Psychological Associate Section G – Authorized Supervised Practice

Registration Regulations

UPDATED: April 2019

Candidates must complete a minimum of 1500 hours (12 months) of post-master’s supervised practice in Ontario under the supervision of two members of the College. In order to undertake this supervised practice, approved applicants will be issued with a certificate for supervised practice. This certificate is the normal prerequisite to eligibility for a certificate for autonomous practice.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE FOR SUPERVISED PRACTICE

Section 23. (1) of the Registration Regulation specifies that:

  • An applicant must have an acceptable master’s degree as described in Section E of these guidelines;
  • An applicant must have acceptable post-master’s work experience as described in Section F of these guidelines; and
  • The applicant must provide a signed undertaking from two members who agree to supervise their practice for the required term, using the supervisor’s agreement forms provided by the College.

In addition, the applicant normally must be working in the profession at least 15 hours per week in Ontario. Please see subsequent section, “Amount of Authorized Supervised Practice Required” for details about the total amount of supervised practice that is needed.

SUPERVISION – DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUPERVISED MEMBERS

Choosing supervisors
The applicant must select a primary supervisor and an alternate supervisor. As specified in Sections 23.(1) 2. and 23. (2) of the Registration Regulation, supervisors must be members (psychologist or psychological associate) of the College authorized for autonomous practice and, between them, are expected to be competent in each of the area(s) of practice that the applicant is declaring on the Declaration of Competence. The supervisor’s certificate of registration must not be subject to any term, condition or limitation that was imposed as a result of a disciplinary proceeding or a fitness to practice proceeding, and must not be the subject of any ongoing disciplinary or fitness to practise proceeding.

While it is optimal that the applicant and supervisors work in the same setting, a supervisor who works in a different setting is acceptable, provided that consistent mentoring and regular contact can be ensured, and that the supervisor has access to the client files.

A minimum of two supervisors is mandatory for the duration of the supervised practice period. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. the applicant works in multiple settings or seeks to acquire additional expertise in a new area of practice) a third supervisor may be named.

If an applicant’s administrative supervisor is unable to act as a primary or alternate supervisor, the applicant must arrange supervision for the purposes of registration. In this situation the applicant will have an administrative supervisor to report to, and two registration supervisors who are responsible for the applicant’s psychological activities.

Role of the supervised member
It is the responsibility of the supervised member to work with the supervisors to ensure that the supervision includes training and evaluation, at a minimum, in the following four core competencies required for professional practice:  interpersonal relationships, assessment & evaluation, intervention & consultation, and ethics (See Appendix C for definitions of the core competencies).

Specific duties and responsibilities of the supervised member
To remain in good standing, a supervised member must:

  • Carry out all of the required supervised work experience in the province of Ontario;
  • Practise in accordance with all statutes, regulations, standards of professional conduct and guidelines adopted by the College;
  • Maintain supervision of all professional activities until issued with a certificate for autonomous practice;
  • Maintain employment in the same setting(s) and under the terms specified when the certificate was issued, or, inform the College in writing if he or she intends to change professional duties, work setting(s) and/or supervisors;
  • During the year of supervised practice, engage in all the activities described in the Declaration of Competence, with sufficient client contact to enable supervisors to evaluate readiness for autonomous practice;
  • Pay the pro-rated membership fees;
  • Take the (EPPP) and (JEE) within one year of issuance of the certificate for supervised practice, and at least yearly thereafter if required;
  • Achieve eligibility to take the Oral Examination within two years after the date of issuance of the certificate for supervised practice (i.e. have successfully completed the supervised practice, a retraining plan if one was required, and both written examinations).

SUPERVISION – DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUPERVISORS

Role of the supervisors: training and evaluation of areas of knowledge and skills for professional practice
Supervisors play an important role in preparing supervised members for the autonomous practice of psychology. In all aspects, supervisors should be sensitive to the needs of the supervised member and should make every effort to determine her/his requirements for training.

The period of formal supervised practice must include training and evaluation in the following four core competencies required for professional practice:  interpersonal relationships, assessment & evaluation, intervention & consultation, and ethics (See Appendix C for definitions of the core competencies).

Supervisors accept tutorial responsibility for raising the level of skills, knowledge and general professional functioning of a supervised member to a level acceptable for autonomous practice, in keeping with the supervised member’s Declaration of Competence and any other requirements of the Registration Committee during the authorized supervised practice. As an on-going part of this tutorial process, they provide the supervised member with appraisals of his/her competencies. They formally agree to provide the College with objective assessments of the supervised member’s progress during the period of authorized supervised practice.

The supervisors accept ultimate responsibility for the psychological services provided by the supervised member.

Specific responsibilities of the primary supervisor

  • Setting training goals and objectives for the supervisory period, consistent with the supervised member’s Declaration of Competence and any other requirements of the Registration Committee;
  • Assisting the supervised member in reaching the standard for autonomous practice;
  • Meeting with the supervised member in individual sessions a minimum of 2 hours every 2 weeks;
  • Supervising the supervised member’s professional performance, including training, monitoring, and assessment of performance, throughout the supervisory period;
  • Promptly bring to the supervised member’s attention any areas needing remediation and taking the lead role in developing a remediation plan;
  • Providing guidance to the supervised member in preparing for the EPPP and the JEE;
  • Assisting the supervised member in preparing for the Oral Examination (offering, together with one or more colleagues, to provide a mock oral examination can be very helpful to some candidates);
  • Reporting to the College on the supervised member’s progress, assets, and liabilities, using the dated work appraisals provided by the College. The supervisor must record the dates, duration and content of each supervisory session. Clients’ names should not be included. The
  • College must receive all appraisals before a supervised member can attend the Oral Examination;
  • When there are changes to the supervised member’s Declaration of Competence, they must be acknowledged by the supervisor to the Registration Committee and explicitly considered in the supervisor’s subsequent appraisal(s) of the candidate.

Specific responsibilities of the alternate supervisor 
In general, the responsibilities of the alternate supervisor parallel those of the primary supervisor, as the alternate must be able to replace the primary supervisor if the latter must withdraw for any reason. Both supervisors are expected to accept responsibility for assisting and mentoring the supervised member in his/her progress toward autonomous practice.

The alternate supervisor meets with the supervised member in individual sessions a minimum of 2 hours per month. Supervisory sessions normally take place in the candidate’s work setting. Any exceptions must be approved by the College. At a minimum, the alternate supervisor must submit an appraisal to the College every six months, on the forms provided by the College.

Signing reports
It is preferred that the supervisor co-signs all reports in an institutional setting. However, the College understands that this may not always be possible. In these situations, co-signing the report is left up to the supervisor’s discretion. At a minimum, the supervisor’s name and contact information must be included in the report. If the supervised member is working in a private practice setting, then all reports must be cosigned. Please see below for specific guidelines for supervised members working in a private practice setting.

Payment for provision of supervision
Normally, supervisors are expected to provide supervision as part of their collegial contribution to the profession. In certain circumstances, particularly in private practice settings, it may be necessary for supervisors to request payment for the provision of supervision to supervised members, subject to the following conditions:

  • When the supervised member provides services to the supervisor’s clients, it would not be appropriate for the supervisor to seek payment for supervision from the supervised member. The supervision occurs in the normal course of providing services to the client and is part of the supervisor’s professional responsibility to the client.
  • On occasion, a supervised member may not have access to supervision in their work setting. In such cases, an offsite supervisor may consider charging a reasonable amount.

Use of the supervisor’s work appraisal form
Primary Supervisor’s appraisals must be submitted to the College quarterly, using the form provided by the College, with attachments when appropriate. Alternate Supervisor’s appraisals must be submitted every six months.

The Supervisor’s Work Appraisal Form includes rating scales, with dimensions and rating categories which are intended to provide a consistent frame of reference for supervisors, supervised members, the Registration Committee, and the College’s oral examiners. Since the purpose of registration is public protection, supervisors are reminded that they are expected in their work appraisal forms to take very seriously their ratings of the candidate’s readiness for autonomous practice.

The Supervisor’s Work Appraisal Form requests a detailed record of supervisory contacts. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring accuracy and completeness with respect to all contacts with the candidate, the dates and duration of such contacts, and the supervisory themes.

In a separate section of the form, the supervisor is expected to indicate the different professional activities in which the candidate engages, and the hours devoted to each during the reported period.

To ensure that the supervisor and supervised member have reviewed the entire completed form, each must sign the declaration found at the end of the form.

Unanimous supervisor ratings indicating readiness for autonomous practice in all categories are a pre-requisite, by the end of the period under supervision, for eligibility to attend the College’s Oral Examination. Supervisors should be aware that their ratings are necessarily based on their supervisory contacts with the supervised member, while the ratings of the College’s oral examiners are based on a broader perspective of assessing readiness for autonomous practice. Therefore, occasional discrepancies are to be expected.

Public Protection
Supervisors are reminded that the most important purpose of professional regulation is to protect the public from incompetent or unethical service providers. Here, the overall focus of post-degree supervision is to ensure that, by the end of the period under supervision, the supervised member is able to provide competent and ethical professional services, autonomously, within his or her limits of competence.

Supervised practice in a correctional setting
Supervised members working in correctional facilities should normally have at least one on-site supervisor.

Supervised practice in a private practice setting
Supervised members are normally not permitted to conduct a personal private practice because their competencies have not been formally evaluated by the College and therefore the public risk is unknown. Once a certificate for supervised practice has been issued to a candidate, all professional helping activities are viewed by the College, and by the public, as psychological ones. Candidates may have provided services under previously acquired credentials such as “social work” or “couples counselling”.  Any related activities which fall within the scope of practice of psychology will now be considered within the purview of the College and must be supervised.  Accordingly, during the period of authorized supervised practice all personal private practice of a helping nature, regardless of earlier qualification or designation, is not permitted. This prohibition against private practice is unrelated to the amount of time spent in such activities.

Supervised members may however work in the private practice of a member of the College, under the following conditions:

  •  The setting provides such diversity in clientele and practice activities as will prepare the supervised member adequately for autonomous practice in the intended area of practice;
  •  It is made clear to clients from the outset of provision of service, to third party insurers, and in all public announcements, that services are being provided by a supervised member. As well, the identity of the supervisor must be provided in each of these instances;
  • Clients are further advised that meetings between the clients and the supervisor may occur at the request of the client, the supervisor, or the supervised member;
  • All formal reports and communications are co-signed by the supervisor;
  • The supervised member provides the College with written assurance that billing of clients, and the collection of client fees, are carried out in the name of the supervisor. Such billing must include a statement of the supervisory relationship, the identities of the supervisor and supervisee, and the address and telephone number of the supervisor;
  • In accordance with Section 10.5 (2) of the Standards of Professional Conduct, payment of the supervised member by the supervisor shall be based on a fixed rate of remuneration, e.g. an hourly rate, and not on a percentage of fees invoiced or collected.
  • Where a private practice takes place at more than one site, the supervisor and the supervisee should work in the same site for the majority of the time. 

AMOUNT OF AUTHORIZED SUPERVISED PRACTICE REQUIRED

A minimum of 1500 hours (12 months) s of post-master’s degree supervised practice is required. This supervised practice must be authorized by the College and carried out while holding a certificate for supervised practice.

Waiver of supervision 
Supervision may be waived only if the applicant is fully registered to practice the profession of psychology in another jurisdiction with which the College has entered into a written reciprocity agreement or that has requirements substantially equivalent to those of the College for a certificate of registration authorizing autonomous practice as a psychological associate. Information for applicants who are registered to practice psychology elsewhere may be found on the College’s website at www.cpo.on.ca in the Applicants section.

Approval of start date for supervised practice 
The College will approve the start date for the supervised practice based upon the date that both the Primary and Alternate Supervisors confirm that supervision began, or the date that the last supporting document for the application was received by the College, whichever is later.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their completed application form and all supporting documentation in a timely manner to avoid any unnecessary delay in the review of their application and the start date of their supervised practice. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the College to confirm the status of his/her application

Expiry of the certificate for supervised practice 
Supervised practice is intended to be a temporary and transitional period during which the candidate actively prepares for autonomous practice. The period of supervised practice is normally at least one year, but is not more than two years. The expiry date is indicated on the certificate for supervised practice.

Prior to the expiry date of the certificate, the supervised member must submit a written request for an extension of their certificate, if it is required. It is the responsibility of the supervised member to maintain a current certificate for supervised practice. Otherwise, the person will cease to be a member of the College and must not hold herself or himself out as a person who is qualified to practise in Ontario as a Psychological Associate. (Section 8.(2), The Psychology Act. 1991)

As noted in Section 34. of the Registration Regulation, the certificate for supervised practice will expire immediately if the Registrar issues another certificate of registration. Normally it is expected that a certificate for autonomous practice will be issued following the successful completion of all required examinations, prior to the date of expiry of the certificate for supervised practice.

DESIGNATION OF SUPERVISED MEMBERS

In all written and oral communications, the supervised member shall indicate that he/she is a psychological associate authorized for supervised practice. In writing, the designation should be as follows:

Chris Doe, M.A., C.Psych.Assoc. (Supervised Practice)