Entry-to-Practice Registration Examination

In order to fulfill the requirements for registration as a Registered Psychotherapist (RP), all Qualifying members are required to write the registration exam (also known as the Canadian Professional Standard for Counselling and Psychotherapy (CPSCP): Entry to Practice Competency Assessment). 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 their information-gathering and decision-making skills in a variety of typical scenarios and simulations.

Information about the development, structure and format of the registration exam can be found in the Entry-to-Practice Registration Examination Resource Manual. For more information about the exam, please visit the COMPASS website.

Eligibility Requirements

All Qualifying registrants are required to successfully complete the registration exam. A Qualifying registrant is deemed eligible by CRPO to write the exam when they have demonstrated successful completion of a recognized/accepted program or education and training that has been deemed substantially equivalent to a recognized program.

A Qualifying registrant that applied when they had substantially completed their program, must ensure a final transcript/credential assessment with the diploma/certificate/degree conferral date is sent from their institution/credential assessment provider to CRPO directly (preferred method via email to: info@crpo.ca), prior to signing up for the Registration Examination. If the program was completed outside of Canada, a credential assessment is required.

The exam is offered twice a year (spring and fall). For the spring exam, the timeframe for receiving final transcript/ credential assessment is usually by the end of January. For the fall exam, the timeframe for receiving final transcript/ credential assessment is usually by the end of July. The absolute deadline date for receiving final transcript/credential assessment will be provided to Qualifying registrants when they receive a message from CRPO about an upcoming sitting; the exam timeline varies by each sitting. The absolute deadline date for receiving final transcript/credential assessment also gets posted on the CRPO website, prior to an upcoming sitting.

Note: Applicants who have submitted an application but who have not yet been approved and issued a certificate of registration are not eligible to sign up for the exam. If the exam surveying period is still open when your application is approved, we will notify you in a message. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received.

Back to top

Registering to Write the Examination

The process to sign up for the exam starts with CRPO staff messaging eligible registrants directly. Once registered, Qualifying members will receive a message from CRPO 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;
  • confirm the language in which they prefer to write the exam (either English or French);
  • provide details and documentation pertaining to any accommodations they might require; and
  • verify a primary contact email and phone number

Each candidate will also be notified of a unique identifier code by CRPO which confirms their identity and eligibility to write the examination for COMPASS. The College will send candidate information to COMPASS, along with the unique identifier; COMPASS 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.).

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.

Back to top

Conditions for Completing the Registration Examination

  • The first attempt at the exam 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 CRPO. 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 Qualifying certificate of registration is issued by the College in which to satisfy ALL the requirements for registration as an RP (completing clinical experience and passing the Exam).

Back to top

Mitigating Circumstances and Appeals

A registrant who fails the exam has the right to appeal to the Examination Committee, following the procedure outlined in the Examination Appeal Form. As the Examination Appeal Policy indicates, registrants can appeal examination results based on the following categories: compassionate consideration, medical reasons, or process irregularities. The Examination Committee will review and make their decision regarding the appeal using the appeals framework.

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.

Back to top


Quick Guide

Exam fee: $545 + tax

Time to write: 3 hours

Number of exam sittings per year: 2 (spring and fall)

Fall 2024 sitting: November 6, 7, 8 (Please note: Registrants will be contacted in late-July with information and instructions to sign up for the exam)

Spring 2025 sitting: April 23, 24, 25 (Please note: The April 2025 dates are subject to change)

NEW – Unsure about your deadline to write the exam? Click here.

Need an accommodation? Click here

Registration Exam Dates Now Posted

Late Requests to Write Registration Exam

Video Resources

Please Note: These video resources were created prior to the exam delivery method changing to online remote proctoring. For updated information related to Taking the Assessment: Security and Logistics, please refer to the online remote proctoring resources linked under Exam Prep Resources.

Video: COMPASS Registration Exam Overview (39 minutes)
Video: Condensed version of COMPASS Registration Exam Overview with French captions (11 minutes)