As most everyone will know by now, proclamation of the
Psychotherapy Act, 2007 occurred on April 1, 2015. Many thanks to all who sent congratulations and good wishes - we are excited by the challenges ahead as we work to fulfill our role of regulating the profession in the public interest. Now that the College is fully operational, we wish to share some frequently asked questions (and answers) on the following topics:
- Why register if there is no controlled act?
- When will the controlled act be proclaimed?
- What titles can CRPO Members use?
- What name appears on my Certificate of Registration and how do I access my certificate?
- How do I update information about my professional liability insurance?
1. Given that the controlled act of psychotherapy has not been proclaimed, why should I become a Member of the new College?
(This paragraph revised) CRPO is empowered by the Psychotherapy Act, 2007 to regulate psychotherapists in the public interest. Under the Act, anyone who wishes to hold him/herself out as qualified to practise as a psychotherapist in Ontario must be a member of CRPO. In addition, members of other regulated professions may practice psychotherapy within their scope of practice, if they meet requirements set by their own college. With regard to titles, the Psychotherapy Act restricts the use of the titles, "registered psychotherapist" and "psychotherapist" (and any abbreviation or variation of these restricted titles) to CRPO Members. The title "registered mental health therapist" is also a restricted title under the Act (currently not in use).
The Ontario legislature has also enacted a proposed controlled act of psychotherapy (currently not in force), though it may come into force in the foreseeable future. Some stakeholders have asked whether they should register with CRPO, given that the controlled act of psychotherapy is not yet in force. Our response is that access to a controlled act is not the defining characteristic of a regulatory college. Several colleges do not have controlled acts; including occupational therapists, kinesiologists, homeopaths and massage therapists. CRPO Members are those whose practice falls within the scope of practice of psychotherapy. The controlled act of psychotherapy (as yet un-proclaimed) is a subset of the scope of practice.
Prospective Members may wish to consider other benefits of registration. In addition to the intangible benefits of professional recognition and identity, some future Members may wish to consider the prospect that the services of regulated practitioners may be covered by 3rd party insurers, EAPs, etc. In time, it is also likely that employers and clients will come to expect practitioners to be registered. Those who do not take advantage of the 'Grandparenting' window (which closes March 31, 2017), may find themselves ineligible to register, unless they undertake further education & training. Prospective applicants should also consider whether the work they do falls within the scope of practice of psychotherapy, and whether they could be seen as "holding out" in contravention of the legislation, if they chose not to become a Member.
The general public benefits from regulation by having access to practitioners who meet registration requirements, are required to uphold professional practice standards, and who practise within a statutory accountability framework. Members of the public, including clients and prospective Members, will have access to information about College Members using CRPO's online Public Register, including information about Members' employment, registration status, and discipline history, if any.
While the purpose of regulation is not to benefit psychotherapists, the profession as a whole benefits from the privilege and responsibilities associated with being regulated health professionals.
2. When will the controlled act be proclaimed?
The short answer is that we do not know when the controlled act of psychotherapy will be proclaimed; however, we expect to be working with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care over the next few months to develop greater clarity around its meaning.
3. What title(s) can CRPO Members use, and how are they correctly used?
CRPO Members are required to use one of the following protected titles (or the equivalent in French), based on their category of membership:
- Registered Psychotherapist or RP;
- Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) or RP (Qualifying);
- Registered Psychotherapist (Temporary) or RP (Temporary);
- Registered Psychotherapist (Inactive) or RP (Inactive); or
- Registered Mental Health Therapist (not currently in use)
Members are required to give prominence to their regulatory title (see CRPO's Professional Practice Standards for details). They may also use the title "psychotherapist" in describing their professional role, or as a job title. Under current legislation, only CRPO Members are permitted to use the title "psychotherapist." They may also use specialty titles and designations conferred by other organizations, as long as designations are earned, granted by a recognized credentialing body, and meet recognized standards.
4. What name will appear on my Certificate of Registration and how do I access my certificate?
Currently, a Member's first and last legal names will appear on their Certificate of Registration. In future, we plan to upgrade the system so the full legal name will appear. This system upgrade will take some time to implement.
To access your certificate, go to the Certificate tab in your user account on our Membership Management System. This is a new tab that will appear after you have completed additional Health Professions Database questions, paid your registration fee, and after your payment has cleared the banking system. It's up to you to check your account to access your certificate - you will not receive notification that it is now available.
5. How do I update information about my professional liability insurance?
If you agreed to provide your insurance information within 30 days of registration with the college; or if details of your insurance coverage have changed; or if your coverage has expired since you submitted your application, you must update the Professional Liability Insurance page of your application for registration. This is done on CRPO's online Membership Management System (MMS) - unlike other pages of the application, this page can be updated (other pages are 'locked').
You must do the updating yourself. DO NOT send insurance information by email or using the MMS messaging system. You must go into the Professional Liability Insurance page of your application and update the information.
Our Mission: To develop standards and procedures to regulate psychotherapists in the public interest, striving to ensure competent and ethical practice within a professional accountability framework.
Our Vision: Leadership in professional self-regulation, dedicated to the principles of excellence, fairness, openess, responsiveness and respect for diversity.