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How to progress your occupational therapy career

By Dan Allard

​Whether you work as an occupational therapist within the NHS or social services, there are various ways that you can progress your career.

Keep mandatory and statutory training up-to-date

NHS

The NHS requires all healthcare professionals to complete training as per the Statutory and Mandatory Training Framework. Modules include:

  • Conflict resolution

  • Equality diversity and human rights

  • Infection prevention

  • Manual handling

  • And more!

Some require annual updates, whilst others need to be updated every three years. It is essential that locum occupational therapists can provide evidence they have completed this training.

Social services

Having updated mandatory or statutory training isn’t necessarily a pre-requisite to start work for social services occupational therapists, however employers will expect the training to be reasonably up-to-date.

If required, your Sanctuary consultant can organise this training for you.

Look at new training opportunities as they emerge

You may choose to undertake postgraduate training opportunities. As a valuable allied health profession, occupational therapists are eligible to look at advanced clinical practice (ACP) as a new form of career progression. Some employers will fund a Level 7 Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprenticeship for their occupational therapists, but some professionals will fund this themselves.

Although the advanced clinical practice is strongly associated with the NHS, rather than social services, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists is working hard to enhance job descriptions and job titles for those who can demonstrate that they meet the capabilities set within the ACP framework.

Pay close attention to professional memberships

Being a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists can help you to progress your career. As well as supporting members, the College lobby’s government, and other influencers to ensure that occupational therapists are listened to as new policies are developed. If you choose to become a member, you can benefit from regional groups and networking events (allowing you to meet likeminded peers) as well as make the most of their wide range of practice resources.

The membership allows you to keep updated with the latest information relating to the profession, regardless of whether you’re working for the NHS or local authority.

For individual advice on how our consultants can support you to progress your occupational therapy career, please get in touch .