To assist the College of Alberta Psychologists in fulfilling its mandate as authorized by the Health Professions Act (HPA), the College has established several adjudicative and advisory committees that consist primarily of College members to advise the Council and aid it in performing its duties. Adjudicative and advisory committees are clearly separated, in keeping with the principles of administrative fairness.
More than 100 volunteers contribute hundreds of invaluable hours to the College, supporting efficient and effective self-regulation including:
- Council members who carry out vital functions of the College
- standing and legislated committees, task forces and ad hoc committees formed to address specific, time-sensitive issues
- members who offer their professional expertise to the College
The committees and their functions are outlined below:
Adjudicative Committees of the College
Credentials Evaluation Sub-Committee (CESC).
As established in legislation and regulation, the CESC reviews applications for the evaluation of academic credentials from accredited institutions. The CESC determines whether the applicant meets core and substantive content areas and possesses the required number of credits as established in legislation and regulation. Foreign applicants are required to provide an assessment of their academic credentials from International Qualifications Assessment Services (IQAS) to assist the CESC in its evaluation. The CESC also reviews and approves doctoral credentials.
The CESC meets once per year as a full committee, and in smaller panels generally six times per year. Committee members are asked to attend the full committee meeting and three out of six panel meetings per year. Meetings are generally scheduled to last four hours. However, their length may vary depending on the number of files reviewed. As required by the HPA, the CESC provides its decision results in writing.
Oral Examinations Committee. The Oral Examinations Committee is responsible for conducting oral examinations of applicants for registration as psychologists, to assess whether the applicant demonstrates a minimum standard of knowledge and judgment in matters of jurisprudence and ethics.
Oral examinations are scheduled to last approximately 90 minutes. Panels of three examiners conduct the exams, using standardized interview questions. The examinations are held four times per year, over the course of two to three weeks, generally in January, April, June and October. As required by the HPA, the Oral Examinations Committee provides its decision results in writing.
Registration Approvals Sub-Committee (RASC). The RASC reviews applicant files through all stages of the registration process. This includes review and approval of supervision plans, waiver requests, final evaluations of supervised practice, references and registration verification. The RASC adjudicates whether an applicant is ready to be issued a permit to practice as a registered provisional psychologist, a registered psychologist or a courtesy registrant. The RASC also reviews practice permit renewals at the request of the Registrar.
The RASC meets annually in April as a full committee and in smaller panels generally eight times per year. Committee members are asked to attend the full committee meeting and a minimum of two panel meetings per year. As required by the HPA, the RASC provides its decision results in writing.
Substantial Equivalency Sub-Committee (SESC). Applicants who do not meet the College’s registration requirements may, in some circumstances, apply for a substantial equivalency review in accordance with the HPA. Substantial equivalency is the process of determining whether a combination of education, experience and practice, or other qualifications demonstrate the competence required for registration as a regulated member.
Sub-committee members, appointed from the Registration Committee by the Registrar, sit in panels of three or more to consider substantial equivalency review requests, as needed. As required by the HPA, the SESC provides its decision results in writing.
Hearing Tribunal/Complaint Review Committee (HT/CRC). Under the HPA, the College Council appoints members to a membership list to be used for appointing members to both Hearing Tribunal and Complaint Review Committee panels.
HT panels conduct hearings into allegations of unprofessional conduct made against psychologists. CRC panels conduct reviews of the Complaints Director’s dismissals of complaints. Panels, comprising of two members from the membership list and one public member, appointed by Alberta Health, are arranged as required.
The time commitment required of HT and CRC panel members varies depending on the circumstances of the particular case. Hearings are conducted in person and may range from one to five days. Complaint dismissal reviews are often complex and may take a similar amount of time. The panel may choose to meet in person or via teleconference. Additional time may be required for teleconferences and the writing of decisions. Committee members may be asked to sit on one to three panels per year, based on need and availability.
Advisory Committees of the College
Practice Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC is a non-adjudicative standing committee that acts in an advisory capacity to the College Council. The mandate of the PAC is to advise Council on matters of psychological practice and continuing competence. The committee meets approximately three times per year or on an as-needed basis. The PAC occasionally forms ad hoc committees to address specific issues. Some of the activities undertaken by the PAC in the past have included:
- undertaking a comprehensive review of the Standards of Practice
- reviewing practice guidelines and alerts
- issuing practice alerts for members
Registration Advisory Committee (RAC). The RAC is a non-adjudicative standing committee that acts in an advisory capacity to the College Council. The mandate of the RAC is to review all aspects of the registration process and make recommendations to Council. The committee meets approximately three times per year or on an as-needed basis. The RAC occasionally forms ad hoc committees to address specific issues. Some of the activities undertaken by the RAC in the past have included:
- reviewing and amending various registration policies
- establishing an ad hoc committee to develop a framework for ensuring competent supervision for provisional psychologists
- establishing an ad hoc committee to develop guidelines for assessing substantial equivalencies