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What is the Entry-to-Practice Registration Examination?
Registering to Write the Examination
Conditions for Completing the Registration Examination
Mitigating Circumstances and Appeals
Frequently Asked Questions
In order to fulfil the requirements for registration as a Registered Psychotherapist (RP), all Qualifying Members are required to write the Canadian Professional Standard for Counselling and Psychotherapy (CPSCP): Entry to Practice Competency Assessment (commonly referred to as the “Registration Examination”). The Exam is offered by the COMPASS Centre for Examination Development, a national body established to develop and administer this assessment. It is a computer-based tool, available in both English and French, designed to be reflective of the diversity of psychotherapy traditions and practices. The Exam assesses a practitioner’s knowledge of various key entry-to-practice competencies and his/her information-gathering and decision-making skills in a variety of typical scenarios and simulations.
Information about the development, structure and format of the Registration Examination can be found in the Entry-to-Practice Registration Examination Resource Manual. For more information about the Registration Examination, or to access the online self-assessment tool, designed to familiarize candidates with the format and style of the assessment and determine a candidate’s general readiness, please visit the COMPASS website. Note: The cost of the online self-assessment is $42.50 (plus applicable taxes).
All Qualifying Members pursuing registration through the Regular Route are required to successfully complete the Registration Examination.
A Qualifying Member who has applied for registration and satisfied the minimum clinical experience requirements (i.e.,125 hours of Direct Client Contact AND 30 hours of Clinical Supervision), is deemed eligible by the College to write the Registration Exam when s/he has demonstrated successful completion of coherent Education & Training central to the practice of psychotherapy.
Once registered, Qualifying Members will receive a system message from the College confirming their eligibility to write the exam, when they have met the requirements outlined above. Candidates will be advised of the proposed date of the next sitting of the Exam and asked to:
- confirm their intention to write at that sitting;
- select their preferred location, (e.g., close to work or home) at which to write the Exam (a regional map of the GTA will be provided for Toronto-region candidates);
- confirm the language in which they prefer to write the Exam (either English OR French);
- provide details and documentation pertaining to any special accommodations they might require;
- verify a primary contact email and phone number; and
- indicate how they wish to receive their result from COMPASS (electronically by email or via regular mail).
Each candidate will also be notified of a unique identifier code by CRPO which confirms his/her identity AND eligibility to write the Examination for COMPASS. The College will send candidate information to COMPASS, along with the unique identifier; COMPASS and/or Yardstick (the provider of test administration centres) will then contact eligible candidates directly and can provide assistance with the steps required to register to write the Exam (e.g. payment methods, deadlines, etc.). COMPASS also provides an examination information guide to registered candidates.
Note: Successful completion of the Registration Examination alone does not grant Qualifying Members full status as an RP. Qualifying Members also need to demonstrate completion of ALL clinical experience requirements (i.e., a minimum of 450 hours of Direct Client Contact and 100 hours of Clinical Supervision) in order to be registered as an RP.
- The first attempt at the Examination must be made no later than 24 months following the date that a complete application for registration as a Qualifying member, and fee, are received by the College. There will be at least one sitting of the Registration Exam each year.
- A candidate must successfully complete the Exam in no more than three attempts.
- The third and final attempt is permitted only after the Qualifying Member has completed upgrading activities, if any, required by a panel of the Examination Committee. The third attempt must be made no later than five years after the date of application for registration in the Qualifying category, unless additional time is permitted by the Examination Committee, in exceptional circumstances.
|Qualifying Members are permitted a maximum of five years from the date that a completed application and fee are received by the College in which to satisfy ALL the requirements for registration as an RP (completing clinical experience and passing the Exam).|
A Member who fails the Exam has the right to appeal to the Examination Committee. Grounds for appeal are limited solely to the question of whether the process followed in sitting the examination was fair. In deciding an appeal, the Examination Committee shall not determine that an applicant has passed the Examination unless the applicant did, in fact, pass the Examination. If the appeal is successful, the results of the Examination shall be nullified and the Examination does not count against the candidate for any purpose.
Should an applicant require an extension to the stated timeframes in which to write the Registration Exam, as a result of an unforeseen circumstance, s/he can lodge an appeal to the Examination Committee. Common exceptions may include parental leave, family emergencies and serious illness.
If a Member wishes to proceed with an appeal, s/he must submit a written request to the Examination Committee to describe the specific circumstances that s/he believes impacted her/his examination performance. In most cases, supporting documentation will be required.
Procedure for Filing an Appeal
- To file an appeal, complete the appeal form, and then scan and upload it to the Documents tab of your user account within thirty (30) days of receiving your Exam result.
- Next, upload a copy of the official confirmation letter with your result that you received from COMPASS (the examination administrator). Then, upload any other documentary evidence you believe may support your appeal, e.g. physician’s or lawyer’s note, police report, etc.
- Once the documents are uploaded, send a message to the College, confirming that you have uploaded the appeal form, Exam result letter and other supporting documentation. This message can be sent using the system’s messaging feature. Note: We will not know that you have uploaded documents unless you also send a message to inform us that this has been done.
To access the Examination Appeal Form, click here.
Q: What is the fee for the Registration Examination?
A: The cost to write the Spring 2017 Registration Exam is $525 plus applicable taxes.
Q: When is the next sitting of the Registration Examination?
A: The next administration of the Registration Examination is scheduled for April 27, 2017. Dates for future sittings (likely Spring and Fall of each year) will be posted on both CRPO’s and COMPASS’ websites as soon as a minimum number of eligible candidates have confirmed their intentions to write on the proposed date.
Q: Where do I write the Exam?
A: Eligible candidates must choose one of the pre-selected examination test centres available in Ontario or across Canada, in advance. First, candidates select a geographic region close to work or home (normally within one hour’s driving distance from either location) and then choose a location from the list of available test centres. COMPASS will make every reasonable effort to accommodate selections although this may be more difficult in remote locations.
Q: Are there any recommended readings, sample questions or other exam preparation materials available?
A: The Registration Examination is a competency-based, simulation-style examination. Anyone planning to write the Exam may choose to take the online self-assessment accessed on the COMPASS website. This tool is designed to give candidates a preview of the style and format of the actual Exam. The fee for the self-assessment is $42.50 plus applicable taxes.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to review the Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile for Registered Psychotherapists and to reflect on each competency area. Gauging your preparedness to apply these competencies to a variety of therapist-client settings will assist you in determining whether you need to revisit some of the practice-based texts you used during your education and training program or elsewhere, that focused on a particular competency area. Candidates may also review the Entry-to-Practice Registration Examination Resource Manual for detailed information about the development, structure and format of the Examination. Though not exhaustive, the Manual also contains an informal list of the most commonly used entry-to-practice textbooks for the psychotherapy and counselling profession. NOTE: Candidates will also receive an additional electronic information guide directly from COMPASS once they have successfully registered to write at the next sitting. In addition to a review of the structure and format of the Registration Examination, the information guide outlines the administrative procedures associated with writing the Examination.
Q: How long is the Exam?
A: The timeframe allotted for completion of the Examination is a maximum of 3 hours, although candidates may finish sooner.
Q: If extenuating circumstances arise on the day and I miss the Exam, what are my options?
A: Once you have paid to write the Registration Examination, COMPASS will provide you with the name of a contact person to whom you may explain your circumstances. Exam fees are non-refundable; however, you may, in exceptional circumstances, be permitted to write the Examination at the next available sitting (which could be 6 months or more in the future); such requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and supporting evidence will be required.
Q: What is the passing grade required for successful completion of the Exam?
A: Candidates do not receive a ‘grade’ but will be notified of a pass or fail.
Q: How and when will I be notified of my result?
A: Results will be available six to eight weeks after sitting the Examination. COMPASS will notify candidates directly of the results, by their preferred medium (electronic or regular mail). Results will also be sent to the College.
Q: I passed the Registration Examination; what are the next steps?
A: COMPASS will notify the College of the result; the College will review your file. If you have already satisfied the minimum clinical experience requirements for registration as an RP, (i.e., 450 Direct Client Contact (DCC) hours and 100 hours of Clinical Supervision), staff will notify you of your eligibility to transfer to full status and next steps. If our records show that you have DCC and/or Clinical Supervision hours outstanding, when you have accrued sufficient hours, you will be asked to submit official documentation from your Clinical Supervisor(s)/Clinical Manager/Department Head, confirming completion of the outstanding hours since the date of your approval for registration. Staff will review the submission and confirm your status.
Q: I failed the first attempt; what should I do?
A: A Qualifying member who attempted, but did not successfully pass the Registration Exam can continue to practise with clinical supervision while preparing to retake it at the next available sitting. Upgrading activities may be required if you fail the second attempt and before the third and final attempt can be made.
Q: Where can I get more information about the format and content of the Exam?
A: Information about the development, structure and format of the Registration Examination can be found in the Entry-to-Practice Registration Examination Resource Manual. Additional information about the Registration Exam is available at: www.compassexams.ca and in the Information Guide for Candidates (sent directly to candidates who successfully register to write the Exam by COMPASS). The COMPASS self-assessment tool also provides applicants with the opportunity to view and work with a simulation and questions, in the same format as the exam.
Q: Who do I contact with any additional questions?
A: General questions about the Exam (e.g., eligibility requirements, proposed dates for sittings, fees) can be sent to the College at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Member who has been notified of his/her eligibility to write the Exam and confirmed their intention to write, can submit questions directly to COMPASS at email@example.com.