Integrating occupational therapist assistants: Optimize outcomes - Online delivery
15-Oct-2018 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Integrating occupational therapist assistants: Optimize outcomes 

Online delivery

Monday, October 15, 2018 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Client access to occupational therapy can be improved by the timely and appropriate involvement of OTAs in service delivery.  The knowledge and skills of OTAs have evolved with the advancement in their education to accredited Diploma programs across Canada, while there continues to be OTAs from other educational backgrounds receiving on-the-job training in occupational therapy.  The result for clinical practice is the need to review collaboration between therapists and assistants in both public and private funded work environments, including ways to improve and expand OTA involvement in delivering occupational therapy to clients.  Professional dialogue must occur to create a vision of effective intraprofessional occupational therapy for our clients resulting in the achievement of optimal occupational performance.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize foundational knowledge and skills of OTA graduates.
  2. Correlate a trusting professional relationship with occupational therapist/OTA collaboration.
  3. Describe the regulated task assignment and supervision process.
  4. Evaluate client outcomes following OTA involvement in treatment.
  5. Advocate for further research to determine the effectiveness of the OT/OTA collaboration.
  6. Discuss effects of occupational therapist entry-level education on OTA involvement in interventions.

Workshop topics

  • Knowledge and skills of current OTA graduates
  • Development of a trusting relationship between OTs and OTAs
  • Appropriate regulated task assignment to OTAs
  • Supervision of OTAs
  • Evaluation of OTA participation in client service delivery
  • Emerging roles for OTAs, within public and private funded work environments

Target audience

This workshop is intended for occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants, students in occupational therapy programs, students in OTA/PTA programs, employers/managers of OTs and OTAs and educators in entry-level occupational therapy programs and OTA/PITA programs in a variety of practice settings who wish to improve client access to occupational therapy with the timely, consistent and appropriate involvement of OTAs in delivery of service. Those with 0-5 years of experience collaborating with OTAs and integrating OTAs into the occupational therapy service delivery as well as those with a future vision for greater intraprofessional integration of OTAs in client care would particularly benefit from this workshop.

Please note: The roles and responsibilities of occupational therapist assistants vary across practice settings as well as between provincial and territorial jurisdictions. Each participant is responsible to ensure they apply the information within the context of their licensure, provincial/territorial legislations, institution regulations, scope of practice, etc.

Areas of practice

Mental health, cognitive, neurological/neuromuscular, cardiovascular and respiratory, digestive/metabolic/endocrine, general physical health, vocational rehabilitation, palliative/end-of-life care, health promotion and wellness, client service management, researchers, educators

Client age groups

Young children (0-4 years old), school age children (5-12 years), adolescents (13-19 years), adults (20-64 years), seniors (65 years +)

Workshop level:

Varied (0-5+ years of experience)


Heather Gillespie

Heather Gillespie graduated with a Dip. O.T. in 1977 and a B.O.T. in 1986, both from the University of Manitoba.  Her clinical experience spans the care continuum including acute care, rehabilitation, community and residential care.  Collaborating with occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) has been prevalent throughout her career, having participated in the evolution from on-the-job-trained education to current accredited College programs. She was the Program Head for the Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant program at the Saskatchewan Institute for Applied Science and Technology 1998-2001, and is currently an instructor for the Therapist Assistant Distributed Learning program at Medicine Hat College in Alberta. She has presented at numerous conferences and forums on topics related to OTAs, including five CAOT National Conferences and a Professional Issues Forum on Support Personnel in 2001.  She co-edited the March/April 2015 OT Now Special Issue on OTAs and she co-presented a two-part CAOT webinar series on the Occupational Therapist/OTA Collaboration:  Current Trends and Emerging Roles in 2016.  She is a Peer Review Team Member for the OTA/PTA Education Accreditation Program, and was involved in developing the current COTBC Practice Guideline on Supervising Support Personnel.

Registration fees:

Early bird rates: Registration and payment completed by July 11, 2018

CAOT Member and Associates

Student Associates

Non member*




Plus applicable taxes

Regular rates: Registration and payment completed between July 12, 2018 and October 3, 2018

CAOT Member and Associates

Student Associates

Non member*




Plus applicable taxes

Regular group rates: Please call 1-800-434-2268 ext. 247 to register using a group rate

# in group

Members (reg $285 each)

Students (reg $260 each)

Non members (reg $427.50 each)

If 1-2 participants

100% ($285 each)

100% ($260 each)

100% ($427.50 each)

If 3-5 participants

75% ($213.75 each)

50% ($130 each)

75% ($320.63 each)

If 6-10 participants

66.6% ($188 each)

30% ($78 each)

66.6% ($285 each)

If 11+ participants

50% ($142.50 each)

10% ($26 each)

50% ($213.75 each)

Plus applicable taxes

Please note that for the 2017-2018 workshops, CAOT has reduced the registration fee for all registrants instead of offering a group rate. When available, CAOT offers late registration for workshops at the regular rate plus a $50 administration fee.  We will only be able to accommodate if there is sufficient space.

*In many cases it would be more cost effective to become a CAOT Member or Associate rather than pay the non-member rate. See “Can a non-member register for a Workshop?” in our Workshop FAQ to know which membership category you are eligible for.

Included with your registration fee

One-day workshop delivered through webinar, electronic copy of presentation slide handouts, networking with other OTs and OTAs passionate about improving client service delivery through intraprofessional collaboration, follow-up Q&A webinar with presenter 2 months after workshop, electronic certificate of attendance

To reduce the registration fee by $40/day, lunch and snacks on your own.

Maximum number of registrants:


Technical Requirements:

This workshop will be conducted mostly using Adobe Connect (webinar platform) and some discussions will take place via a toll-free teleconference line. Please ensure your setup meets the following technical requirements:

  1. Computer with stable Internet connection and Adobe Flash Player version 13.0 or higher
  2. Headphones
  3. Telephone

Cancellation/refund policy:

All cancellation/refund requests must be sent to Cancellation requests received prior to October 3, 2018 will be given a 50% refund. CAOT will not provide a refund after the registration deadline.

CAOT reserves the right to modify the workshop title, description, registration dates and information on the workshop webpage. CAOT will notify participants on or before September 3, 2018 if there is insufficient registration by that date and reserves the right to cancel a Workshop due to insufficient registration up until September 17, 2018. CAOT reserves the right to modify the offering, interrupt Workshops, change the timing of a Workshop, cancel a Workshop or change the location of a Workshop due to the presenter no longer being able to present the Workshop, severe weather, power failure, building closures or other special circumstances that are beyond the control of CAOT by notifying participants as soon as possible. If the Workshop is cancelled by CAOT, registrants will receive a full refund of the registration fee. CAOT will not be responsible for other costs or expenses incurred by registrants as a result of any such changes.

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