The Conference programme

Download this year’s conference programme (PDF)
Download the sessions timetable (PDF)
Download this year’s book of abstracts (PDF)

Programme by subject (all pdfs):

The conference debate

The popular Conference debate is where a controversial matter facing the occupational therapy profession is contested by high profile, passionate speakers. Hear the debate and make your voice heard at this exclusive conference experience.

“This house believes that diverse roles are a vital tool in the future of our profession”

Chairman: David Brindle, Public Services Editor, the Guardian

Speaking for the motion

Miranda Thew, Senior Lecturer, Leeds Beckett University
Dr Yvonne Thomas, Principal Lecturer and Academic Lead for Allied Health Professions, University of Worcester

Speaking against the motion

Kee Hean Lim, International and ENOTHE Lead for Occupational Therapy, Brunel University
Gabrielle Richards, Professional Head of Occupational Therapy and Trust Social Inclusion & Recovery Lead South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Download the conference preview

Other sessions confirmed

COT Insight sessions

These sessions are designed and delivered by COT and provide delegates with a unique understanding of the priorities for the occupational therapy profession

Improving Lives, Saving Money

Karin Bishop, Assistant Director – Professional Practice
The Improving Lives, Saving Money campaign has attracted a high media profile across all four countries. Hear about the impact of this campaign which is highlighting how occupational therapists are making a difference in primary and social care.

Work, health and disability – occupational therapists as Health and Work Champions

Karin Bishop, Assistant Director – Professional Practice, and Genevieve Smyth, Professional Advisor – Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, College of Occupational Therapists
Explore the latest in the field of disability and employment, including the push for work as a health outcome. This is an ideal opportunity for occupational therapists to engage in the ‘Work agenda’ and create culture change with the Health and Work Champion pilot project with Public Health England.

Mental health – the value of occupational therapy

Genevieve Smyth, Professional Advisor –Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, College of Occupational Therapists
Find out more about the documents which will replace Recovering Ordinary Lives – the strategy for occupational therapy in mental health services 2007-2017. Have your say about the direction of occupational therapy in mental health and what you can do to get involved.

Introducing COT’s New Career Development Framework

Dr Stephanie Tempest, Education Manager for Professional Development, College of Occupational Therapists
Learn how the new COT Career Development Framework: guiding principles for occupational therapy will inform your continued professional development. The College welcomes your insights into the potential uses for the framework, as this will help to shape the next phase of the project.

Mental health matters to everyone, UNISON’s campaign to shine the spotlight on mental health

Celestine Laporte, National Officer, UNISON, Peter Hewin, BAOT steward
Mental health services across the UK are struggling as a result of chronic underfunding and increased demand. UNISON’s Mental Health Matters campaign aims to highlight the crisis in mental health and to support the mental health and wellbeing of those who deliver health and care services.

BAOT and UNISON work in partnership to deliver trade union services to BAOT members. This session will explain the key elements of UNISON’s mental health campaign strategy, including how BAOT trade union reps can help services to address mental health issues (increasingly one of the main causes of staff absence) and overcome the stigma of talking about mental health in the workplace.

Don’t find fault, find a remedy- Henry Ford. Building professional leadership in occupational therapy

Anne Lawson-Porter, Trustee of the Elizabeth Casson Trust (ECT)
ECT has identified professional leadership as one of its four strategic intentions. The initial stage of a three-stage project identifies drivers and incentives that demonstrate the need for occupational therapists to promote the value of their profession. The workshop will explore the essential elements necessary to underpin a professional leadership development programme for occupational therapists.

Working and learning in the USA

Shaun Conway, OTR, Senior Director, External and Regulatory Affairs, National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Inc.
Explore the eligibility criteria to work in the USA. Shaun will provide a comprehensive and informative overview of the NBCOT’s Occupational Therapist Eligibility Determination (OTED) review process for internationally educated occupational therapists.

Working in prisons – how occupational therapy can have the biggest impact

Karin Orman, Professional Practice Manager, College of Occupational Therapists
There are opportunities for occupational therapists to use their unique skill set in prisons. Hear some examples of excellence demonstrating innovative occupational therapy work that is providing the primary care approach within the prison service.

Media relations for occupational therapists

David Brindle, Public Services Editor, the Guardian, and Andrew Sharrett, Head of Media Relations, College of Occupational Therapists
Discover how to work with the media. You will learn how to build relationships and what is required from a good story and how to ensure your message is seen, heard and understood.

Journal Club – sessions

If you are attending a Journal Club session, please ensure that you view, in advance, the article to be discussed in the session. Articles can be accessed via the links below:

Session 33.1
Monday 19 June, 16.30-17.15
Pauline McDonald, Royal College of Occupational Therapists

Interactively appraising a paper about mental health service users’ experiences and perceptions of photovoice

Maniam. Y. Kumaran P, Lee YP, Koh J, Subramaniam M. (2016). The journey of young people in an early psychosis program involved in participatory photography. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 79(6), 368-375. Sage Journals:

Session 55.1
Tuesday 20 June, 09.20 – 10.05
Helen Myers, Keel Clinical Trials Unit

A critical appraisal of a research paper investigating the benefits of knitting in adults

Riley. J. Corkhill B, Morris C. (2013). The benefits of knitting for personal and social wellbeing in adulthood: findings from an international survey. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76. 2, Sage Journals:

Session 75.3
Tuesday 20 June, 12.25-13.10
Samantha Turner, University of Plymouth

An exploration of the attitudes, knowledge and ability of Occupational Therapists in applying evidence to practice.

Upton, D., Stephens, D., Williams, B., & Scurlock-Evans, L. (2014). Occupational therapists’ attitudes, knowledge, and implementation of evidence-based practice: A systematic review of published research. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77(1), 24–38, Sage Journals: