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Safe, Quality Practice: A partnership between employers and the College

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3 Steps to Support Patient and Client Safety

Occupational therapists (OTs) have legal obligations to ensure safe, quality practice – and so do their employers.

Follow these three steps to help support patient and client safety.

Step 1: Confirm

All occupational therapists who are registered to work in Ontario are listed on our online public register. It is called “Find an Occupational Therapist”. Use it to confirm the registration status of a prospective employee.

If there is any information regarding concerns, restrictions or limitations on an occupational therapist’s practice, you’ll find it on the public register.

If someone is working as an occupational therapist (that includes orientation or training at your workplace) without being registered with the College, they’re engaged in unauthorized practice.

As an employer, you have a duty to ensure employees are registered.

Step 2: Verify

Double-check an occupational therapist’s status at “Find an Occupational Therapist” whenever an employee is returning from a leave.

Many occupational therapists resign their College registration when they take a leave from employment.

Until they register again, they’re not legally permitted to practise.

Step 3: Report

There are legal obligations to report certain matters to the College. These obligations apply if you employ an occupational therapist, independently contract an occupational therapist’s services, or are in another type of business relationship or partnership with an occupational therapist.

By law, you must make mandatory reports to the College if you have taken any of the following actions due to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity:

  • terminated or suspended the business or employment relationship, or
  • restricted the occupational therapist's practice.

The reporting obligation still exists when an occupational therapist voluntarily resigns or restricts their practice, if the reason for that resignation or restriction likely relates to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.

Reports must be made immediately if you believe:

  • an occupational therapist has sexually abused a patient or client, or
  • an occupational therapist's incompetence or the incapacity is likely to expose patients or clients to harm or injury, and there is urgent need for intervention.

Contact the College

Have questions? We are here to help.

Contact us by phone at 1.800.890.6570/416.24.1177 or by email at [email protected].

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