Information for Applicants

Those interested in applying for registration with CRPO must determine whether they are eligible to apply and must ensure that each step of the registration process has been fulfilled.

Summary of Application Process

An applicant who believes they substantially meet the registration requirements must:

  • create a user account on our secure Member Management System;
  • 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.

Access to a computer with an internet connection is required to complete most, if not all, stages of the application process. It is also necessary to have a number of required supporting documents on hand in order to complete the application. A list of this documentation is included in the Registration Guide.

Applicants who are deemed to meet the registration requirements will be notified via the Member Management System that their application has been approved, or that their application is being proposed for refusal. Regular route applicants who have received notice of approval, will be issued a Certificate of Registration once the College has received their registration fee.

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 regulates 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 may practise psychotherapy if they meet the requirements set by their respective colleges: 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.

Back to top

Who needs to register?

Anyone whose work falls within the scope of the 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 CRPO. However, those described below must be registered:

  • anyone using the title “psychotherapist”, “Registered Psychotherapist” or any abbreviation thereof; and
  • anyone holding themself out as qualified to practise as a psychotherapist in Ontario (no matter what title they may use).

There is no need for counsellors whose work falls outside the scope of the practice of psychotherapy to become registered. CRPO 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) on the Definitions page of our website.

Back to top

Registration Categories

Once registered with CRPO, 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 categories of membership: RP (Qualifying), RP (Temporary) and RP (Inactive). More information about each category can be found below, along with the acceptable titles members should use, depending on their category of membership.

Registered Psychotherapist

  • Registered Psychotherapist or the abbreviation RP.
  • Psychothérapeute autorisé, Psychothérapeute autorisée or the abbreviation PA.

Those in the Registered Psychotherapist category have successfully met all of the requirements for registration including direct client contact and clinical supervision hours.

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

  • Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) or the abbreviation RP (Qualifying).
  • Psychothérapeute autorisé (stagiaire), Psychothérapeute autorisée (stagiaire) or the abbreviation PA (stagiaire).

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 and have successfully completed it. To be eligible to write the Exam, a Qualifying member must have completed all education and training requirements for RP registration, but not necessarily all required direct client contact hours and clinical supervision hours. Once the Registration Exam is successfully completed (and all other registration requirements met), Qualifying members are eligible become Registered Psychotherapists (RPs).

Qualifying members must practise with clinical supervision while completing requirements for registration as a Registered Psychotherapist.

More information can be found on the Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) page of our website.

Registered Psychotherapist (Temporary)

  • Registered Psychotherapist (Temporary) or the abbreviation RP (Temporary).
  • Psychothérapeute autorisé (temporaire), Psychothérapeute autorisée (temporaire) or the abbreviation PA (temporaire).

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.

To inquire about temporary membership with CRPO, please contact us at info@crpo.ca.

Registered Psychotherapist (Inactive)

  • Registered Psychotherapist (Inactive) or the abbreviation RP (Inactive).
  • Psychothérapeute autorisé (inactif), Psychothérapeute autorisée (inactive) or the abbreviations PA (inactive) or PA (inactive).

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

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

Back to top

Use of Specialty Titles

Members are permitted to use terms, titles and designations conferred by third parties, along with their regulated title, if:

  • 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 and training program that included study, mastery and evaluation.
  • It is conferred by a recognized credentialing body, i.e. one that is broadly recognized within the profession as legitimate.
  • It meets established standards, i.e. standards that are broadly recognized within the profession as legitimate.
  • 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.

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, 1991, which sets out the professions whose members are permitted to use the title.

Back to top

Labour 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 or territory and who have worked in that profession in their province within the previous three years. Applicants registered in another province or territory who wish to apply for registration with CRPO 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, CRPO cannot:

  • look at the applicant’s educational qualifications; or
  • require them to write the Registration Exam.

CRPO 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. Members of the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT) will be eligible, as will holders of a Psychotherapy Permit in Québec.

If this applies to you, please complete the Labour Mobility Application.

Back to top

Disclosure Obligations

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.

Applicants are required to disclose any of the following information about their past conduct:

  • findings of guilt for any criminal offence or offence resulting in either imprisonment or a fine greater than $1,000;
  • current proceedings or past findings of professional misconduct, incompetence, incapacity, or any similar finding, in relation to any regulated profession in any jurisdiction;
  • findings of professional negligence or malpractice in any jurisdiction;
  • a refusal by any body responsible for the regulation of a profession in any jurisdiction to register or license them;
  • current and past registration with any body responsible for the regulation of a profession, and whether the applicant is/was in good standing; and
  • any other event that would provide reasonable grounds for the belief that the applicant will not practise psychotherapy in a safe and professional manner.

The final item in the above list is intended to include a variety of conduct not captured by the previous items in the list. For example, it includes complaints, discipline or dismissal involving a professional association, employer or educational institution. Applicants are also expected to disclose instances of serious impropriety such as fraud or having sexual contact with a current or former client.

The College will evaluate the significance of such disclosures. It is possible that a past event no longer reflects significantly on an applicant’s suitability to become a Registered Psychotherapist. Alternatively, the College may place a term, condition or limitation on their Certificate of Registration. If an application for registration is refused, there is a process to allow for an appeal before an independent body.

If an applicant misrepresents themself, their conduct or their qualifications in the registration process, and are found to have done so, their application will be refused or their registration revoked.

Applicants are asked to declare if they suffer from any physical or mental condition or disorder which may impair their ability to practise psychotherapy safely and competently and which, if left untreated, would impair their ability to practise psychotherapy. 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 have professional liability insurance coverage.

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

In addition to the above, all applicants will be required to submit a statutory declaration attesting to the truthfulness and completeness of all information provided in their application.

Back to top

Application Process and Fees

Applicants will use a secure, online application form, accessed through CRPO’s website. In order to access the online application form, an applicant must have created a user account on the Member Management System and completed the Professional Practice and Jurisprudence e-Learning Module.

When completing the application form, applicants should have details of their education and training, clinical experience, etc., readily at hand.

On the application landing page, a link to the application fee invoice is provided; follow this link to pay your application processing fee. You can pay the fee before, during or after you complete your application; however, the College must receive a cleared payment before the “Submit Application” button will activate to allow you to submit an application.

Payments can only be made via bank-to-bank-transfer. CRPO does not accept credit card payments, Interac e-transfers, PayPal, etc. It takes at least three to five business days for payments to clear if you bank with one of the major domestic banks.

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

  • Application fee – $130 + HST = $146.90
  • Annual membership fee for Registered Psychotherapist – $572 + HST = $646.36
  • Annual membershp fee for Qualifying member – $312 + HST = $352.56

Other fees related to the registration process:

  • Jurisprudence e-Learning Module fee – $62.40 + HST = $70.51

Fees paid to CRPO are non-refundable.

Back to top

Professional Liability Insurance

All applicants for registration are required to have proof of professional liability insurance (PLI) coverage in the amount and in the form required under CRPO’s By-laws, either individually or through your employer. Alternately, you may undertake to provide proof, within 30 days of the issuance of the Certificate of Registration, of having PLI. The insurance must be effective from the day on which the Certificate of Registration is issued.

More information can be found on the Professional Liability Insurance page of our website.

Back to top

Registration Requirements

CRPO’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 judgment, as opposed to simply possessing a specific academic credential.

Registration requirements are founded on CRPO’s Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile for Registered Psychotherapists. 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 must also complete the following:

  • the Professional Practice and Jurisprudence e-Learning Module (individuals must submit an application for registration with CRPO within two years of completing the module);
  • a “recognized” education and training program in psychotherapy that includes competency development in Safe and Effective Use of Self (SEUS).
    • Note: SEUS education and training can take the form of coursework, experiential learning and/or personal psychotherapy focused on SEUS (see below for requirements of a recognized program);
  • 450 direct client contact hours (some or all can be completed as part of an education and training program or completed subsequently);
  • 100 hours of clinical supervision; and
  • successful completion of the Registration Exam, i.e. the National Assessment offered by the COMPASS Centre for Examination Development, a national body established to develop and administer this exam.

Back to top

Currency

All applicants must be “current” in the practise 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 their education and training several years earlier, but never practised, would not be current, and therefore would be ineligible for registration.

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 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. The purpose of the currency requirement is to demonstrate recent professional activity related to the practice of the profession.

Back to top

Education and Training

CRPO expects that applicants 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.”

Whatever their backgrounds, all will be expected to be safe and competent practitioners.

Applicants must have:

  • (a) successfully completed a program in psychotherapy or the Indigenous practice of psychotherapy recognized by the Registration Committee, or
  • (b) been awarded a master’s degree in a program that has been recognized by the Registration Committee, or
  • (c) successfully completed a program the Registration Committee considers substantially equivalent to a. or b.; or
  • (d) successfully completed one or more programs of education and training in psychotherapy, or substantial portions of one or more programs, possibly along with other education and training, which taken together evidences, in the opinion of the Registration Committee, successful completion of a program that is substantially equivalent to a. or b.

Note: Because of the intercultural translation that will be required to assess programs in the Indigenous practice of psychotherapy, applicants who have completed such programs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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 more information about recognized education and training programs, visit the Education Programs page of our website.

Back to top

Assessment of Applications

Applicants can easily track the progress of their application through the review stages by checking the status indicator located on the application landing page (i.e., the page with hyperlinks to all the sections of the form) in their user account.

What does each status mean?

Received
Your application has been submitted successfully and is in the queue for processing; staff review has not yet begun.

Under Review
Review of your application is now underway. A detailed assessement is conducted to determine, first, whether the application is complete and, second, whether the applicant meets the minimum registration requirements.

Check your email inbox (including spam folders) regularly for the alerts CRPO sends when a message has been placed in your user account and be sure to respond to requests for clarification or more information as soon as possible.

Registrar Review
First-level review of your application is complete; a second, senior-level review is in process.

Approved
You have met the minimum requirements for registration; your application has been approved.

Recommend to Panel
Applications that do not clearly meet the registration requirements, for one reason or another, are referred to a panel of the Registration Committee for a third-level review.

This review panel includes professional members of Council (that is, practicing Registered Psychotherapists) as well as publicly appointed members. Professional members bring their clinical perspective and experience to the process and work with the other panel members to ensure that registration decisions are fair and appropriate.

Correspondence with CRPO About Your Application

Staff may contact applicants with questions once the review of their application begins. Once you submit an application, please monitor your CRPO user account or your email inbox regularly for the notifications we send alerting you to a system message, and respond to any questions or requests for additional information as quickly as possible to prevent delays. To facilitate the processing of applications:

  • If a staff member has questions after the first review of the application, they will send a detailed message to the user’s online account addressing the concerns.
  • If more information is required after receiving the response, a staff member will follow-up for a second and final time.
  • If we do not receive a substantive response within two months of the date of the initial request for clarification, or the two attempts fail to result in satisfactory information, the application may then be referred to a panel of the Registration Committee for further consideration and possible refusal.

Back to top

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 applies to all members and will remain in effect until the member satisfies the College that they have completed the required hours.

Back to top

Other College Programs

All members are required to participate in CRPO’s Quality Assurance Program, and to adhere to the Professional Practice Standards for Registered Psychotherapists. 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 CRPO 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.

Back to top

Definitions

A complete list can be found on the Definitions page of our website.

Back to top

Frequently Asked Questions

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, 2007. If the circumstances of your employment do not seem to fit with the description in the paragraphs below, it is 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”, “Registered 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.

Are spiritual care providers required to register with CRPO?

CRPO will register practitioners from faith-based or spiritual care backgrounds who meet registration requirements. 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.

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.

I’ve created an account but I’m unable to access the application for registration.

You cannot access the application until you have paid for and successfully completed the Professional Practice & Jurisprudence e-Learning Module (JRP Module).

If you believe have completed the JRP Module but are still unable to access the application, go back and check your results to ensure you answered all 16 question sets and that you received a mark of 65 or higher on each set.

I’ve completed the JRP Module, paid my application invoice and completed the application but I’m unable to submit.

You cannot submit your application if the payment hasn’t cleared the banking system – this usually takes at least three to five business days. Check your “Invoices” tab to ensure you have a balance of $0.

If you see that you do not have a balance of $0, check that you didn’t accidentally order the JRP Module a second time. If you find that you did accidentally order the JRP Module twice, contact CRPO as soon as possible so that we can void the second invoice and your payment can be properly applied to your application fee.

If you have a balance of $0 owing, go back into the application to ensure you have completed everything required, ticked all boxes, etc.

My application status says “Open”. Has my application been received?

Your application status will change from “Open” to “Received” once your application has been successfully submitted to CRPO. If your status says “Open”, you need to go back into the application and hit “Submit”. Refresh the page to check that your status says “Received.”

How long will it take to process my application?

Given the volume of applications being received, we are not able to respond to questions about when an individual application will be processed – it is, however, likely to take several months. Applicants can easily track the progress of their application through the review stages by checking the status indicator located on the application landing page (i.e. the page with hyperlinks to all the sections of the form) in their CRPO user account. An explanation of each status can be found in the “Assessment of Applications” section of this page.