To qualify as an occupational therapist in Europe normally requires completion of a three to four year program at bachelor level, although diploma programmes are still available in some countries.
An OT educational program normally includes:
· Basic disciplines: anatomy and physiology, psychology and sociology, pathology
· Common themes relating to the health and social sector: policy and law, ethics, communication and relation building, inter-professional collaboration, client centred practice
· Occupational Therapy theory and practice: everyday occupations and their impact on health and participation in society. The relationship between the person, occupation/activity and the physical and social environment. Occupational and activity analysis, activity adaptation and design, adapting and enhancing physical and social environment. Health promotion, treatment and rehabilitation through occupation and activity. Occupational therapy assessments and interventions.
Clinical placement is an important part of OT education, normally 1000 hours altogether in line with World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) minimal standards.
Standardisation and compatibility:
Occupational therapy educational institutions can refer to two documents when developing programmes. Both documents promote equivalency and common standards internationally.
· World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) minimum standards. Occupational therapy programmes that comply with the minimum standards can apply for recognition by WFOT. Approval of the programme
· Reference Points for the Design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in Occupational Therapy. This document is a result of the European project ‘TUNING Educational Structures in Europe‘ to promote compatibility between European educational programmes and to facilitate worker mobility.
European network for occupational therapy in higher education (ENOTHE):
ENOTHE was founded in 1995 to promote occupational therapy and promote and support the development of occupational therapy education throughout Europe. Central issues for ENOTHE are standards and quality of professional education and research as to advance the body of knowledge of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science throughout Europe.
Please visit the ENOTHE website for more information.