Austria National OT News

News from Austria, October 2012

New master study programm ”Health Assisting Engineering”
In Autumn 2012 the new master study programm ”Health Assisting Engineering” started at the FH campus Vienna.  Under the direction of a well-respected OT this programm was launched to combine technical sciences like robotics, computer sciences and electronics with health sciences like occupational science. The focus is on developing and analysing technical products, applications and services, which should improve one’s wellbeing through sustaining and/or increasing participation in and performance of daily activities. This study programm is open either for health professionals and for technicians. For more information:

OT- Day 2012
On the 24th of October the ”Day of OT” will be celebrated throughout Austria with a focus on presenting Occupational Therapy in neurology. For detailed information visit

News from Austria, April 2012

New standards for Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Following the European consensus, the federation of medical-technical services, to which the profession of occupational therapy belongs, has established a standard for quality assurance. Professionals can request a CPD- certificate with a point catalogue. Points are received for every course, leadership or teaching activity and various other tasks that are conducted in contribution to the CPD. This certificate is a validation of further education measures and qualifications and serves as an instrument to make the qualification visible for clients or employers.

For further information please visit

New Master Programme in Vienna
We proudly announce a new state-financed, regular study course at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna. This program involves OT (Occupational science), Physio therapy (Movement science) and engineering (e.g. software and hardware for technical assistive devices). The program will start in autumn 2012.

Ethics model
Due to the hard work by a team led by the former COTEC delegate Irene Benke, occupational therapy in Austria now has its own ethics model.

Project ”Contracts for OT with the health insurance companies throughout Austria” finished
The project, which started in 2009, aimed at negotiating Austria-wide contracts for OT with the health insurance company Gebietskrankenkasse (GKK) in order to allow clients who receive OT services to be fully covered by the health insurance companies. The project ended in December 2011.

Although the pursued goals had not been reached by the end of the project, the intensive discussions and negotiations and the collection of 17000 signatures led to some important achievements. These include a pool contract in Burgenland, the extension of the pool contract in Vienna, an increased awareness of OT by the health insurance companies and politicians, the formation of cooperative partners, data collection for the provision of services for children, etc.

ISO- Certification
Since the end of January 2012, Ergoaustria is now ISO-certified. The quality management of the associaton work will be improved with the ISO-certification.

Day of Workshops
In line with the general assembly of Ergoaustria in Salzburg on the 24th of March 2012, two interesting workshops were organized with the topics ”What are the benefits of OT for society and science?” and ”How can science benefit OT practice?”.

Dialogue for child health
In November 2011, ”strategies for the health of children” were presented as result of the ”dialogue for child health”. This was initiated by Minister Stöger in 2010 as a response to the public pressure for an improved health service provision for children. OT delegates participated in five interdisciplinary work groups with different focuses. They stressed the need for the collection of basic data and demanded sufficient free-of-charge therapy services.

More information (in German) is available on> GV und Workshop> Tätigkeitsbericht.

News from Austria, September 2011

-Ergoaustria recently became the biggest provider for OT vocational training in Austria for the first time.

-In terms of the EU’s year of volunteering, ergoaustria’s last journal proudly presented a photomosaic of OTs working as a volunteer for the Austrian NA. Furthermore all executive committee members posted their statement about volunteering and its relevance.

-OT- Day 2011. On the 27th of October the ”Day of OT” will be celebrated throughout Austria with a focus on presenting Occupational Therapy and Mental Health. For detailed  information visit

Starting in March 2012, Occupational Therapists from a WFOT accredited education have the opportunity to follow a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy programme (120 ECTS, part-time) at the school of applied sciences “fh gesundheit Tirol” in Tyrol, Austria ( This is the second master programme in Austria and offers a deepening of occupational therapy- and occupational-science-related knowledge and the acquisition of research and leadership skills, and prepares for new expert tasks. Particular attention is given to the mutual enrichment of practice, theory, and research in regards to occupational therapy. The dynamic interaction of occupation, participation, and health, community based practice, other current professional developments, clinical/professional reasoning, and reflective practice are essential modules. Occupational therapists who may want to update and deepen their knowledge and expertise, without working on a Master thesis, can follow a six semester course for only four semesters, and get a certificate for further education (“Academic expert for occupation, participation, and health”; 80 ECTS). If you are interested in any further information, please contact (head of master curriculum/fh gesundheit Tirol, Austria) or have a look at the website at

In November 2011 the Austrian strategic plan for research in health professions will be presented, following the new national strategic plan for research, which passed the council of ministers in June this year. The aim is to become one of the international ”innovation leader”. This strategic plan should support all health professionals interested in a research carreer as well as considering cooperations with established research facilities, forming new research groups and getting access to funding.

If you are interested in a short review and the abstracts of the first (german speaking) symposium on health promotion and prevention in Occupational Therapy, which took place in November 2010 in Innsbruck, please have a look at:–termine/archiv/2011–2010

News from Austria, March 2011

Ergoaustria is proud to welcome the 1500st full member, a historic maximum in the association’s history.

-A symposium on „ Professional Development in OT“ will take place on the 19th of March in Linz, focusing on topics like quality of profession, code of ethics and evidence base.

-In October 2010 the process of academization of the OT education in Austria, which started 2006, was finished. The last colleges were transformed into Universities of Applied Sciences. Austria has now 7 UAS with approximately 500 bachelor students of Occupational Therapy and one OT Masterprogram.

-In fall 2010 the Austrian federal ministry of health placed an order to develop national research strategies for selected health professions (including OT, PT, speachtherapists, dietologists, biomedical scientists, orthoptist, radiological technologists, nurses, midwifery). GÖG (the national research and planning institute for health care and competence and funding centre of health promotion, ( was entrusted with the project management. Main aims of this project are: power to compete of these health professions among other scientific disciplines; identified topics and societal benefit as well as defined general conditions of research. The call for collaboration within this project was forwarded to the national associations and to all Austrian education programs of these 9 health professions. So far members of these institutions did intensive work during: a kick off event, 4 thematic workshops, preparing and running an online survey (responses to the first draft version of the research strategy-plan) and a tuning session (evaluation of online survey). It is planned to publish the national research strategy in fall 2011.

-Representatives from several Austrian OT-Programs are members of a working group managed by IFZ (international research centre for social and ethical issues). Aim of the working group is aposition paper “OT and sciences in Austria” which is well supported by national association of OT and all OT-Programs. The position paper should stimulate Universities and other research-institutions to assist OT Science and research and to involve it in the interdisciplinary scientific discourse ( The working group is promoted by ErgoAustria.

-ErgoAustria is member of the “Österreichische Liga für Kinder- und Jugendgesundheit” (Austrian Liga for health of children and youth). The “Liga” is an interdisciplinary non-party non profit Organisation. Liga welcomes all persons and professional associations working in the area of health of children and youth as well as special interest groups of parents, clients, …
Overall aim is a raised general awareness and the definite political responsibility of the worthiness of health among children and youth in our society
Activities of the Liga are: active networking-and communication-platform; bridging between Education- Social- and health system in context of health related topics; developing joint position papers; initiating interprofessional concepts and projects, …
Beside the association-membership, OTs are also represented in the scientific advisory board of the Liga. (

News from Austria, August 2010

The Austrian code of ethics is on its way to be finished. A working group around Irene Benke, the former Austrian COTEC delegate, has finished a first version, which is now examined for its practical value.

In Upper Austria a pilot project on “OT survey in kindergarten” will start in September 2010. In cooperation with public social services, financing the first OT survey on about 800 children (age 4,1 – 5,1), OTs want to institutionally identify developmental delays at an early stage, so that parents, kindergarten teachers and therapists can react early enough before those children start at school.  A special screening tool (standardized tests and clinical observation) in combination with questionnaires, a manual for using this tool respectively a solid training of the participating OTs will ensure a valid survey.
Again we like to announce the first german speaking  symposium on “OT in Health Promotion and Prevention “, which will take place on the 12th– 13th of November in Innsbruck. For more details please have a look at

News from Austria, Spring 2010

The National Association of Austria turned 40, which was celebrated with a big party on the 21st of November 2009 in Vienna.Ergoaustria is planning to start a project in 2010 on a nationwide standardisation of contracts between OTs and all health insurance companies. The aim is to fight against disparities in the absorption of costs for occupational therapy in Austria. Currently, whether you have to pay for OT or not depends on where you live and which health insurance covers you. In phase 1, which is currently being implemented, self-employed OTs and patients are being informed and mobilised for action. If the response is positive, the next two phases will be started: Phase2: Data preparation and lobbying; Phase 3: Contract negotiations.In cooperation with ergoaustria Ms. Yara Peterko is working on a standardised hygiene guideline for all surgery-related OT tasks in Austria. These guidelines will only affect non-infectious patients and not those with open wounds. This is a very important contribution for quality management and legal coverage.On the 12th – 13th November the 1stSymposium of the German-speaking National Association of Germany, Switzerland, South Tyrol and Austria will take place in Innsbruck with focus on “OT in Health Promotion and Prevention”. For more information please have a look at