Episode Description: Life changes, and as an OT, you must remember to keep the College informed of many of these changes. This episode is about why it's important for OTs to keep your information up to date. We’ll look at the different types of changes that require an update to the College, your professional responsibilities for updating your information, and more.

Questions? Comments? Email us at communications@coto.org


Podcast Transcript

Seema: Welcome to COTO On-Topic, where no question is off-topic. I’m your host Seema Sindwani.

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Seema: You’ve probably heard the saying “change is inevitable” and here at the College we couldn’t agree more. Life changes, and as an OT, you must remember to keep the College informed of many of these changes.

If you haven’t guessed it already, today’s show is about the importance of keeping your information up to date.We’ll look at the different types of changes that require an update to the College, your responsibilities for updating your information, and more.

So, if you're ready, let’s get started! 

Let’s begin by going over the 30-day rule. That is, in the event of a change, members of the College have a responsibility to update the College within 30 days of that change.

You can update the College by logging in to the members section of coto.org and clicking on the “Update Profile” or “Self-Report” button – depending on the type of change.

Remember: All the information in the member’s section—your profile—needs to be maintained by you.  Take a few minutes to check out what’s there so you are familiar with the information you need to manage.

To help you learn more about the types of changes you are responsible for updating, we brought back Practice Advisor, Sonia Mistry. Sonia, welcome back to the show!

Sonia: Hi Seema, thanks for having me. I understand that the topic of today’s show is about the importance of updating your information with the College—great topic, by the way!

Now, Seema—I want you to think about some possible changes that someone may have gone through in their life. We’ll go over those changes together and then identify whether an OT would need to update the College about this change. Can you think of any examples?

Seema: Okay, let’s see. Well, what about if somebody moves?

Sonia: Yeah, so if you move your address changes, so you definitely need to update the College about that change.

Seema: Okay, how would they update the College? Do they call you?

Sonia: Actually, they wouldn’t need to call us. All they would need to do is log in to the members’ section of the College website and click “Update Profile.” You can update your address there.

Also, if there’s been a change in your email address, it’s very important to also update that information. The College communicates by mail and email, and information is sent out to that address or email that we have on file. The information we send to members is helpful and important, and it’s your responsibility to make sure you are receiving this information. You’re accountable for it.  

Seema: Thanks, Sonia, that’s really helpful.

Let’s see, what about a change in employment? So, what if an OT gets a second job or changes jobs with the same employer?

Sonia: Yes, a change in any employment information would require you to update your profile. It’s important for the College and your clients or potential clients to be able to contact you.

All your employment contact information is available online through the public register at “Find an Occupational Therapist” on the College website.

Seema: I recently updated my professional liability insurance. Do I need to update my profile with that information as well?

Sonia: I’m glad you brought up because there are consequences for not updating your professional liability insurance information. If you don’t update your insurance information with the College, it actually looks like you’re registered without the required insurance in place. Professional liability insurance is a key component of public protection, so the College is required to follow up.

OTs who fail to update their insurance information online within 30 days may be subject to an administrative fee of $100 and formal action by the College.

Seema: Okay thanks, I’m glad I asked about that one.

Also, I’ve heard that OTs must report charges to the College. So for example, being charged with driving under the influence—is that true? Would an OT be required to report that to the College?

Sonia: Absolutely, if you’ve been charged with an offence in Canada or elsewhere, you’re required to report it to the College. You can do this through the “Self-Report” section of the member login. There are a number of other things you are required to self-report to the College, such as bail conditions or any findings from other regulatory Colleges.

Seema: Ok, well why does the College need to know this information? I mean, how does it relate to OT practice?

Sonia: The College has a duty to protect the public and to make sure OTs practise in a safe, ethical and competent manner.

Having OTs share this information about changes like the ones we’ve discussed ensures that the College can do its job, as some of these changes could affect an OT’s ability to practise safely and professionally. OTs and other health care professionals have a legal requirement to provide that information.

Sharing information may not result in any action from the College. However, the College will look at this information and then consider if they need to do a more detailed review.

Seema: Ok, well that’s great. I think we’ve covered some key scenarios. I’m wondering, do you have any other advice for our listeners?

Sonia: I do! A list of all the information that members are required to update within 30 days is available on the College website at coto.org through the member login. I suggest OTs log in and select “Update Profile” or “Self-Report” to see the list and get familiar with the categories.

If anyone is ever unsure about a change and whether or not to update their profile, they should contact the College directly and we can definitely help them out.

Seema: I’d like to close the show by thanking you, Sonia again for being our guest and sharing your knowledge. And thanks to all of you for listening as well.

We hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. If you have any questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you. Please give us a call at 1.800.890.6570 or email us at info@coto.org. You can also connect with us on social media, our Twitter handle is @CollegeofOTs. For more information please visit the College website at coto.org.

Bye for now.

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