are not allowed.


  • Tattoos and piercing are discouraged while in school due to increased chance of infection and the ability to comply with Stanbridge and hospital policy. Tattoos cannot be visible.  White, long sleeved shirts or “sleeves” must be worn with scrubs to cover the tattoos.