PRACTICE : 
who provides psychological services?

In Ontario, psychological services are provided by, or under the supervision of, members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

By law, no one may use the words "psychology" or "psychological" to represent their services unless they are members of the College of Psychologists. This is intended to protect the public by ensuring that only appropriately qualified, regulated professionals are able to provide services under these terms.

There are two titles in Ontario: Psychologists & Psychological Associates.

Psychologists

Psychologists are trained at the doctoral level. They typically have 5 or 6 years of university education in psychology beyond the bachelor's degree, and are required to have fulfilled all of the additional requirements mandated by the College of Psychologists. This includes a minimum of 1500 hours of supervised practice following the doctorate, in an area (or areas) of psychology directly relevant to their intended area(s) of psychological practice, plus successful performance on two written examinations and one oral examination.

The letters "C. Psych." following a person's name stand for "Certificate of Registration as a Psychologist" and indicate that they are Psychologist members of the College of Psychologists.

Psychological Associates

Psychological Associates are trained at the master's level. They typically have 2 years of university training in psychology beyond the bachelor's degree. They are also required to have fulfilled all of the additional requirements mandated by the College of Psychologists, including four or more years of relevant, post-masters degree, full-time work experience, at least two of which must have been completed under the supervision of a regulated member of the profession. They must then complete an additional 1500 hours of supervised practice, in an area (or areas) of psychology directly relevant to their intendended area(s) of psychological practice, plus pass two written examinations and one oral examination.

The letters "C. Psych. Assoc." following a person's name stand for "Certificate of Registration as a Psychological Associate" and indicate that they are Psychological Associate members of the College of Psychologists.

The College of Psychologists of Ontario recognizes 8 practice areas. Members who declare competence in the area of School Psychology must demonstrate knowledge and skill in a wide variety of areas relevant to practice with school-aged children.

Non-Regulated Service Providers

School boards often employ a variety of non-regulated service providers to administer and score psychological tests. These individuals are most often referred to asPsychometrists, and usually hold a Master's degree in education, psychology or a related field.

Other titles include Psychoeducational Consultants, Clinical Consultants, Teacher Diagnosticians and Teacher Testers. If these individuals provide assessment services under the professional supervision of a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, the services may be legally referred to as Psychological Services.

However, all written reports prepared by such individuals must be counter-signed by a member of the College of Psychologists, and parents have the legal right to meet with the psychologist or psychological associate providing the supervision.

To ensure that all psychological services are performed to the highest standards, all members must observe the Guidelines for Supervision of Non Registered Personnelpublished by the College of Psychologists.