Introduction to Tuning for practitioners, students and educators

Occupational therapists and in particular practitioners still seem to live under the impression Tuning is something which only relates to education.

This short introduction aim is to emphasise the Tuning process and to explain some chapters of  the publication. Reference Points for the design and delivery of degree programmes in Occupational Therapy, which is very useful and helpful in many ways in the daily practice of occupational therapy by occupational therapists.

You can download this publication for free from the Tuning website:

This introduction is not meant to be extensive but will highlight some chapters, pertinent to daily practice.

The subject specific competences referred to as TUNING or European competences, refer to the performance of the occupational therapy practitioner, in other words they are the competences that guide the whole educational programme in occupational therapy. For this reason the competences were developed through a close collaboration and active involvement of both the educators (ENOTHE) and the practitioners (COTEC).

In short: the subject specific competences describe those things the occupational therapists are doing in daily practice, therefore a significant part of the publication is about you as practitioner!

Key areas of interest are as follows,

·Chapter 2 The Introduction to occupational therapy, gives you an excellent description of occupational therapy, its history , theoretical foundations, terminology and language and will help you to understand your own profession in depth and enable you to explain the profession to others.

·Chapter 3 Summary of the occupational therapy TUNING process, will give you an insight into how the specific competences were developed.  The levels of competences are  clearly explained, which will enable you to make your own individual life long learning /CPD programme, addressing the specific competencies.

·Chapter 4 Although this chapter about the application of competences is more on education, several parts are highly interesting for those occupational therapist who are supervising students in fieldwork. For example 4.4.  Fieldwork. This section gives insight into methods used in structuring the learning processes in fieldwork practice and gives benefits and barriers to using competences in fieldwork placements.

·Chapter 7 Application of competences in Practice shows how the competences are used in the development of Standards of practice and a Code of Ethics. The publication: Developing Code of Ethics – COTEC Policy and guidelines 2010, (see elsewhere on the COTEC website) is based on the TUNING competences.


Society seems to more and more ‘competence based’. Not only is education competence based but also employers are thinking along the same lines. When applying for a job or taking part in continual professional development (CPD) programmes, you as a occupational therapist have to able to explain and prove you have learnt and are competent to practice.

To enable you to prove your competency in practice you can use the competences as reference points for your own personal development and competent practice.

More information on TUNING:

Reference list

Tuning folded brochure