News

Approved Standards of Professional Conduct, 2024

We are pleased to let you know that on May 8th, the College Council approved a new version of the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Standards, which are applicable to members registered as Behaviour Analysts, Psychologists and Psychological Associates, will come into force on July 1, 2024, the same day as the new Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis Act, 2021 and associated Regulations also come into force. We encourage all registrants to familiarize themselves with the Standards as early as possible. 

Because of the extensive nature of changes made, a version tracking changes from the 2017 version still in force was not practical. Here is a brief summary of the most substantive changes:

  • Registrants will be required to demonstrate efforts to correct misrepresentations concerning qualifications of others providing services, if possible.
  • Registrants may now provide some services without regard to authorized areas, populations if no specialized knowledge or skill required, eg., administration, general research which does not require clinical knowledge or skill, teaching undergraduate survey style courses.
  • New guidance is provided regarding social media use focused on confidentiality, avoidance of  boundary violations, protection of professionalism and avoidance of harm.
  • Formalization of responsibility to protect tests from access by unqualified people
  • Formalization of adherence to evidence-based practice
  • A new obligation to disclose situations in which a registrant may be seen as impartial in the context of service provision.
  • A requirement to remain independent in disputes or refrain from advocacy on behalf of a party.
  • New guidance regarding the acceptance of gifts of more than token value, if it in the best interest of a client to do so.
  • Registrants must demonstrate that providing services virtually is clinically indicated
  • Expansion of the period during which inappropriate sexual conduct which does not meet the definition of sexual abuse under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, from two to five years, and also includes inappropriate conduct with close family members of clients.
  • Supervisors must regularly review and monitor all active clients receiving services under their supervision.
  • Supervisors must ensure that clients are told at beginning of supervised service provision that their services will be supervised and informed about the credentials of the supervisee and identity of the Health Information Custodian (HIC) who is responsible for their file .              
  • The retention period for supervision records has been increased to ensure they are available as long as the client file is available.
  • Explicit criteria for when supervised services are permitted have been clarified, allowing for supervision when it is required in order for a supervisee to meet College registration requirements; when necessary in order to ensure competent services and when a registrant requires assistance in order to provide a professional service.
  • Clarification that, while delegation and “second order supervision” are not permissible, supervisors may assign specific duties such as training and consultation to others, so long as supervisors remain accountable for the services delivered.
  • The prohibition against supervision for the “sole” reason of facilitating third party payment has been extended by removing “sole” in the prohibition.
  • A requirement to clarify roles and accountability when more than one supervisor is involved in a matter. 

Please address any questions you have about the new Standards to standards@cpo.on.ca

We wish to thank all of the respondents to the College surveys conducted leading up to the revisions, the Working Group which proposed the Standards and all members of College staff, committees and the Council for their hard work on this initiative.