UPDATED: February 2020
Each applicant must complete a Declaration of Competence (Declaration) as part of their application to the College. The Declaration identifies and indicates to the College the area(s) of practice and client group(s) in which the applicant believes they are competent to provide services during their period of authorized supervised practice, and eventually as an autonomous practice member.
The Declaration of Competence is used in the following ways:
In reviewing the application, the Registrar will evaluate the applicant’s Declaration considering the applicant’s education, training, and proposed practice. If the Declaration is not congruent with the applicant’s education, training, and proposed practice, the Registrar will refer the application to the Registration Committee, pursuant to Section 15.(3) of the RHPA Code. A panel of the Committee will conduct a further review of the applicant’s education, training, and proposed practice in relation to the Declaration;
During the period of authorized supervised practice, the candidate must be practising in the declared area(s) of practice, activities, and client group(s). The Declaration informs the candidate’s Primary and Alternate supervisors regarding the areas for supervision and evaluation of the candidate; and
- The College’s oral examiners use the Declaration as one of the determinants of the questions to be asked in the candidate’s Oral Examination.
How to Complete the Declaration of Competence
In completing the Declaration, the applicant must:
- Only select area(s) of practice and client group(s) in which the applicant has received formal academic training (graduate level coursework, and practica/internship);
- Only select the area(s) of practice, activities, and the client group(s) in which they will be practising during the period of authorized supervised practice;
- Normally, select no more than two areas of practice;
- Select both Assessment/Evaluation and Intervention/Consultation for any area(s) of practice selected.
Prior to completing the Declaration, applicants should review it with their proposed Primary and Alternate supervisors. This should be done at the time that the supervisory arrangements are made to ensure the proposed supervisors agree with what is being declared.
Area(s) of Practice: The eight areas of practice, recognized by the College, are described in Appendix C of these Guidelines. Applicants should review these carefully prior to completing the Declaration. Normally, applicants should not select more than two areas of practice as it is not feasible for an entry level practitioner to gain enough breadth of experience in more than two areas during the period of authorized supervised practice.
Applicants must only select areas of practice in which they have received formal academic training. It is not acceptable to use the period of authorized supervised practice to undertake training in a new area of practice in which the applicant has not received formal academic training.
It is also important that the period of authorized supervised practice offer the applicant broad experience in the declared practice area(s) and client group(s). It is not enough to work within a very narrow range of presenting problems, (for example only sleep disorders or eating disorders in clinical psychology, or only traumatic brain injury in clinical neuropsychology), since candidates will be expected to demonstrate a reasonable breadth of knowledge in both assessment/evaluation and intervention/consultation in their declared area(s) of practice at the Oral Examination.
It is mandatory to select both Assessment/Evaluation and Intervention/Consultation for all areas of practice chosen. Research and Teaching should be selected only if the candidate will be engaging in those activities during the period of authorized supervised practice.
Client Group(s): As with areas of practice, candidates must only select those client groups with whom they have received formal academic training and to whom they will be providing direct services during the period of authorized supervised practice. It is not acceptable to use the period of authorized supervised practice to undertake training with a new client group with whom the candidate has not received formal academic training.
Requesting a Change to the Declaration of Competence during Authorized Supervised Practice
At times, it may be necessary for a candidate to request a change to their Declaration. This may be occasioned by a change in employment, in the type of work available, or because the candidate or supervisors realize that the nature of the supervised practice is different from what was anticipated. It is not acceptable for the candidate to request the addition of a practice area(s) or client group(s) in which the candidate has not received formal academic training.
Before requesting a change, the candidate must discuss, and obtain agreement for, the proposed changes with the Primary and Alternate Supervisors. Once agreement has been reached, the candidate must submit a revised Declaration to the College together with a written acknowledgement of the change by the supervisors.
The College will not accept additions to the Declaration in the six months prior to the Oral Examination since the supervisors will not have had adequate time to evaluate the newly added activity, practice area or client group.
Any proposed changes to the Declaration will be reviewed by a panel of the Registration Committee who may require additional training and experience. Normally, a period of at least six months of authorized supervised practice will be required after a practice area or client group has been approved to be added to the Declaration. In no case will a candidate be permitted to attend an Oral Examination before a change to the Declaration of Competence has been approved by the Registration Committee.
The following examples may be of assistance to applicants when completing the Declaration of Competence:
Training and Areas of Practice
If an applicant has formal academic training in both clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology but will be practising only in clinical psychology during the period of authorized supervised practice, only clinical psychology should be selected.
In deciding how much experience during the period of authorized supervised practice period is enough for a selected area, it is important to consider experience gained to that point. For example, if an applicant’s internship was primarily in clinical neuropsychology, with very little clinical psychology, but solid coursework in clinical psychology as well as several practica, and the proposed supervised practice setting will offer four days per week of clinical with one day per week of neuropsychology, it will likely be appropriate to select both clinical neuropsychology as well as clinical psychology, in light of the extensive internship experience.
Similarly, applicants whose authorized supervised practice includes feedback and education to the parents and families of some of their clients, should not select families as a client group unless they are formally trained in working with families and will be engaging in family assessment and family intervention. The College recognizes that working with children and adolescents as declared client groups often involves meetings with parents or families. It is important to distinguish between families as a specific client group with whom one works, and family involvement in the context of working with the child or adolescent clients within the family.
The College does not specify concrete age boundaries between the various client populations, that is between children and adolescents; adolescents and adults; and, adults and seniors. Rather, conventional definitions are used. That is, children to age 12 or 13; adolescents to age 19; and adults to 65 or 70. In general, while age is not an issue when considering providing service to a client who falls within conventional age groups, careful consideration must be given when working with clients at the boundary ages.