Learning about CO-OP

Learning about CO-OP

Becoming educated in the CO-OP Approach
Approved CO-OP Course or Workshop
Who May Attend a CO-OP Course or Workshop?
Who May Become a Certified CO-OP Therapist?
Who May Become a Certified CO-OP Instructor?


Becoming educated in the CO-OP Approach

The CO-OP Academy is dedicated to knowledge translation and quality assurance. Accordingly, the CO-OP Academy reserves the right to offer training in the CO-OP Approach, be it for research or clinical practice.

There are a number of educational vehicles available to those interested in the CO-OP Approach, each bringing you to a different level of proficiency with the Approach.

The goals may be:

  1. To know about the CO-OP Approach,
  2. To do CO-OP, and
  3. To teach CO-OP.

To Know

If your goal is to know what CO-OP is and for whom it may be appropriate we refer you to the “about CO-OP” section of this website, to the myriad of available written materials or to lectures or informal courses.

There is a large amount of written material on the CO-OP Approach. This includes, but is not limited to, books, book chapters, peer-reviewed articles, and topic specific pamphlets. Links to a number of these material can be found on this website under publications and resources. Some, but not all, of the written information about CO-OP is endorsed by the CO-OP Academy. Those materials endorsed by the Academy will bear the Academy logo. Individuals wishing to have their educational materials endorsed by the Academy must submit them to the Academy for review and approval.

The most comprehensive source is the CO-OP book:

Polatajko, H. J., & Mandich, A. (2004). Enabling occupation in children: The Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) approach. Ottawa, ON: CAOT Publications ACE.

It is available from the CAOT store.

The Academy, in partnership with the University of Toronto, offers a free on-line introductory course on the Approach.

From time to time lectures or informal courses are given about the Approach. These are generally as part of conferences or organized and delivered locally. This website does not provide information about such events as they are under the auspices of the organizers and not the Academy.

To Do

If your goal is to be able to do the Approach, i.e., use CO-OP in your practice or in research, we strongly recommend that you take an approved CO-OP online course or workshop.

Online course: The Academy, in partnership with the University of Toronto, offers a three part online course on the CO-OP Approach. Part I is an introduction, Part 2 mirrors the face-to-face workshop and teaches the basics of doing the Approach, and Part 3 is a certification component.

Approved CO-OP Workshops: The Academy, in partnership with local hosts, provides formal training on the CO-OP Approach which, depending on the nature of the course, prepares you to:

  1. Practice using the Approach or
  2. Receive certification in the Approach, allowing you to call yourself a certified CO-OP therapist.

    Approved CO-OP Course or Workshop

    All formal CO-OP courses or workshops must be approved by the Academy and must be given by a certified CO-OP instructor.  The Academy itself does not, generally, offer courses or workshops. Rather the Academy responds to requests from those wishing to host a course or workshop. Courses or workshop without the express approval of the Academy may not be identified as CO-OP courses or workshops. To set up formal training in the CO-OP Approach, please see the guidelines for planning a course or workshop and contact the Academy.  Attendees of an Approved CO-OP course or workshop will be given a ‘Certificate of Attendance’ issued by the workshop host and signed by the certified CO-OP instructor(s) .

    Who May Attend a CO-OP Course or Workshop?

    The Academy does not set any restrictions or requirements for attendance at CO-OP courses or workshops. Local hosts are free to set their own restrictions.

    However, attendees should be aware that the Approach was originally designed for Occupational Therapists and that the instructional materials used in CO-OP courses or workshops are based on the premise that attendees have a clear understanding of the concepts underlying the Approach, including: client-centredness, occupation-based practice, learning theory, and evidence-based practice.

    Who May Become a Certified CO-OP Therapist?

    Certified CO-OP therapist must, first and foremost, be a fully qualified rehabilitation professional, e.g., an occupational therapist or physical therapist, duly licensed to practice in their own jurisdiction. Those wishing to become certified must meet the criterion for certification as a therapist as set out by the Academy.

    Visit our Becoming a Certified Therapists page for more information.

    To Teach

    If your goal is to teach about CO-OP in an informal way, you are free to do so. If your goal is teach about CO-OP formally, to offer an approved CO-OP course or workshop, you must be formally trained and approved by the Academy.

    Who May Become a Certified CO-OP Instructor?

    Certified CO-OP instructors must, first and foremost, be a Certified CO-OP therapist and must possess a strong background in CO-OP theory and practice. In the interest of quality control the Academy closely controls the number of certified instructors. Accordingly, candidacy for certification as a CO-OP instructor is achieved through nomination to the Academy by a certified CO-OP instructor or a member of the Academy executive. Once candidacy is approved, those wishing to become certified must meet the criteria for certification as an instructor set out by the Academy.

    Visit our Becoming a Certified Instructor page for more information.