Standards and Regulations

The regulations developed under the Psychotherapy Act, 2007, and Professional Practice Standards provide the framework for regulating Members of the College. Regulations and standards are enforceable in law. Most professional practice standards are unwritten; they are the standards that are commonly understood and accepted by members of the profession. Ultimately, a Member may be judged by a panel of his/her peers, if a complaint is made against a Member with regard to maintaining professional standards.

Professional Practice Standards for RPs

About the Regulations

Professional Practice Standards for RPs

In January 2014, Council adopted the Professional Practice Standards for Registered Psychotherapists. Professional practice standards describe the minimum acceptable professional standards expected of Members; they are not intended as best practices. Members are expected to practise in accordance with these standards and to apply them consistently in their practice environments.

Professional practice standards deal with issues of general professionalism and conduct, such as confidentiality of client information, consent, and record-keeping. They are not clinical practice standards, which are standards that discuss how to perform psychotherapy. The Professional Practice Standards are based largely on the Professional Misconduct Regulation under the Psychotherapy Act, 2007. Provisions of the Professional Misconduct Regulation have been incorporated into the Standards and are re-stated in plain language, with detail added to help Members understand what is expected in the practice environment.

The Standards are the product of extensive research, discussion and debate. As a final step in their development, the Standards were circulated for stakeholder comment, and revised on that basis.

In the future, the College may develop guidelines as the need arises. Guidelines provide more detailed information on how to apply standards in particular circumstances. In addition, the College will periodically review and revise the Professional Practice Standards, as the profession evolves and particular practice issues need to be considered and addressed.

Professional Practice Standards for Registered Psychotherapists

Normes d’exercise de la profession à l’intention des Psychothérapeutes autorisés

About the Regulations

There are three regulations under the Psychotherapy Act, 2007:

  • Professional Misconduct Regulation;
  • Quality Assurance Regulation; and
  • Registration Regulation.

The Registration Regulation sets out registration requirements for four categories of members, as well as time-limited ‘grandparenting’ provisions for established Ontario practitioners applying for membership in the Registered Psychotherapist category.

The Professional Misconduct Regulation defines parameters of professional practice, identifying specific behaviours that constitute misconduct and could trigger disciplinary action by the College.  Provisions cover a wide range of professional activities, from record-keeping to advertising and billing practices, as well as unacceptable conduct such as abuse of a client or a client’s representative, and inappropriate use of titles.
Lastly, the Quality Assurance Regulation provides the framework for developing the College’s quality assurance program, a statutory program designed to support members’ continuing competence through ongoing professional development activities.
Updated April 30, 2015