Who We Are and What We Do

The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) is the national organization that supports more than 20,000 occupational therapists (OTs), occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) and students who work or study in Canada.  OTs improve the health and well-being of Canadians by working in partnership with people and communities that help them participate more fully in activities that are important to their everyday lives. CAOT provides resources, services and learning opportunities that assist OTs in achieving excellence in their professional practice. Additionally, CAOT provides leadership in the development and promotion of the occupational therapy profession in Canada and internationally. 

Mission: Advance excellence in occupational therapy.

Vision: Occupational therapy is valued and accessible across Canada.

Values: Innovation, transparency, diversity, collaboration

Strategic Priorities:

  • Awareness of occupational therapy
  • Access to occupational therapy
  • Organizational strength & excellence

CAOT’s Strategic Plan 2019-2022

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Serving the profession since 1926, CAOT works on behalf of it members to: 

  • Improve access to, and utilization of, occupational therapy by advocating to government and health care decision-makers for better recognition of the contribution occupational therapy brings to the health of Canadians,
  • Advance and enhance career opportunities with professional development and practice resources that are current, relevant and affordable,
  • Steward and safeguard the profession by accrediting occupational therapy programs in Canada and administering the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam (NOTCE),
  • Foster a sense of community that encourages pride in, and strengthening of the occupational therapy profession through networking, innovation, knowledge exchange, and caring.

CAOT Annual Reports:







  • Occupational therapy was conceived of during the 1914-1918 World War when disabled soldiers were provided with vocational training in military hospitals to help return them to a useful, independent life. 

  • As therapy through occupation proved restorative, the profession’s founders took steps to formalize support of this practical, purposeful vocation through skills training and standard setting.

  • The national association, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy (later Therapists), was founded in 1926, to ensure that this emerging profession would have a future across Canada.  The founders were President Dr. Howland Goldwin, Vice-President Dr. Alexander Primrose, Secretary MJ Dunlop and seven members of the board.

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Ottawa, ON K2E 7J6 Canada