This page covers general FAQs about the WFOT and its processes. For more specific FAQ about Programmes, please visit the relevant webpage.
FAQs - Individual Membership
How do I become a member of WFOT?
To become an individual member of the WFOT you must first be a member of a professional occupational therapy association that is a Member Organisation of the WFOT (List of WFOT Member Organisations). In some associations, members are also WFOT Individual members automatically. In others, members need to specifically purchase WFOT Individual Membership through their association.
Please visit the to List of WFOT Member Organisations to check if you are a WFOT Individual Member automatically through your association or whether you need to purchase WFOT Individual Membership separately through your association.
If you were educated in a country that is different to the one you are currently working in, it should still be possible for you to become an Individual Member of WFOT. Either contact the national association of the country you are currently working in or the national association of the country that you were educated in.
I would like to be an individual member of the WFOT but there is no occupational therapist association in my country.
If your country presently does not have a national member association, WFOT suggests you contact the WFOT Member Organisation(s) bordering your country and enquire if you are able to join their membership.
How can I obtain a WFOT membership certificate?
WFOT Individual Members can download their Individual Membership Certificates by following the instructions provided here. WFOT Individual Membership Certificates provide evidence of your membership and contribution to WFOT and the international occupational therapy community.
I am an Individual member of WFOT, can I use the WFOT logo?
As per the Policy on the Use of the WFOT Logo, the WFOT should not be used to imply endorsement of WFOT and therefore, the use of the WFOT logo in this way cannot be permitted.
FAQs - Organisational Membership
How can an occupational therapy association join WFOT as a Member Organisation?
WFOT Organisational Membership is open in each sovereign or city state to one national professional organisation of qualified occupational therapists. WFOT has two membership categories:
- Full Membership- National Occupational Therapy Associations who have a constitution that meets the membership requirements of the WFOT in addition to having one or more WFOT Approved Education Programmes. Full Member Organisations have voting rights.
- Associate Membership - National Occupational Therapy Associations who have a constitution that meets the membership requirements of the WFOT but no WFOT Approved Education Programmes. Associate Member Organisations have no voting rights. Interested associations are advised to contact WFOT. Once an association’s constitution has been reviewed and found to meet the WFOT membership requirements, the WFOT Council will vote on the acceptance of the association as a WFOT Member Organisation.
Interested associations are advised to contact WFOT. Once an association’s constitution has been reviewed and found to meet the WFOT membership requirements, the WFOT Council will vote on the acceptance of the association as a WFOT Member Organisation.
What support can WFOT provide in the development of occupational therapy associations?
- WFOT can offer support in a multitude of ways in the development of occupational therapy associations:
- Resources: e.g. Establishing an Occupational Therapy Association and applying for WFOT Membership that provides valuable guidance and information regarding establishing an association.
- Meetings: WFOT can participate in meetings providing our expertise and advice.
- Liaison: WFOT can act as the liaison between associations that are in development with established Member Organisations.
WFOT does not offer financial support.
FAQs - Occupational Therapy/Occupational Therapists
How many occupational therapists are there in the world?
In the Resources of this website, you will find the WFOT Human Resources Project reports, which provides information from WFOT Member Organisations including the number of occupational therapists per 10,000 head of population; and services where occupational therapy is provided.
What resources/information is provided by WFOT for student assignments?
WFOT receives many enquiries about the resources it provides regarding the education, research and international promotion of occupational therapy. WFOT is a voluntary organisation with limited paid resources, therefore personal requests to respond to individual research/questionnaires cannot be accommodated.
However, WFOT is pleased to offer the following resources which may be of interest to you.
The “Occupational Therapy International Online Network” (OTION) is a dedicated interactive forum that enables occupational therapists, assistants and students from across the world to network, share ideas and communicate with the profession as a whole.
OTION is a free resource that requires a simple registration process. We urge everyone to register and share their ideas and feedback. A number of forums have been established within the OTION platform:
• Working in another country
• Studying in another country
To access OTION, go to http://otion.wfot.org/
The WFOT website includes many sections that cover a range of subject areas, including:
- History of the profession
- Organisational structure
- List of member organisations, their profiles and contact details (go to ‘Membership’)
- List of WFOT approved education programmes
- News and Events
Over 90 publications and resources are available to download (some are Member access only), including:
- Definition of occupational therapy
- Code of Ethics
- Human Resources Project
- Occupational Therapy International Practice Guide
- Activities of Daily Living (2012)
- Client-centredness in Occupational Therapy (2010)
- Community Based Rehabilitation (2004)
- Inclusive Occupational Therapy Education (2008)
- International Professionalism (2014)
- Occupational Science (2006)
- Occupational Therapy and Ageing Across the Life Course (2021)
- Occupational Therapy and Assistive Technology (2019)
- Occupational Therapy and Community-Centred Practice (2019)
- Occupational Therapy and Human Rights (2019)
- Occupational Therapy and Mental Health (2019)
- Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation (2019)
- Occupational Therapy and Telehealth (2021)
- Occupational Therapy Human Resources (2021)
- Occupational Therapy in Disaster, Preparedness and Response (2014)
- Occupational Therapy in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) (2016)
- Occupational Therapy in Driving and Community Mobility (2019)
- Occupational Therapy in End of Life Care (2016)
- Occupational Therapy in Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence (2019)
- Occupational Therapy – Professional Autonomy (2007)
- Occupational Therapy Services in School-Based Practice for Children and Youth (2016)
- Occupational Therapy in Work Related Practice (2016)
- Recruiting Occupational Therapists from International Communities (2014)
- Recognition of Former Educational Status (2014)
- Role of Professional Occupational Therapy Organisations in Monitoring Practice (2019)
- Universal Design (2012)
- Use of Social Media (2016)
- Vocational Rehabilitation (2012)
- Consumer Interface with Occupational Therapy (2010)
- Diversity and Culture (2010)
- Educational Research in Occupational Therapy (2021)
- Environmental Sustainability Sustainable Practice within Occupational Therapy (2012)
- Ethics, Sustainability and Global Experiences (2016)
- Global Health: Informing Occupational Therapy Practice (2014)
- Human Displacement revised (2014)
- World Occupational Therapy Day with promotional materials – 27 October each year
- WFOT Bulletin - the WFOT official peer reviewed journal which is published twice a year. It is free to WFOT Individual Members (access editions from 1979 at this website) and is available in many libraries around the world. The WFOT Bulletin features articles translated into four languages.
- WFOT e-newsletter - is published monthly and provides information on the latest developments in the WFOT. Sign up at http://tinyurl.com/WFOTenews
- Visit the WFOT Facebook page www.facebook.com/thewfot and Twitter @thewfot
FAQs - General
Does WFOT advertise jobs/positions vacant?
Job opportunities (when available) are posted on the WFOT Classifieds. Volunteering opportunities with NGOs are posted in News, and the WFOT Facebook and Twitter services.
When is World Occupational Therapy Day?
The official date for the “World Occupational Therapy Day” is 27 October each year. Celebrations can be organised on this date or around this date. WFOT realises however that some countries have already established occupational therapy day, week or month at other times in the year and encourages them to use the WFOT information whenever they chose to celebrate their event.
Information and a wide range of resources (free download) for each World Occupational Therapy Day is available prior to 27 October annually.
Does WFOT have any online discussion forums?
The “Occupational Therapy International Online Network” (OTION) is a dedicated interactive forum that enables occupational therapists, assistants and students from across the world to network, share ideas and communicate with the profession as a whole. OTION is a free resource that requires a simple registration process. We urge everyone to register and share their ideas and feedback. A number of forums have been established within the OTION platform:
- Working in another country
- Studying in another country
Where can I find information on the history of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists?
The ‘Chronicles of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (Parts I – IV) are available for purchase (digital) in Resources. The WFOT Archival Collection is available at the Wellcome Library, London, UK. Go to http://archives.wellcome.ac.uk and enter ‘SA/WFO’ in the Reference search box.
How can I donate/receive books/journals?
WFOT is committed to support the development and advancement of the occupational therapy profession. Education programmes in low income countries often experience shortages of current text books and journals. To facilitate current and accessible evidence based practice congruent with the Minimum Education Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists (2016), WFOT supports the exchange of current text books and journals.
WFOT requests that relevant information is posted on the OTION website, in the Education section.
The “Occupational Therapy International Online Network” (OTION) is a dedicated interactive forum that enables occupational therapists, assistants and students from across the world to network, share ideas and communicate with the profession as a whole. OTION is a free resource that requires a simple registration process.
WFOT advises that colleagues wishing to donate or receive books/journals should agree which party is responsible for the cost of postage – which is often substantial.
FAQs - Education
Does WFOT have a list of international occupational therapy education programmes that are approved by WFOT?
WFOT Approved Education Programmes meet the WFOT Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists, for entry-level only into the occupational therapy profession.
WFOT Approved Education Programmes are subject to an international quality assurance process that includes international review, oversight and monitoring to promote the consistency and quality of occupational therapy entry–level programmes.
There are over 1100 WFOT approved occupational therapy entry-level education programmes available in WFOT Member Organisations. They can be at diploma; baccalaureate; masters; or doctoral level.
Other post graduate courses are the responsibility of the education institution, and/or the professional organisation, and WFOT has no mechanism or standards to evaluate the programmes or approve them nor determine international portability.
Please note that WFOT approves courses – it does not accredit courses. Although WFOT establishes Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists, each country has the right and responsibility to establish eligibility criteria that meet both the WFOT standards and the regulations and needs of their own jurisdiction. The Delegates from each Member Organisation can assist you with this information.
How do I arrange an international student placement?
International Fieldwork placements are not managed by WFOT. We recommend that you work through the resources of the WFOT member organisation. It is important that they know what students are entering the country as most students need some type of support as they may not be not fluent in local languages and dialects or familiar with customs. Some countries require students to practice under the supervision of qualified therapists. Contact the national occupational therapy association of the country of interest, who may be able to assist you with your placement. The ‘WFOT Student Guide for International Practice Placements’ provides valuable information for students considering an international placement. More information about working in another country can be found in the document 'WFOT Occupational Therapy International Practice Guide'.
Do my Qualifications match those of an occupational therapist?
WFOT advocates that occupational therapy is a protected title and to practice as an occupational therapist you need to complete a WFOT approved education programme in occupational therapy.
Does WFOT have any education standards?
Since 1958, WFOT has established the Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists, which set the standard for entry-level occupational therapy education internationally. The Minimum Standards are there to ensure the quality of education programmes globally while reflecting their dynamic qualities. The current version of the Minimum Standards is the 2016 version.
Occupational therapy entry-level education programmes can apply for WFOT approval to WFOT (if the programme is the first one applying to become WFOT approved in their country) or to the WFOT Member Organisation of their country (if there are other programmes already WFOT approved in their country).
What information does WFOT provide regarding standards of practice?
The WFOT Position statements present the official stance of WFOT on a substantive issue or subject, and inform practice, research, and other issues.
The WFOT Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists 2016 also provides important information.
Online discussion forums, including research and practice, are also available.
What support can WFOT provide in the development of occupational therapy education programmes?
WFOT can offer support in a multitude of ways in the development of occupational therapy programmes:
- Resources: e.g. Advice for the Establishment of a New Programme for the Education of Occupational Therapists and the WFOT Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists 2016, that provide valuable guidance and information regarding establishing an education programme.
- Meetings: WFOT can participate in meetings providing our expertise and advice.
- Liaison: WFOT can act as the liaison between education programmes that are in development with WFOT approved programmes.
WFOT does not offer financial support.
FAQs - Working in another Country
Does WFOT provide insurance coverage for students undertaking international practice placements?
WFOT does not provide this insurance coverage. We suggest that students planning an international practice placement consider:
• Does your University provide insurance coverage for international practice placements?
• You may need to discuss with your National Occupational Therapy Association insurance provider – can they offer the coverage required?
• Or you may need to source an independent quote.
For further advice on international practice placements, refer to the ‘WFOT Student Guide for International Practice Placements.’
Are occupational therapists able to work in another country? What is WFOT’s advice for working or volunteering as an occupational therapist in another country?
Occupational therapists can work in another country if they meet the requirements of the country in which they are seeking employment. Contact the relevant WFOT Member Organisation/s and/or their WFOT Delegate.
The requirements of each member organisation can be found in the document 'WFOT Occuppational Therapy International Practice Guide'. The WFOT Position Statement 'Recruiting occupational therapists from international communities' also provides relevant information.
Online discussions, including working in another country, are available via the WFOT Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION).
What are the licensure and credentialing requirements to practice occupational therapy abroad?
WFOT is not a regulatory body and does not have any direct influence or information regarding mechanisms such as licensure in individual countries. WFOT provides information/resources which may assist you:
- Information on WFOT Member Organisations
- WFOT Occupational Therapy International Practice Guide
- Occupational Therapy Human Resources Project 2020 – Alphabetical
- Occupational Therapy Human Resources Project 2020 – Numerical
Position Statement (in Resources):
How can I find opportunities for volunteering or working for an NGO (Non-Governmental organisation)?
The WFOT website and social media services post opportunities (when available) for volunteering or working with organisations in low resource countries.
- WFOT website: Classifieds
- List of International Non-Government Organisations
- WFOT Position Statement Recruiting Occupational Therapists From International Communities
You may also wish to view the website of the WFOT Member Organisations of your choice.
There are also many searchable Non-Governmental/voluntary organisations websites for you to explore on the internet.
FAQs - Grants
Does WFOT offer Grants?
WFOT is a not-for-profit organisation and relies on its membership and donations to fund its activities. WFOT offers two funding opportunities:
- WFOT Thelma Cardwell Foundation Award for Research, to encourage research into developing aspects of occupational therapy. This Award is available to occupational therapists working in any area of occupational therapy and who are Individual Members of WFOT and who have the written support of the WFOT Member Organisation in which they are a member.
- WFOT Congress Grants are available to support attendance at WFOT Congress. Grants are limited, and have specific application criteria.