We are a national council of educators committed to promoting consistency and quality in post-secondary educational programs for Occupational Therapist Assistants (OTA) and Physiotherapist Assistants (PTA) in Canada. The primary action of the council is to develop, maintain and enhance formal education through collaboration and advocacy.
The early 1990s saw post-secondary OTA & PTA education develop independently with differing credentials regionally – some were discipline specific OTA or PTA, others were combined OTA and PTA programs.
From the mid-to late1990s, with the growing number of programs both provincially and nationally, there was increased awareness by faculty members from publically-funded community colleges to work towards program uniformity and the Canadian Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Educators Council (COPEC) was officially formed.
The Council endeavors to:
- provide a forum for communication, collaboration, and discussion of common issues and concerns of Occupational Therapist Assistants (OTA) and Physical Therapist Assistants(PTA) programs in Canada
- act as a resource for all OTA and PTA programs and PTA programs
- liaise with professional organizations on matters that have an impact on the education and recognition of therapist assistants
- develop and maintain national standards for OTA and PTA education
- address issues and concerns regarding OTA and PTA education raised by members and stakeholders
- provide a forum for developing, implementing and sharing best practice in OTA and PTA education and catalogue and develop resources of value to existing and developing OTA and PTA programs
- act in an advisory capacity to the national and provincial professional associations and regulatory bodies.
There are a number of committees established to fulfill the mandate of the Council.
- Executive Committee
- Technology & Communications
- Scholarly Activity
- Ad Hoc Committees – struck on an “as needed” basis
COPEC meets face-to-face a minimum of once per year with additional teleconference or electronic media meetings scheduled as necessary.
Yearly meetings are planned two years in advance with the location and dates of the meeting determined by the members. Meetings are typically aligned with the location of the Annual General Meeting of Canadian Physiotherapy Association or the annual Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Conference.
COPEC consists of representatives from publicly funded OTA and PTA programs in Canada.
OTA and PTA programs can become a part of COPEC by contacting the Council Chair, Teresa Avvampato, here.