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Career development tool launched by RCOT

Royal College of Occupational Therapists launches Career Development Framework to support OTs’ learning

Published on 2nd October 2017

A Career Development Framework for occupational therapists has been launched by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

The Career Framework offers a structured process to guide careers, learning and development within the occupational therapy profession.

“The resource is an overarching set of guiding principles for occupational therapy. The spirit of this Career Framework is to provide a practical, flexible, accessible and aspirational tool to guide professional development for individuals, for services and for the occupational therapy profession as a whole,” says the framework.

It stresses that the document is not about pay and conditions or a competency framework. It is designed to provide a set of guiding principles and can help you to identify the skills, knowledge and mind-set you already have or those you wish to develop, for example, if you are thinking of a move into a different sector.

The Framework focuses on four pillars of practice:

  1. Professional Practice - Maintain occupation at the centre of practice, Deliver safe, effective, person-centred and ethical practice, Use professional judgement, reasoning and decision making.
  2. Facilitation of Learning - Teach, mentor, supervise and/or assess others, Facilitate placement learning, Create and evaluate learning environments, tools and materials.
  3. Leadership - Identify, monitor and enhance own knowledge and skills, Guide, direct and/or facilitate teamwork, Design, implement and manage professional and/or organisational change.
  4. Evidence, Research and Development - Influence broader socio-economic and political agendas, Create, use and/or translate evidence to inform practice, Design, implement, evaluate and disseminate research.

There are also nine levels for each of the four pillars:

Level 1 – Basic general knowledge and an awareness of the role of occupational therapy

Level 2 – Basic understanding of occupational therapy and the field of work

Level 3 – Occupational therapy procedures, processes and general concepts in a field of work

Level 4 - Knowledge and understanding of occupational therapy principles, procedures, processes and general concepts within a field of work

Level 5 – Comprehensive, specialised, factual theoretical knowledge and understanding of occupational therapy and of the boundaries of that knowledge

Level 6 – Critical understanding of theory and practical occupational therapy knowledge

Level 7 – Highly specialised knowledge and critical awareness

Level 8 – Most advanced and specialised knowledge

Level 9 - Innovate and advance occupational therapy in the wider context.

The Career Framework supports you to plan your journey and direction within the profession and enables you to:

■ Map your current skills and experience into the Pillars at various Levels to highlight your abilities, preferably with a critical and trusted friend or colleague.

■ Identify and plan the learning opportunities you need to support your professional development, e.g. when preparing for mentoring, supervision or appraisal.

■ Rely on the Career Framework to maintain your occupational identity when working in generic roles or diverse settings.

■ Use the principles to show your transferable skills when planning a move between different settings, e.g. into research, academia, leadership, independent practice or diverse settings.

■ Articulate your lifelong career pathway within the profession.

“Used together, the career Pillars and Levels highlight the breadth and range of opportunities available, from those new to occupational therapy, as a support worker or student, through to those at the forefront of advancing the profession,” says the framework.

To celebrate the launch of the Career Development Framework, the Royal College of Occupational Therapy are running a #5minCPD Twitter challenge over the next four Mondays.

Each Monday afternoon on Twitter, the College will publish a #5minCPD challenge which will focus on one of the four pillars of learning. You have until 5 pm on Friday of the same week to tweet your answer to us using the hashtag #5minCPD.

The RCOT said: “Getting involved is a great way to start thinking about the four pillars of learning in a fun way, whilst sharing thoughts and ideas with your fellow occupational therapists.” 

Follow @theRCOT Twitter account to find each week’s challenge and to take part.



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