Iceland National OT News
News from Iceland, 2019
In March 2019, after the Annual General Meeting, a newly elected president Thora Leosdottir, took over along with a new board. The president position is now full time. IOTA is both a professional organization and a trade union, so the main responsibilities are to handle professional issues, salaries, collective agreements and formation of public opinion. IOTA is one of the 27 associations within the Icelandic Confederation of University Graduates which is an umbrella organization founded in 1958. Members of IOTA are 344 in total and approximately 320 are practicing. Unemployment is zero and demand is more than supply. Salary agreements for OTs working within the official and non-profit service sector expired in April and IOTA is still in the negotiation process.
Seven candidates graduated in June from the University of Akureyri School of Occupational Therapy. At the moment OT students are 79 in total. To become an OT in Iceland, one has to finish a 180 ECTS BSc degree and 60 ECTS one-year Diploma degree in occupational therapy studies at a master’s level. Furthermore, a license from The Directorate of Health is required.
In August, the president and vice president participated in the annual Nordic meeting which was hosted by the Swedish association and they did a great job. Nordic collaboration is very important and valuable for Icelandic OTs and the professionals as well as working conditions are similar within the countries. The first attended COTEC meeting for the IOTA´s president was also an important learning platform.
On November 1st, a symposium was held to celebrate the World OT day. A number of OTs presented research and innovation projects. Participants were 90 in total and there was a formal social gathering afterwards. A workshop on the future collaboration of IOTA and the OT education took place on November 2nd with emphasis on goals and strategic plan to make the profession bigger and better. Last but not least there will be a 3 days course in Powerful Practice with Anne G. Fisher in March 2020, and we are looking forward to learning from her and have a boost for the OT profession here in Iceland.