Anne Keen, is the College’s Professional Advisor in the Professional Practice Enquiries Service.
Here, Anne gives an overview of the COT enquiries service, a member benefit which deals with enquiries relating to all aspects of professional practice in the workplace. There are two members of staff dedicated to enquiries – Anne and Kewcha Ambrose (Enquiries Coordinator). Follow Anne on Twitter.
I started working at COT in January 2016. Before this, I spent over 20 years working as an occupational therapist (manager and clinician) in Adult Mental Health. When I saw the advert for the Professional Advisor (Enquiries Service), it appealed to me as I felt that I needed a change, but it had to be occupational therapy-related.
Members can contact the Enquiries Service by phone or by email. The types of enquiries we receive are varied. This keeps my role interesting, rewarding and demanding (at times!)
Members get in contact for a wide range of reasons from issues related to supervision to scope of practice and fitness to practice. Non-member occupational therapists call about accessing the website, becoming a member and working in the UK or abroad.
In addition, we also provide support to other health and social care professionals who manage occupational therapists. These enquiries are often regarding interview questions and job descriptions and person specifications. Members of the public call to ask about occupational therapy services, occupational therapy as a career and queries regarding the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
In my experience, I have learnt that the Code of Ethics is the “go to” guide for all aspects of practice. Some people are not clear why they are contacting the College – they just need help and advice and often the initial enquiry is not really the issue. With occupational therapy practice being so diverse there is often not a definitive answer; so it is always essential to refer back to local policies and guidelines. Many members are not aware of what resources are available on the website and I often act as a guide.
The Professional Practice Enquiries page of the COT website has a ‘frequently asked questions’ section which has useful information covering a wide range of topics including working in a diverse role, collaborative working and independent practice. We also have a number of return to practice resources which detail HCPC requirements, planning a return, identifying learning needs, resources, support and seeking employment.
We welcome all calls from members, and it is a service that is here for you! Even if you are unsure regarding what assistance you require, it is often useful to talk through an issue to find a way forward. As it is a membership benefit we will always ask for your COT membership number, so it is good to have it to hand.
The Enquiries Service aims to answer all enquiries within 5 working days.
If you have an enquiry or would like some advice not covered above, please contact myself or Kewcha and we will be happy to help.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Telephone: 020 7450 2330