Reviewing and Recognizing Education Programs
The College regulates individual practitioners. It does not regulate or accredit educational institutions. Programs may however complete and submit an application for recognition by the CRPO. The voluntary recognition process is meant to facilitate processing applications for registration as Registered Psychotherapists in the Qualifying category.
Recognition does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of a program by the College. Rather, the recognition process allows the program’s graduates to know that the education requirements for registration will be met upon completion of the program. Applicants from a recognized program can quickly complete the education section of the application without providing detailed information about their training. This speeds up the processing time for approving applications that meet registration requirements. Recognized programs are listed here.
Applicants who have completed a program that has not been recognized will also be considered for registration; however, a more detailed review of their program, including transcripts, course descriptions, etc., will be required. Applicants will complete the Mapping Tool for Individual Applicants to demonstrate that their non-recognized program is substantially equivalent to a recognized program. An additional fee applies for the assessment of the Mapping Tool.
Education Requirements for Registration
To qualify for registration with CRPO, applicants must have completed a program of education and training in psychotherapy that has allowed them to develop required entry-to-practice competencies. The Registration Regulation states that this education may take one of four forms:
i) a program in psychotherapy that has been approved by the Registration Committee or by a body that is approved by the Registration Committee for that purpose,
ii) a master’s degree in a program that has been approved by the Registration Committee or by a body that is approved by the Registration Committee for that purpose,
iii) a program that the Registration Committee considers to be substantially equivalent to a program referred to in subparagraph i or ii, or
iv) other education and training, which must include one or more programs in psychotherapy, together with any further education or training, or combination of education and training, that when taken together evidences, in the opinion of the Registration Committee, successful completion of a program that is substantially equivalent to a program referred to in subparagraph i or ii.
Generally, programs are expected to be taught at a graduate level and provide at least 360 hours of training and education central to the practice of psychotherapy, not including direct client contact hours and clinical supervision hours.
Recognition Application Process
The application form and instructions are available here.
Programs seeking recognition will be asked to submit detailed information about their curricula, faculty members, staffing structure, facilities, admission policies and process for handling student complaints, among other items. In addition, they will be asked to map their education and training objectives and learning outcomes to selected competencies from the Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile, which lists the competencies required of individuals entering practice for the first time, so that they may practise safely, effectively and ethically across a variety of practice settings. Programs should also review the Program Recognition Policy as this document will assist programs in developing or revising their curricula and will facilitate their application for recognition by CRPO.
Evaluation Criteria and Possible Outcomes
CRPO contracts with a third-party evaluation service to assess applications for recognition. Each evaluation is conducted by three independent reviewers. Reviewers examine a program’s submission to form an impression of the overall organization of the program. Reviewers also examine how the program enables students to develop the following entry-to-practice competencies:
- 2.1 Use effective professional communication.
- 2.2 Build and maintain effective relationships.
- 3.1 Comply with legal and professional obligations.
- 3.2 Apply ethical decision making.
- 3.3 Maintain self-care and level of health necessary for responsible therapy.
- 3.4 Obtain clinical supervision & consultation when necessary.
- 3.5 Provide reports to third parties.
- 4.6 Identify when and how to refer clients appropriately.
- 4.7 Conduct an effective closure process to end a course of therapy appropriately.
- 5.1 Access and apply a range of relevant professional literature.
- 5.2 Use research findings to inform clinical practice.
Reviewers will evaluate in greater detail how the program enables students to develop each of the following ten competencies:
- 1.1 Integrate a theory of human psychological functioning and development.
- 1.2 Work within a framework based upon an established psychotherapeutic theory.
- 1.3 Integrate knowledge of comparative psychotherapy relevant to practice.
- 1.4 Integrate awareness of self in relation to professional role.
- 1.5 Integrate knowledge of human and cultural diversity in relation to psychotherapy practice.
- 4.1 Engage in psychotherapy with clients and maintain a professional frame for therapy.
- 4.2 Establish and maintain an effective therapeutic relationship.
- 4.3 Apply safe and effective use of self in the therapeutic relationship.
- 4.4 Conduct an appropriate risk assessment.
- 4.5 Structure and facilitate the therapeutic process.
For each of these ten competencies, reviewers look for the following:
- Program content is sufficiently detailed and current to support students in developing this competency.
- The identified instructional/learning materials used in development of this competency are relevant and appropriate.
- The approach/tools used to support students in developing this competency are balanced and appropriate.
Connections and Integration
- Development of this competency is integrated within the program and complements the overall delivery of the program.
- Learners’ achievement of the competency is evaluated using a variety of appropriate methods, e.g., participation, oral presentation, written work, experiential learning, clinical experience, supervision, safe and effective use of self, etc.
Finally, the reviewers produce a summary of conclusions and make an overall recommendation to CRPO. The reviewer team may make one of the following recommendations:
- That the program be recognized: The program sufficiently enables students to develop the required competencies for entry-to-practice. Recognition is granted for a period of five years.
- That recognition be refused: The program contains numerous or significant gaps or does not enable students to develop the required competencies for entry-to-practice. The program will need to apply for recognition again when deficiencies have been remedied.