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Checklist for Starting a Private Practice 

Checklist for Starting a Private Practice 


Devon is interested in starting a private occupational therapy practice to work with people experiencing concussion and other acquired brain injuries. Starting the business is very exciting but also overwhelming.

They have many questions about what is involved in setting up the practice. They have found information on how to start a business in Ontario and want to find out more about setting up the services from a regulatory perspective.

Devon calls the Practice Resource at the College to find out if there are any College guidance documents outlining expectations for occupational therapists starting a private practice.  



Values to Reflect: What principles must the occupational therapy service reflect?

Resource: Code of Ethics, Essential Competencies

Business Structure: Have tax or business lawyers or accountants been consulted? Do they recommended setting up a Professional Corporation?  Is additional insurance needed based on risk? 

Resource: Professional Corporations

Advertising legislation: Has advertising legislation been reviewed to ensure that marketing approaches and social platforms and websites are honest, truthful, transparent, and professional?

Resource: Private Practice, Occupational Therapy Act: General, Use of Social Media

Consent: What must be included during the consent discussion? Who can give consent?

Resources: Standards for ConsentConsent Check List, Decision Tree for Obtaining Consent.

Assessment: How are clients going to be assessed? What about virtual services?

Resource: Standards for Assessment, Virtual Services

Documentation: What must be documented? How to keep personal health information secure? What are the obligations of a Health Information Custodian?

Resources: Standards for Record Keeping, Record Keeping Checklist, The Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004: A Guide for Regulated Health Professionals

Managing difficult decisions and relationships as an owner: How do I navigate difficult situations that may involve conflicts of interest or high-risk service activities?

Resource: Decision Making FrameworkStandards for Prevention and Management of Conflicts of Interest

Discontinuing Services: What are the obligations when discontinuing services?

Resource: Discontinuing Services

Fees/Billing Practices: How to incorporate fairness, equity, and transparency into billing practices?

Resource: Private Practice

COTO Employment Profile: Does employment information need updating?

Resource: COTO Registration Services

Other Resources: Are there other resources about occupational therapy and private practice?

Resources: Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists



After the discussion with COTO, Devon reviews the resources above.  They use the information to help develop aspects of the new business plan for further review by accounting and legal professionals.  Devon knows that policies and procedures will need to be developed for the business once the proper input has been obtained and the business launch date approaches.



If you have questions about the application of College Standards and resources, contact the Practice Resource Service: 1.800.890.6570/416.214.1177x240 or [email protected].

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