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Council of Occupational Therapists for the European Countries (COTEC)

COTEC was established in 1986 with the purpose of co-ordinating the views of the National Associations of Occupational Therapy in Europe. COTEC is a non-profit organisation, funded by annual membership subscription and represents 33 European Occupational Therapy Associations and more than 200,000 Occupational Therapists.

The aim of COTEC is to enable National Associations of Occupational Therapists to work together to develop, harmonise and improve standards of professional practice through a robust educational system, as well as advance the theory of Occupational Therapy throughout Europe to best address the social and health issues affecting the citizens of Europe.

COTEC is the European organisation for all Occupational Therapists through their National Associations, with the purpose of ensuring an adequate number of high quality Occupational Therapy practitioners and services in Europe.


Occupational therapists work with individuals of all ages and groups who are restricted from participation in occupations due to a mismatch between the environment and the person’s abilities. People may experience restriction of daily occupations due to impairment of body structure or functions and factors in the person’s environment: physical, social, attitudinal or legislative. Other citizens without impairment may also be restricted in their opportunities to engage in occupations due to environmental factors, experiencing occupational deprivation (for example refugees, minority groups).

Occupational therapists work in health and social areas in public and private institutions like hospitals, rehabilitation centres and nursing homes as well as in private practices, the community, schools, organisations for public health and companies for assistive technology.

In some countries in Europe occupational therapists can be registered as specialists in for instance paediatrics, mental health, elderly and hand therapy.

Whereas in some countries citizens have direct access to occupational therapists in other countries one needs a referral. The total number of occupational therapists per 100 000 inhabitants increases from south to north and from east to west Europe; the European average more than doubled during the last 25 years.

For more information about occupational therapy in a specific country please visit the COTEC website.


COTEC publishes an annual Summary of the Profession document, featuring data and information from its 33 Member Associations. The latest publication was published in June 2022. For more information and all the relevant documents please visit –