Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) - Update and Next Steps

Issue

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a tool commonly used to assess cognitive impairment. Occupational Therapists are one of several professions permitted to administer and score the MoCA.

Recently, the creator has communicated that “To ensure consistency and accuracy, training and certification to administer and score, the MoCA Test will become mandatory… After September 1st 2020, access to the test will be restricted to officially certified users."

Data

In August 2019 OSOT members had the opportunity to respond to a survey related to these upcoming changes. Of the 509 responses to the survey, more than half (259) indicated they would be completing the training and certification process. Another 35% (176) were unsure, only 2% (12) had already completed the certification.

More than 55% did not yet know if their organization would require them to be certified, and nearly 20% indicated that they are required to complete the certification. Nineteen percent (19%) were private practitioners and had no organizational oversight/requirements.

An overwhelming 94% (446) indicated they would be interested in a discounted rate if OSOT offered it, another 5% were unsure. 

In response to the upcoming changes, the Regional Geriatric Programs (RGPs) of Ontario has created a small task group to complete a rapid review of clinical screening tools to provide advice related to evidence-based options for cognitive assessments. In a briefing note released on September 11, 2019 “At this time, the RGPs of Ontario is not recommending that clinicians and health care organizations commit financial resources to procure the MoCA certification, until such time as this rapid review is complete.”  

Next Steps

As a result of the above information and feedback, OSOT has begun negotiations with the MoCA creator to secure a group discount rate for our members, however, OSOT will wait for the RGP’s rapid review results before proceeding to contract with MoCA for the group rate.  OSOT will provide members with an update once the rapid review results are released.

At this time, OSOT recommends that members defer a decision and financial commitment to complete certification to administer the MoCA until the Society can confirm its future direction with respect to accessing member discounts. Certification is required by September 1, 2020 so there is still time to complete the training/certification in the near future.

Please contact Marnie Lofsky, Manager, Professional Practice with comments or questions.