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Dec 15, 2023

Building COTO's 2024-2027 Strategic Plan: Key Themes from Our Registrant and Public Surveys

Surveying registrants, staff, and members of the public is a key part of developing our 2024-2027 strategic plan. We are pleased to summarize some of the key themes that emerged from the surveys we conducted in September. 


All registrants received the survey via both a dedicated electronic communication  and in the September College newsletter. The public survey was posted on the Ontario Health Regulators website, distributed through the Citizen Advisory Group newsletter, and launched via a dedicated Facebook campaign.

We also contacted key partners directly with a request to share the survey through their channels.

Altogether, we received 264 responses with 71 responses for the public survey and 193 for the registrant’s survey. The responses can be grouped broadly around the following themes.

1. Improve the clarity and accessibility of information

  • Use plain language to talk about the complaints and investigation processes.
  • Provide additional information on the public register (the directory of occupational therapists).
  • Increase awareness of the role of occupational therapists, their scope of practice, what services are available and what to expect from your visit.
  • Use videos and social media to focus on occupational therapy practice settings and specific areas they can work in.

2. Reinforce the College’s public protection mandate

  • Make the complaints process easier.
  • Promote how the College exists to serve the public interest and what types of support for OTs contribute to that goal.
  • Build relationships with OTs that empower them to do their best work for the public.

3. Enhance resources for registrants to support the delivery of safe practice

  • Provide even clearer direction and tools on how to follow and/or apply practice guidance, regulations, government directives, mandates and legislation.
  • Share trends about complaints and risks, and how to avoid complaints.

4. Ensure that registrants understand the expectations on them 

  • Keep standards and practice expectations realistic.
  • Be more open and approachable in communications with registrants.
  • Consider if requirements like quality assurance and competency assessments are too onerous.

5. Consider the health human resource environment

  • Recognize the challenges some occupational therapists face to follow practice standards and expectations, given large caseloads and understaffed workplaces.
  • Build understanding of the full scope of occupational therapy services to optimize public access. 
  • Provide guidance and support as more occupational therapists work in emerging areas like virtual care, in non-traditional roles/settings in the community and in mental health.

The College will complete our current 2020-2024 strategic plan at the end of May, with the 2024-2027 strategic plan taking effect June 1, 2024. The survey input will help us shape our strategic priorities as we work to ensure safe and quality occupational therapy services across Ontario.

Thank you to all registrants and members of the public who provided input. We welcome your views about the College and its processes at any time and invite you to share your feedback using our online form.