22 Jun 2023
In 2022 Mrs Sharon Joy Stay was discovered to be offering occupational therapy services to members of the public via her business websites which allowed clients to book and pay for occupational therapy sessions with her. Mrs Stay also falsely claimed to Ahpra investigators that she was exempt from any legal requirement to be registered as an occupational therapist and continued to describe herself as an occupational therapist after being on notice that she was under investigation by Ahpra.
For the second time in this matter Mrs Stay failed to appear at the Caboolture Magistrates Court on 21 June 2023. The Court, being satisfied that Mrs Stay had been served with the complainant and summons and been notified by the court of the requirement to attend today, proceeded to convict Mrs Stay and sentenced her to a fine of $4,000 and ordered her pay legal costs to Ahpra in the sum of $1,750.
Ahpra CEO, Mr Martin Fletcher, welcomed the outcome.
‘Describing yourself as an occupational therapist if you are not registered is illegal and does have consequences. This matter is a timely reminder to always look up your practitioner on the public register before you receive care,’ Mr Fletcher said.
The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia echoed these sentiments.
‘This is about respect for the public and respect for the profession. Renewing your registration means you have shown the community you have kept up with your professional development and continue to meet the occupational therapy registration standards,’ Board Chair, Ms Julie Brayshaw, said.
Anyone with concerns about whether an individual is registered can check the online register of practitioners maintained by Ahpra or call 1300 419 495.