New learning framework launched to support occupational therapists working in social care

A new practical resource, the learning and development framework supporting occupational therapists new or returning to work in adult social care, has been launched for use across the UK.

Occupational therapists play a central role in supporting people who use care and support services, to do the things they want and need to do. They do this by focusing on the people they work with, identifying strengths, balancing choice and risk, and by facilitating their connections with their families, friends and communities that enables them to keep healthy and well.

The learning and development framework for occupational therapists has been developed to provide profession-specific support and guidance for:

  • Newly qualified occupational therapists
  • Occupational therapists new to working in social care
  • Occupational therapists coming back to work in social care
  • Managers of occupational therapy staff.

The framework is aligned with the HCPC Standards for CPD (HCPC 2017) and is based on the four pillars of practice in the RCOT Career Development Framework (RCOT 2017), pillars which are widely used to guide career, learning and development for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) including occupational therapists.

The framework was jointly developed by Skills for Care and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists who co-created it with occupational therapists, managers, learning and development, and workforce staff from the social care sector.

Skills for Care Interim CEO Andy Tilden (pictured) said: “We know the vital contribution the 3500 occupational therapists in England alone make to our sector day in and day out. This practical framework is another positive result of our long-standing working relationship with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists that will support the learning and development needs of this key group of registered professionals at different stages of their careers”.

Karin Bishop, RCOT Director of Professional Operations said: “We are proud to work with Skills for Care to deliver this practical resource for both occupational therapists who work in social care and their managers.

“Occupational therapists play a crucial role in supporting people who access social care to lead the lives they want. The new framework will support their learning, enabling them to deliver safe and effective services for the people who access them.”

It’s anticipated that it will take approximately 12 months for individuals to work through all the elements of the framework, but this will depend upon factors such as working hours, patterns of work and specific employer requirements.

The new framework can be accessed at:

Picture (c) Skills For Care.