Staff continue to work full time to process and approve applications while working remotely.

Please see the COVID-19 web page for information about any impacts on the application process, including how to handle transcripts and other matters.

Who Needs to Register?

If your work falls within the scope of the practice of psychotherapy and you are not already registered with another Ontario regulatory college whose registrants can practise psychotherapy (those that regulate psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists and physicians), you should consider becoming a registrant of CRPO.

Not sure if this includes you? Use the self-assessment tool to ascertain whether your clinical practice necessitates registration with CRPO.

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; we use this definition to make the distinction between the two: “The practice of psychotherapy is distinct from both counselling, where the focus is on the provision of information, advice-giving, encouragement and instruction, and spiritual counselling, which is counselling related to religion or faith-based beliefs.” (source: HPRAC).

Anyone using the title “Registered Psychotherapist” must be registered with CRPO.

Getting Started

Applicants should submit their application for registration once they have substantially completed their education and training in psychotherapy. Substantial completion means that you:

  • are in your final semester prior to graduation;
  • have completed 90% of your program, including coursework and practicum placements; or
  • have completed your program with the exception of a thesis.

After using the self-assessment tool, review the 9 Steps to Registration to familiarize yourself with the process.

When you’re ready apply, please follow these steps in order:

  1. Create an account on CRPO’s secure Member Management System.
  2. Enroll in the Professional Practice & Jurisprudence eLearning Module and pay the fee.
  3. Once your fee has been received, successfully complete the module. Review the handbook first to familiarize yourself with the contents of the module.
  4. Complete the application form, including all required documentation. Pay the application fee, which can be done before or after you complete the application form.
  5. Once application form is complete and the application fee has been received, click the “Submit Application” button.
  6. Check that the status on the main page of your application changes to “Received.”
  7. If you completed a non-recognized program, you will be notified in a message to pay the mapping tool fee. Wait until you are contacted by staff to pay the fee.

For more information about what happens after your application is received and how to track the status of your application see the Assessment of Applications page.

If you are an Indigenous practitioner, you may apply to CRPO via the Indigenous Registration Pathway stream. Contact us directly for more information on applying through this stream.

NOTE: An applicant cannot  perform the controlled act of psychotherapy, use a protected title or advertise they are a CRPO registrant, including even if they indicate “in progress,” until their application has been approved and their certificate of registration has been issued. CRPO can investigate unregulated individuals and may take legal action against them.

Registration Requirements

All applicants applying through the regular route will begin in the Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) category. The following are the registration requirements for this category:

Jurisprudence E-learning Module

NB: On September 25, 2019, the appearance Jurisprudence E-learning Module will be revised, although no changes to the content will be made. Applications that have been open but are not yet completed will not be impacted. The content of the module will not change; the changes are purely cosmetic. 

You  must have completed, no earlier than two years before the date of their application, the Professional Practice & Jurisprudence e-Learning (JRP) Module. Applicants are strongly urged to read the Professional Practice & Jurisprudence e-Learning document before enrolling in the online module. The module includes 16 question sets. A mark of 65 or higher must be achieved on each set.

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Education & Training

If you have an official transcript or letter indicating that you have completed or substantially completed one of the education programs recognized by CRPO, you will be deemed to have met the education and training requirements.

If you have completed an education or psychotherapy training program (in Canada or anywhere in the world) that has not been recognized by the College, may still apply for registration. Applicants must provide detailed information to CRPO about their education and training in psychotherapy by completing the Competencies Mapping Tool.

Other education and training that is not part of a coherent psychotherapy program must have admission criteria and an evaluative or certification component in order to be accepted by CRPO. Professional development workshops or seminars lacking an evaluative component will not be accepted.

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All applicants must be “current” in the practise of the profession. Specifically, you must have engaged in professional activities related to psychotherapy in the three-year period immediately prior to submitting an application.

Currency hours are defined broadly and include a range of professional activities related to psychotherapy, in addition to direct client work. Currency can be accumulated anywhere in the world.

You must have completed your education and training program or your clinical experience requirement, i.e. direct client contact and clinical supervision hours:

  • in the year immediately prior to application;
  • or you must have completed 750 currency hours within the three years immediately prior to application;
  • or completed acceptable upgrading activities.

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An important registration requirement for all regulated health professionals in Ontario is reasonable fluency in English or French (i.e. the ability to speak, read and write proficiently in either English or French). Client records must be maintained in either English or French, and registrants must be able to communicate effectively with other health care practitioners in either English or French.

Language fluency can be demonstrated if English or French is:

  • your first language; or
  • language of primary, secondary, or post-secondary education; or
  • the language you use in delivering services to clients

Successful completion of a psychotherapy bridging program also indicates English or French language proficiency. If you have had no education or practice experience in English or French, you will be required to submit evidence of successful completion of a language proficiency test; acceptable tests can be found in the Supporting Documents Checklist.

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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.

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Conduct and 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. An applicant’s previous conduct must afford reasonable grounds for the belief that they will practise psychotherapy in a safe and professional manner. Applicants are required to disclose a variety of information about their past conduct, including findings of guilt for any criminal offence, current or past proceedings for professional misconduct, and current and past registration with any regulatory body. 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. Applicants are also expected to disclose instances of serious impropriety such as fraud or having sexual contact with clients.

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 applicants misrepresent themselves, 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.

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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 registrant 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 registrant of two statutory regulatory colleges will be required to meet the obligations of registration of both colleges, including participation in quality assurance programs and payment of two annual registration 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 on the Application Assessment page.