Announcing OSOT's 2023-2027 Strategic Plan

Check out our full 2023-2027 Strategic Plan. We hope you are as excited as we are for the many new and expanded initiatives planned for OSOT’s future. 

How Was the 2023-2027 OSOT Strategic Plan Developed?  

  1. OSOT put out a request for proposal, interviewed several companies, then contracted a consultant to lead the development of the plan.  
  2. The consultant completed an extensive document review looking at financial statements, recent member surveys and membership profiles, previous strategic plans, board reports, executive director reports, and other data pertaining to occupational therapy both provincially and nationally.
  3. The consultant interviewed all OSOT staff and board of directors, as well as engaging eight key external stakeholders in various leadership positions who offered insights on emerging trends within OSOT and the broader healthcare system. Membership surveys provided information on key strengths, concerns, and opportunities. 
  4. The OSOT Board of Directors engaged in a full-day retreat to generate key objectives and goals for the society. 
  5. The proposed strategic plan was reviewed by the board of directors and approved.  
  6. The OSOT mission and vision have been updated. Mission: Providing voice, visibility and leadership for occupational therapists. Vision: Occupational therapy services are easily accessed across the continuum of care.

The 2023-2027 OSOT Strategic Plan will come into effect October 1, 2023.

First Pillar: Invest in OSOT Programs and Services

  1. Volunteer recruitment, reward and retention – support the voices of all our Ontario OTs and make sure our members feel they receive value from their membership with OSOT. 
  2. Redirect resources from the annual conference into other professional development and networking opportunities – explore how best to use our resources to optimize the learning and networking opportunities for our members, aiming to enhance opportunities across the province. 
  3. Resource development for creating business plans and to support those who are self-employed – this is an area about which we are frequently asked. We will create resources to support our self-employed and entrepreneurial OTs. 
  4. Understand the impact of technology and artificial intelligence in healthcare – advancing technology is the norm and we need to learn how to leverage technology and AI within the occupational therapy profession and healthcare in general. We need to understand it together and be prepared for the future. 
  5. Support members compliance with the new National Competencies - OSOT will dedicate resources to support our members’ compliance with the new competencies with focus on equity, diversity and inclusion; research; supervision, and more. 
Each year we will outline activities to advance the above objectives. OSOT staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers will work to define a variety of short- and long-term projects that will be completed to move towards goal achievement.  

Second Pillar: Communicate Value of OSOT Membership

The second of five pillars of the new strategic plan is focused on communication. Through the following key activities, OSOT will ensure better member access to information and resources, improved communications, and meet the ever-changing needs of our members, staff, and volunteers. We plan to: 
  1. Create staff resources in marketing and communications.
  2. Revamp the OSOT websites.
  3. Move towards a communities of practice approach on our website and membership profiles.

Third Pillar: Focus On OSOT's Lobbying Efforts

The focus of this pillar is on lobbying, or advocacy, efforts. The profession of occupational therapy is vast with so many areas of practice, so many populations, and so many opportunities. To be most effective, we need to focus our advocacy otherwise we risk diluting our efforts so much that they are not effective.

Overall, we aim to increase the number of OTs in the province and improve our per capita ranking which is currently third lowest in the country. We will invest in research to demonstrate the economic impact of occupational therapy and collect data to support our value.

Our lobbying efforts will focus on:
  1. Health human resources including compensation, job security, educational spots in university programs, establishing the value of occupational therapy, innovative models of care, mental health of workers, working to our full scope of practice, and more. This is a huge advocacy issue and encompasses many practice settings, areas of practice, and job situations.
  2. Primary care including OTs' role in Ontario Health and Family Health Teams, our role as leaders in primary care, and recognition of OTs’ role in mental health.
  3. Long-term care including working to our full scope of practice, increasing client care hours, and equitable wages/job security. 

Fourth Pillar: Focus On OSOT's Lobbying Efforts

The fourth pillar of the strategic plan focuses on investing in OSOT's administration and governance. OSOT is staffed by six hard-working employees and as the organization grows, we expand programs and services as well as offer new member benefits. We see an opportunity to complement our staff skill set by adding specialized marketing and communications experience in order to further enhance the high quality of our resources, advocacy, and communication to members and the profession. Over the next year, we will add a staff member to ensure our messages for professional promotion and advocacy are clear and reach their targets.    

On the governance side of this pillar, OSOT has updated our bylaws to ensure our board leads based on best practices, that we enhance our leadership capacity, and comply with new legislation for not-for-profit corporations. In a few weeks, OSOT will launch our updated bylaws which have recently been approved by OSOT's Board of Directors and will need to be confirmed, amended, or rejected by the membership. A special members' meeting will take place in October and, should the membership approve the changes, OSOT staff will need time and resources to successfully and seamlessly implement them. We are committed to further enhancing our Board of Directors’ knowledge about OSOT's financial situation, be strong strategic thinkers, understand and leverage technology, and continue to grow and support our membership and the profession. 
Fifth Pillar: Expand OSOT to include OTAs

Our fifth and final pillar of our 2023-2027 Strategic Plan looks to expand membership to include OTAs in all aspects of the Society – professional development, advocacy, governance, and more. Occupational therapy practice is enhanced with the support of assistants, and we hope you will support the Bylaws and Strategic Plan so we can work better and more effectively together.