Friday, 6 December 2019

Provide your input on proposed changes to how occupational therapy is regulated in BC

The B.C. Government Steering Committee on Modernization of Health Professional Regulation is currently collecting public feedback as they develop a proposal for how British Columbia’s Health Professions Act should be modernized. 

Proposed areas of change include: 

  • the number of regulatory colleges in B.C.
    • Occupational therapy would be regulated by the College of Health and Care Professions of B.C., an amalgamation of regulatory colleges of many professions, including: chiropractors, dietitians, massage therapists, naturopathic physicians, opticians optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, speech and hearing professionals, traditional chinese medicine practitioners, acupuncturists and the diagnostic and therapeutic professions
  • college governance (including board size and composition) 
  • the oversight of regulatory colleges (including creation of a new oversight body)
  • the complaints and adjudication process
  • legislation regarding information sharing between regulatory colleges and other agencies

CAOT-BC is currently collaborating with stakeholders to prepare an official submission response to the consultation. 

We strongly encourage all occupational therapists to provide your input to the steering committee through written submission or a 10-minute survey no later than January 10th at 4pm.


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

OT in the News

Global News announces Penticton's first primary care centre which includes an occupational therapist on staff.

Patients at the Ponderosa Primary Care Centre will have access to team-based care for health issues that can be more fully assessed or treated by health professionals such as an occupational therapist.

Read the full news story

Read the CAOT-BC response


Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Your mOnTh at a Glance


Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) Training
When: February 3-7, 2020
Where: City Square Shopping Centre, Vancouver, BC
Discount for CAOT-BC members!

Pain BC: Chronic Pain Management Workshop for Occupational Therapists
When: January 31 - February 1, 2020
Where: St. Paul's Hospital
Registration discount for CAOT-BC members

Heart & Stroke knowledge translation for health professionals webinar
Rehabilitation for Women: Overcoming challenges, seizing opportunities
When: December 16, 2019 | 12:00-1:00pm PST
Where: Webinar
Registration and more information

Pain BC Webinar: The Therapeutic Alliance
When: February 6, 2020 | 12:00pm PST
Where: Webinar
Registration and more information


Date: December 11, 2019
Time: 12:00-1:00pm PST
Location: Teleconference

Private Practice Business Network Meeting
Date: January 7, 2020
Time: 3:00-4:30pm PST
Location: Teleconference

Date: February 26, 2020
Time: 4:30-5:30pm PST
Location: Teleconference and in person (Prince George


Wellness Show 2020: Call for volunteers
When: February 1-2, 2020
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building
Email to sign up


Friday, 29 November 2019

BC Awards: Last chance to submit a nomination

Do you know a CAOT-BC colleague who is an outstanding occupational therapist? Read more about the selection criteria and submit a nomination by December 1, 2019.

This award is an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions and/or accomplishments to the health and well-being of Canadians by an agency, program or individual who is not an occupational therapist. If you would like to submit a nomination for this award, please review the nomination package.
The deadline for submission is December 1, 2019.


Wednesday, 27 November 2019

cOnnecT with Heather Gillespie

Why did you choose occupational therapy as a career?It is an interesting story. I always wanted to be a librarian and did not know what occupational therapy was until I took on a job while I was in high school. It was the summer between my grade 11 and grade 12 year.  I was a secretary at the rehab hospital in Winnipeg. It actually ended up being within the OT department and my role was to document the therapist’s reports and treatment plans. This job sparked my interest, so I did some investigating and took the necessary courses to apply to U of Manitoba’s program. I first received my diploma in ‘77 and continued my education and received my Bachelors in ‘86. 
Where have you worked over your career? Where do you work now?My final fieldwork placement was in Regina, which led to my first job as an OT as I really enjoyed it. It was a rehab setting and I ended up staying in Regina for twenty-five years. During my career, I have been working with the adult population in many different areas such as acute care, home care, rheumatology, and long-term care facilities. Currently, I work casually at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, but my main role is as a Distributed Learning instructor for the Therapist Assistant Program at Medicine Hat College. 
I have also had the opportunity to be the president of SSOT, be on different CAOT committees as well as on the Board, and was also the Board Chair of the College of Occupational Therapists of BC. 
What do you like about occupational therapy?I appreciate that we get the privilege to look at people’s everyday lives. As OTs, we get to look at what people are experiencing challenges with, how those challenges are impacting their lives, and problem-solving with them so that they are able to return to doing the activities that are meaningful to them.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an OT?That it’s the best profession ever. I think it’s important for those who are considering the profession to really enjoy working with people and to also enjoy being creative and thinking outside of the box. It is an ever-changing profession that provides you the opportunity to work with a large variety of clients within many different practice settings. For example, you could be working with a newborn child or a senior and could have a role within mental health or physical rehabilitation settings, within a community program, school or in a facility, and within the public or private sectors. It is very broad, anything that you enjoy doing- you can do as an OT. Overall, it is a very gratifying career that allows you to improve people’s well-being.
What is your favourite thing about CAOT-BC?I appreciate how CAOT-BC is so well connected with the members. My favourite things are the blog posts, email updates, forums, and also getting the opportunity to see what other OTs are doing. I also really liked the “Invite your MLA to the Legislator” initiative as well as all of the Practice Networks that are offered. In summary, I enjoy having provincial professional representation and the fact that they are communicating with their members on a regular basis. 
What do you think will change/shape practice over the next five years?I hope to see the profession of OT embrace working alongside OTAs more consistently. There is a huge potential here to provide better care that is more client-centered. I think in the upcoming years we need to encourage OTs to develop trusting, professional relationships with OTA’s to feel confident and comfortable with providing them more to do which will provide clients better access to OT. 
I also hope to see OTs advocating for ourselves more and becoming more involved in healthcare decision making across the country. I would like to see OT and OTAs be more involved and recognized in various areas of healthcare delivery including hospitals, schools, communities and injury prevention programs. I also hope to see OTs more involved in infrastructure and universal design in hopes of supporting the aging population to be able to successfully live in their homes for as long as possible, if that is their goal. 
Lastly, I think that the work of Karen Whalley Hammell will continue to push the boundaries of occupational therapy and shape our future practice. Her work focuses on what well-being means to the client and this can vary from current practice. She discusses that we need to look beyond the categories of self-care, productivity, and leisure and focus on the relationship between occupation and human well-being.
What do you do when you aren't working or volunteering?I enjoy cooking, reading, golfing, Zumba class, and I also love to sail with my husband, which was what actually brought us to the west coast. I also enjoy visiting and spending time with family including my daughters and grandsons.
What is your personal philosophy around advocating and giving back to the profession of OT?I strongly believe that everybody should give back by volunteering during their career whether this involves participating on a committee, supervising students during fieldwork placements or mentoring colleagues. There are also benefits to volunteering, such as learning what is happening and what is new in the profession. It helps you stay on top of important hot topics. 
Do you have anything else that we did not cover that you think is important to include? I want to mention the importance of being a lifelong learner. Once you graduate, you are not done learning. If you are going to call yourself a professional I believe it does come with some responsibility. Unfortunately, there are some barriers to continuing education, like not being able to get time off to attend workshops, or the costs associated. CAOT offers some great options, like the webinars which allow you to continue your education from home if you are unable to get the day off work. I also think it is important to include that everyone should be paying attention to what is currently changing and advancing. Be open to sharing your voice in the discussion groups that CAOT-BC offers. 
Post by Brandy Virgin, previous fieldwork student with CAOT-BC

Friday, 22 November 2019

Would you benefit from a mentor?

Are you a recent graduate, internationally educated, re-entering the workforce, transitioning into a new role or working in a remote community? A mentor may help you meet your professional goals.

Access 6 months of mentorship for only $99.00 (plus applicable taxes) with CAOT’s Mentorship On Demand program. You can start at any time! Learn more at

Are you wanting to help less experienced occupational therapists or occupational therapist assistants? Consider becoming a mentor!


Thursday, 21 November 2019

PAID ADVERTISEMENT: Contribute your knowledge! Provide feedback on a new approach to powered wheelchair provision

Dear Clinician,

Researchers from the University of British Columbia are investigating a new powered wheelchair technology and training system and would like your feedback. By clicking on the link below, you will be directed to a short (10 minute) survey to get your feedback on this technology and training system, and whether you would find this to be a useful tool in your clinical practice.

We are looking for clinicians who have experience with powered wheelchair provision in any setting throughout Canada.

Thank you for your assistance with our work,
CoPILOT Research Team

Principle Investigator: Dr. William Miller, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UBC, (604) 714-4108


Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Upcoming Practice Network Meeting: Traumatic Brain Injury - Community-Based Occupational Therapists and Speech-Language Pathologists Working Together

The Neurology Practice Network is back up and running! 

Don't miss the first meeting of the 2019-2020 membership year: 

Topic: Traumatic Brain Injury - Community-based Occupational Therapists and Speech-Language Pathologists Working Together

Presenters: Wendy Duke, M.Sc., RSLP, CCC-SLP and Nora Chambers, BSR Reg. OT(BC)

Learning Objectives:

Participants will:

  1. Improve their understanding of communication impairments (especially cognitive communication) in adult clients with traumatic brain injury.
  2. Improve their understanding of the unique role of the SLP with adult acquired brain injury clients.
  3. Increase their focus on the client's speech and language needs.
  4. Learn when to make appropriate and timely referrals to SLP services when required.

Date: December 3rd, 2019
Time: 12:00-1:00pm PST
Location: Webinar and in person (Vancouver - address included in registration confirmation)

Registration (free for members, $20+ tax for others)

Monday, 18 November 2019

Don't forget to register for the AMPS training course!

The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) is an innovative observational assessment that is used to measure the quality of a person’s activities of daily living (ADL). The AMPS is an ideal tool for occupational therapists who:
  • Have clients 2 years old and above, including older adults
  • Are looking for a valid and reliable assessment of the quality of ADL performance.
  • Need to demonstrate effectiveness of intervention.
When: February 3-7, 2020
Where: City Square Shopping Centre, Vancouver, BC

CAOT-BC members receive a discount on registration

Register here by January 3, 2020


Friday, 15 November 2019