International affiliations

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists actively contributes to the international relationships which increase the global profile of the profession.

The British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) is a member of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT).

WFOT is the only international representative for occupational therapists and occupational therapy around the world. It is also the official international organisation for the promotion of occupational therapy.

Find out more about our international affiliations

Council of Occupational Therapists for the European Countries (COTEC)

COTEC was established in 1986 with the purpose of co-ordinating the views of the national associations for occupational therapists in Europe and providing a strong voice for occupational therapy on a European level. The British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) was a founder member. COTEC has now grown to represent 30 member associations in 30 countries and more than 120,000 occupational therapists. It is registered as a legal entity in Germany.  

COTEC General Assembly

Following a major review of the structure of the organisation, a General Assembly replaced the Council and meets once a year to progress the business of the organisation. COTEC also has an Executive Committee which takes forward the Strategic Plan.
The BAOT COTEC General Assembly member is Julia Skelton.

COTEC Strategic Plan

COTEC Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Facts and figures

Statistics and information are collected from the member associations each year and published in a document available from the COTEC website.

Summary of the occupational therapy profession in Europe


A COTEC European Congress is held every four years hosted in a member association country. 



Julia Skelton
BAOT COTEC General Assembly member


ENOTHE supports the introduction of occupational therapy education into new members of the Europe Union.

The European Network for Occupational Therapists in Higher Education (ENOTHE) develops and harmonises the standards in existing occupational therapy programmes. The Council of Occupational Therapists for the European Countries (COTEC) initiated the European Network for Occupational Therapists in Higher Education (ENOTHE) in 1995. Individual education establishments join the network and the College's Education and Learning Department is an active participant.

Annual Meetings:

The last meeting of ENOTHE, their 21st, was on 22nd-24th October 2015 at University of Ruse 'Angel Kanchev', Bulgaria .


You must be a member of RCOT to join WFOT.

WFOT is the official representative of occupational therapy and occupational therapists worldwide and in 2012, celebrated its 60th anniversary (1952-2012). Occupational therapists from the UK were amongst the founders of the Federation, which now represents 92 member occupational therapy associations and upward of 480,000 occupational therapists. It is registered as a legal entity in Switzerland and has been in official relations with the World Health Organisation (WHO) since 1959.

Read more about the WFOT country and organisation profiles on their website.

Become an individual member of WFOT

RCOT is a member of WFOT. Qualified occupational therapists and students who are already members of RCOT can become individual members of WFOT.

Becoming an individual member of WFOT allows you access to a wide range of benefits and discounts in addition to joining a global occupational therapy community.

Following are some of the benefits you can enjoy by becoming an individual member of WFOT:

  • Gain access to the exclusive Members Only part of the WFOT website. Imperative if you want to download the latest documents, guidance and materials produced by WFOT.
  • Download the latest free publications and promotional materials up to 12 months in advance of them being released as public access.
  • Receive online access to the twice-yearly issues of WFOT’s international professional journal WFOT Bulletin.
  • Receive 20% discount on all books produced by Wiley and up to 33% discount on the quarterly journal “Occupational Therapy International”. 

Read about all the benefits of WFOT membership.


Join WFOT by completing the WFOT individual membership application form:

WFOT Individual Membership application form 2017

WFOT Congress 2018
21-25 May 2018
Cape Town, South Africa
Connected in Diversity: Positioned for Impact

The WFOT Congress 2018 website is being updated regularly, so keep checking for the latest information.

WFOT Position Statements

There are a number of Position Statements available on the WFOT website covering a range of topics from Education, Advanced Occupational Therapy Competencies to Telehealth.

To view them all go to: > Resource Centre > Position Statements

Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION)

In June 2016, WFOT announced the launch of the Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION). This 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 urge everyone to register and share their ideas and feedback. A number of forums have been established within the OTION platform:

  • Education
  • Practice
  • Research
  • Students
  • Working in another country
  • Studying in another country
  • Congress 2018

The success of OTION will be reliant on the engagement and involvement of the occupational therapy community internationally and WFOT welcome your active support.
Council member, International Affairs (WFOT) and BAOT Delegate to WFOT
Sandra Rowan

BAOT Alternate to WFOT
Gabrielle Richards

WFOT e-newsletters