Frequently Asked Questions about OSOT Membership

We hope we've addressed the most common queries relating to OSOT membership and registration processes. Browse the questions below, addressing queries re OSOT Membership, OSOT Membership Registration and OSOT Insurance Programs, then scroll down the page to find the answer. Have a question we haven't addressed? Contact osot@osot.on.ca or call 416-322-3011 or 1-877-676-6768.

About OSOT Membership

I’ve never been an OSOT member what do I need to know?
  • Check out OSOT’s membership eligibility criteria and determine the membership category best suited to you 
  • Review OSOT’s member benefits – you’ll be convinced there’s value in your membership fee! 
  • New members are eligible for New Member Fees – a 50% savings for all member categories – we think you’ll see it’s a small commitment to make to advance OT in Ontario and to reap the benefits of OSOT’s efforts to support your practice! 

I work part-time, is there a part-time practising membership category?

No. OSOT member benefits and services are equally accessible for all practising members so a distinction in membership categories has been deemed unnecessary. Current diversity of part-time practitioners both in hours worked (from just a few hours/week to near full-time) and earning potential has diminished clarity of need. As a result, OSOT has made a commitment to keep ALL membership fees low. We believe members will find excellent value for their membership fee. In fact, use of OSOT member benefits can actually save you as much as your membership fee, if not more!

OSOT’s membership year commences October 1st and extends to September 30th. Are fees pro-rated throughout the year?
OSOT membership fees are pro-rated by 50% for NEW members joining after April 1st of the membership year.  There is no pro-rating of fees for those renewing their membership at any point in the membership year. We encourage members to renew annually on or before the renewal date which also ensure that one’s professional liability insurance (if a subscriber) is maintained continuously.  New policy purchases of insurance are pro-rated on a quarterly basis.  

I’m a New Graduate – when am I eligible for OSOT Membership?
As you prepare to look for your first job in Ontario, you’ll want to register with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. One of the requirements is to hold a professional liability insurance policy that meets the College requirements. OSOT can help. Engage your OSOT membership as you apply for COTO registration. OSOT’s professional liability insurance to meets and exceeds the College requirements. Furthermore, your OSOT membership can provide useful resources to support your job search and transition into professional practice. To facilitate transitions into professional practice and in honour of our new graduates graduation, OSOT makes New Graduate membership FREE and automatic for those who are already a student member. ENCON Insurance extends the professional liability insurance to New Graduate members for FREE also but you must register for it online.

I’m retiring this year, do I need to renew?
Membership in OSOT is always voluntary but we urge retiring members to maintain a relationship with OSOT and the profession. OSOT has a "Retired Members" category which costs only $26 per year. Look here for more information.

I’m going to be on health or parental leave for most of the year do I need to join/renew?
Membership in OSOT is always voluntary but we urge members and potential members taking an extended leave to maintain or engage a relationship with OSOT and the profession and an active membership. Not only will this keep you in touch with issues and developments in the profession but it also enables you to keep your professional liability insurance active! This is important because professional liability insurance policies are “claims made”, meaning that you have to be insured at the time a claim is made, regardless of when the at fault incident took place. Maintaining insurance while you’re off on leave protects you from the potential of a claim from a complaint or legal suit coming forward during your leave. OSOT feels so strongly that you should be covered during this period that we’ve negotiated with our insurer, Encon Insurance, to provide complimentary professional liability insurance for existing policy subscribers for one year when one is off on leave. Most leaves don’t coincide with the October 1st start to our membership year so use this rule of thumb to take advantage of the complimentary insurance; 

  • If you are on leave on October 1st, renew your OSOT membership in the Non-Practicing category and select the complimentary professional liability insurance options for parental leave.  
  • If you are working on October 1st but planning to commence a leave during the membership year, register as a practicing member and pay for your insurance. Next October 1st when you are not working, you will be eligible for Non-Practicing status and the complimentary professional liability insurance.

What is the difference between OSOT and COTO and OSOT and CAOT?

In Ontario, occupational therapists are asked to support three professional bodies. While only one of this is mandatory, OSOT encourages member support of each because these 3 organizations provide professional leadership with three different foci and support members’ practice from their unique perspectives. For example:

  • College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario - the provincial regulator and the only organization one must be registered with in order to practice OT in Ontario. The College exists under provincial statute – the Regulated Health Professions Act, and exists to protect the public by establishing and enforcing standards of practice and quality assurance measures for the profession and occupational therapists.

  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists – CAOT is the national voluntary professional association serving Canadian occupational therapists. CAOT is a leadership organization for the profession that works with a focus on national issues and health policy and support to members through publications, resources, professional development, etc. 

  • Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists - OSOT is the provincial voluntary professional association serving Ontario occupational therapists. OSOT is a leadership organization with a a provincial focus. As health care is a provincial jurisdiction, this requires attention to evolving health and social policy that affects OTs and their clients provincial advocacy and representation and advocacy can influence health policy that truly affects practice. OSOT provides a range of member benefits and services to support OTs including practice resource, professional development opportunities, professional promotion resources, etc.

Together, the three organizations provide strong leadership, representation and promotion of occupational therapy, protection of the public and effective support to occupational therapists.

Frequently Asked Questions about OSOT Membership Application/Renewal Processes

I can’t find my OSOT Membership number to access the Membership Portal.
Your OSOT membership number was communicated in the membership confirmation email you received when you joined or renewed your membership with OSOT. If you have forgotten your login credentials, you can use our online tools in the top right corner of our homepage to either retrieve or reset them. You can also contact OSOT at osot@osot.on.ca.

I don’t remember my password needed to access the Membership Portal.
Check the guidance at the log in page of the OSOT website for password access. If you’ve changed your password and can’t remember, use the change your password option. We encourage you to document your password in a secure place.

I seem to be locked out of the OSOT Membership Portal and My Profile.
Sometimes after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to log-in, your membership profile may become blocked. Unfortunately, this requires a re-set by OSOT Office staff. While we apologize for the inconvenience we suggest you contact osot@osot.on.ca or 877-676-6768 as soon as possible to request a re-set.
 
When will I receive my official receipt and insurance certificate?
If you join/renew online your official receipt and insurance certificate will be available to download from your membership profile. While logged into the website, go to My Profile. Select My Receipts to access your receipt and My Certificates to access your insurance certificate. You’re welcome to download and print these but be reminded that they will always be accessible in your profile. You just need your OSOT member number and password to access them at your convenience.

I live in one region but work in another, which OSOT Region should I select?
OSOT organizes its membership administratively by regions that correspond to the regions established by the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. Most of our services are not region specific. However, we suggest you select the Region for which you would wish to receive any region-specific information – e.g. LHIN updates, regional meetings/professional development opportunities, etc.

I don’t really want to share my compensation information – how do you use this?
A section of the OSOT Membership data profile requests information about your professional compensation. While providing this information is voluntary we do encourage members to respond to help the Society monitor general compensation trends and issues in the profession. All membership data is used only in aggregate and your personal information is always strictly protected. Our staff are guided by clear privacy and confidentiality policies and procedures. Each year OSOT publishes an OSOT Membership Profile that provides insight into the membership as a whole of the Society. This provides useful data for members to review to lend insights into their profession across the province. Your thorough completion and annual updating of all membership data helps ensure this report and the snapshot of OT in Ontario is as accurate as possible.

I am asked to give permission for OSOT to share information about me to PROLINK and Sykes Canada – what information is shared and why?
OSOT requests your permission to share the following information to support your access to member services to which you are subscribed;

  • If you are a subscriber to OSOT’s Professional Liability Insurance or General Liability Insurance policies we seek your permission to share your purchase information with the Society’s insurance broker Prolink. This ensures that your policy enrollment is communicated to the insurer so that if and when you need to be in touch there is no delay in access to coverage or service. 
  • As an OSOT member you have access to a member exclusive Legal Advisory Service which is offered through Sykes Canada. We seek your permission to share your name and member number with Sykes to ensure that when you wish to access the service and speak to a lawyer there will be no delay in access to this valued member service. Sykes also administers the Real Estate Referral Service so this service is also apprised of your eligibility for service. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about OSOT Insurance Programs

Does OSOT’s Professional Liability Insurance Policy meet the requirements I have from the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO)?
Yes! In fact, your OSOT PLI meets or exceeds all of the following College requirements.

  • A liability limit of at least $5 million per incident.
  • A minimum coverage of $5 million for the annual policy period – OSOT’s plan EXCEEDS this requirement, policy holders have $10,000,000 annual coverage.
  • No deductible to the coverage.
  • All insurance policies held by occupational therapists licenced in Ontario are required to have at least five years of extension of the coverage for claims made when on an extended leave or after retirement or otherwise ceasing practice - your OSOT PLI complies!
  • No additional terms, conditions or exclusion, other than those standard to the insurance industry.
  • COTO requires a Sexual Abuse Therapy and Counselling Fund Endorsement that provides coverage for therapy and counselling for every person eligible for funding under subsection 85.7(4) of the Code; and provides coverage, in respect of each such eligible person, for the maximum amount of funding that may be provided for the person under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, for therapy and counselling as a result of sexual abuse by the Registrant. Your OSOT PLI meets this requirement.

OSOT’s Professional Liability Insurance Policy EXCEEDS COTO requirements with the following provisions; 

  • Coverage of OT assistants or re-entry candidates who may be working under your supervision.
  • Cyber and Privacy Liability coverage of $100,000 to protect you in handling confidential client information.
  • A Legal Expenses Endorsement that provides 100% coverage of reasonable legal expenses you may incur relating to a complaint, investigation or hearing of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (subject to a $200,000 annual limit).  
  • A Criminal Defense Reimbursement that provides reimbursement of legal expenses in the investigation and defense of a criminal suit against you if you’re found not guilty. Limit $150,000.

How do I get  a policy extension of my Liability Insurance Coverage when I retire from practice?
OSOT professional liability insurance coverage provides five years of extended coverage for claims made when on an extended leave or after retirement or otherwise ceasing practice.  When a need arises, simply contact your insurance broker - PROLINK!

How do I get a policy extension of my Liability Insurance Coverage when I am on parental/extended leave?
When you renew your OSOT membership for October 1st and if you are not working at that time (i.e. you are on parental/extended leave), renew as a Non-Practicing Member and select the “parental leave” option at Step 9 of the online renewal process. This will allow you to select complimentary extension of your professional liability insurance, provided you have been a previous subscriber.  

What is the difference between Professional Liability and General Liability Insurance?
Professional Liability Insurance protects you in the event that a claim or lawsuit alleges your error, omission or malpractice in your delivery of occupational therapy services. Your professional practice is the issue that is being challenged in a claim against you in these cases. General Liability Insurance, on the other hand, addresses your protection in the event of a variety of claims resulting from your actions, but not relating to your professional practice. For example, bodily injury, property damage and libel/slander. Sometimes general liability is related to your professional practice, for example, if you own a clinic or treatment facility and a client slips on a wet floor or an icy walkway, you, as the clinic owner could have a general liability for their injury or damages. If you are a home visiting therapist and you accidentally damage a client’s property (perhaps accidentally damaging their landscaping with your car) you could be sued for their costs/damages.

Does OSOT provide insurance coverage for private practices?
Absolutely! A full range of insurance protections are available to members through the Society’s insurance broker Prolink.  Prolink works on your behalf to find the best rates and coverage protections available. Working on behalf of a large group of professionals (Prolink specializes in association focused insurance programs) they are able to attract the best rates to meet your unique private practice needs. New in 2018, OSOT offers a convenient Office Insurance Package for private practitioners with clinic or office space. This bundle saves you money! That said, because everyone’s practice and insurance requirements can be different you are always invited to request an individual assessment of need (you never want to pay more or buy more than you need to for the right level of protection). Call Prolink for a personalized, confidential consultation and quote at 416-595-7484 or 1-800-663-6828.  Learn more about OSOT insurance programs here.