Mission Statement

Occupational Therapy Europe Foundation is the umbrella-organisation of Occupational Therapy education, practice and research, creating one strong voice for Occupational Therapy in Europe which strives to make the Occupational Therapy profession Visible, Valued, Available and Accessible for all citizens in Europe.


Strategic aims 2021-2025

  1. To engage with and influence the development of European policy that impacts on health, participation and/or well-being.
  2. To collaborate with and build effective strategic partnerships with service users, professional organisations and key policy makers in Europe.
  3. To support and promote COTEC, ENOTHE and ROTOS in developing and delivering high quality Occupational Therapy professional practice, education and research.


Background to OT Europe

As occupational therapists, we understand the vital role of activities and occupations in shaping individuals’ social participation, health, and well-being, health, and. Through engaging in occupations, people develop resilience and resourcefulness, enabling them to better manage health and social challenges. Occupational therapy holds significant potential in addressing various health promotion, public health, and primary care challenges across Europe. However, to maximize our impact, it is crucial for occupational therapists to effectively communicate our contributions at a European level, enhancing the visibility of our profession.

Recognizing this need, organizations of ENOTHE and COTEC recognised that greater collaboration and a common voice would be more effective in achieving greater visibility and advocating for our profession.

The Council of Occupational Therapists for the European Countries (COTEC), established in 1986, aimed to coordinate the perspectives of National Associations of Occupational Therapy within the European Communities. This initiative stemmed from the European Council’s acknowledgement in 1983 of the importance of mutual recognition for occupational therapy diplomas among Member States. The Committee of European Occupational Therapists held its inaugural meeting in Strasbourg on January 17th, 1986.

The European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education (ENOTHE) was founded in 1995 through the initiative of COTEC to address the need to harmonize and advance occupational therapy education across Europe. Initially, ENOTHE was established as a thematic network under the European Union’s Socrates/Erasmus program, specifically through the thematic network projects of 1997.

Over time, discussions between COTEC and ENOTHE emphasized the need for closer collaboration to address the pressing social and health issues affecting European citizens and residents. Consequently, “Occupational Therapy Europe” emerged in 2011, aiming to integrate education, practice, and research more effectively. This collaboration led to joint initiatives such as organizing combined COTEC-ENOTHE congresses every four years and the development of a unified visual identity. Additionally, there have been agreements for joint projects and meetings where appropriate.

The establishment of ROTOS stemmed from research committees within COTEC and ENOTHE. Recognizing the growing need for autonomy and prominence in the research field, ROTOS Foundation was established as a charity in the Netherlands on March 11th, 2020.

Overall, Occupational Therapy Europe signifies the culmination of increased collaboration among practitioners, educators, and researchers, aiming to enhance occupational therapy services throughout Europe. The ongoing joint efforts underscore the effectiveness of collaborative approaches in driving practical actions and facilitating information exchange within our profession.