Under the Health Professions Procedural Code, being Schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, all Health Regulatory Colleges in Ontario are required to ensure that their members undergo peer and practice assessments of their professional knowledge, skill and judgment. At the College of Psychologists of Ontario, such an assessment takes the form of a Peer Assisted Review (PAR).
Each PAR is conducted by an assessor who is appointed by the Quality Assurance Committee and a reviewer who is nominated by the member undergoing review.
Under Regulation 209/94 to the Psychology Act, 1991, a member must undergo review if they have failed to participate in self-assessment. They may also be required to undergo a review if their name is selected randomly from the entire membership or selected by stratified random sampling. The Quality Assurance Committee determines the criteria for stratified random sampling on an annual basis. Currently, all members of the College with a Certificate of Registration for Autonomous Practice are eligible for selection.
All PARs consist of a site visit, interview and file review. Upon completion of the review, the Assessor must provide a report to the Quality Assurance Committee and a copy of the report directly to the person who has been reviewed.
The report must address each of the following nine domains which are relevant to the member’s practice:
- Practice Setting/Office
- Professional Conduct
- Professional Services
- Supervision and/or Consultation and/or Other Non-Direct Services
- Record Keeping
- File Review
- Self-Assessment and Continuing Professional Development
The member who has been reviewed may make submissions with respect to the report directly to the Committee.
After reviewing the report and any information provided by the member, the Quality Assurance Committee may, if needed, take steps to address any concerns identified that were not addressed collaboratively between the reviewers and member.
It is important to note that the PAR is intended to be a collaborative and collegial means to practice enhancement, as opposed to an investigative tool. To this end, reviewers are trained by the College to facilitate a supportive process in which members may comfortably explore areas for professional growth.
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