It's been a busy month or so since the Psychotherapy Act was proclaimed on April 1st, bringing the new College into full operation. We've been busy processing applications, responding to queries, gearing up College programs and committees, and preparing to work with the Ministry and six other colleges on the controlled act. See important updates below, as well as "Registration Notes" at the bottom. Topics include:
- Conversion therapy
- Independent practice requirements for 'Grandparented' Members
- Health claims for auto insurance & requests from 3rd party providers (insurers)
- Council elections
- Controlled act of psychotherapy
- Quality Assurance (QA) Program
- "Registration Notes"
Members and applicants may have seen a letter from the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care posted on CRPO's website regarding "conversion" or "reparative" therapy. Dr. Eric Hoskins wrote to several health regulatory bodies in April, advising that therapy aimed at intentionally changing the gender identity or sexual orientation of any individual under age 18, is unacceptable practice in Ontario, and should be considered professional misconduct. In its response, the College stated the following: "We are in full agreement that conversion/reparative therapy intended to change or direct an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity is outside the bounds of acceptable professional practice and cannot be tolerated." Please see the minister's letter and CRPO's response. The College also indicated that Executive Committee will ask our Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) to consider developing a practice standard on this matter.
Independent practice for Grandparented Members
At April's Council meeting, Registration Committee (RC) Chair, Philip McKenna, reported that RC had determined that Grandparented Members who are short of the required clinical supervision hours for 'independent practice' must complete half of those outstanding hours in individual/dyadic clinical supervision. The remainder can be completed in group clinical supervision.
Clinical supervision group size
Following lengthy consideration of the question of clinical supervision group size for Regular Route applicants, Registration Committee (RC) decided to formalize a cap on group size. Prior to this decision, group size for Regular Route applicants was a maximum of eight supervisees. Now, however, up to 20 per cent of clinical supervision hours required for registration and/or 'independent practice', may be completed in groups with nine to 12 participants, excluding the clinical supervisor. For Grandparenting applicants and Members registered via grandparenting, all group Clinical Supervision hours may be completed in groups of up to 12 supervisees.
Health Claims for Auto Insurance (HCAI)
Following proclamation, CRPO received word that HCAI, the organization that manages health claims for auto insurance, has recognized psychotherapists as a regulated profession. The following information was forwarded to the College:
"HCAI will be compliant with psychotherapy's transition to a regulated health discipline and psychotherapists will be able to select their profession in the HCAI application as of April 20, 2015. Health care facilities who offer services provided by psychotherapists should update their HCAI account's Associated Providers list, with the College Registration Number (CRN) for each psychotherapy professional on their facility's roster." For more information, please contact HCAI directly.
Members and applicants may also be interested to learn that third-party insurers have contacted CRPO to request our list of registered Members. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide such a list but are advising insurance companies to check the Public Register.
As most are aware, the proposed controlled act of psychotherapy was not proclaimed along with the rest of the Psychotherapy Act on April 1st. Instead, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has asked CRPO to work collaboratively with the five other colleges whose members would have been authorized to do the controlled act, to further define its meaning. CRPO's President and staff met with Ministry staff in early May to learn more about the Ministry's expectations in this regard, and will meet with the other colleges later in May. We will keep you posted as the process for this work begins to take shape.
Quality Assurance Program
Now that the College is up and running, we are turning our attention to key CRPO programs, including the Quality Assurance Program. This program is designed to support Members in their maintenance of competency and ongoing professional development. All Members registered before September 30, 2015 will be required to participate in the first cycle of the program, and will be asked to submit their initial Self-Assessment in conjunction with registration renewal, by March 31, 2016. For more details about the Quality Assurance Program, click here.
Upon proclamation, the transitional Council became the Council of the new College and remains in place until Council elections are held before the end of October this year. Eight CRPO Members will be elected from various regions of the province, and one province-wide. In addition, public Council Members will be appointed by government. It's not too early for CRPO Members (or applicants who expect to become Members) to start thinking about running for a position on Council, and/or urging potential candidates to think about running. Click here for information about Council elections found in CRPO's By-laws. Detailed information about the nomination and election process is not yet available but we will keep you posted.
"Enforcement" refers to action taken by the College against a non-member who uses a restricted title or holds him/herself out as qualified to practise as a psychotherapist in Ontario. Under the Psychotherapy Act, 2007, only CRPO members are authorized to use the restricted titles, "Psychotherapist", "Registered Psychotherapist", and "Registered Mental Health Therapist" or any variations or abbreviations of those titles. Since April 1st, the College has sent several notices advising non-members not to use restricted titles - mainly in connection with website postings, email signatures and broadcast media. In one case, the College sent a formal "cease and desist" letter to someone who has persisted in using the "Registered Psychotherapist" title, despite not being registered. CRPO will continue to monitor unauthorized use of title and 'holding out.' Enforcement will be an ongoing activity of the College.
- Updated insurance information
If you are a CRPO Member and agreed to provide your insurance information to the College within 30 days of registration; 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).
- To check the status of your Application
If you have submitted an Application for Registration, you can track the status of your Application by checking the "Application Status" box on the first page of your Application. If it says "Received", this means your application was successfully submitted and will be reviewed shortly. If it says "Open", your application has not yet been submitted. NOTE: To submit your Application, click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the first page of the Application after completing all sections of the Application and paying your application fee. You will be notified when your payment has cleared the banking system and has been applied to your invoice (this can take up to three business days).
- Where to find your Certificate of Registration
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 your application has been approved, you have completed additional Health Professions Database questions, paid your registration fee, and after your payment has cleared the banking system. You will not be notified that the Certificate is available.
A temporary paper-based application has been created to allow practitioners of psychotherapy registered in Québec or Nova Scotia to apply for registration with CRPO based on Labour Mobility regulations. Under these rules, applicants registered in other provinces, are deemed to have already met certain registration requirements. Click here to access the application form.
- Record-keeping, use of titles, electronic practice, etc.
Members are strongly encouraged to review CRPO's Professional Practice Standards, to familiarize themselves with their responsibilities & obligations as regulated health professionals. Professional practice standards describe minimum standards expected of Members; they are not intended as best practices. Members are expected to practise in accordance with these standards and to apply them consistently in their practice environments.
- Languages of practice on the Public Register
When completing their Application for Registration, applicants are asked whether they want their languages of practice posted on the Public Register. If you did not tick the box agreeing to have this information posted, you will not be able to find your name on the Register when searching by language (alone), or when searching using multiple fields that include language.