College of Occupational Therapists to become Royal College of Occupational Therapists

It has been confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen has granted permission for the Royal title to be used by the College of Occupational Therapists meaning that, the College which can trace its origins back to 1936, will become the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

The College is the professional body for occupational therapy representing over 31,700 occupational therapists across the whole of the United Kingdom. Occupational therapists provide life-changing support to people managing illness, injuries and a wide range of physical and mental health conditions across both health and social care settings. Uniquely, they work to enable people to carry out daily activities ('occupations') which are essential for health and happiness.

This vital care helps people recover and build new skills to enjoy a full and independent life.

Permission to use the title ‘Royal’ or any personal title of the reigning Monarch is granted by the Queen, acting on the advice of her Ministers. The title ‘Royal’ and any other personal title is therefore very sparingly granted and strict standards are applied.

Chief Executive, Julia Scott said: “I am proud and delighted that Her Majesty has seen fit to grant us permission to allow us to become a Royal College. It is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and highest level of professional standards which our members demonstrate day in, day out that we have been granted this honour and should ensure that the profession is more involved in shaping health and social care policy. I look forward to embarking on the next chapter in our history as the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.”

The College’s Chair of Council, Dr Patricia McClure added: “I am hugely excited at today’s news. It will add further impetus to our work to raise the profile of the vital work that occupational therapists do, almost uniquely across physical and mental health, within the NHS and in Social Care. I hope that our members will be proud to say that they are represented by a Royal College.”