Statement for the Register of Experts
GUIDELINES FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY EUROPE REGISTER OF EXPERTS
In 2015, COTEC established a Register of Experts in line with the priorities identified by the European targets for 2020 and the WHO key areas for action. COTEC was successful in attracting over 100 people from 16 European National Occupational Therapy Association nominations. Some associations made multiple nominations for an Expert area, others only one, some have nominated a specialist group and some associations have made no nominations.
The purpose of establishing the Register was to facilitate contact with known Experts in a particular area in order to field the best representation and best available evidence in a timely way when COTEC was asked to respond to a consultation or attend a significant meeting.
At the COTEC General assembly 2017, it was agreed that this register would become the basis of the Register of Experts for Occupational Therapy Europe (OT-EU), expanding the pool of Experts, moving towards representation and visibility across practice, education and research.
At the OT-EU Coordinating Group meeting held early 2018, this was welcomed, and the recruitment and remit of the group reviewed.
Key areas identified so far include mental health, the ageing population, dementia, children and adolescents, poverty reduction, primary care, equal access to health care systems, ICT-solutions and e-health innovations, employment, oncology, palliative care, refugees and displaced people, neurology and rehabilitation. This is not an exhaustive list, and the need to be responsive to arising priorities and therefore needs to be a flexible approach.
In order to be in a state of preparedness and capture the broadest spectrum of expertise the OT- EU Coordinating Group agreed to self-nomination by individual Occupational Therapists. This does not stop member organisations initiating a nomination (with the Occupational Therapist’s permission) to be included on the Register of Experts. It is always preferable that nominees are a member of their countries’ professional organisation and/or have an affiliation with an educational or research institution.
In this way, the OT-EU Coordinating Group – and the Executive Committees/Boards for COTEC, ENOTHE and, in due course, ROTOS – will have direct contact with the individuals nominated in the event that an urgent response to a call for Experts is required. As and when an invitation for an Expert is received, the Executive Committee will clarify the expectations required in terms of time commitment, the skills required (e.g. knowing the evidence base, clinical experience, ability to advocate for our profession, knowledge of educational systems) financial arrangements and the brief for the invitation, with the individual concerned.
As European wide organisations COTEC, ENOTHE, ROTOS and Occupational Therapy Europe will always strive to provide opportunities for participation by as many countries as possible, whilst ensuring that the expertise matches the need.
There is also the expectation that there will be an agreed method of reporting back.