Here are a few of the most common questions asked about membership and other aspects of the Manitoba Society of Occupational Therapists.

Q: How can I qualify for reduced rates for continuing education courses?

A: At times, MSOT offers continuing education courses to assist occupational therapists as they seek to advance their professional skills. Though courses presented in conjunction with MSOT are open to any practicing occupational therapists in the province, anyone seeking to take the course at a reduced rate must be a member of MSOT.

Q: How many occupational therapists are in Canada and Manitoba?

A: There are currently about 13,000 Occupational Therapists registered in the 10 provinces and three territories in Canada. There are approximately 520 Occupational Therapists registered in Manitoba.

Q: Why are there no fees for students?

A: We offer students free membership during their OT academic program to encourage them in their professional development and in the hopes that, having seen the value MSOT offers, they will become full members upon their graduation. It is important to note that because these members are not paying fees, they will not enjoy the same degree of access or direct involvement as active members.

Q: Who is allowed to contribute to the MSOT Update member newsletter?

A: While anyone can send in a story or article, the Newsletter Committee generally only prints those written by MSOT members and reserves the right to edit stories as deemed necessary. There may be exceptions based on the subject involved and its relevance to the profession as it pertains specifically to Manitoba.

Q: What is MSOT's stance on liability insurance?

A: As you likely know, with the proclamation of the new Occupational Therapists Act in December 2005, the requirement for occupational therapists to carry malpractice insurance became a reality.  The Occupational Therapists Regulation states that:


Every member who provides clinical services must obtain or be covered by, and maintain liability insurance coverage to a minimum of $5,000,000.00.


The College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba (COTM) renewal in June 2006 introduced the need to show evidence of meeting this requirement.  According to COTM, most occupational therapists in Manitoba carry insurance from the BMS through their membership with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) or rely on the insurance maintained by their employer.


If you are wondering if you have the right insurance, you are not alone.  COTM reports receiving a great number of questions regarding the requirement.


COTM is charged with confirming that members carry adequate insurance to meet the requirement as described in the regulation.  However, meeting the COTM requirement and maintaining insurance that meets your personal risk tolerance level may be not the same thing. To assist you to decide what is best for you it is helpful to understand some of the characteristics of the CAOT / BMS plan and employer insurance plans.


Employer Insurance

  • Employer insurance will cover you for any work done as an employed individual even if you leave the employ of the agency, as long as the agency has maintained insurance with the insurance company, the insurance is in force at the time the claim is made against you, and the employer has made arrangements to cover former employees..  So if a malpractice suit is filed even after you leave an employer you may be covered.
  • After defending you against a claim made against you, an agency may launch its own suit against you if they believe you violated agency policies or practices.  The agency insurance will not provide any protection in this situation.
  • Employer insurance does not extend to individuals who are hired on contract.  If source deductions are not being withheld and then submitted to the Canadian Revenue Agency on your behalf, then you are likely working as a contracted individual.
  • This insurance is for civil suits made against you, including your defense and payment of damages awarded against you.

CAOT Insurance

  • The AON coverage is Claims Made protection, which means you must carry the insurance at the time the suit is filed even if you did not hold the insurance at the time of the event which gives rise to the suit. Keep in mind that when applying for this insurance for the first time you are required to declare that there is no outstanding claim against you.
  • Claims-made insurance needs to be maintained even after you discontinue your occupational therapy practice and for this reason AON has arranged fro an automatic 12 month extended reporting period and longer extended reported periods (additional 12 months, additional 24 months or unlimited) are available at a nominal premium.
  • The insurance covers you in all situations where you are practising occupational therapy – as an instructor, a consultant, as a individual providing OT services on a volunteer basis, etc. or for anything you do outside of your regular employment situation.  It follows you wherever you practise in Canada.
  • The insurance includes defense of a malpractice (civil) suit including any required payment of damages.  It also includes reimbursement payment for costs associated with your defense of a criminal charge or an administrative hearing before your regulatory authority (i.e. COTM).


Q: How do I go about obtaining CAOT insurance if I am not currently a member of CAOT?

A: You must be a member of CAOT in order to be eligible to purchase the group insurance provided by AON Reed Stenhouse Inc.  Visit the CAOT website for more information on this member service. 


You may be eligible for CAOT membership and should consult with the CAOT Membership Assistant,

(membership@caot.ca ).  This is especially true if you have not ever written the CAOT Certification Examination which is a CAOT membership requirement.  CAOT has developed an Exam Waiver Policy that may apply to your situation.


If you want to know more about insurance visit the COTM website where an information sheet on insurance can be found at www.cotm.ca