Types of occupational therapist roles

By working in an Occupational Therapy role in social care, you will be making a real difference to people's lives. There are different types of OT roles.

Adult social care workers (ASCW)

This is a great job if you do not have a degree in Occupational Therapy but are keen to work in this area. In social care, our support workers hold their own caseload of the less complex cases, with full support from the Senior Occupational Therapist as required. 

There are opportunities for our ASCW staff to apply for the Occupational Therapy Apprenticeship, if this is a career choice they want to follow. 

Being an existing ASCW employee of the council is currently the only way to access our Apprenticeship offer.  

Occupational Therapists (OTs)

Our OTs carry out triage, duty and assessment in their respective team. They have their own manageable caseloads, with support from Senior Occupational Therapists.

We take a risk enablement approach to our decision making. Depending on your level of experience, you can take a lead in a professional specialism. 

Some social care roles lend themselves to both a social worker or OT professional, so these opportunities are also available to OTs. For example in mental health, Best Interest Assessment (BIA) or Hospital Discharge.


Senior Occupational Therapists

Our Senior OTs carry small complex caseloads, but primarily support the rest of the OT team through supervision and team development. We encourage Senior OTs to lead on a professional specialism, this supports good practice across all teams. Further training is made available to support your development in this area.

For senior OTs who are keen to progress into management, we provide opportunities to support team managers and gain a greater depth of the full social care picture. For example, becoming a Best Interest Assessor is a great first step. 

Professional specialisms currently include:

  • moving and handling
  • postural management, including complex seating
  • housing adaptations
  • mental capacity/best interest decisions and Deprivation of Liberty safeguards (DoLS)
  • apprenticeships and students
  • trusted assessors

Principal Occupational Therapist

North Somerset Council was one of the earliest local authorities to create this role. 

The Principal Occupational Therapist (OT) is a strategic role, working in alignment with the Principal Social Worker.

The role of the Principal OT is to

  • promote Occupational Therapy within the council
  • ensure excellence in professional practice
  • measure quality within service delivery
  • lead practice improvement
  • develop a culture of professional pride. 

The Principal OT acts as a bridge between practitioners and senior management. They work to ensure OT staff are competent to deliver the OT vision for the residents of North Somerset.  

Social Care Management (Team Manager, Heads of Service, Principal OT)

Integrated teams are managed by either a Social Worker or occupational therapy professional. 

The teams are grouped into service areas and these are led by Heads of Service (either a Social Work or OT professional). 

Social care management requires a breadth of knowledge across both professions. 

We are committed to the principles outlined in the Local Government Association Employer Standards for Occupational Therapists.

We develop our Occupational Therapy workforce through regular training and CPD activities. We also have frameworks in place to add more structure for specific groups of staff.