Occupational Therapy Professional Development Committee

Purpose of PDC

The Professional Development Committee (PDC) is a student-run committee that promotes professionalism, and professional development.  These can be defined to include: 1) Professional parameters:

“Legal and ethical issues… [to] understand the laws and regulations affecting practice as well as ethical and moral principles including honesty and integrity that guide our activities” (Bossers et al., 1999, p.119).  

The PDC will act as a liaison between regulatory bodies and students to ensure the latter are aware of current professional parameters. 2) Professional behaviour: Includes, but is not limited to, technical skills, client and team relationships and the presentation of a professional image.  Participating in the PDC and associated events will give students an opportunity to develop and practice these behaviours. 3) Professional responsibility: Encompasses 4 categories: responsibility to the profession, responsibility to ones’ self, responsibility to the community and responsibility to an employee or client (Bossers et al., 1999).  The PDC will advocate for the profession, which will inform clients and the community about available occupational therapy services. In addition, through participation in PDC events, students will demonstrate responsibility to ones’ own professional development. The PDC will provide a structure for OT students to explore areas of professional interest and concern in a current and up-to-date context. The committee will: i. Maintain a liaison with provincial and national occupational therapy organizations (SAOT, SSOT, BCSOT, and CAOT) and communicate relevant information to students regarding these organizations including accreditation examinations, and association memberships. ii. Provide information on areas of concern to OT students based on interests of the current OT student population and guided by the dynamics of the profession based on CAOT, SAOT and ACOT direction (such as career and placement options, current issues specific to OT and health care in general, organizing seminars and/or presentations to address these areas, information on professional development activities within the region, as well as job search resources). iii. Promote occupational therapy as a profession and as a department on the University of Alberta campus and to the community. iv. Demonstrate leadership in the pursuit of professional development for the class, the profession, and as a member of an allied health care team.

Reference Bossers, A., Kernaghan, J., Hodgins, L., Merla, L., O’Connor, C., VanKessen, M. (1999).  Defining and developing professionalism.  Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(3), 116-121.