Era IV - Evidence Based Practice (1967-1990s)

Canadian Occupational Therapists played a major role in the establishment and ongoing development of the World Federation of Occupational Therapy
The Society continued to represent occupational therapists in the province and In October 1968 the name of the Society was changed to the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists.

In the late sixties work began towards the goal of self regulation of the profession in Ontario. In 1968 the Society's first brief to government was submitted.
After two decades of combined training, the 1970s led to the separation of Occupational and Physical therapy programs and the replacement of the diploma with the baccalaureate degree.

The 1980s led to the development of Guidelines for the Client-Centred Practice of Occupational Therapy, Intervention Guidelines for Client-centred Practice of Occupational Therapy and Toward Outcome Measures in Occupational Therapy, all published by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

On May 17, 1983, the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation (COTF) was launched to provide the important step in providing funding for OT research and development projects.

In 1984, Ontario occupational therapists engaged a voluntary college, the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario as a separate bylaw of the OSOT in an effort to demonstrate the profession's commitment to self regulation. Ontario's health professions regulation review commenced in the mid-80's and provided a policy environment in which OSOT could position the profession's merits for self regulation.

Development of the Master's program and PhD programs in OT. Canada's first MSc OT program was offered by University of Alberta in 1986.

In 1987, OT shifted from the focus of the medical model to community based practice and health promotion.

OSOT launched its membership newsletter, The LINK in April 1990, originally as a quarterly update and professional resource but quickly becoming a bi-monthly publication.

The profession was regulated in Ontario in 1991 under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 which enacted a transitional council of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario which formally registered occupational therapists in 1994.

In 1991, CAOT's OT guidelines for Client-Centred Practice, led to the development of the Canadian Model of Occupational performance (CMOP), the Person, Environment, Occupation Model (PEO), and Occupational Performance Process Measure (OPPM) in the 1990s. These important documents demonstrated the profession's advance in theory and clinical practice.

During the 1990s, there was an increase in the number of self-employed OTs, a continuing shift away from departmental organization in hospitals to program management/matrix management models, hospital restructuring across the province and increasing privatization of health care services including the divestment of therapy services from Home Care Programs. Ontario's auto insurance sector saw 3 reforms over this decade and private occupational therapy services targeted for this sector saw tremendous growth.

Technology had a huge impact on the development of OT. CAOT launched their website in 1998 and offered web seminars, web workshops, online publications, practice resources, and discussion rooms. OSOT launched OSOT Online in 1999 and has continued to build web based practice resources, policy updates and monthly email updates as effective means to apprise members of information in a timely manner.

CAOT's practice-oriented magazine, Occupational Therapy Now, was developed in 1999.