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 (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2020), which can be obtained on under “Practice / Ethics.”

As described by AOTA (2020), 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 sets forth Core Values and outlines Standards of Conduct the public can expect from those in the profession. The Code applies to all occupational therapy personnel1 in all areas of occupational therapy and should be shared with relevant stakeholders to promote ethical conduct (p. 1).

The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2020, Vol. 74(Supplement_3), 7413410005p1–7413410005p13.

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.


MSOT students are requested to use their Stanbridge email accounts for communication. Please follow professional etiquette when communicating with faculty, staff, peers, and fieldwork educators.

Use of Social Media

Potential employers might examine an individual’s social media sites to assess their behavior related to ethical decision-making and/or respectful and courteous communication.

When posting on any social media site students must adhere to the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) and copyright restrictions. Do not post material about patients or clients.

Students should have no expectation of privacy on social networking sites. People using social networking sites have no legal obligation to maintain confidentiality. In addition, information you have deleted can be stored and viewed by others.

For more guidance on social media, see Dr. Bill Wong’s AOTA publication regarding social media use:

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 negative behaviors 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 Student Evaluation Process (SEP) 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, consistency, 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 and is continually refined during the didactic phase of the program. This ensures that a Stanbridge University student enters Fieldwork Level I and II with excelled professional behavior commensurate with the expectations of professional clinicians in the field of Occupational Therapy.

Each student in the MSOT program will participate in the following SEP Process:

  • Term 1:  Group meetings (weeks 3-4) and 1:1 meeting (week 12-15) with faculty advisor (FA); in person, preferably
  • Term 2, 3, 4 & 6: Optional, 1:1 meeting either in-person or virtual meeting
  • Term 5 & 7:  As needed; students are in Level II FW rotations

Note: Students are required to fill out the SEP form prior to any SEP 1:1 meetings

The purpose of the SEP 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 student evaluation, students must receive a rating of “in progress,” “satisfactory,” or “exceeds standards” on all items in the SEP, 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 SEP. Items rated as “in progress” are expected to improve to “satisfactory” within 2 terms; except in Term 4 where all items in the SEP 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 SEPs. Three unsatisfactory SEPs will result in dismissal from the MSOT program. Unsatisfactory SEPs 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 appropriately attired during lectures, labs, and all other school-related activities. This includes closed-toe shoes during labs. Business casual dress is recommended for classroom presentations.

When students have classes or experiences away from university premises, they are expected to conform to the standards of the setting. Students should follow site policies for appropriate dress and grooming standards during Level I and Level II fieldwork rotations.

Students may be advised to alter their dress for reasons of safety, health, or professionalism.