Quality Assurance Program Update – Part II

Continuing Professional Development Planning

Over the past year, the Quality Assurance Committee reviewed the completed SAG/PDP documents of those members who did not submit their Declarations of Completion on time. The Committee believed it would be useful for the membership to know about some of the most common feedback provided to these members. For example:

  • Members were reminded of the need to ensure they set CPD goals that are related to their professional competence, specifically to the identified gaps between their current and desired level of professional knowledge, skill and experience. It was also noted that becoming familiar with applicable Legislation and Standards of Conduct is a basic requirement for all members and, on its own, did not represent satisfactory engagement in CPD;
  • All CPD goals identified should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound;
  • Some of those who work with children and families may have mistakenly believed that the College document Information for Consideration by Members Providing Psychological Services in the Context of Child Custody Disputes & Child Protection Proceedings is not relevant to their practices; they were advised that it is relevant to anyone working with a child or a parent who is, or could later be, affected by separation or divorce.

CPD Audits

It has been almost 4 years since the inception of the mandatory CPD program requirements and all members have either completed, or are nearing completion of, their first two-year CPD cycle.

The Quality Assurance Committee currently audits the participation of 50 members at the end of every two-year CPD cycle. To date, it has completed the review of 82 CPD records.

The 82 audits completed since the inception of the program provide some information about how members have been obtaining their required 50 CPD credits every two years. This is shown in the following table:

Total Credits Applicable* (Section A+B)6056
Total Credits Reported* (Section A+B)14297
Credits Applicable* for Section A3331
Credits Reported* for Section A9357
Credits Applicable* for Section B 2829
Credits Reported* for Section B4939
Credits Applicable* related to Professional Ethics1715
Credits Entered* related to Professional Ethics1915
*Not all credits reported may be used to satisfy the requirements, due to category maximums.
A1A1 Professional Consultation4820
A3Delivering Workshops, etc.115
A4aScientific Paper70
A54bOther Writing60
A5Formal Research80
A6aCouncil, Committee Activity10
A6bActing as Oral Examiner or Quality Assurance Committee Peer Reviewer10
A6cCollege Consultations10
A7Practice Outcome Monitoring30
A8General Attendance at Conferences and Conventions51
B1Continuing Education- No formal CE Credits1510
B2Continuing Education – No Formal CE Credits1812
B3Self Directed Learning1610

These results suggest that most members are meeting at least the minimum program requirements and are consistent with the rate of positive declarations made by members concerning their completion of the requisite number of credits. The Committee is addressing situations, on a case by case basis, in which members had difficulty meeting program requirements.

How are members obtaining “ethics credits”?

In response to member concerns about the availability of opportunities to earn credits related to ethics and jurisprudence the Committee noted where members found opportunities to obtain these credits. In the 82 audited files, 475 ethics entries were reviewed. The majority (57%) of ethics credits were earned in Category A, which includes more experience-based professional activities, often involving peer interaction. Still, a large number (43%) of ethics credits was earned for participation in Category B activities, representing more traditional “educational” activities that focus on knowledge acquisition.

In order of frequency, involvement in the following “ethics related” activity was reported:

A1 Professional Consultation /Interaction

  • Most frequently these activities included discussion of ethical issues in providing or receiving supervision, consultation or mentorship, rounds, case conferences and peer discussion; live/interactive participation in workshops, seminars and courses with significant ethics content; program planning involving consideration of ethical issues; group literature review; listserv participation with significant focus on ethics; peer review participation; and obtaining legal advice in the course of casework.

B3 Self Directed Learning

  • These activities included independent reading of literature relevant to ethics, including journal articles, College and association publications and independent review of legislation and codes of ethics, independent review of archived Barbara Wand Seminars and independent preparation for ethics examinations.

B2 Programs/Courses/Workshops where Formal CE Credits are not Provided

  • These activities included participation in structured programs with significant ethics content, including live or virtual attendance at the Barbara Wand Seminars or webinars related to ethics available through professional associations. Many of these activities were also appropriately recorded under A8, for peer interaction, when that was involved.

A8 General Attendance at Conferences, Workshops, Seminars and Conventions

  • Live attendance at conferences where there is interaction with other participants, including viewing the Barbara Wand Seminars in groups, as well as a variety of other events where others were present with at least partial ethics content.

B1 Approved Continuing Education Where Formal CE Credits are Provided

  • These credits reflected knowledge acquisition within a structured program in which there was significant ethics content. Many of these activities were also appropriately recorded under A8, for peer interaction, when that was involved.

A3 Delivering Workshops, Conferences and Presentations

  • Developing content related to ethics.

A4 Writing, Reviewing, Editing

  • Involvement in the publication of materials related to ethics.

Formal Research

  • Addressing ethical issues in research.

College/Association Involvement

  • Council, Board or Committee involvement, participation in College oral examinations or peer reviews.

A2 Teaching

  • Developing course content related to ethics.

A7 Practice Outcome Monitoring

  • Consideration of ethics in planning for clinical case monitoring.

Detailed results of the 2019 audit were provided in the January 2020 e-Bulletin to assist members in planning, carrying out and recording their CPD activities.

Summary of CPD Audit Recommendations

The following is a summary of the recommendations made to members through the CPD audit process since the inception of the program:

  • Monitor the maximum number of credits allowable in each category; the CPD program was designed on the principle that people learn best when learning occurs through a variety of experiences;
  • Complete the required credits within the two-year cycle; one cannot “catch up” once the end of a cycle has passed;
    Indicate which activities satisfy the ethics and jurisprudence requirements and, when there is no apparent relationship between the name of the event reported and how it relates to ethics or jurisprudence, provide some explanation;
  • Maintain records of the activities for which CPD credits are claimed. The College is flexible with respect to what information may be provided when a formal verification certification is not available but expects verification certification is not available but expects members to provide sufficient information to assist the QA Committee in verifying activities, such as:
    • ­Names and dates of events;
    • ­Names of presenters and sponsoring organizations;
    • ­Names of individuals involved in consultations, organizations and agencies within which consultations occurred and a brief description of nature of the consultations;
    • ­Names of authors, articles, journals, and books for which credit for either reading or writing is being claimed;
    • ­Copies of documents announcing internal workplace events attended either as a presenter or audience member;
    • ­Copies of any correspondence relevant to agreements to present; and
    • ­Copies of emails confirming attendance at events.

Continuing Professional Development Program Survey Results

A survey was sent to those members who had recently completed their Continuing Professional Development and 725 responses were received. The Committee continues to review the very detailed responses submitted and will use this information to review the CPD program.

Quantitative information about responses to the following statements provides some information about member experiences with the CPD program requirements:

Q: I obtained the mandatory 50 credits within the 2-year CPD cycle without difficulty

Q: I obtained the mandatory 10 ethics or jurisprudence credits within the 2-year CPD cycle without difficulty

Q: I was able to determine the appropriate categories in which to list my CPD activities without difficulty


Physical distancing necessary to decrease the spread of COVID-19 have led to the postponement of in-person PARs. Members selected this year were asked whether they would be willing to participate in a PAR via technology or wished to defer the review until it can be conducted safely in-person. Five PARs have been conducted via secure technology since the beginning of the pandemic and these reviews appear to have been conducted successfully. 

In three of the PARs conducted, the members were seen to have clearly met the standards in all nine domains of the PAR. In the other two cases, the members were provided with remedial messages concerning:

  • Security and maintenance of records of clients being treated by supervisees; and
  • Unauthorized photocopying of proprietary test materials