A female OT chats with one of her elderly female clients.
A female OT pushes the wheelchair of her male client as they shop for flowers.
An elderly man helps a young boy in thee garden with planting some flowers.

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COTM's mission is to protect the public by regulating occupational therapy practice in Manitoba.
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Another Year – Changes and Challenges Galore

Greetings, everyone.

In my March message I shared information about COTM staffing changes. Here are some updates on that front. Recruitment has begun in earnest for the new Executive Director / Registrar who will be my successor and ideally begin with COTM in November. Interviews will occur in early June for an OT to join COTM in the newly created Professional Practice Manager position. And with the help of such agencies as Opportunities for Employment, Manitoba Possible, and Manitoba Start, we have some great potential candidates for the Operations Associate / Executive Assistant position. Announcements via email communication will be made to COTM members with any developments.

I recently have received more and more questions about the impact of The Regulated Health Professions Act on the practice of occupational therapists especially with respect to the scope of practice and reserved acts. You are encouraged to review the COTM Guidance on Scope of Practice to understand the legal implications for Manitoba OTs as we are not yet regulated under the RHPA. The document is in the Member Area of the COTM website under practice obligations.

Another recent development that affects practice is the tentative Association of Canadian OT Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO) Memo of Understanding related to telepractice. Once signed, there will be clarity over the commitments made between the jurisdictions that are able to sign the MOU. Not all provincial OT regulators are able to permit practice in their jurisdiction via telepractice without registration. COTM will send out formal notification once the MOU is finalized.

As we draw nearer to the end of the COTM registration and fiscal year, I want to thank all who completed their renewal application as early as possible. It is a monumental task to process all the renewals and early submission really assists the registration staff and reduces the need for COTM to incur significant overtime hours.

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the evolution of our profession in Manitoba. One of my very first tasks as the new and first COTM Executive Director in 1992 was to begin implementing the operational arrangements for the vision created through the Manitoba Occupational Therapy Organizations Review – affectionately known as MOTOR. The Manitoba Society of Occupational Therapists and COTM examined all aspects of their respective mandates and operations to ensure that there was no overlap, duplication, or gaps in their work. The outcome of their work was better delineation of roles and activities and the plan to coordinate as many operational aspects as possible which included: sharing an office, hosting our respective AGMs the same day, and conducting one renewal. The efficiencies from these three initiatives were significant. It is exciting that now, 30 years later, with the use of technology these three shared operational activities are no longer necessary to reduce duplication of operational effort and expense. We want to congratulate the current MSOT board and staff for their work of this past year to arrive at this exciting juncture.

I welcome your questions. And as always, take care, be well.

Sharon Eadie, OT Reg. (MB)