Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) Announces Upcoming Changes

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a tool commonly used to assess cognitive impairment.  It includes subtests for short-term memory; visuospatial abilities; executive functions; attention, concentration and working memory; language, and orientation to time and place. 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 (except exempted users, see below). If you need immediate access to the test, you can select the button: "I am certified or will complete my certification before September 1st 2020" on the MoCA Paper Test page.

You will have one year to complete MoCA’s Official standardised training and certification program. If you wish to continue using the MoCA Test without being officially trained and certified, you will be at increased risk for administration, scoring and interpretation errors which could lead to misdiagnosis and liability.”
     (mocatest.org/faq/ - Is Training and Certification Mandatory?) 

Implications for Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists are required to have adequate knowledge, training, skills, and judgement to perform tasks required to competently perform their jobs, therefore, after September 1, 2020, it would be considered professional misconduct to administer the MoCA without certification.

This mandatory training and certification process will cost $125 USD (approximately $160 CAD) which will have a significant impact for organization/department budgeting and for independent practitioners. The training and certification takes approximately one hour to complete and you have 3 attempts to successfully complete the certification test.

OT is only one of several professions (nurses, speech language pathologists, neurologist, family physicians, psychologists, etc.) to be able to administer the MoCA so organizations and individuals are currently deciding how to address the change. Some are researching alternative assessment tool options; others have identified funds and are progressing with certification; and others need to consider how they use the MoCA and if it will be part of their professional development for the upcoming year.

In response to this announcement, OSOT has launched a survey of our members to identify if there is a demand for a group benefit discount for members. We will consider the feedback we receive through the survey in determining next steps – please provide your feedback - access the survey here.