Information for Applicants (General)

Notice:
Registration is now open and online applications for those wishing to register via the grandparenting or regular routes are available. To determine whether the grandparenting route applies to you, see Grandparenting Application Information.  Sign up to receive announcements from the College on this and other topics.
Those interested in applying for registration must determine whether they are eligible to apply via the grandparenting route or the regular route. In addition, applicants must ensure that each step of the appropriate registration process has been fulfilled:

Summary of Application Process for Grandparenting Applicants
An applicant who believes s/he meets the requirements of the College must:

  • create a user account on our secure Member Management System, if s/he has not already done so;
  • pay for and successfully complete the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module;
  • complete and submit the online application form and materials, and pay the application processing fee.

See detailed Grandparenting Application Information.

Summary of Application Process for Regular Applicants
An applicant who believes s/he substantially meets requirements must:

  • create a user account on our secure Member Management System, if s/he has not already done so;
  • pay for and successfully complete the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module;
  • complete and submit the online application form and materials, and pay the application processing fee; and
  • successfully complete the Registration Exam after being deemed eligible to write it.

See detailed Information for Regular Applicants.

Access to a computer with an internet connection is required to complete most, if not all, stages of the application process.

Applicants who are deemed to meet the registration requirements will be notified via the Member Management System (MMS) that their application has been approved. (Or applicants will be informed that their application is being proposed for refusal.) Grandparenting applicants who have received notice of approval will be issued a certificate of registration once they have responded to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Health Professions Database (HPD) questions and the College has received their registration fee. Regular route applicants who have received notice of approval, will be issued a certificate of registration once the College has received their registration fee.

Jump to a preferred topic:

Proclamation
Psychotherapists as regulated health professionals
Registered Mental Health Therapist category
Who needs to register?
Diverse education & training backgrounds will be recognized
Categories of membership & use of regulated titles
Use of specialty titles
Professional mobility
Currency
Registration requirements
Disclosure obligations, language requirements, liability coverage, etc.
Application process & fees
Assessment of applications
Independent practice
Other College programs
Questions & Answers
Definitions

 

Proclamation
The Psychotherapy Act, 2007 was proclaimed by the Ontario Government on April 1, 2015, bringing the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) into full operation as a health regulatory college. Proclamation of the controlled act, however, has been postponed. Postponement will provide the time necessary to develop a better understanding of the implications of the controlled act on the broader mental health care sector of Ontario. In the meantime, child and youth workers, addiction counsellors and mental health workers may continue to provide services without concerns about the proposed controlled act.

 

Psychotherapists as regulated health professionals
Regulatory colleges are mandated to regulate professionals in the public interest. In addition to establishing rigorous registration criteria, the College will regulate practitioners by establishing and maintaining standards of practice, promoting continued competence and quality improvement, and ensuring professional accountability.

Besides Registered Psychotherapists – who are Members of this College – the members of five other regulated professions practise psychotherapy: nurses, occupational therapists, physicians, psychologists and psychological associates, and social workers and social service workers. This College has no role in the regulation of members of other colleges whose members may practise psychotherapy.

 

Registered Mental Health Therapist (RMHT) category
In early 2013, Council decided to defer further consideration of the RMHT category of membership until after proclamation of the Psychotherapy Act, 2007. This decision came shortly after the TC was informed by MOHLTC that the ministry did not agree that practitioners proposed as Members in the RMHT category should be regulated by the new College.

Some of those originally envisioned as Members in the RMHT category may be eligible for registration via grandparenting, as the requirements are more flexible than for regular applicants. Grandparenting applicants must be current, active practitioners in Canada who have completed a minimum amount of education and training related to the scope of practice of psychotherapy (rather than a coherent program in psychotherapy), and at least 800 direct client contact hours related to the scope of practice, among other requirements.

 

Who needs to register?
Anyone whose work falls within the scope of practice of psychotherapy, and who is not already registered with another Ontario regulatory college whose members can practise psychotherapy (see Psychotherapists as regulated health professionals, above), should consider becoming a Member of the new College. Those described below must be registered:

  • anyone using the title “psychotherapist” or any abbreviation thereof; or
  • anyone holding her/himself out as qualified to practice as a psychotherapist in Ontario (no matter what title s/he may use).

There is no need for counsellors whose work falls outside the scope of practice of psychotherapy to become registered. The College recognizes that there is a significant overlap between certain kinds of counselling and psychotherapy. Please see the distinction between psychotherapy and counselling, as formulated by the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC).

 

Diverse education & training backgrounds will be recognized
We expect that Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) applying through the regular route will come from a variety of backgrounds. Sometimes their original professional education and training will have been in a field such as child and family services or pastoral counselling. Some will have completed an independent psychotherapy program offered at the master’s level. Others will have completed a master’s program in a discipline related to the practice of psychotherapy. Still others may have completed a program (or possibly components of more than one program), assessed to be “substantially equivalent.”

The education and training backgrounds of grandparenting applicants may be even more diverse, and may consist of a coherent program (or parts of more than one program), or an assortment of relevant courses, workshops and professional development activities undertaken over an extended period.

Whatever their backgrounds, and whether they register via grandparenting or the regular registration route, all will be expected to be safe and competent practitioners.

A process has been established for Reviewing and Recognizing education and training programs in psychotherapy, in order to develop a list of “Recognized” programs. Regular applicants who have successfully completed a “Recognized” program can assume that their education and training meets the requirements of the College. For details of the Review & Recognition process, click here.

See full grandparenting registration requirements.
See full registration requirements for regular applicants.

 

Categories of membership & use of regulated titles
Once registered, all Members must use the title indicated on their Certificate of Registration.

In addition to the Registered Psychotherapist (RP) category of membership, the College will issue certificates for the following classes of membership: RP (Qualifying), RP (Inactive) and RP (Temporary).

Virtually all applicants seeking registration via the regular route will spend some period of time as Qualifying Members, in order to be deemed eligible to write the registration exam. Once the exam is successfully completed (and all other registration requirements met), Qualifying Members will become Registered Psychotherapists (RPs).

Grandparenting applicants are not required to write the registration exam. Members registered via the grandparenting route will be full Members, and will use the title Registered Psychotherapist or RP.

Temporary Members are practitioners from other jurisdictions who wish to be registered for a temporary period, generally due to an offer of temporary employment as a psychotherapist in Ontario, often in an academic or consulting role.

Inactive Members are individuals who, for one reason or another, are not currently engaged in the practice of the profession. Inactive Members are restricted from:

  • providing or supervising direct client care;
  • providing supervision; and
  • making any claim or representation to having any competence in psychotherapy.

Members will use the following titles, depending on their category of membership:

Class of
Registration
Title/Designation Abbreviation
 
Registered
Psychotherapist

Registered Psychotherapist

Psychothérapeute autorisé ou
Psychothérapeute autorisée

RP

PA

Temporary

Registered Psychotherapist (Temporary)

Psychothérapeute autorisé (temporaire) ou
Psychothérapeute autorisée (temporaire)

RP (Temporary)

PA (temporaire)

Inactive

Registered Psychotherapist (Inactive)

Psychothérapeute autorisé (inactif) ou
Psychothérapeute autorisée (inactive)

RP (Inactive)

PA (inactif)
PA (inactive)

Qualifying

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Psychothérapeute autorisé (stagiaire) ou
Psychothérapeute autorisée (stagiaire)

RP (Qualifying)

PA (stagiaire)

 

Use of specialty titles
CRPO has not established a program to formally recognize and confer specialty designations, and the new College is unlikely to do so in the immediate future. However, Members will be permitted to use terms, titles and designations conferred by third parties, along with their regulated title, if:

  1. the title is not honorary and was not awarded purely based on attendance at a course or workshop. [The Member must have acquired knowledge and skill, i.e. competence, associated with the term, title or designation, generally having completed a professional education & training program that included study, mastery and evaluation];
  2. it is conferred by a recognized credentialing body, i.e. one that is broadly recognized within the profession as legitimate;
  3. it meets established standards, i.e. standards that are broadly recognized within the profession as legitimate; and
  4. prominence is given to the Member’s regulated title.

These conditions will enable Members to use terms, titles and designations that are meaningful and generally recognized by the profession. Members should be aware that specialty titles used inappropriately could result in misconduct complaints to the College. In that case, the appropriateness may be judged by a panel of the Member’s peers, i.e. other Members of the College.

Registered Psychotherapists will not be permitted to use the title Doctor or its abbreviation Dr. in a clinical setting (i.e. when working with clients or with other professionals in a health care setting), or when supervising students who are working with clients. Members will be able to use the title Doctor (Dr.) in purely academic settings and in their personal/social lives. This rule, limiting the use of the Doctor (Dr.) title, is found in the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), which sets out the professions whose members are permitted to use the title.

 

Professional mobility
Ontario is a party to the national Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) which provides for labour mobility of regulated professionals between provinces. In addition, Ontario passed its own Labour Mobility Act in 2009, implementing AIT.

Under labour mobility laws, the College is legally required to accept the professional qualifications of individuals who hold “equivalent” certificates of registration in another Canadian province/territory and who have worked in that profession within the previous three years. Applicants registered in another province or territory who wish to apply for registration with the College, need not be using the title Registered Psychotherapist in the other jurisdiction. The determining factor will be whether the scope of practice in that jurisdiction is substantially equivalent to the scope of practice for RPs in Ontario.

Under the labour mobility rules, this College cannot:

  • look at the applicant’s educational qualifications;
  • require them to write the registration exam;
  • require the individual to submit a grandparenting portfolio;

This College can:

  • ask about prior misconduct, offences, and negligence findings;
  • require language proficiency (but only if their previous college had no language requirement);
  • require professional liability insurance coverage;
  • require the applicant to successfully complete the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module;
  • inquire about their direct client and clinical supervision hours for the purpose of ‘independent’ practice;
  • inquire whether they are in good standing with their current regulatory body; and
  • inquire whether they were practising their full scope of practice in the other jurisdiction.

Currently, two other provinces regulate practitioners who will be eligible to apply for registration with the College under labour mobility rules: Nova Scotia and Québec.

A temporary paper-based application has been created to allow practitioners registered to practise psychotherapy in Québec or Nova Scotia to apply for registration with CRPO based on labour mobility rules.  Click here to access the application form.

Currency
All applicants must be “current” in the practice of the profession. Specifically, they must have engaged in professional activities related to psychotherapy in the three-year period immediately prior to application. Someone who completed his or her education and training several years earlier, but never practised, would not be current, and therefore would be ineligible for registration. Grandparenting and regular applicants will demonstrate currency in different ways:

Grandparenting Applicants must have completed 750 currency hours within the three years immediately prior to application, including 500 in Canada. In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may request special consideration if s/he has completed 500 currency hours in Canada but does not have the full 750 currency hours. Exceptional circumstances may include extended illness or compassionate/parental leave.
   
Regular Applicants must have completed their education and training program or their clinical experience requirement, i.e. direct client contact and clinical supervision hours, in the year immediately prior to application; or they must have completed 750 currency hours within the three years immediately prior to application, or completed acceptable upgrading activities. Note: there is no “in Canada” currency requirement for regular applicants.

 

Currency hours are defined broadly and include a range of professional activities related to psychotherapy, in addition to direct client work. “In Canada” is also defined broadly, and includes work done by Canadians stationed abroad with the Canadian Forces, a Canadian government agency, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) engaged in international development or humanitarian work, where psychotherapy services are provided to Canadians.

The three year period for demonstrating currency (for grandparenting and regular applicants) is the three years immediately prior to the date on which an applicant’s completed application and fee are submitted using the College’s secure online Member Management System. Hours used to establish currency may also be used to meet other grandparenting requirements. The purpose of the currency requirement is to demonstrate recent professional activity related to the practice of the profession.

 

Registration requirements
The College’s Registration Regulation, reflects a competency-based registration model. This means that applicants must demonstrate in a variety of ways that they possess the required knowledge, skill and judgement, as opposed to simply possessing a specific academic credential.

Registration requirements are founded on the entry-to-practice Competency Profile for Registered Psychotherapists developed by the transitional Council. The competency profile also underpins the Registration Exam and will be used as the basis for Reviewing and Recognizing psychotherapy education and training programs.

Applicants will demonstrate competency by successfully completing:

In addition,  those applying  through the regular route to registration (i.e. not grandparenting) must successfully complete an entry-to-practice (registration) exam.

Details of these requirements vary significantly for grandparenting and regular applicants.

See a Summary Table of Proposed Registration Requirements.
See full grandparenting registration requirements.
See full registration requirements for regular applicants.

 

Disclosure obligations, language requirements, liability coverage, etc.
As part of the application process, all applicants will be asked to provide personal contact information, including information required by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), and other background information.

Each applicant will also be required to provide information about general and professional conduct: applicants must report findings of guilt for criminal and certain other offences. In addition, they must report current or past membership(s) with any statutory regulatory body (including those in jurisdictions outside Ontario), any refusal of registration by such a regulatory body, and any current or pending proceedings concerning professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity, or findings of professional misconduct, etc.

A statutory regulatory body is a body created under legislation that regulates a profession or occupation.

Applicants will be asked to declare if they suffer from any physical or mental condition or disorder which, if left untreated, would impair their ability to practise psychotherapy safely or competently.  Such a disclosure does not mean that an application will be refused, but could result in a term, condition or limitation being attached to the certificate of registration.

Applicants will be required to establish that they are reasonably fluent in English or French (written and spoken), and must provide evidence of professional liability coverage.

All applicants will also be required to submit a Statutory Declaration attesting to the truthfulness and completeness of information provided in their application. Grandparenting applicants (only) will also be required to submit a Letter of Verification signed by an employer, supervisor or colleague, attesting that the applicant is known to them as an established practitioner of psychotherapy.

In addition, each applicant will be required to sign a consent form, authorizing the College to seek further information related to their application, as necessary, from outside sources.

 

Application process and fees
Applicants will use a secure, online application form, accessed via our website. In order to access the form and other materials related to the registration process, applicants must first create a user account. Comprised of approximately 12 sections, the application form is available for pre-registration. Applicants are advised to have details of their education and training, clinical experience, and so on, readily accessible, when completing the application form.  The form is designed so that it can be completed and saved in stages, rather than in one sitting.

Fees are prorated on a monthly basis for new Members and are as follows:

Application fee $125 + HST = $141.25
Registration fee for Registered Psychotherapist $550 + HST = $621.50
Registration fee for Qualifying Member $300 + HST = $339.00

 

Other fees related to the registration process:

Jurisprudence e-Learning Module fee $60 + HST = $67.80

 

Assessment of applications
A three stage assessment process is anticipated:

Stage 1 Administrative Review by College staff to ensure the application is complete, which may require follow-up with the applicant to obtain additional information or clarification;
Stage 2 Detailed Assessment by College staff to determine whether the applicant meets registration requirements; and
Stage 3 Review by a panel of Registration Committee, which will primarily involve the review of non-routine applications and all applications proposed for refusal of registration.

 

Ordinarily, an applicant will not be required to provide supporting documentation as part of his/her initial application.  However, a proportion of applicants will be subject to an audit as a result of random selection by our automated database. All grandparenting applicants should be prepared to submit documentation to support their application, should they be audited.

 

Independent practice
Registered Psychotherapists will not be permitted to practice independently, i.e. without clinical supervision, until they have completed 1000 direct client contact hours and 150 hours of clinical supervision over the course of their professional careers. This limitation will apply to all Members, whether they register via grandparenting or the regular route, and will remain in effect until the Member satisfies the College that s/he has completed the required hours.

 

Other College programs
All Members will be required to participate in the CRPO’s Quality Assurance Program, and to adhere to its Professional Practice Standards. In addition, Members should be familiar with the Professional Misconduct Regulation, which forms the basis for the practice standards. Standards and regulations are enforceable in law, and Members are accountable to the College for upholding them. The College has also developed a Code of Ethics, which is a standard of professional and personal conduct to which Members should aspire. More information about the Quality Assurance Program and the complaints and discipline process will be posted to the website shortly.

 

Questions & Answers
My employer says I need to register with CRPO – is this true?
It is common practice that employers of mental health care service providers require their employees to be members of a regulated profession. It is also fairly common that employers of unregulated service providers request that these employees become registered with a college – sometimes this is even a condition that employers will include in a contract at the time of hiring.

Although there may be other reasons to become registered with CRPO, the paragraph below describes those who must become registered in order to be in compliance with the Psychotherapy Act. If the circumstances of your employment don’t seem to fit with the description in the paragraphs below, it’s up to you and your employer to continue the discussion about becoming a member of a regulated profession.

You must register with CRPO if you use the title psychotherapist or related abbreviations, or if your role requires you to present yourself as qualified to practice psychotherapy (unless you are already a member of one of the other colleges whose members may practice psychotherapy).

If the above doesn’t apply to you, but you otherwise meet CRPO’s registration criteria, you may wish to consider becoming a Member.

Will spiritual care providers be required to register with the College?
It is expected that the new College will register practitioners from faith-based or spiritual care backgrounds who meet registration requirements, via either grandparenting or the regular route. The College does not support the contention, however, that all chaplains or spiritual care providers must be registered. This will depend on their particular roles, their training, and possibly, the expectation of their employers.

What are the College’s requirements for professional liability coverage?
Click here for details of the College’s requirements for professional liability coverage.

How do I get professional liability insurance?
Most professional associations serving psychotherapists and clinical counsellors offer access to professional liability insurance for their members.

Can I use professional liability coverage provided by my employer?
Yes, if it meets the requirements of the College. A Member would be well advised to obtain documentation from their employer demonstrating the appropriate coverage.

Can I be a Member of more than one regulatory college, e.g. CRPO and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, or CRPO and the College of Nurses of Ontario?
Yes, but it is not necessary. Someone who chooses to be a member of two statutory regulatory colleges will be required to meet the obligations of membership of both colleges, including participation in quality assurance programs, and payment of two membership fees. In addition, they will be required to keep separate records for the two practices.

 

Definitions
See all definitions here.