- Standard 4: Supervision, Standards of Professional Conduct, 2017
If you do not wish to take on the responsibilities of a supervisor, you would need to ensure that he would be satisfied with your acting as a consultant and/or trainer, but not as a supervisor as defined within the Standards of Professional Conduct for members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario. You’d have to have an agreement with him that makes it clear that you are not clinically responsible for the casework, that it’s his responsibility to evaluate any information you are providing to him and that he would need to make his own independent decisions about whether to heed any advice you give. In the event that he requires someone to assume clinical responsibility for his services, you must make it clear to him that by consulting and/or training you would not be assuming responsibility for client care.
Your question suggests that you would be supervising another professional’s “practice”. It is important to remember that clients seen under your supervision are actually considered to be your own clients and, as such, you should consider them as clients of your practice and not the supervisee’s.
There is no specific prohibition against supervising another professional with respect to the care of some individuals, without supervising the care of all of the individuals they work with. It can, however, be challenging to ensure that all of those concerned are aware of which activities you are supervising and which ones you are not. In addition to complying with the Standards relevant to supervision, you would have to be mindful of adhering to all of the other relevant Standards, including:
6.4 Public Announcements
Public announcements of psychological services and fees must be offered in the name of an
autonomous practice member of the College.
This means that you may not permit a supervisee to advertise the services which you supervise under his or her own name, and must instead advertise the supervised services as part of your own practice.
9.1.2 Members Responsible for Supervising Supervised Practice Members and Non Members
Members supervising Supervised Practice members and non-members are responsible for the security, accessibility, maintenance and retention of records.
This means that you must ensure that you have full control over the records of those clients whose services you supervise, and take possession of those files when the supervision (and your authority) ends.
11.1 Fees and Billing Arrangements
A member must reach an agreement with an individual, group, or organization concerning the psychological services to be provided, the fees to be charged, and the billing arrangements prior to providing psychological services. Any changes in the services to be provided must be agreed to by the client before the service is delivered or fees are changed. Fees must be based on the amount of time spent and complexity of the services rendered.
This means that you must be directly involved in all agreements for services, as well as fees and billing arrangements, prior to the supervisee beginning to provide service or before arrangements are changed.
All of the information above applies, regardless of whether the supervisee is a member of another health regulated profession if you are supervising them in the provision of psychological services.
The Standards relevant to supervision are only applicable to the supervision of psychological services. If your supervisory role is strictly administrative and you only do such things as approve vacation time, arrange scheduling or perform other human resources-related activities, then you would not be subject to the requirements for supervisors of psychological services. If you do supervise activities that would fall within the scope of practice of psychology, then you are required to adhere to the Standards regarding the supervision of psychological services.
Section 3 of the Psychology Act, 1991 defines the practice of psychology as:
… the assessment of behavioral and mental conditions, the diagnosis of neuropsychological disorders and dysfunctions and psychotic, neurotic and personality disorders and dysfunctions and the prevention and treatment of behavioral and mental disorders and dysfunctions and the maintenance and enhancement of physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning. 1991, c. 38, s. 3.
If you are supervising psychological services, the public is entitled to rely on an expectation that the services delivered will meet the standards of the profession.
There are unregulated professionals providing many services in Ontario, including behavioural intervention, counselling, and rehabilitation therapy. These professionals may be providing competent and ethical work but they are not subject to rigorous entry to practice requirements, standards of conduct to comply with, mandatory quality assurance requirements or a complaints mechanism to address concerns that may arise about the services. When a College member is supervising the provision of any psychological services, the College and its members have an obligation to the public to ensure that the services meet the same standards as they would if delivered directly by the member.