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, place of origin, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical disability, age and religion.
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, physical disability, age and religion.
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 30, 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
- April 30, 2021 – HeadLines article
- March 2021 – Expanded the options for gender identity in the members’ Practice Update Form
- January 30, 2021 – HeadLines article
- July 8, 2020 – A Commitment to Anti-Racism, a Message from the Registrar
- June 2021 Barbara Wand Seminar – Ethical Practice in the Context of Sexual and Gender Diversity
- ACPRO – Lettre d’excuses aux peuples autochtones et engagement antiracisme
External Resources for Members
As part of its commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the College’s EDI Working Group has prepared a list of resources and readings to assist members in thinking about, and understanding of, these concepts and to encourage members to reflect on them within their own practice.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Ontario Human Rights Code
- First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework: Summary Report
- Indigenous Allyship Toolkit
- Indigenous Health – Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons
- Cancer Care Ontario Relationship and Cultural Safety Courses
- Introduction to Social Determinants of Health
- The National Collaborating Centre on Determinants of Health
- Racism, Health And What You Can Do About It by Kwame McKenzie MD
- Social determinants and inequities in health for Black Canadians: A Snapshot
Readings and Practice Guidelines
- Alcántara, C., & Gone, J. P. (2014). Multicultural issues in the clinical interview and diagnostic process. In F.T.L. Leong (Editor-in-Chief) APA Handbook of Multicultural Psychology: Vol. 2. Applications and Training (pp. 153-163). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/14187-009
- American Psychological Association. (2011). Guidelines for Assessment of and Intervention with Persons with Disabilities. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pi/disability/resources/assessment-disabilities
- American Psychological Association, APA Task Force on Psychological Practice with Sexual Minority Persons. (2021). Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Sexual Minority Persons. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/about/policy/psychological-sexual-minority-persons.pdf
- American Psychological Association. (2014). Guidelines for psychological practice with older adults. American Psychologist, 69, 34-65.
- American Psychological Association. (2015). Guidelines for psychological practice with transgender and gender nonconforming people. American Psychologist, 70(9), 832-864.
- American Psychological Association. (2017). Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/about/policy/multicultural-guidelines.pdf
- American Psychological Association. (2019). Guidelines for Psychological Practice for People with Low-Income and Economic Marginalization. Retrieved from www.apa.org/about/policy/guidelines-low-income.pdf
- American Psychological Association, Boys and Men Guidelines Group. (2018). APA guidelines for psychological practice with boys and men. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/policy/psychological-practice-boys-men-guidelines.pdf
- American Psychological Association, Girls and Women Guidelines Group. (2018). APA guidelines for psychological practice with girls and women. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/policy/psychological-practice-girls-women.pdf
- Association of Black Psychologists, Ethics Committee (2019). Ethical standards of Black Psychologists. Washington DC: Association of Black Psychologists.
- Canadian Psychological Association. (2017). Guidelines for non-discriminatory practice. Retrieved Retrieved from https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Ethics/CoEGuidelines_NonDiscPract2017_Final.pdf
- Canadian Psychological Association. (2017). The CPA Section on Women and Psychology (CPA-SWAP). Guidelines for Ethical Psychological Practice with Women. Retrieved from https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Publications/CoEGuidelines_Women2017_final.pdf
- Clauss-Ehlers, C. S., Chiriboga, D. A., Hunter, S. J., Roysircar, G., & Tummala-Narra, P. (2019). APA Multicultural Guidelines executive summary: Ecological approach to context, identity, and intersectionality. American Psychologist, 74(2), 232.
- Inman, A. G., & Ladany, N. (2014). Multicultural competencies in psychotherapy supervision. In F.T.L. Leong (Editor-in-Chief) APA Handbook of Multicultural Psychology: Vol. 2. Applications and Training (pp. 153-163). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/14187-009
- National Latinx Psychological Association. (2020). Ethical guidelines of the National Latinx Psychological Association. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 8(2), 101-111. https://doi.org/10.1037/lat0000151
We will continue to add resources and updates as they are available.