Members are expected to practise within their areas of competence. Indeed, an important aspect of professional accountability is a requirement to continually assess one’s knowledge, skills and judgment, i.e. competence – including one’s ability to work with particular clients and clinical issues within particular modalities.
As self-regulated professionals, members are expected to understand their professional limitations, as well as their capabilities. They should provide only those services that are within their areas of competence, based on training and experience. When a member encounters a client with an issue the member is not familiar with or not equipped to work with, the member must exercise professional judgment. Specifically, s/he must promptly determine whether to: pursue relevant study; seek clinical supervision; consult with a colleague who has the required knowledge, skill and judgment; or refer the client to another practitioner who is able to provide the required care.
The Standard: Consultation, Clinical Supervision and Referral
A member understands not only his/her professional capabilities but also his/her limitations. A member provides only services that are within the member’s knowledge, skill, and judgment, i.e. competence, to provide. When a member encounters a client who has needs beyond the member’s capabilities, s/he pursues relevant study, consults with a more experienced colleague or seeks clinical supervision. If this does not
provide adequate safeguards, the member refers the client to another professional who is qualified to provide the required care.
Demonstrating the Standard
A member demonstrates compliance with the standard by, for example:
- considering whether s/he has the knowledge, skill and judgment, i.e. competence, to work with a particular client, and doing so only when the member possesses the necessary competencies;
- pursuing relevant study;
- consulting with an experienced colleague or seeking clinical supervision when required;
- if pursuing relevant study, consulting with a colleague, or seeking clinical supervision are inadequate to provide necessary safeguards, the member refers the client to a qualified professional.
Note: College publications containing practice standards, guidelines or directives should be considered by all members in the care of their clients and in the practice of the profession. College publications are developed in consultation with the profession and describe current professional expectations. It is important to note that these College publications may be used by the College or other bodies in determining whether appropriate standards of practice and professional responsibilities have been maintained.