These exceptional, challenging times have resulted in a period of reflection for us all. The College’s annual registration renewal period has fallen in the midst of this pandemic and we have received many questions and requests for information and clarification. We appreciate your comments and encourage you to continue providing feedback.

Information regarding the work of the College and use of registration renewal fees is now posted on our web page Understanding College Fees and answers to recent inquiries appear below. If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 1-800-890-6570 or info@coto.org and we will be happy to help.

What is the College doing to help during the pandemic?

As a regulator mandated to protect the public, our responsibilities have not changed during this time, despite the shutdown and reopening of the province. These facts do not diminish the impact of the pandemic on many of our registrants and we have worked to adjust deadlines and payments where possible. We have extended our renewal deadline by three months and offered payment by installment. In addition, we have adjusted timelines for quality assurance activities to accommodate the additional pressures occupational therapists may be experiencing.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact Registration Manager Clara Lau at clau@coto.org as soon as possible – and before the August 31, 2020 deadline - to discuss.

I'm disappointed occupational therapists did not receive pandemic pay. Why didn't the College advocate for us to receive pandemic pay?

The College continues to be grateful for the commitment of occupational therapists to the delivery of safe, quality care. We are aware of the incredibly important role of the profession and we commend you for your tremendous dedication, particularly during this time.

As the regulator of the profession in Ontario, the legal mandate of the College is to protect the public and ensure the public trusts occupational therapists. It is the role of the association to advocate on behalf of members and the profession. We know the association, the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists, has made great efforts to have occupational therapists included in the pandemic pay adjustments.

In Ontario, the role of the regulator and the association are separate and distinct to avoid any conflict of interest. The regulator acts in the public’s interest and the association acts in the profession’s interest. We encourage occupational therapists to contact their association if they have additional questions regarding pandemic pay.

Why can’t the College use its reserves to lower registration renewal fees?

College reserves are established and approved by Council as per Council policy. Reserves allow Council to allocate any operational surplus to predetermined financial risk categories. In the current policy, reserves are used to budget for Hearings and Independent Medical Examinations, Sexual Abuse and Counselling, Premises, Enterprise IT Planning, and Contingencies. The Contingency Fund is specifically to hold 3-6 months of operational costs, to be used should the college cease to exist as a statutory body. This year, the reserves have been instrumental in ensuring that the College could continue their operations as follows:

  • Hearings and Independent Medical Examinations – allowed the College to incur the sizable costs of a recent contested hearing.
  • Premises – ensure that College could address the space needs in the current office, without needing to spend the considerably higher costs of relocating.
  • Enterprise IT Planning – funding a review, implementation and maintenance of the College’s information systems as current critical systems have been in place since 2005 and require modernizing.
These reserves ensure that fees stay stable, and are one reason that fees have not been increased since 2007. While there has been a suggestion to use Contingency Reserves to lower costs to members during COVID-19, as mentioned, these are specifically allocated for the situation of legislative dissolve, which has not occurred.