The ambassador programme gives you the resources to promote the profession to a number of different target audiences. Two programmes have been devised: the first targets commissioners; and the second focuses on service users and consumers.
Who should be involved?
Anyone who works as an OT can be an ambassador for the profession. An OT ambassador takes every opportunity, no matter how small, to promote the profession.
How can you be an ambassador?
As an OT ambassador you need to ensure everyone you meet knows you are an occupational therapist. You also need to take the time to explain what an OT does. When you write a report, make sure that you include occupational based outcomes and achievements, as this is what you do, and when you talk to senior managers, show how your role is helping to meet your organisation's objectives.
Why should you be an ambassador?
In these days when every function and department are being scrutinised and expected to deliver positive outcomes effectively, you need to be able to have the tools and the confidence to demonstrate the positive contribution OT makes. The ambassador programme provides you with key messages, templates, evidence and advice on how you can promote the profession and enable you to substantiate the work of occupational therapists in your organisation and in the community.
Six reasons not to be an ambassador for the profession
I don't have the time!
Being an ambassador is about using every opportunity to promote the profession. When you write reports, make sure you include occupational objectives and outcomes. When you introduce yourself or colleagues at meetings, say that you are an occupational therapist. It's the little actions that make a difference. Being an ambassador is about making sure these actions promote occupational therapy, without compromising the services you provide to your service users.
I am not senior enough
If you are practicing occupational therapist, you can be an ambassador. Do make sure your manager knows about the ways you intend to promote the profession, particularly if you plan to do something outside of the scope of your role, such as writing an article for your in house magazine or intranet. It can be a big boost to your CPD!
I don't want to be the only person working as an OT ambassador
Promoting the profession is an excellent team building activity, so why not enlist your colleagues to work together and promote the profession. This is your chance to be creative and also inject some fun competition to see who has been most effective in promoting the profession.
I don't have the promotional materials
You can access a range of promotional leaflets and templates from the College of Occupational Therapists website. All of these materials have been written to help you promote the profession to commissioners and your senior management colleagues.
Contact the Marketing team to find out more: Vandita.Chisholm@rcot.co.uk.
I need evidence to show how occupational therapy is effective
Your service users are the best source of evidence, ask them for quotes or testimonial on how you have made a difference to their lives, and then use these quotes as examples in meetings to show how OT is helping to meet your organisations objectives such as delivering value for money service. You can also access research and practice examples of excellence from other OT services and these are available in our Library section.
I find it difficult to explain occupational therapy
This is a really important skill for you to have, particularly in these times when every health and care professional has to justify their roles in their organisation. There are some very useful key messages about occupational therapy on the RCOT website, so use this information and adapt it to focus on your role. The more you talk about what occupational therapists do, the easier it will be to explain occupational therapy. Talk to your team members and make sure you are all conveying a similar message.