The College of Psychologists of Ontario is committed to continuing its work on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion as they relate to our organizational practices and processes.
The College is committed to identifying any regulatory practices that may reflect systemic prejudice or discrimination and it urges all members to do the same within their practices, organizations, and professional lives. To this end, in 2020 the College established an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group tasked with identifying any issues of racism, systemic discrimination or bias that may be present within the College and its regulatory processes, as well as the larger profession. The members of the Working Group represent diversity of race, colour, being Indigenous, places of origin, religions, ethnic origins, sexual orientations, and gender identities; reflective of the diversity of our members and the clients our members serve. The Working Group is first focusing on possible discrimination or bias in the College regulatory processes. It will then turn its attention outward toward the profession, in general.
In undertaking its tasks, the Working Group agreed to a set of definitions to ensure a common understanding of “equity, diversity, and inclusion”. The definitions reflect the Working Group’s focus on the potential for systemic prejudice, bias and discrimination related to race, colour, being Indigenous, places of origin, religions, ethnic origins, sexual orientations, and gender identities.
Equity is the removal of systemic barriers and biases to enact the practice of inclusion so that all individuals have equal access to and can benefit from programs, processes, activities, or services.
Diversity is defined as differences in race, colour, being Indigenous, place of origin, religion, immigrant and newcomer status, ethnic origin, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status, and age.
Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which all individuals and groups who are systemically underserved, underrepresented, and disproportionately disadvantaged because of their diversity status, are supported to fully participate in processes, activities, and decision-making. It involves removal of barriers (e.g., physical, procedural, visible, invisible, intentional, unintentional) that inhibit participation and contribution.
*Definitions adapted from:
- Canada Research Chairs Program (September 2018). Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: A Best Practices Guide for Recruitment, Hiring and Retention
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (2020). Guide for Applicants: Considering Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Your Application.
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (June 22, 2021). Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research.
The College’s Role as Regulator
The College’s mandate is to protect the public interest through the regulation of the practice of psychology. In doing so, it must always consider and reflect upon its role as regulator with respect to the important issues of diversity, equity and inclusion; a role which is distinct from that of a professional association, whose mandate includes advocacy.
While advocacy falls outside of the College mandate, we do have a key role in providing guidance and resources to our members that empower them to employ sound clinical and ethical judgment in making decisions that will benefit the individuals, families, and communities being served. This includes considerations that members must take into account related to equity, diversity and inclusion.
- July 8, 2020 – A Commitment to Anti-Racism, a Message from the Registrar
- January 2021 – HeadLines article
- March 2021 – Expanded the options for gender identity in the members’ Practice Update Form
- April 2021 – HeadLines article
- June 30, 2021 – A Statement from the College on the Discovery of the Unmarked Graves at the Former Residential Schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan
- June 2021 Barbara Wand Seminar – Ethical Practice in the Context of Sexual and Gender Diversity
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Ontario Human Rights Code
We will continue to add resources and updates as they available.