Approval of the constitution of an occupational therapy organisation is a requirement to be considered for Full or Associate Membership in WFOT.
Elements of organisational constitutions required by WFOT are outlined below to ensure a common definable structure for such documents among member organisations. It is recognised, however that the overall content of the constitution will reflect local customs and requirements, as well as civil procedure laws concerning the organisation of associations.
I. Name: The official name of the association should be stated.
II. Purpose: The objectives of the association should be listed and include items that promote the development of occupational therapy, including:
- To establish, maintain and promote standards for the practice of occupational therapy.
- To establish and maintain a code of ethics aligned with the WFOT code of ethics for professional conduct and values of the association.
- To plan and establish occupational therapy education programmes and/or the conducting of postgraduate courses.
- To maintain standards of professional education by evaluating and reviewing education programmes to ensure that they meet the WFOT Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists.
- To establish regional groups or branches throughout the country e.g. through the use of social media as a forum for groups.
- To support students of occupational therapy and new occupational therapists throughout the country.
- To publish a professional journal, newssheet or bulletin.
- To raise legitimate funds to further the develop the profession.
- To develop partnerships with organisations with mutual interests and goals at the national and international level.
- To maintain close ties with WFOT and keep members informed of WFOT aims and activities.
III. Membership: The association shall establish eligibility for membership and define member categories, for example, ordinary, associate, honorary and other (e.g. students of occupational therapy).
- The ordinary members of the association should be qualified occupational therapists. Persons from other professions (e.g. medical doctors) should be eligible only for associate, non-voting membership.
- Recognition should be provided for pioneers in occupational therapy who lacked opportunity for formal professional education in occupational therapy.
- Voting rights for each member category should be clearly indicated.
IV. Termination of Membership: Reasons for termination of membership or withholding of membership should be outlined.
V. Management of the Association:
- The affairs of the association shall be managed by a President, Vice-President(s), Secretary, Treasurer and Council.
- A Delegate and one or two alternates should be appointed or elected to represent the member organisation in the WFOT. If the country is not a Full Member of WFOT it is understood that the Delegate will have observer status.
VI. Duties of Officers:
- Duties of the president, vice-president(s), secretary and treasurer should be outlined.
- Terms of service on the Council should be determined.
- The role of the WFOT Delegate should be outlined. This position can be a stand-alone position or may be part of the responsibilities of one of the aforementioned officers.
VII. Elections: Methods of nominating and electing office bearers and Council members should be stated. Various methods may be used.
- Nomination forms are signed by the nominator, the seconder and the nominee
- Voting occurs by mail ballot, by proxy or by those present at the general meeting.
- Every professional member of a national association shall be eligible for election to the governing body of that association.
- The finances of the professional association may be the responsibility of an honorary treasurer, paid treasurer, honorary or paid accountant.
- A financial statement should be presented at each council meeting and an annual financial report (duly audited) presented at the general meeting.
- It shall be stated in the rules, by-laws or standing orders that the annual subscription shall be payable on a stated date in each year as determined by the association for the different categories of membership. A statement concerning signing officers should also be included in the rules.