Netherlands National OT News Archive

News from The Netherlands, March 2015

Client evaluation of occupational therapy

CEE: (Client Experienced occupational therapy list) will be launched at the end of 2014, beginning 2015. The already existing list will be made accessible through a Web-based tool to the members of the Dutch Association of Occupational Therapy. The list already exists in hard copy, but was thereby generally user-unfriendly. With this new functionality it is easier to frequently access the data and to compare the data with, for example, a nationwide database. The instrument measures the experiences of the client with occupational therapy. Various elements of the intervention are assessed such as accessibility, experienced expertise, processes etc. With this measurement, the occupational therapist gets valuable feedback  to improve his practice.

Occupational therapy is cost effective!

SEO research: Occupational Therapists interventions are cost effective with people with dementia and in children with writing problems. SEO, a scientific research institute, has done an analysis regarding the costs and benefits of occupational therapy intervention with people with dementia and their carers and with children with writing problems. Occupational therapy is cost effective in both groups. The most significant cost savings are reached with the group of people with dementia. Only in the first year spectacular savings of 150-236 million euro are possible! This is partly due to the fact that the client can continue to live at home longer, can function independently, other health care costs are evaded or postponed. In addition, the quality of life of the client and the caregiver substantially increase.

Awards 2014

At the General Assembly in November two awards have been given. For the first time ‘the Dutch Association of Occupational Therapy Graduation award’ was  presented for the best bachelor project.  Two students of the University of applied sciences Arnhem-Nijmegen (HAN) won the award with their research project on PROM’s (Patient Reported Outcome Measures).

 Stephanie Saenger was granted the “Astrid Kinébanian Award 2014”. The jury unanimously choose Stephanie out of three candidates and praised her outstanding contribution to the development of the profession in varied areas, and her longstanding voluntary work for both National and European OT associations. Stephanie dedicated the award to all volunteers of the Dutch Association EN. This was the third time the award, consisting of a bronze statue, was granted. Stephanie will hold the Astrid Kinébanian Lecture at the EN congress in 2015.

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News from The Netherlands, October 2014

From 23-25 October, the yearly ENOTHE congress  (European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education) will take place in Nijmegen (HAN: university of applied sciences) the Netherlands.The theme for this year’s meeting combines the EU year 2014 theme of “Reconciling Work and Family Life” and the theme “The year of the Brain 2014” by the European Brain Council.

The second general assembly of COTEC will also be held in Nijmegen along side the ENOTHE Annual Meeting which gives participants networking opportunities.

The Dutch OT congress “ Occupational Therapy matters” takes place at November 7th  2014, in Apeldoorn.

The goal of the congress is two fold: to make external parties  (municipalities, health insurances, care providers etc.) conscious about “ OT matters” , by demonstrating  how OT can support a better and healthier functioning of the Dutch society. Secondly  the focus is internal, by challenging and inspiring OT’s, to raise awareness that OT matters in the current and future society.

At the last General Assembly the profiles of two specializations have been accepted. Occupational Therapy for children: based on the client, occupation, context of the child and evidence based. And Occupational Therapy specialized on hands.

The description of both specialisms is a first step to establish a protected and recognized specialism at professional master level.

Based on the Guidelines of COTEC a new code of ethics (in concept) is written. This code will be submitted for approval at the Dutch general assembly in November 2014. Beside a set of behavioral rules, the code also contains a specific conceptual and action model, which supports OT’s to analyze dilemmas in their work in a methodical way.

The Dutch OT Association started the Ergo academia for continuing professional development with many different courses, workshops, events.

Beside the ergo academia, the association also started regional networks in the Netherlands with as a goal organizing meetings at regional level to create opportunities to share knowledge and experiences and to network.

The Dutch OT association launched her new website:

National Transcript Bachelor of Health Ergotherapie (Occupational Therapy) is a document produced jointly by all Higher Education Institutes providing a Bachelor of Health Ergotherapie (Occupational Therapy) programme in the Netherlands. The Transcript has been developed to support the process of recognition of Dutch Occupational Therapy degrees abroad.

News from The Netherlands, September 2013

Hanneke van Bruggen, Dutch OT for more than 40 years, founder, former president and executive director of ENOTHE (European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher education), honorary doctorate of the university of Brighton, honorary fellow of WFOT   was honoured this summer with her second honorary doctorate by the university of Coruña in Spain. Hanneke was rewarded for all her efforts to unite the OT schools in Spain and, in cooperation with ENOTHE, bring them to a bachelor level and working with European competencies by law. Furthermore Hanneke stimulated and challenged the Spanish OT’s in promoting occupational and social justice. Besides working with Spanish OT’s, Hanneke initiated and developed many OT programmes in many Eastern European countries.

Ton Satink, researcher and teacher at the HAN University at Nijmegen, was rewarded with the HAN award for Best Researcher 2013. Ton contributes greatly to the development and positioning of OT in the Netherlands, he is the stimulator behind the Occupational Therapy research network in the region of Nijmegen and is an expert in combining education and research. Ton also works for the European Master of OT programme and coordinator of the international programme at the HAN University.

Mieke le Granse, working at the OT Department of Zuyd University in Heerlen and WFOT delegate for the Netherlands, was awarded with an honorary membership of the DVE, the German Association of OT at the annual German OT congress in Bielefeld. The chair of the German OT association Arnd Longrée praised her long-term engagement and dedication in the process of bringing occupational therapy in Germany to bachelor level.  Last year Mieke was awarded the honorary membership of the Dutch OT Association.

The committee of international affairs, one of the long standing groups of the Dutch OT association, met officially for the first time with the coordinators of the international programmes  of the four OT universities in the Netherlands. Aim of the meeting was to exchange information about international activities in the different universities and OT activities on European and worldwide level and to discuss possibilities of more and intensive cooperation. The meeting proved to be very successful and a lot of concrete actions and plans were made, one being the cooperation on promoting World OT day in the Netherlands.

News from The Netherlands, October 2012

At the General Assembly in April 2012 Mieke le Granse, delegate for the WFOT, member of the Committee International Affairs, lecturer and coordinator of the German Bachelor educational Programme in The Hogeschool Zuyd was awarded with the Astrid Kinébanian Prijs for all her excellent work for the profession. The Astrid Kinébanian Prijs is granted every two years.

In July the third, completely revised print of Grondslagen van de Ergotherapie has been published. The book, which describes the fundamentals of Occupational Therapy, was written by many Occupational Therapists in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium).

In September The Dutch Association Ergotherapie Nederland (EN) celebrated her 55 jubilee in the new office building in Utrecht. In 1957 the first association of OT was founded in the Netherlands. The Dutch Journal of OT, EM, Ergotherapie Magazine exists 40 years.

EN has started a project group to investigate and organise criteria and a monitoring system for the first official specialisation in OT in The Netherlands. The specialisation will be in Occupational Therapy with Children.

EN has nearly completed a new qualification certificate system. This system will be organised on three levels and focuses on evaluation of competences of the OT as described in the (new) Professional Profile.

  1. self evaluation
  2. evaluation between colleagues
  3. audit by independent authority

This certification will be important for assessing the quality of the individual OT and this certification process will generate extra credit points for the national paramedic qualification register (KP). The KP registration is based on credit points for lifelong learning activities and working experience.

In October 2012 the Committee International Affairs of EN will participate in the ENOTHE Annual Meeting in Vilnius with a Market place to discuss how National OT Associations and Educational institutes organise internationalisation in their association, curricula and research. Special attention will be given to World OT day. The Committee will have the same presentation at the National OT Congress in November to raise awareness for the importance and benefits of international OT work.

In November the General Assembly will be held in connection with the National OT congress in Utrecht. The theme of the congress is Practice Based Evidence.

News from The Netherlands, March 2012

Theo van der Bom new executive director/president of Ergotherapie Nederland

In the General Assembly October 4th 2011 Theo van der Bom was elected as executive director/president of the Dutch association for Occupational Therapy,  Ergotherapie Nederland.

Theo van der Bom (54) started his career as physiotherapist. In later years he worked for care insurance companies and was responsible for allied healthcare and primary care. He has a lot of experience in both healthcare and management.

Supervisory board

The supervisory board of Ergotherapie Nederland has welcomed a new chair Stefan van den Oever. Another two new members were elected by the General Assembly.

Advisory Board

According to the wishes of the General Assembly, the Supervisory Board and the executive director Ergotherapie Nederland has installed an Advisory Board. This board of 14 OT’s represents all levels and areas of occupational therapy. The board advises the executive director on a variety of issues concerning occupational therapy developments and has an active role in the discussions about policy making.

Strategic policy plan 2012-2016

Ergotherapie Nederland has developed a strategic policy plan for 2012-2016. In February and March all members were invited to share their thoughts in 7, well attended, regional meetings. The supervisory board, the advisory board and the staff have discussed the plan with the executive director. On April 24th 2012 the policy plan will be discussed and voted upon in the General Assembly. The strategic policy plan will prioritise all actions needed to make Ergotherapie Nederland a strong and active association.

News from The Netherlands, August 2011

Free access to occupational therapy in the Netherlands

From September 1, 2011 the introduction of direct access to occupational therapy in the Netherlands is a fact. Occupational therapists can start their treatments now without referral from the General Practitioner and/or a specialist. The introduction of direct access is an important step in the process of professionalization of occupational therapy in the Netherlands. Direct access increases the possibilities of choice for the client and lead to a more client centered care.

By this the legal frame of occupational therapy has changed and the obligate referral will disappear.

Background is that the paramedical professions became complementary professionals in their field and the notion that citizens are increasingly better informed about health care. For the general practitioner it will also be a relief, cause the direct access is not only arranged for occupational therapists but also for physiotherapists (already since 2006), speech therapists, dieticians, orthoptists and podiatrists.

Occupational therapists have to be certified to work without referral.  The national association has, in collaboration with the health insurance and the educational institutes, developed a two days training for OT’s to obtain the competence of ‘screening’. Free access is only possible when the occupational therapists are trained and certified, meet the requirements for writing an intake protocol and follow the guidelines with regard to referral. Many OT’s are already certified.

In the meantime, the national association prepares together with the other professional organizations a PR campaign to inform the clients and the general practitioners and developed together with different institutes a screenings form which will serve as a standard for clients without referral.