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Career Map: Psychologist

This document was updated in collaboration with Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration in April 2015. Requirements may have changed by the time you apply. Please contact the College of Psychologists of Ontario before you complete your application.

Copyright in this career map is held jointly by the Queen's Printer for Ontario and the College of Psychologists of Ontario, © 2015. This career map may be used or reproduced by any third party for non-commercial, not-for-profit purposes, provided that no fee, payment or royalty of any kind shall be charged by the third party for any further use or reproduction of the career map by any person. Any proposed commercial or for-profit use or reproduction of this career map requires a written license from the Queen's Printer for Ontario and the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

Psychologists and psychological associates in Ontario are regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario (the College). You cannot call yourself a ‘psychologist’ or ‘psychological associate’; use the terms ‘psychology’ or ‘psychological’ in any description of services offered or provided, or hold yourself out to be a psychologist or psychological associate unless you are registered with the College.

The title ‘psychotherapist’ is also a protected title and only members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario may use it. Please see that College’s website for more information.

Psychologists and psychological associates are trained in the assessment, treatment and prevention of behavioural and mental conditions. They diagnose neuropsychological disorders and dysfunctions as well as psychotic, neurotic and personality disorders and dysfunctions. In addition, psychologists and psychological associates use a variety of approaches directed toward the maintenance and enhancement of physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning.

Psychologists and psychological associates usually focus their practice in specific areas such as clinical psychology, counselling psychology, clinical neuropsychology; school psychology; forensic/correctional psychology; health psychology; rehabilitation psychology; or industrial/organizational psychology. Within these areas a psychologist or psychological associate may work with a variety of individual client populations such as children, adolescents, adults, or seniors, or may focus their attention on families, couples or organizations. They work in a range of settings including schools, hospitals, industry, social service agencies, rehabilitation facilities and correctional facilities. Many psychologists and psychological associates have their own private practice.

Registration Requirements in Ontario

To practise psychology in Ontario, you must be a registered member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario (the College).

A Psychologist must:

  • Hold a doctoral degree from a psychology program accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or a psychology program that is considered equivalent or substantially similar by the Registration Committee of the College.

A Psychological Associate must:

  • Hold a master’s degree from a psychology program completed at an acceptable degree-granting institution.
  • The master’s degree in psychology must meet the following criteria:
  1. an admission prerequisite for the program is that applicants must have completed a minimum of 576 hours of undergraduate instruction in psychology;
  2. the program includes at least 36 hours of instruction in each of the following areas:
    1. Psychological assessment,
    2. Psychological intervention,
    3. Professional ethics and standards for psychology,
    4. Research design, methodology and statistics,
    5. Biological bases of behaviour*,
    6. Social bases of behaviour*,
    7. Cognitive-affective bases of behaviour*,
    8. Psychology of the individual*.
      *For the subjects numbered 5 to 8, successful completion of an advanced undergraduate level course (beyond a first-year introductory course) is also acceptable.
  3. includes a supervised psychology practicum or psychology internship, and
  4. requires candidates to complete a minimum of one academic year of full-time resident graduate study and training or equivalent part-time resident graduate study and training. Resident study and training is defined as in-person participation in courses, seminars, practica and internships with face-to-face contact with faculty and other students).
  • Complete at least four years (totaling at least 6,000 hours) of supervised post-master’s degree work experience under the supervision of a registered psychologist or psychological associate.

In addition, all applicants applying for registration as either a psychologist or a psychological associate must meet the following requirements:
be legally entitled to work in Canada

  • be fluent in English or French
  • provide evidence of good character
  • complete a period of authorized supervised practice required by the College
  • complete any further professional training or experience that the College requires
  • pass the examinations approved by the College (see Step 3 below)
  • have professional liability insurance

Registration Application Process

Step 1 - Send Application Documents to the College

Contact the College of Psychologists for the Application for Certificate of Registration Authorizing Supervised Practice form. You can find the form online on the College’s website or you can purchase a printed copy from the College. Complete this form and pay the required fees. Fees are listed at the end of this document. You will also need to include the following with your application:

Psychologist

  • Official transcripts of a doctoral level psychology degree from your educational institution. . You must arrange for all institutions to send the transcripts directly to the College. For degrees taken outside of Canada or the United States, you must have the credential evaluated by University of Toronto’s Comparative Education Service or World Education Services. The credential evaluation must show that the degree is equivalent in level to a Canadian doctoral degree.

Psychological Associate

  • Official transcripts of a master’s level psychology degree from your educational institution. You must arrange for all institutions to send the transcripts directly to the College. For degrees taken outside of Canada or the United States, you must have the credential evaluated by University of Toronto’s Comparative Education Service or World Education Services. The credential evaluation must show that the degree is equivalent in level to a Canadian master’s degree.


Other Requirements for Issuance of a Certificate of Registration

  • Good Character
    All applicants to the College of Psychologists of Ontario are required to complete a Declaration of Good Character as part of their application. The Declaration of Good Character requires applicants to provide details about their past conduct, such as a conviction for a criminal offence, previous findings of professional misconduct etc. Information about the criteria used by the College when evaluating an applicant’s Good Character is found in the College’s Registration Guidelines

  • Language Fluency
    As of September 1, 2015, applicants may meet the language fluency requirement by:
    • Providing documentary evidence in the form of a transcript sent directly from the university to the College, indicating that he or she has completed his or her highest level psychology degree in: Canada; the United States of America; the United Kingdom; the Republic of Ireland; Australia; New Zealand or France; or
    • Providing verification in the form of a signed letter sent directly from the educational institution where his/her psychology degree was completed to the College that verifies that the language of instruction, supervision and clinical practice was entirely in English or French; this may be provided as a hard-copy original document, fax or PDF; or
    • Providing a report, directly from the language testing agency to the College, as a hard-copy original document, PDF or a fax, that she or he has achieved the minimum scores indicated on one of the standardized language fluency tests approved by the College. An applicant must meet minimum scores in each area of one test and test results will be considered valid for two years from the date the test was administered.

       Tests and minimum scores:
      TESTS AND MINIMUM SCORES REQUIRED TO MEET THE LANGUAGE FLUENCY REQUIREMENT
      COLLEGE OF PSYCHOLOGISTS OF ONTARIO
      Test English French
      Required score(s) TOEFL internet based test (iBT) IELTS (Academic)

      CanTEST

      TESTcan Test d’évaluation du français (TEF)
      Writing : 27
      Speaking : 24
      Listening : 24
      Reading : 24
      Writing : 7
      Speaking : 7
      Listening : 7
      Reading : 7
      Writing : 4.5
      Speaking : 4.5
      Listening : 4.5
      Reading : 4.5
      Writing : 4.5
      Speaking : 4.5
      Listening : 4.5
      Reading : 4.5
      Writing : 349
      Speaking : 349
      Listening : 280
      Reading : 233
    • Providing to the Registration Committee other compelling evidence of language fluency. This could be, for example, evidence that the applicant was registered and practiced in an English or French practice environment for a minimum of the equivalent of two years full-time, which could be confirmed through proof of registration sent directly from the psychology regulatory body, letters(s) from employer(s) or supervisor(s) etc. All such documentation must be sent directly to the College as a hard-copy original document, PDF or a fax.
    • An applicant may be exempted from the requirement if he or she cannot meet it through the means described in 1., 2. or 4. above and has a documented disability (As defined in the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.) that would affect his or her ability to meet the requirement by completing a standardized language fluency test, as described in 3. Such exemption will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Registration Committee.

  • Eligibility to Work in Canada
    In order to be issued with a certificate of registration you must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or authorized under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) to engage in the practice of the profession. Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada may meet the requirement by holding a valid work permit, for example.

The College will inform you in writing of whether your application has met the initial registration requirements. This will confirm whether you have met the academic and other requirements of registration and whether you have been approved to proceed either to:

  1. supervised practice for psychologists, or
  2. the work experience portion for psychological associates, followed by supervised practice.

If the College advises you that your application is refused, you may appeal to the Health Professions Appeals and Review Board.

Step 2 – Supervised Practice

All candidates must complete a minimum of 1,500 hours (12 months) of supervised practice under the supervision of two members of the College. A certificate of supervised practice may be held for only two years. During supervised practice you are considered a member of the College and may hold yourself out as a psychologist or psychological associate, as defined by the College’s requirements. You must be issued a certificate for supervised practice by the College. This certificate is the normal prerequisite in order to be eligible for a certificate for autonomous practice.

You must be issued a certificate for supervised practice by the College. This certificate is the normal prerequisite in order to be eligible for a certificate for autonomous practice.

Psychologist

In order to receive a certificate for supervised practice as a psychologist, you must:

  • Have an acceptable doctoral degree as described in Step 1; and
  • Name two members who agree to supervise your practice for the required term, using a signed agreement form supplied by the College.

Psychological Associate

In order to receive a certificate for supervised practice as a psychological associate, you must:

  • Have an acceptable master’s degree as described in Step 1;
  • Complete a period of post-master’s degree work experience as required by the College; and
  • Name two members who agree to supervise your practice for the required term, using a signed agreement form supplied by the College.

Additional Training or Experience Requirements

You may be required to take additional professional training or obtain further experience during your supervised practice and before qualifying for autonomous practice. During the initial review of your registration application, the Registrar may identify areas where core coursework is missing, or where your training does not appear to support your declared practice area. In these cases, your application will be reviewed by the College’s Registration Committee. In cases where the Registration Committee determines that an applicant’s training or experience should be augmented, the Committee will work with the individual to identify an appropriate training plan.

Written Examinations

You must pass two of the required written examinations while under supervised practice. You may take each of these examinations up to four times. The written examinations the College requires you to pass are:

  1. The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is a computer administered test which can be written at any of approximately 300 testing centres within Canada and the United States. The EPPP consists of 200 multiple choice questions. The examination tests your core knowledge of psychology. The examination is four hours and 15 minutes long. It is available in an English or in a French version.
  2. The Jurisprudence and Ethics Examination (JEE) is administered by the College. It can be written at several sites across Ontario, and is offered twice a year (spring and fall). It is a paper and pencil test that consists of 60 multiple choice questions. The examination is two hours long and is in a bilingual English/French format.The JEE tests your knowledge of:
    • legislation relevant to the practice of psychology in Ontario
    • standards of professional conduct
    • ethical principles of the profession
  3. You can refer to the Preparing to take the Jurisprudence and Ethics Examination document available by choosing the Examinations tab in the Applicants section of the College‘s website to get ready for the exam

Step 3 - Take the Oral Examination

All candidates who want to become authorized for autonomous practice as psychologists or psychological associates in Ontario must pass two required written examinations (JEE and EPPP) and one oral examination. The oral examination is the last step in the registration process. You must complete your period of supervised practice and the JEE and EPPP before taking the final oral examination.

The Oral Examination is administered in Toronto twice a year, usually in June and December, by the College. You are invited to take the oral examination once you have completed all the other College requirements.

The oral examination is intended to ensure candidates are ready and able to enter autonomous practice. It is administered by a panel made up of three members of the profession. You can expect to address your area of intended practice, and demonstrate your knowledge of assessment, diagnosis and treatment. The examination also requires you to demonstrate your interpersonal skills and apply your knowledge of the profession’s ethics and standards.

Labour Market Information

For information about working conditions, wages and job descriptions for psychologists and psychological associates see the Government of Canada Job Bank website.

This information is also available at public libraries or Employment Resource Centres in Ontario.

 Costs & Fees:

Fees

(in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated)
Application for Supervised Practice fee $230
Application for Interim Autonomous Practice fee $100
Autonomous Practice Psychological Associate applying for Supervised Practice as a Psychologist fee $100
Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) USD $600
Test Centre Appointment fee for EPPP USD $87.50
Jurisprudence and Ethics Examination (JEE) $270
Oral Examination (OE) $740
Registration Interview $500
Autonomous Practice members – annual fee $795
Supervised Practice members – annual fee (invoiced semi-annually) $550
Interim Autonomous Practice members – fee (invoiced semi-annually) $795
Additional Fees:
Academic credential assessment report fee varies
Language fluency test (if required) fee varies

For More Information

For further information about applying to register as a psychologist or psychological associate in Ontario, please contact:

The Registrar
College of Psychologists of Ontario
110 Eglinton Ave. West, suite 500
Toronto, ON M4R 1A3
CANADA
Telephone: 416-961-8817
Toll free: 1-800-489-8388 (North America)
Fax: 416-961-2635
Email: cpo@cpo.on.ca
Website: www.cpo.on.ca

For information on obtaining an assessment report of your academic credential, please contact:

Comparative Education Service (CES)
University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
162 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 2E9
CANADA
Telephone: 416-978-2400 ext. 3
Fax: 416-978-2185 Email: ces.info@utoronto.ca
Website: http://learn.utoronto.ca/international-professionals/comparative-education-service-ces

OR

World Education Services (WES)
2 Carlton Street, Suite 1400
Toronto ON M5B 1J3
CANADA
Telephone: 416-972-0070
Toll free: 1-866-343-0070
Fax: 416-972-9004
Email: inquiry@wes.org
www.wes.org/ca

For information regarding language fluency tests accepted by the College:

For information on examinations, please contact:

College of Psychologists of Ontario
110 Eglinton Ave. West, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M4R 1A3
CANADA
Telephone: 416-961-8817
Toll Free: 1-800-489-8388 (North America)
Fax: 416-961-2635
Email: cpo@cpo.on.ca
Website: www.cpo.on.ca

For information about professional liability insurance please contact one of the following professional associations:

Ontario Psychological Association
21 St. Clair Ave. East, Suite 403
Toronto, ON M4T 1L8
CANADA
Telephone: 416-961-5516
Fax: 416-961-5516
Email: opa@psych.on.ca
Website: www.psych.on.ca

Ontario Association of Psychological Associates
Box 27080 – 1980 Ogilvie Road
Gloucester, ON K1J 9L9
CANADA
Email: oapa@oapa.on.ca
Website: www.oapa.on.ca

For information about the profession in Canada, please contact either of the following organizations:

Association of Canadian Psychology Regulatory Organizations
Website: www.acpro-aocrp.ca/

Canadian Psychological Association
Website: www.cpa.ca/

For a government contact about accessing professions in Ontario please contact:

HealthForceOntario
Access Centre for Internationally Educated Professionals
163 Queen Street East, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M5A 1S1
CANADA
Telephone: 416-862-2200
Toll free: 1-800-596-4046
TTY: 416-862-4817
Fax: 416-862-4818
Email: accesscentre@healthforceontario.ca
Website: www.healthforceontario.ca

For information on where and how to get help with settlement in Ontario:

Visit www.settlement.org, or contact:
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
110 Eglinton Avenue West, suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M4R 1A3
CANADA
Telephone: 416-322-4950 ext. 227
Fax: 416-322-8084
Email: ocasi@web.net
Website: www.ocasi.org

 
 
 
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