Classes of Membership
Four categories of membership in the Society enable participation of occupational therapists, student occupational therapists and those wishing to associate with the profession of occupational therapy in Ontario.
Occupational therapists who are living and/or working in Ontario and meet the eligibility criteria are eligible to be Active Members. Active Members have access to full member benefits and are voting members of the Society. Eligibility criteria include:
- The Member must be living and/or working in the province of Ontario, AND
- The Member must be eligible to practice occupational therapy in Ontario (or another province if applicable) to be eligible for practising status, OR
- The Member must have graduated from an occupational therapy educational program in Canada accredited by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) or from a non-Canadian occupational therapy educational program recognized by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and have successfully completed 1,000 hours of fieldwork or clinical practice or can provide evidence of membership in the professional association in the country where occupational therapy education was received, to be eligible for non-practising status.
There are 5 categories of active membership:
- Practising - practising occupational therapy as a registered occupational therapist
- Non-Practising - unemployed but anticipating return to practice.
- Retired - retired from practice and formally resigned College registration or will be resigning prior to the next COTO renewal.
- New Graduate - within one year of graduation from a WFOT approved school of occupational therapy.
- Honorary Life Member - Members who are recipients of the Society’s most prestigious membership award are granted Honorary Life Member status. This award recognizes and honours an occupational therapist for distinguished and long standing service to OSOT and/or the profession of occupational therapy.
Retired Membership allows you to continue the relationship with the profession and engage in the following benefits:
- Continued access to all membership benefits, services and SAVINGS! Consider the savings on group insurance programs - home, car, pet, dental, etc., complimentary legal advisory service (it applies to all types of legal issues), GoodLife Fitness membership discounts, the Real Estate Referral services, etc. We think you deserve a continued break on costs so let your $26 work to save you hundreds! Of course you'd still be able to participate in all OSOT activities, programs, etc. if you wish.
- Opportunity to continue to contribute! While retirement may be welcome break from the day to day demands of your job, now may be the time when you actually have time to contribute as you always wished you could. Join that task force that's working on an issue that's been important to you, sit on as OSOT Team or help to promote OT at an exhibition or conference. Voluntary of course!
- Find a way to support another OT as your experience translates into expertise and knowledge that is so valuable to share. Why not consider mentoring a newer graduate or someone moving into your area of practice. As a Retired Member you can sign up to participate in OSOT's Mentorship Program and be listed in the Find-a-Mentor online tool. Or to be less formal, you may wish to be listed in the Find-a-Colleague networking tool or join an Online Community of Practice and offer advice and support through more informal networking.
- Stay in touch! Receiving OSOT communications may just be what it takes to feel you're still connected to the community. Of course, you can also choose not to receive communications if you've decided that career related email isn't your thing anymore!
Students currently enrolled in a Canadian, CAOT accredited university program in occupational therapy are eligible for complimentary membership in OSOT. Student members have access to all membership benefits and services but do not carry a right to vote. Read more about OSOT Student Membership.
Occupational therapists living outside of Ontario and not practising in the province, or individuals who are not occupational therapists but who wish to link with the profession in Ontario are eligible for Associate Member status. Associate members have access to all membership benefits and services relevant to this category but do not carry a right to vote. Associate Members are not eligible for any other class of membership and may or may not be an occupational therapist.