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Notice: The Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Canada (2021) are now in effect.

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Aug 6, 2020

Special Elections Webinar Recording and Q&As

The following is a recording of our July 14th, 2020 Special Elections webinar hosted by College Registrar, Elinor Larney.

In this webinar, Elinor answers your questions about professional regulation and becoming a member of Council.

Download the slide deck here:

Questions and Answers From the Webinar

1. Do voting members need to be in your district?

Yes. Registrants are entitled to vote if they primarily work in the electoral district where the election is being held. If a registrant is not working in the electoral district where the election is being held, they can still vote if their principal residence is in the electoral district.

2. Are there any stipulations on how we represent ourselves during the voting period? For example, are we able to put together a video for our district numbers?

Candidates who wish to engage in additional campaign activities do so at their own cost. Any campaign activities must reflect the College mandate of protecting the public interest. Candidates must not make promises to change or commit to making changes to the College’s bylaws, regulations, standards of practice, policies or position statements. Candidates must not promote or advocate for the profession or any advocacy group. All activities and statements must comply with the regulations, bylaws, and Ontario Human Rights Code.

3. Are we allowed to reach out personally to members from our district?

Yes, you can reach out to registrants because you need to be nominated by at least three registrants who are eligible to vote in the electoral district in which the election is to be held.

4. Can I be on a current committee and still be nominated?

If you sit on a committee of a professional association you must first resign from that committee to be nominated to run for a College election. Candidates should be aware that professional members of Council are unable to hold a position which would cause them to have a conflict of interest by virtue of having competing fiduciary obligations to both COTO and another organization. If you already sit on a College committee as a non-council member then you can still be nominated to run for election.

5. Would the nominees have to submit a CV/resume to the College?

In the nomination form you will be asked to provide a biographical summary of your education, current and past employment history, participation and involvement in any OT organizations and any other community involvement. Candidates are not required to submit a CV/resume to the College.

6. Approximately how many votes are typically issued to win a position on Council?

Any number of candidates can run for election in an electoral district. The candidate with the highest number of votes wins a seat in Council. An absolute majority is not required for a candidate to be elected. The number of votes varies each election.

7. Do people vote based on your biographical details?

Registrants vote for a nominee based on several factors. The information provided by a candidate in the biographical summary will help voters make that decision.

8. Do you have equal representation for minorities on Council?

The College seeks and values diversity among Council as reflected in our College values. The College respects and supports equity, diversity and inclusion. The College is therefore seeking a diverse pool of candidates for nomination to Council. We invite and encourage submissions from registrants from all backgrounds, who feel they can make a unique and valuable contribution to Council.

9. Thank you. Is there a guideline for writing the biography (candidate statement?) and is there a word limit?

All candidates are invited to provide a brief statement (200 words or less) regarding past professional involvement, current professional interest, and reasons for running for Council. All statements are subject to Registrar review and approval.

10. Would you be able to describe the nomination process in greater detail?

Nominations and voting are online. Eligible members receive an email from with instructions on how to run or support a nomination for Council.

Candidates considering standing for election to Council should:

  • Confirm eligibility to stand for election.
  • Review the criteria for ensuring nominators are eligible. Nominators must be employed or reside within the electoral district where the election will be held.
  • Complete and submit a nomination form. The nomination form includes: a candidate statement, a public protection statement, employment history, education history, and a biographical summary. The nomination form must be supported by three eligible nominators.
  • Submit the required materials before the deadline.

The Registrar supervises the nomination of candidates including determining the eligibility for election of a nominated candidate.

No later than 60 days before the date of an election, the Registrar notifies registrants who are eligible to vote, of the date, time, and place of the election and of the nomination procedure.

The nomination of a candidate for election as a member of the Council is submitted to the Registrar at least 30 days before the election.

A candidate for election as a member of the Council must be supported by at least three Registrants who support the nomination and who are eligible to vote in the electoral district in which the election is to be held.

A candidate may withdraw his or her nomination for election to the Council by notifying the Registrar in writing at least 20 days before the election.

You can learn more about College elections at or by contacting the College at

Due to unexpected vacancies, the College is having special elections in District 1 (Toronto and area) and District 2 (Hamilton, Niagara, Waterloo area). Occupational therapists in Districts 1 and 2 are invited to run for Council.

We hope you consider running for Council. Call for nominations closes August 27, 2020.