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News from Member Organisations September 2023 - Netherlands

Welcome to information on Occupational Therapy developments in the Netherlands!


Ergotherapie Nederland, the Dutch Occupational Therapy association, welcomed new association members and our count is now at 3000!

A large Ergotherapie Nederland group attended the WFOT conference at Paris 2022.


1. Professional Profile

In a national collaboration and under coordination of Ergotherapie Nederland a new updated occupational therapy professional profile is development. In a great online and open to the public version, information is published on topics like: What is Occupational Therapy, How does an Occupational Therapist work, Where do Occupational Therapists work, What happens within Occupational Therapy and Which societal developments influence occupational therapy? Interested? Do have a look at: Beroepsprofiel Ergotherapeut - Beroepsprofiel ErgotherapieOccupational therapy; the best kept secret in health care” (screenshot)


2. Competency profile Occupational Therapy

The development of the professional profile was aligned with the development of a renewed set of professional occupational therapy competences. A renewed and contemporary set of occupational therapy competences, based on the Can med’s was discussed and refreshed. Be inspired and do have a look at the English version at: Competentieprofiel Ergotherapeut - Competentieprofiel Ergotherapeut (screenshot)


3. Integral Care Agreement

Led by the Ministry of Health, all parties involved in healthcare have agreed on a so-called Integral Care Agreement. The 14 largest healthcare parties including doctors, hospitals and health insurers have signed this agreement. Other involved parties including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, pharmacists etc are more or less directly involved. The Dutch OT association for example, is directly involved in forming a vision of primary care and making a plan of action for the primary care sector. Looking to 2040. This agreement is necessary because healthcare in the Netherlands, which is of very good quality, is under pressure. Issues include a double ageing population (more elderly and older people) a shortage of staff and costs are rising sharply. This puts the quality, accessibility and affordability of healthcare at risk.

4. Support on community based occupational therapy / (social) neighbourhood teams

Occupational therapists work in their neighbourhoods with people from the community and the various organisations involved. In consultation, the issue in need of change is defined. In this process, the participants carry out the project and the occupational therapist has a supporting and empowering role. In the neighbourhood, (social) neighbourhood teams focus on neighbourhood strength and social cohesion. Neighbourhood teams connect people and encourage joint activities. Here, occupational therapists can have an advisory role and, together with the municipality, for example, implement a programme in the neighbourhood to promote a healthier lifestyle

5. Collaborative decision making

Known effects of collaborative decision making are satisfaction, therapy fidelity, involvement and well informed clients and prevent doubts, regrets, costs and unnecessary surgery. Therefor an important national / occupational therapy campaign on client involvement on decision making within therapy has started. The campaign will run for 1,5 years. More info: Samen beslissen: de campagne is gestart - Ergotherapie. (screenshot)



In a study on the effects of intervention on Post Covid, the results of Dutch Occupational therapy in Post COVID situation are positive and nationally promoted.Corona en ergotherapie - Ergotherapie


  • A WFOT accreditation process for the Occupational Therapy program at Groningen is started, this is our 6th Occupational Therapy program at Bachelor level. More info at: HBO Ergotherapie - voltijd bachelor in 4 jaar | Hanze | Hanze
  • Student in take: “Is Occupational Therapy something for you?” A National Campaign promoting studying Occupational Therapy has been a great success and resulted in a greater intake of Occupational Therapy students!
  • New Occupational Therapy literature in Dutch:

a. Foundations of Occupational Therapy/ Grondslagen van de Ergotherapie (2022), sixth edition, is developed in an International cooperation between Netherlands and Flamish (Belgium) Occupational therapist authors. Editors: Margo van Hartingsveldt, Mieke leGranse, Daphne Kos.

Description: This book is the standard work on occupational therapy and the profession of the occupational therapist in the Netherlands and Flanders. As such, it is indispensable for occupational therapy courses and for occupational therapists in practice.

Foundations of Occupational Therapy consists of four parts. The first deals with professional formation, daily practice, diversity and the occupational therapist, among other topics. The second part describes the core elements of occupational therapy and areas of action. Part three discusses commonly used models and frameworks. The final part zooms in on the practical application of occupational therapy, methodical practice, assessment tools, technology and quality in care and welfare. This book is accompanied by an online learning environment with extras for reference and study. More info here.


b. Occupational Therapy skills: Ergovaardig

Ergovaardig (2022), fourth edition. Editors: Koen van Dijk, Anoeska Nas, Karen van Barschot, Jolie Derkx.

  • The starting point of Ergovaardig is the Skillslab method, a systematic approach to learning skills once developed by Maastricht University
  • Both books are the result of cooperation between the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen, Hogeschool Rotterdam and Zuyd Hogeschool Heerlen and therefore closely match the curriculum of the Ergotherapy course.
  • The method covers all common actions the student will later encounter as an occupational therapist. The books do not limit themselves to theory but also bring practice into focus.

More info here.