RCOT calls for action on recruitment shortages in occupational therapy

Royal College wants to be able to readily recruit OTs from overseas to address vacancy rates

Published on 19th November 2018

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists is urging action on the recruitment of occupational therapists.

The Royal College is calling for OTs to be added to a list of professionals, which includes social workers, who can readily be recruited from overseas.

Julia Skelton, director of professional operations at the RCOT said: "We know the problems facing our members in recruiting to occupational therapy posts in healthcare, social care and other sectors where we work, but now we need the evidence to make this case."

The Migration Advisory Committee advises the government on which professions can be readily recruited from overseas due to difficulties recruiting staff in the UK. While children's social workers, nurses, paramedics and orthotists are on the list, occupational therapists are currently not.

The Migration Advisory Committee is currently updating its list of professions and the RCOT is lobbying for occupational therapists to be included. The Royal College is urging members to provide them with evidence where they are experiencing problems recruiting staff to enable the RCOT to gather evidence to put forward to thr MAC.

"Let us know about your problems in receruitment in order to inform our response to the Migration Advisory Committee," Ms Skelton added.

OTs wishing to provide evidence should send an email to with the subject line 'MAC and vacancy rates' before the 14th December with the following information in the email:

- Your job title and band/grade
-  Where the shortage occurs eg the borough
- Which field, for example, mental health
- The number of vacancies and how long they have been unfilled
- Brief reason for suspected failure to recruit
- What action has been taken locally to address recruitment problems, and
- Whether you have recruited internationally using the general Tier 2 visa system.

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