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COVID-19 UPDATES AND INFORMATION

The College of Alberta Psychologists is actively reviewing the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates as they are available.

The Government of Alberta has current information for Albertans and provides daily updates: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx.

“Psychologists should not be reluctant to provide care, if it is essential and/or urgent as defined by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer. In any situation, psychologists must simply demonstrate they complied with CAP’s Standards of Practice (2019) and took all reasonable steps to protect their client(s). This would include the steps outlined by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer.”

Psychological Services by Out of Province Practitioners to Clients Temporarily Located to Alberta

Frequently Asked Questions

Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic

Personal Protective Equipment

Until June 30, 2020, you can purchase PPE through the Government of Alberta by clicking here. After June 30, 2020, psychologists must seek their own supply. Please click here to find suppliers identified by the Government of Alberta. Psychologists must observe proper procedures for donning and doffing PPE as per Alberta Health Services.

Recent Communications from CAP

This notification about COVID-19 is being sent to you to ensure that regulated members have up to date information regarding the COVID-19 situation. This information was provided by Alberta Health and the American Psychological Association. Their goal is to ensure health care professionals are well informed and equipped to navigate through the changing COVID-19 environment. Please click on the buttons below to access the information provided by Alberta Health and the American Psychological Association.

COVID-19 Update from Alberta Health

COVID-19 American Psychological Association Fact Sheet

The number of novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) cases is increasing and it is anticipated that this will continue for the foreseeable future.  The College appreciates that decisions regarding client care are the responsibility of the regulated member and should be left to their professional judgement based on current scientific information provided by experts.
Members may obtain update information from official websites including:

In addition to the above, members are encouraged to consider the following measures at this time:

  • Screening clients over the phone before scheduling or confirming appointments for any symptoms and travel history that may be related to COVID-19;
  • Asking clients with fever, cough or difficulty breathing to make appropriate alternate arrangements for appointments, including distance appointments or rescheduling appointments for a later date;
  • Posting signs in reception area identifying concerning symptoms and asking clients to identify themselves if they are experiencing any of them;
  • Relaxing appointment rescheduling and cancellation policies until such time that risk has passed, e.g. by waiving cancellation fees;
  • Making tissues, a garbage can, and hand sanitizer (or a hand washing station) available in your setting;
  • Ensuring high-touch surfaces (such as doorknobs, light switches, phones and sink faucets) are cleaned with a disinfectant regularly, or even between client appointments;
  • Engaging in proper hand washing technique between sessions with clients; and
  • Seeking medical care early if you yourself are experiencing symptoms and providing your health provider with information about any recent travel.

During this time members may wish to consider whether there are telepsychology options which may be more appropriate for you and your clients. The College cannot recommend or endorse any particular tele/videoconferencing service. Members should ensure that, to protect the transmission of personal health information, the chosen service provides end to end security and complies with Alberta privacy legislation requirements.

The following resources are available to guide you when considering telepsychology services:

The College of Alberta Psychologists office will remain open at this time to ensure public and member access continues to be available. The College is implementing specific measures to protect office staff and volunteers. 

Members are encouraged to use the online fee payment system as a safety measure to CAP staff.  We respectfully request that only essential in-person office visits occur.  Please consult the above resources prior to contacting CAP whenever possible.

Thank you for your cooperation and we wish the best for you, your family, and staff as we work through these trying circumstances together.

Further to the email CAP sent this morning from ASPPB regarding Pearson VUE examination centers, we note that Pearson VUE has updated the information on their website. They are suspending test delivery in all USA and Canada-based Pearson VUE-owned test centers for 30 days until April 16, 2020.  Please click on the following link for all up-to-date information from Pearson VUE:

https://home.pearsonvue.com/coronavirus-update

CAP thanks you for your cooperation and we wish the best for you, your family, and staff as we work through these trying circumstances together.

A Message from the President and Registrar/CEO of CAP

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

INTRODUCTION

The College Council and Staff encourage you to purposefully practice good self and professional care if you continue to provide psychological services during this stressful time. Please consult with other psychologists, and with the College if required, on practice issues as they arise. Please read and follow official health and psychology websites as information is changing rapidly. It is a professional obligation to follow Alberta Health guidelines regarding travel and exposure conditions related to the COVID-19 virus. We Sincerely wish that you, your family, and colleagues remain well through this time of concern over health. Please find below, important information to assist you in protecting the public and your practice.

Dr. Kerry Mothersill, R. Psych. CAP President
Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych. CAP Registrar and CEO

Information on Protecting your Clients and Practice Including Telepsychology

Information on Practice Permit Renewal Fees

Information for Provisionals and Supervisors

CAP Office Closure Notification 


INFORMATION ON PROTECTING YOUR CLIENTS AND PRACTICE, INCLUDING TELEPSYCHOLOGY

CAP's Perspective

CAP understands that the COVID-19 Pandemic is causing psychologists to question whether or not they should continue to provide psychological services to clients and wondering how their practice may be impacted. We expect psychologists to exercise good professional judgment and to act in the best interest of their clients. We are also concerned about the health and well-being of all our members.

CAP's Advice

To limit the viral spread of the COVID-19, CAP recommends:

Canadian Psychological Association's Advice

https://cpa.ca/corona-virus/

Telepsychology

Members may consider providing telephone, telepsychology, or video-conferencing services to clients.  CAP has a guideline on telepsychology services which can be accessed on the CAP website: https://www.cap.ab.ca/Portals/0/pdfs/Practice%20Guideline-%20Telepsychology%20Services.pdf?ver=2019-12-03-110441-087&timestamp=1575396294218

It is important that prior to engaging in any form of telepsychology or video-conferencing services that you engage in an active informed consent process with your clients in accordance with CAP's Standards of Practice (2013) which can be accessed on the CAP webiste: https://www.cap.ab.ca/Portals/0/Standards-of-Practice-October-1-2019-revised-11-14-2019.pdf

The American Psychological Association also has some great resources on preparing your practice and exploring telepsychology options:

While CAP does not endorse specific virtual platforms, we recommend using a private web conference network such as, but not limited to,

  • Skype Enterprise
  • WebEx
  • Adobe Connect
  • Zoom Regulated Platform
  • Doxy.me
  • Regular, encrypted email

Experts say closed or private networks offer better protection. Client must be informed of the risks inherent with any use of technology and consent to their use in an informed manner.

INFORMATION ON PRACTICE PERMIT RENEWAL FEES

CAP has received a number of inquiries regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic affects the Practice Permit renewal and annual fees. Please be advised that practice permit renewal and annual fees remain due on March 31, 2020. If you have already submitted your renewal forms by email, fax. or mail, they will be processed when the office reopens (see end of email for office closure notification). If a regulated member cannot pay their fees depending on circumstances beyond their control, including COVID-19, a grace period of three month is now being granted until July 2, 2020. To continue to practice within the three month grace period, please understand that you are declaring the following:

Criminal and civil actions:

You are not under criminal or civil investigation/actions.
You are not been charged with a criminal offence or subject to civil litigation.
You are not been convicted of a criminal offence or subject to a civil judgment.

Professional standing:

I am not under any proceedings by any regulatory body, professional association, or equivalent, external to the College of Alberta Psychologists.
I have not been convicted of a regulatory offence external to the College of Alberta Psychologists.

Fitness to practice:

I do not have a mental, cognitive, emotional or physiological condition that may affect my ability to competently and/or safely practice psychology.
I do not have a substance or chemical use or dependence condition that may affect my ability to competently and/or safely practice psychology.

Training:

I undertake to complete the mandatory Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Education for Healthcare Professionals online training offered by the Alberta Federation of Regulated Health Professions (http://afrhp.org/bill21-protecting-patients/) by February 1, 2021.

Professional liability insurance:

I have and/or my employer holds and will maintain professional liability insurance in an amount of a minimum of $1,000,000.00.

We strongly encourage those who can pay to utilize the online portal as it will provide you with an immediate notification. practice permit, and receipt. This will also allow College staff to focus on more urgent tasks such as responding to inquiries from the public and members.

YOU CAN ACCESS YOUR ACCOUNT AND PAY ONLINE THROUGH THE MEMBER PORTAL BY COMPLETING THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
  1. Navigate to https://www.cap.ab.ca/Home/Member-Login 
  2. Click the Reset Password button before you enter any other information
  3. Enter your registration number is the Username field (include the ‘p’ if you are provisional) and click the Send Reset Link button
  4. Open the email that will be sent to your primary email account on file with CAP and click the Link to reset password link
  5. On the reset password page, enter a password that includes all the following criteria: (This ensures your personal information is protected)
    • at least 8 characters
    • at least one uppercase letter
    • at least one lowercase letter
    • at least one number
    • at least one special character: $ @ ! % # * ?  (do not use a dash -  as this is not accepted by the portal security system)
  6. Click the Change Password button

When you have successfully entered your password, you will automatically be redirected to the Member Portal page.

After signing in to the Member Portal, you can now renew your practice permit by clicking the “Renew Practice Permit” link on the left in the “I Want To” box.
If you are not renewing online, please find the 2020-2021 renewal package below.

OTHER WAYS TO PAY OTHER THAN THE PREFERRED ONLINE METHOD:
  • Mail the completed Practice Permit Renewal and Declaration to CAP with a cheque or provide credit card information
  • Scan and email the completed Practice Permit Renewal and Declaration to psych@cap.ab.ca and clearly indicate the sender and content in the subject line
  • Fax to 780-420-1241

All mailed, emailed, and faxed Practice Permit Renewal and Declaration will be acknowledged by a CAP staff member.

Please download and save all forms before filling them in on your computer:

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONALS AND SUPERVISORS

Due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonals are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video- conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisionals and supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. Onsite supervision is not required at this time.

With respect to the EPPP, please continue to monitor the Pearson VUE website. They are suspending test delivery in all USA and Canada-based Pearson VUE-owned test centers for 30 days until April 16, 2020.  Please click on the following link for all up-to-date information from Pearson VUE:

https://home.pearsonvue.com/coronavirus-update 

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, you should contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org

CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

Please note that the CAP office will be closed for a two week period starting March 23, 2020. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 6, 2020. Please note that, while staff will make their best efforts to respond to inquiries, there may be a significant delay in responses during the office closure.

CAP thanks you for your cooperation and we wish the best for you, your family, and staff as we work through these trying circumstances together.

INTRODUCTION

I am writing to provide you with the most recent update received from the Alberta Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw today.  I would also like to provide you access to additional links not included in our Friday March 20, 2020 email.  Finally, I would like to reiterate some sage advice from others as we make our way through these unprecedented times ahead.

BACKGROUND

First and foremost, many of you have contacted CAP regarding advice with respect to practice closures.  As of my meeting at noon today, Dr. Deena Hinshaw stated that, as of this point in time, there is no Alberta government prohibition for the continued provision of in-person psychological services that conform Alberta Health’s recommended restrictions (https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspxhttps://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-alberta-data.aspx) that include not providing face to face services to individuals who have travelled within 14 days, who are symptomatic, and when the recommended social distance cannot be maintained.  All other provisions in CAP'S March 20, 2020 email are also critically important such as pre-screening clients’ health conditions and frequent sanitization of common surfaces.  Once again, please see the provincial, federal, and world health links for real-time, evidence-based information and practices (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health.htmlhttps://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease- covid-19.html; https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/11/21173449/microsoft-google-zoom-slack-increased-demand-free-work-from-home-software)

Dr. Hinshaw did, however, recommend that psychologists should prepare now to transition their practice to a virtual platform should an order be given under the Public Health Act to close all but emergency health services.  In addition, to the telehealth/psychology information previously provided, many virtual platforms are temporarily being offered by their provider free of charge (https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/11/21173449/microsoft-google-zoom-slack-increased-demand-free-work-from-home-software)

These platforms do require scrutinization to determine which one is best for both you and your clients particularly in the area of privacy security. 

Both the federal and provincial governments are releasing relief information for businesses on a regular basis (https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for- canadians-and-businesses.html#Income_Support_for).  This is also true for a number of financial institutions.  We recommend that members in private practice regularly check official internet sites and media sources to determine if any may be applicable.  Several of you have expressed appreciation to CAP for extending the practice permit fee deadline.  CAP is actively looking at other ways we can support members who are in need financially and otherwise.

Many of you are already have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to offer expert advice in the area of resiliency.  Others of you will be seeking out resources for existing and future clients related to coping with COVID-19 now and in the months to come.  Dr. McIntosh, Chief Neuroscientist with Telus Solutions has offered six well known strategies that promote wellness in times like we are facing today
(https://media.telus.com/ corpcomm/ref/thps/20200319_ Diane_McIntosh_Going_the_ social_distance.html).

IN CLOSING

As far as myself, I am maintaining a routine working in the office with a minimum number of essential staff that have graciously offered to come to work while we are technically closed.  Others are working remotely, and we are all preparing to do this if required. 

Follow the guidance of our health officials and politicians who are encouraging all of us to stay home and do our part to stop the spread of the COVID-19.  Stay safe and well. 

REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

Please note that the CAP office will be closed for a two week period starting March 23, 2020. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 6, 2020. Please note that, while staff will make their best efforts to respond to inquiries, there may be a significant delay in responses during the office closure.

CAP thanks you for your cooperation and we wish the best for you, your family, and staff as we work through these trying circumstances together.

Important Message from the Registrar/CEO of CAP Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Introduction

This is the fifth email to all CAP members since March 6, 2020 and the fourth since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The purpose of this email is to ensure all members have access to timely, relevant, and important COVID-19 information that may impact the well-being of the public and members. CAP's core mandate is to protect the public but this can only be done with a healthy and vibrant psychology profession.

This message is also to advise members of efforts taken by CAP Council and staff in recognition of this unprecedented health crisis. We want you to know that we are working diligently with health officials and regulatory bodies across North America to ensure that psychological services continue to be provided in a safe and effective manner. We also recognize that the pandemic is creating significant health, wellness, and economic challenges that may continue for some time. As a result, preparations are being taken by CAP for the future delivery of regulated health services in Alberta.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff, please feel free to contact the office if you require additional information beyond what has been provided. We wish you health and wellness during these challenging times.
 
CAP Website
http://www.cap.ab.ca

CAP will soon have a dedicated COVID-19 link on our website. The four prior emails from CAP to members, including links to key public and telehealth sites, will be displayed here. Further emails relevant to provisionally registered members regarding PearsonVUE testing centres sent on March 17, 2020 will also be posted. Members are encouraged to consult the COVID-19 link which will be up as soon as our technical provider can assign resources which are currently in high demand. We are hopeful this link will be up on our website within the next two weeks.

What follows is an outline of additional information that will also be provided on the CAP website. You can click on the blue buttons below to access this information:

COVID-19 Related Regulatory Enhancements

CAP has been working diligently with other Colleges across Canada to overcome Telehealth jurisdictional regulatory barriers. The majority of Colleges have agreed to allow psychologists to continue to provide psychological services to existing clients who have re-located to our provinces because of COVID-19 such as students returning home. Most provinces are adhering to the temporary agreement that will be posted on the CAP website.

An additional regulatory enhancement is the waiving of reinstatement (back) fees for recently retired members who are wanting to return to practice on a temporary basis to help address COVID-19 mental health needs. These members need only to pay current practice permit fees. Many members have expressed appreciation for Council’s 90-day practice permit fee deferral initiative. Those members who can pay are encouraged to do so in support of their colleagues who may be less fortunate during this time of crisis.
 Council is also taking active steps to approve revisions to CAP's Bylaws to allow for the Registrar to approve registration of new applicants in the event that face-to-face Credentials Evaluation Sub-Committee (CESC) and Registration Approvals Sub-Committee (RASC) meetings are delayed further because of the pandemic. These enhancements are also designed to support CAP's University Program Approvals Committee (UPAC) work to streamline the registration process for Alberta applicants.

Working Together

CAP Council and staff would also like to express gratitude to Dr. Judi Malone and the PAA staff. We know they have been working hard both at the provincial and national levels since the pandemic was declared. There has been much active collaboration between our organizations to ensure consistent messaging is delivered to our shared membership.

Your Feedback

CAP has received multiple emails and telephone calls expressing gratitude to Council and staff who have been working behind the scenes with government officials and other regulatory bodies within Alberta and across North America to address COVID-19 related issues. CAP has also received feedback from some members who believe CAP should be more directive and supportive. Regardless of the views expressed, it is important to let you know that CAP values hearing from all members including suggestions of what more CAP can do to support members and the ongoing provision of psychological services in Alberta. If you would like to provide feedback, you may do so by replying to this email.

REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

Please note that the CAP office will be closed for a two week period starting March 23, 2020. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 6, 2020. Please note that, while staff will make their best efforts to respond to inquiries, there may be a significant delay in responses during the office closure.

CAP thanks you for your cooperation and we wish the best for you, your family, and staff as we work through these trying circumstances together.

Important Message from the Registrar/CEO of CAP Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

DELIVERY OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES DURING STATE OF PUBLIC EMERGENCY

On March 27, 2020, the Government of Alberta (GOA) updated their website (https://www.alberta.ca/essential-services.aspx) to indicate that businesses and services on the “essential services list” can continue to provide services at locations accessible to the public, as long as they have proper risk mitigation measures in place. The list of essential services includes “mental health and addictions counselling and support”, which would include services provided by most psychologists.

While it appears that psychologists would be included as an essential service, on March 27, 2020, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, pursuant to her authority under s. 29(2.1) of the Public Health Act, issued CMOH Order 07-2020 (https://open.alberta.ca/publications/cmoh-order-07-2020-2020-covid-19-response), which provides that:

  1. Any place or business offering or providing “non-essential health services” is no longer permitted to provide services to the public at a location that is accessible to the public;
  2. Health professionals can still provide “non-essential health services” if they are deemed to be urgent.

In her Order, Dr. Hinshaw defined “essential services” and “non-essential services” as follows:

“Non-essential health service” includes any service that is generally done to promote or maintain health of an individual and where an interruption in the provision of services will not result in an individual’s life, health or safety being immediately endangered;

“Essential service” is a service considered critical to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.

While the information on the GOA's website suggests that psychologists are presumptively deemed to provide “essential services”, and can therefore continue to provide services directly to the public, Dr. Hinshaw’s order suggests that whether or not a psychologist is providing an essential service is contextual, and depends on whether the service is “critical to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.”

Although many services offered by psychologists will meet the definition of “essential services” set out in CMOH Order 07-2020, it is not clear whether all services provided by psychologists are intended to constitute an “essential service” (as suggested on the GOA's website) or whether psychologists must assess whether they are providing essential services on a case by case basis. Given this uncertainty, CAP will be following up with Government in an attempt to obtain clarity. We will provide a further update as soon as we can.

ADVICE TO THE PROFESSION

While there is legal uncertainty regarding the circumstances in which psychologists can continue to provide professional services directly to the public, pending further clarification, CAP recommends the following:

  • Wherever possible psychological services should be terminated, delayed or transitioned as quickly as possible to virtual platforms in manner consistent with CAP Standards of Practice (2019) and Professional Practice Guidelines until further notice.
  • Psychologists should restrict face-to-face in person office visits to individuals who require services on an urgent basis where disruption of face-to-face services would immediately endanger the client’s life health or safety or that of others and the service could not be reasonably provided by a virtual or electronic platform.
  • Psychologists who are providing essential services face-to-face must provide them in a manner consistent with Government of Canada COVID-19 community based measures to mitigate the spread (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/public-health-measures-mitigate-covid-19.html) including all other aspects of their operations such as staffing, pre-screening of clients for recent travel and symptoms prior to appointment arrival, social distancing, and sanitization in waiting rooms, etc.
  • Psychologists should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, precautions and orders cited by Alberta Health (https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx) as well as the enforcement sanctions for noncompliance.
  • Psychologists should follow recommended social isolation and related practices that underline respect for others, responsible caring, integrity in relationships and a duty to society at large.
  • Psychologists should engage in self-care as professional challenges and demands are likely to continue post-pandemic.
  • Psychologists should explore federal and provincial support programs designed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to off-set adverse unintended consequences to supervisees and staff.
  • The COVID-19 virus is serious. It is the time to act. By protecting your patients/clients you are protecting others and yourself. We must each do our part as we are all in this fight together.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
CLOSING REMARKS

On behalf of CAP Council and staff I would like to recognize the work of all regulated psychologists during this unique time of professional and economic uncertainty. CAP is working both behind closed office doors and remotely in an effort to provide you with the most available time-sensitive information. I am very grateful to have excellent and dedicated CAP staff.

Often, we would prefer to provide you with greater clarity and answer all of your questions in a direct and speedy fashion. However, the regulatory environment like the pandemic is changing in real time and we are providing you with the best available information. All of our inboxes are overwhelmed with those seeking answers to their questions. We will attempt to answer your inquiries in due course. We continue to appreciate all of the positive feedback received to date and we are striving to meet the expectations of all those who have reached out.

REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

Please note that the CAP office will be closed for a two week period starting March 23, 2020. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 6, 2020. While staff will make their best efforts to respond to inquiries, there may be a significant delay in responses during the office closure as the majority of staff are working remotely.

CAP thanks you for your cooperation and we wish the best for you, your family, and staff as we work through these trying circumstances together.

Important Message from the Registrar/CEO of CAP Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

INTRODUCTION

This is a brief CAP update to all members. As many of you are aware, COVID-19 information is changing in real time. Current estimates on both epidemiological and trajectory rates are highly fluid. Suffice to say, COVID-19 is a real, widespread,  serious, and potentially  dangerous illness.

PROFESSIONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)

CAP was asked to identify and ensure that all regulated members working outside of Alberta Health auspices but in similar environments have access to any needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE includes such things as masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, and/or face shields. Members who need such equipment to perform their regulated health care duties must send a request outlining detailed reasons by replying to this email  no later than April 13, 2020. CAP will tabulate both the need and identified member. This information will then be provided to Alberta Health and we will endeavour to work with them to get the PPE to you. Please be mindful that the current demand for these supplies for frontline workers is high and we have an ethical obligation to our health care colleagues who have a clear need.

CLARIFICATION REGARDING LIMITATIONS RELATED TO ESSENTIAL SERVICES

CAP has received multiple inquiries asking for clarification on the nature of essential services beyond the direction provided in the Public Health Order 07-2020 issued by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, (https://open.alberta.ca/publications/cmoh-order-07- 2020-2020-covid-19-response) and subsequently the additional direction by Alberta Health to only provide face-to-face  services that are essential, critical and urgent that cannot be transitioned to virtual platforms. These directives have been particularly challenging for members/clients who are not comfortable with or do not have access to digital technology and for psychologists who have formal assessment practices.

While CAP is of the belief that psychological, like physical health services, are essential, we are asking members to read the Public Health Order, follow it to the best of their ability, and be mindful of the role we all have in being vigilant to stop the spread of COVID-19. CAP cannot realistically and proactively adjudicate the circumstances of each member without all of the facts. We are asking regulated members to follow all risk mitigation strategies identified by the Federal (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals.html) and Provincial Guides (https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx). Regulated members should also follow the  Chief Medical Officers' guidance on face-to-face services to determine if their services are to be deemed essential, or nonessential but urgent, and whether these services can or cannot be reasonably delivered virtually. CAP understands that this will require some degree of professional judgment. The above links have the most up to date information.

ACTION TAKEN TO SEEK GREATER CLARITY

CAP has retained the services of Field Law LLP to gain clarity on the issue of essential services. Alberta Health has received correspondence from Field Law LLP explaining the difficulties of caveats to the essential services designation beyond our professional activities as a whole. Alberta Health has acknowledged receipt of the correspondence and indicated that they will respond. Once a response has been received, members will be notified.

ACTION TAKEN TO HIGHLIGHT THE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF ALBERTANS AND FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF MANY PSYCHOLOGISTS

The CAP Registrar and President have written the Alberta Minister of Health outlining research regarding the need for accessible psychological services both during and post pandemic/economic crises. The financial plight of many private psychologists because of the pandemic was highlighted. The need for publicly funded mental health services for all Albertans was reiterated. Ontario’s recent injection of 12.6 million  to expand online mental health services, 2.6 million to hire new psychologists to help first responders was also brought to Alberta Health’s attention. You can click on the blue button below to read CAP's letter to the Alberta Minister of Health.

CAP's Letter to the Minister

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video- conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

With respect to the EPPP, please continue to monitor the Pearson VUE website. They are suspending test delivery in all USA and Canada-based Pearson VUE-owned test centers for 30 days until April 16, 2020. Please click on the following link for all up-to-date information from Pearson VUE:

https://home.pearsonvue.com/coronavirus-update

ASPPB has provided the following link to some FAQ's regarding the rescheduling process: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.asppb.net/resource/resmgr/covid19/pearson_covid-19_update.pdf

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org

STATUS OF CAP OPERATIONS

CAP is doing its part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Select CAP staff are working remotely. Others are on a rotating office/remote work schedule. CAP is pivoting to technological enhancements to keep the important work of CAP going.
 
CAP would like to thank all members who paid their practice permit fees by the traditional deadline. This allowed members in need to benefit from the three-month deferral option. This deferral option was provided to all members via email on March 20, 2020. Notification of this option will also be posted on the member portal side of the CAP website.

Slightly under ten percent of the membership selected to take advantage of the deferral option because of their circumstances.  As a result, CAP can continue to meet our legislated obligations and function as a self-regulated profession.

COMMUNICATION AND RESOURCES

CAP'S dedicated COVID-19 webpage is anticipated to be active as of April 6, 2020. CAP is finalizing the technological means to hold a virtual open meeting to answer members questions. We are anticipating that this will be held the week of April 6, 2020. Once a date and time has been identified, members will be notified. Please ensure that CAP has your current email address. You can update your email address through the member portal of the CAP website (https://www.cap.ab.ca/home/member-login?returnurl=%2f). Just as important, is regularly checking your email inbox. Approximately 31% of the membership did not open the CAP update sent March 31, 2020.

Please find below several links to additional resources.  On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

Please note that the CAP office will be closed for a two-week period starting March 23, 2020. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 6, 2020. While staff will make their best efforts to respond to inquiries, there may be a significant delay in responses during the office closure as the majority of staff are working remotely.

CAP thanks you for your cooperation and we wish the best for you, your family, and staff as we work through these trying circumstances together.

In an effort to be proactive, CAP and PAA provided a joint presentation on to all regulated members on the most commonly asked questions regarding psychological practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the video presentation here.

Update from the Registrar/CEO of CAP Protecting the Public and Regulated Members  during the COVID-19 Pandemic

INTRODUCTION

Recent research from the Kaiser Family Foundation clearly indicates that the potentially serious effects of COVID-19 pandemic are not restricted to physical health. In a mid-March poll, 32% of those polled said that worry and stress about Coronavirus had a negative impact on their mental health. Two weeks later in late March, this number had risen to 45%. According to this survey rates are higher for both women and parents. These results are consistent with the adverse effects of social isolation recently reported in the Lancet. The role of the economy for many is certain to be a key additional variable.

Epidemiological evidence recently presented by Alberta Health suggests that rates of infection will not peak until mid-May 2020. This current projection suggests that recommended risk mitigation strategies will, in some form, continue for the foreseeable future. As recently noted by the Prime Minister we will not be completely protected until a vaccine has been successfully developed. This suggests that we must all adapt to what has been referred to as the new normal for many more months.

Public access to qualified regulated psychological services has never been more important. This is also true for telehealth services. There has been consistent support for the effectiveness of telehealth services in the scientific literature. Numerous Alberta psychologists have successfully pivoted to telehealth services to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Many have voiced that this has provided an increased level of both safety and flexibility for their clients. Others are finding the transition more challenging particularly those who have assessment practices. The American Psychological Association (APA) has provided ethical guidance for psychologists during this time. Please click here to read the APA guidance .

Informal verbal responses to our recent communications with Alberta Health have been received. A request for information on both the telehealth availability and technological needs of members has been solicited. Click here to complete the anonymous survey.  The results will be tabulated and provided to Alberta Health officials.

CAP’s COVID-19 dedicated webpage is now operational. All of the previous communications, resources, and links are now posted. If you were unable to attend the CAP-PAA joint presentation on April 16, 2020, you can access the recording of this presentation on CAP’s COVID-19 webpage. You can access CAP’s COVID-19 webpage by clicking here.

As noted previously, CAP is continuing to communicate with members on a weekly basis. Both practice advice and COVID-19 risk mitigation guidance, as voiced by Alberta Health, is being relayed. CAP is in daily communication with our Colleagues across Alberta, Canada and the United States. The general sentiment is that we are all in this together. Flexibility and reasonableness while maintaining public confidence in the integrity of the profession within existing regulatory requirements is our goal.

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video- conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

CAP received communication from ASPPB regarding updates on the EPPP. They stated the following:

On March 17th, 2020 Pearson VUE announced that they were closing all testing centers in the US and Canada until April 16th, 2020. Any EPPP exams scheduled during that time were cancelled, and refunds were given to the candidates. Many of those candidates rescheduled their exams for later in April.

On April 7th, 2020 Pearson VUE announced that they were extending the closure until April 30th. For EPPP’s scheduled between April 16th and April 30th, several things happened:

  1. Some exams were moved to a virtual holding date 30 days out. So an exam scheduled for April 20th is now tentatively held on May 20th. Candidates need to login, or call, and choose a new date and location that is convenient for them. There are NO FEES associated with these changes.
  2. Some exams were cancelled, and refunds processed. These candidates can login, or call; then pay for and schedule a new exam.
  3. ALL candidates should have received an email from Pearson VUE letting them know the status of their exam.

As you can imagine, we are dealing with hundreds of candidates who are suddenly unsure of the status of the exam and their applications for licensure. We are working to get an FAQ page updated on our website to help with the phone calls and emails. As we are working through the messages, we ask for their continued patience. It is possible that the Pearson VUE closure will need to be extended again, but for now we are working with the April 30th date.

For information about COVID-19 and all issues related to licensure: https://www.asppb.net/page/covid19.

You can check the Pearson Vue website for ongoing updates:
https://home.pearsonvue.com/ coronavirus-update

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Webwww.asppb.org

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR ALL CAP MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to further resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times.  On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

TELEPSYCHOLOGY

SELF-CARE

BUSINESS MATTERS and RELIEF RESOURCES

ARTICLES OF INTEREST 

REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

In keeping with the above and doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 CAP's office doors are closed to the public and members. A number of internal operational enhancements are being undertaken as we also pivot to meet this unprecedented time.  We are continuing to carry out our full mandate behind closed doors with a skeleton staff while all remaining employees are working on a rotational basis or remotely.  This is for the health and safety of all.  As a result, there may slight delays in communication. On behalf of CAP Council and staff, please stay safe and well.

A Message from the President and Registrar/CEO of CAP

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 24, 2020

INTRODUCTION

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Dr. Deena Hinshaw, in her most recent public statement indicated that the COVID-19 rules will stand for “months to come.” She noted that while it has only been just over one month the first recorded case of COVID-19 in Alberta was identified, many are thinking it is time to return to normal practices. Dr. Hinshaw indicated that while there have been successes in controlling the virus “we will need to keep following the core elements of the public health measures for many months to come.” Please click here for up-to-date Alberta Health information.

Early results of the environmental scan survey distributed by CAP on April 17, 2020 suggests that the majority of Alberta psychologists have been able to successfully transition to virtual platforms. Please click here to access the anonymous survey if you have not yet completed it. This information will assist CAP in understanding and communicating how psychologists have been impacted by the pandemic. The survey will be available until May 1, 2020.

COMMUNICATIONS

CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members. Please click here to see the current common issues psychologists are facing during the pandemic.

CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational. This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been developed and will be added to the webpage. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership. Best available health science-based websites for COVID-19 information are also identified in this FAQ document. You can access the FAQs by clicking on the blue button displayed below.

CAP, along with the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (PAA) held a province wide COVID-19 Town Hall Meeting on April 16, 2020. A number of questions from members were addressed. A recording of this event may be found by clicking here. To date there have been 1,262 views. Based on member feedback, similar opportunities to communicate with both CAP and PAA will likely be held in the future on topics of current interest.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Essential Services Update
CAP received a response via Field Law LLP to our request for clarification of Public Health Order 07-2020. It was reiterated by Alberta Health that psychological services are an essential service. Psychologists are not restricted to providing urgent, critical, or emergency care. They have recognized that in-person psychological sessions and assessment are sometimes required. However, both Alberta Health and CAP expect members to provide services virtually whenever possible to limit the spread of COVID-19. Members who do see individuals face-to-face must comply with recommended public health risk mitigation strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The guidance of Dr. Hinshaw was heeded at the April 18, 2020 CAP Council meeting through the revision of existing CAP Bylaws to ensure that ongoing registration processes are able to successfully continue without delay. All registration committees continue to operate, however, their workload and timelines are being adjusted in light of the pandemic. All face-to-face CAP committee meetings have been cancelled until June 30, 2020. A number of internal administrative enhancements are being undertaken so that we can continue to focus on our strategic objectives.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
For those of you that submitted requests for PPE to CAP, they have been provided to Alberta Health along with your name and contact information. Alberta Health will contact you directly regarding your request.

If you need to make a request for PPE, please click here to submit your request directly to Alberta Health. This is the most effective and efficient way to make your request. This is especially true during the CAP office closure and re-distribution of resources.

GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS

CAP continues to communicate with the Government of Alberta on the public’s need for accessible and publicly funded psychological services. We have also raised the significant impact the pandemic has had on many private practice psychologists. Please click on the blue button below to read the President and Registrar’s letter to Premier Jason Kenney.

Financial Support for Private Practice
CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff please stay safe and well.

Dr. Kerry Mothersill, R.Psych
President CAP Council

Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R.Psych
CAP Registrar and CEO

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video-conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

Pearson VUE test centres continues to be closed until April 30, 2020. Please continue to check the Pearson VUE website for ongoing updates by clicking here.

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org 

UPDATED RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

ONLINE THERAPY VIDEOS
Christine Korol, Ph.D., R. Psych.
REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

In an attempt to protect the health of the public and CAP staff, our office doors remain closed until further notice. A reduced number of CAP staff are working on site and the remaining are working remotely. Nevertheless, we are ensuring that all of our legislative responsibilities are being carried out. Please do not hesitate to contact CAP, recognizing there may be slight delays because of these unprecedented times.

A Message from the Deputy Registrar

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 1, 2020

INTRODUCTION

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Dr. Deena Hinshaw, in her most recent public statement indicated that the COVID-19 risk-mitigation strategies are recommended for “months to come.” She noted that while it has only been just over one month since the first recorded case of COVID-19 in Alberta was identified, many are thinking it is time to return to normal practices. To this end, the Honourable Premier of the Province and Dr. Hinshaw announced the Alberta plans to relaunch the economy. See below for an update on the relaunch announcement and what it means for psychologists. This announcement provides some much-needed hope for everyone that we are moving towards an eventual return to some semblance of normal life and functioning. In the meantime, while there have been successes in controlling the virus, Dr. Hinshaw continues to emphasize that, “However, our fight is far from over. We must continue to use common sense to protect each other and help prevent the spread.” We know that psychologists play a key role in providing the essential services required for the mental health of Albertans, including helping those impacted by COVID-19.

Please click here for up-to-date Alberta Health information.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations
The Alberta Government recently released their return to work and plan to relaunch the economy. Please click here to read this information.

In the April 30, 2020 announcement, officials made it clear in their announcement that while they are hopeful to begin the process of reopening the economy and relaxing certain restrictions, that they will do so in a gradual and staged manner. It was emphasized that the COVID-19 situation remains fluid and public health restrictions can change. Psychologists should thus monitor and stay aware of all Public Health Orders, restrictions, and recommendations, which can change on a daily basis.

In terms of what this means for psychologists, CAP is currently working on developing guidelines for our members as they consider transitioning their practices to increasingly face-to-face services in concert with the staged relaunch plan. We hope to have CAP guidelines to members soon. At the present time, we continue to urge our members to practice physical distancing and to use their judgement for which clients they provide services to via distance technology. Psychologists should practice all recommended public health measures in any face-to-face service delivery. Please click here to read information from BMS regarding professional liability insurance about returning to practice.

Other resources for members that may help as they consider a gradual return to increasing face-to-face services can be found in terms of the following documents:

COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators
CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage
CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational. This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been developed and will be added to the webpage. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership. Best available health science-based websites for COVID-19 information are also identified in this FAQ document. You can access the FAQs by clicking on the blue button displayed below.

CAP and PAA
Save the Date: May 14, 2020
Another CAP-PAA Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for May 14, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. This Town Hall Meeting will focus on issues of: Returning to Face-to-Face Practice, Telepsychology, and Advocacy. The presenters will be Dr. Judi Malone, R. Psych (CEO of PAA), Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych. (CAP Registrar and CEO), and Dr. Troy Janzen, R. Psych. (CAP Deputy Registrar and Complaints Director).

You do not need to RSVP to this event as this is an open invitation to all regulated members of CAP. To attend the presentation, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/Mbe2KXI_c0w for the above-noted date and time. The presentation will be recorded and available on the CAP website shortly after the live event.

We ask that please submit your questions in advance by replying to this email. Please submit your questions no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020. We will then categorize the questions and try to answer as many as possible within the one-hour time frame. If time permits, additional questions will be taken via the YouTube chat function. In order to use this chat function, you must sign into YouTube.

CAP, along with PAA also held a Town Hall Meeting with Alberta psychologists from the Lloydminster area on Tuesday April 28, 2020. This was to discuss particular issues that are unique to Lloydminster. Lloydminster is a City sharing its’ border between Alberta and Saskatchewan and has a unique legislative arrangement with the two provinces. In the case of Public Health, it is our understanding that the Saskatchewan Public Health Act applies within the city of Lloydminster. Thus, psychologists in that City should take direction for public safety from Saskatchewan Public Health Authorities. In general, psychologists in Alberta are reminded that while we are essential service providers, that we must follow public safety orders and that we are recommended to continue to offer services through distance technology when possible, and that we follow all public safety recommendations in any decision to provide direct face-to-face services to clients.

COVID-19 Survey
An environmental scan survey regarding psychologist’s response in light of COVID-19 was distributed by CAP on April 17, 2020. We thank those who have already participated. Early results suggest that the majority of Alberta psychologists have been able to successfully transition a majority of clients to virtual platforms. CAP would still like to encourage high and representative participation in this survey from our members as these results are important to inform the government and ourselves on how COVID-19 has impacted the work of psychologists in the province.

To allow for maximum participation from our members, the survey deadline has been extended and will remain open until May 8, 2020.

Please click here to access the anonymous survey if you have not yet completed it.

Essential Services Update
CAP received a response via Field Law LLP to our request for clarification of Public Health Order 07-2020. It was reiterated by Alberta Health that psychological services are an essential service. Psychologists are not restricted to providing urgent, critical, or emergency care. They have recognized that in-person psychological sessions and assessment are sometimes required. However, both Alberta Health and CAP expect members to provide services virtually whenever possible to limit the spread of COVID-19. Members who do see individuals face-to-face must comply with recommended public health risk mitigation strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19. Even in light of the relaunch announcement, psychologists are encouraged to exercise their judgment in the consideration and prioritization of which clients receive face-to-face service and consider how they will work to ensure the ongoing safety of clients who attend at their office.

The guidance of Dr. Hinshaw was heeded at the April 18, 2020 CAP Council meeting through the revision of existing CAP Bylaws to ensure that ongoing registration processes are able to successfully continue without delay. All registration committees continue to operate, however, their workload and timelines are being adjusted in light of the pandemic. All face-to-face CAP committee meetings have been cancelled until June 30, 2020. A number of internal administrative enhancements are being undertaken so that we can continue to focus on our strategic objectives.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
For those of you that submitted requests for PPE to CAP, they have been provided to Alberta Health along with your name and contact information. Alberta Health will contact you directly regarding your request.

If you need to make a request for PPE, please click here to submit your request directly to Alberta Health. This is the most effective and efficient way to make your request. This is especially true during the CAP office closure and re-distribution of resources.

GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS

CAP continues to communicate with the Government of Alberta on the public’s need for accessible and publicly funded psychological services. We have also raised the significant impact the pandemic has had on many private practice psychologists. Please click on the blue button below to read the President and Registrar’s letter to Premier Jason Kenney.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice
CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

MNP has issued a special edition newsletter, MPact, which provides excellent financial and business resources, on important pandemic-related strategies for your business. You can access this information by clicking here.

On behalf of CAP and staff please stay safe and well.

Dr. Troy Janzen, R. Psych
CAP Deputy Registrar

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video-conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

For test centre closures and reopenings, please continue to check the Pearson VUE website for ongoing updates by clicking here.

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org 

UPDATED RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

In an attempt to protect the health of the public and CAP staff, our office doors remain closed until further notice. A reduced number of CAP staff are working on site and the remaining are working remotely. Nevertheless, we are ensuring that all of our legislative responsibilities are being carried out. Please do not hesitate to contact CAP, recognizing there may be slight delays because of these unprecedented times.

A Message from the Deputy Registrar

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic May 8, 2020

INTRODUCTION

May 4-10, 2020 was deemed “Mental Health Week” (see https://mentalhealthweek.ca/). This is quite appropriate as we now approach the eight-week mark since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and since the first cases were announced in Alberta (March 5, 2020). Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Dr. Deena Hinshaw, in her most recent public statements this week highlighted that it was Mental Health Week and commented that, As a result of this pandemic, all Albertans may be feeling increased fear, anxiety or sadness. Many Albertans, particularly those who experience illness, grief and loss, or financial hardships may require additional mental health support.” (May 5, 2020) CAP recognizes that psychologists will play a key role in providing this needed mental health support to Albertans both now and in the long term.

As noted last week, the Honourable Premier of the Province and Dr. Hinshaw announced the Alberta plans to relaunch the economy. Some of you have been making inquiries when CAP will provide guidance on increasing direct or face-to-face services. See below for an update on the relaunch announcement and what it means for psychologists.

Please click here for up-to-date Alberta Health information.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations

The Alberta Government recently released their return to work and plan to relaunch the economy. Please click here to read this information.

In the April 30, 2020 announcement, officials made it clear that while they are hopeful to begin the process of reopening the economy and relaxing certain restrictions, that they will do so in a gradual and staged manner. It was emphasized that the COVID-19 situation remains fluid and public health restrictions can change. Psychologists should thus monitor and stay aware of all provincial and federal Public Health Orders, restrictions, and recommendations, which can change on a daily basis.

In terms of what this means for psychologists, CAP is currently working on developing guidelines for our members as they consider transitioning their practices to increasingly face-to-face services in concert with the staged relaunch plan. We hope to have a CAP guideline to members very soon. We can not give definitive timeline for release of our guideline. Our guideline will be required to be submitted to the CMOH who will review and can offer amendments to our guidelines. I can tell you that draft guidelines are nearing completion already.

As psychologists consider increasing the number of clients they see directly, they will be asked to follow many of the same precautions as are already available from Alberta Health and the Chief Medical Officer (See more guidance about the relaunch strategy here). CAP will be providing more specific guidance for public communication, pre-screening and prioritization, hygiene and sanitization, physical distancing in office, and office environmental considerations. Please the following amended public health order for further details by clicking here.

At the present time, CAP continues to urge our members to practice physical distancing and to use their judgement for which clients they provide services to via distance technology. Psychologists should practice all recommended public health measures in any face-to-face service delivery. Members are recommended to check with their individual liability insurers regarding what their plans cover for provision of telehealth services to ensure they have adequate or desired coverage.

In a recent communication from the Canadian Psychological Association to its’ members regarding BMS liability coverage they state, With some members shifting to deliver professional services via telepsychology, we would also like to confirm that the CPA/CPAP PLI policy will cover you for services delivered virtually. As with the coverage generally, you must be acting within your scope of practice and licenced jurisdiction(s). If you are delivering your services via telepsychology, however, BMS recommends that you purchase additional cyber security and privacy liability coverage so that you have adequate coverage for the kinds of exposures specific to a virtual practice.

Please click here to read information from BMS regarding professional liability insurance regarding returning to practice.

Other resources for members that may help as they consider a gradual return to increasing face-to-face services can be found in terms of the following documents:

COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators

CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage

CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational. This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been added to the webpage. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership.

The CAP Monitor Self-Care Issue 61

Our next issue of The CAP Monitor is now being released. This issue is timely as self-care among psychologists is more important that ever during such times of crisis. Psychologists, as professional caregivers, face many stressors and they can be at risk for burn-out or other effects of caring for others mental health needs. This Monitor will provide many useful ideas for members to think about and plan for their self-care.

Please click the blue button below to access Issue 61 of The CAP Monitor.

CAP and PAA

Save the Date: May 14, 2020

Another CAP-PAA Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for May 14, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. This Town Hall Meeting will focus on issues of Returning to Face-to-Face Practice, Telepsychology, and Advocacy. The presenters will be Dr. Judi Malone, R. Psych. (CEO of PAA), and Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych. (CAP Registrar and CEO), and will be moderated by Dr. Troy Janzen, R. Psych. (CAP Deputy Registrar and Complaints Director).

You do not need to RSVP to this event as this is an open invitation to all regulated members of CAP. To join in on the presentation, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/Mbe2KXI_c0w for the above-noted date and time. The presentation will be recorded and available on the CAP website shortly after the live event.

We ask that please submit your questions in advance by replying to this email. Please submit your questions no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020. We will then categorize the questions and try to answer as many as possible within the one-hour time frame. If time permits, additional questions will be taken via the YouTube chat function. In order to use this chat function, you must sign into YouTube.

April 16, 2020 Town Hall Meeting

CAP, along with PAA held a province wide COVID-19 Town Hall Meeting on April 16, 2020. A number of questions from members were addressed. A recording of this event may be found by clicking here. To date there have been over 1,400 views.

April 28, 2020 Town Hall Meeting

CAP, along with the PAA also held a Town Hall Meeting with Alberta psychologists from the Lloydminster area on Tuesday April 28, 2020. This was to discuss particular issues that are unique to Lloydminster. Lloydminster is a City sharing its’ border between Alberta and Saskatchewan and has a unique legislative arrangement with the two provinces. In the case of Public Health, it is our understanding that the Saskatchewan Public Health Act applies within the city of Lloydminster. Thus, psychologists in that City should take direction for public safety from Saskatchewan Public Health Authorities. In general, psychologists in Alberta are reminded that while we are essential service providers, that we must follow public safety orders and that we are recommended to continue to offer services through distance technology when possible and that we follow all public safety recommendations in any decision to provide direct face-to-face services to clients.

CAP's COVID-19 Survey

An environmental scan survey regarding psychologist’s response in light of COVID-19 was distributed by CAP on April 17, 2020. We thank those who have participated and are pleased to report that we had responses from over 380 psychologists. This represents nearly 10% of our overall membership and also is the single highest participation rate for a CAP survey. While we will report greater details of the survey results in the near future, early highlights of results are as follows:

  • The survey appears to be roughly representative of overall membership with 62.9% in private practice setting, 26.3% in a public setting, 7.1% in a not-for-profit setting and the remaining reporting some other setting.
  • A majority of psychologists (89.2%) agreed or strongly agreed that their practice was disrupted due to COVID-19. The largest impact being that of reduced access to clients followed by a reduction in financial resources.
  • A majority (54.2%) of psychologists were successful in transitioning between 90-100% of their clients to a digital/virtual platform. A very small percentage of psychologists reported that they did not transition any clients to a digital/virtual platform.
  • Nature of client population and nature of practice were the top two ranked factors that impacted psychologist’s ability to transition clients to a digital/virtual platform.
  • There was significant variability in terms of what percentage of clients were either unable or unwilling to make the transition to digital/virtual platforms. However, the results suggest that most psychologists did have at a proportion of clients with this issue.
  • A majority of psychologists believe that demand for psychological services will increase post-pandemic (67.6%).
  • While most psychologists expect that demand for digital/virtual delivery will decrease post-pandemic (42.9%) there is still a sizable number of psychologists who believe that digital/virtual demand will increase (27.1%) or remain the same (17.1%).
  • Psychologists report that the single largest barrier for Albertans in accessing their services is cost. There was less agreement on what the 2nd through 4th ranked barriers were with approximately equal numbers of psychologists ranking the following factors: lack of centralized referral system, lack of awareness of digital/virtual options, and stigma of services.
  • A majority of psychologists believe that the pandemic will have some future impact on how psychological services will be delivered. 25.8% feel this impact will be substantial and long-term, 21.3% feel it is substantial but will be short-term, and 48% feel there will only be somewhat of an impact on service delivery.

This information is only preliminary. A more detailed analysis of results including the anecdotal information will be published for members in the near future.

Essential Services Update

CAP received a response via Field Law LLP to our request for clarification of Public Health Order 07-2020. It was reiterated by Alberta Health that psychological services are an essential service. Psychologists are not restricted to providing urgent, critical, or emergency care. They have recognized that in-person psychological sessions and assessment are sometimes required. However, both Alberta Health and CAP expect members to provide services virtually whenever possible to limit the spread of COVID-19. Members who do see individuals face-to-face must comply with recommended public health risk mitigation strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19. Even in light of the relaunch announcement, psychologists are encouraged to exercise their judgment in the consideration and prioritization of which clients receive face-to-face service and consider how they will work to ensure the ongoing safety of clients who attend at their office.

The guidance of Dr. Hinshaw was heeded at the April 18, 2020 CAP Council meeting through the revision of existing CAP Bylaws to ensure that ongoing registration processes are able to successfully continue without delay. All registration committees continue to operate, however, their workload and timelines are being adjusted in light of the pandemic. All face-to-face CAP committee meetings have been cancelled until June 30, 2020. A number of internal administrative enhancements are being undertaken so that we can continue to focus on our strategic objectives.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

For those of you that submitted requests for PPE to CAP, they have been provided to Alberta Health along with your name and contact information. Alberta Health will contact you directly regarding your request.

If you need to make a request for PPE, please click here to submit your request directly to Alberta Health. This is the most effective and efficient way to make your request. This is especially true during the CAP office closure and re-distribution of resources.

GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS

CAP continues to communicate with the Government of Alberta on the public’s need for accessible and publicly funded psychological services. We have also raised the significant impact the pandemic has had on many psychologists regardless of setting. The results from the above survey will assist in this understanding.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice

CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

MNP has issued a special edition newsletter, MPact, which provides excellent financial and business resources, on important pandemic-related strategies for your business. You can access this information by clicking here.

On behalf of CAP and staff please stay safe and well.

Dr. Troy Janzen, R. Psych.
CAP Deputy Registrar

CAP Monitor Self-Care Issue 61

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video-conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

For test centre closures and reopenings, please continue to check the Pearson VUE website for ongoing updates by clicking here.

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org 

UPDATED RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

In an attempt to protect the health of the public and CAP staff, our office doors remain closed until further notice. A reduced number of CAP staff are working on site and the remaining are working remotely. Nevertheless, we are ensuring that all of our legislative responsibilities are being carried out. Please do not hesitate to contact CAP, recognizing there may be slight delays because of these unprecedented times.

In an effort to be proactive, CAP and PAA provided a joint presentation on to all regulated members on the topics of returning to face-to-face practice, telepsychology, and advocacy. Watch the video presentation here.

A Message from the Registrar and CEO

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 15, 2020

INTRODUCTION

This week saw the first phase of the provincial relaunch of nonessential services. As essential service providers, psychologists were and are able to continue to provide face-to-face services if the Alberta Health recommended risk mitigation practices have been implemented. However, the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) recommended that psychologists, when possible and practical, should transition to virtual service platforms. CAP’s recent survey of members indicated that the majority were able to successfully transition to virtual platforms.

The CMOH 07-2020 Order was amended effective May 4, 2020. It established the conditions under which Community Health Care Settings must now operate in order to provide face-to-face services. CAP was advised that private practice settings would be considered a Community Health Care Setting. Therefore, regulated members who have been and/or are now transitioning back to face-to-face services must implement COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies that are substantially equivalent to the conditions outlined in Appendix A of the CMOH 07-2020 amended Order. To access this amended Order and the Appendix, please click here.

All Colleges under the Health Professions Act were subsequently asked to develop practice guidelines consistent with the CMOH 07-2020 amended Order for members to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. CAP’s Professional Practice Guideline for Psychologists: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic (May 2020) have been submitted to Alberta Health for review and approval. These Guidelines are substantially equivalent to the conditions outlined in Appendix A of the CMOH 07-2020 amended Order. Once approved, CAP's Guidelines will be distributed to all our regulated members.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations

While all psychologists are allowed to see members of the public face-to-face, consideration should continue to be given to the risks inherent and the viability of employing secure virtual platforms. This is because the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 has been widely discussed and predicted. Psychologists who are able to offer services virtually will likely be best able to meet patient needs and quickly pivot if additional restrictions are advised or ordered. As the risk for COVID-19 is predicted to remain for the foreseeable future, investments in both virtual platforms and risk mitigation strategies are worthwhile.

In recent communication from the Canadian Psychological Association to its’ members regarding BMS liability coverage they state, With some members shifting to deliver professional services via telepsychology, we would also like to confirm that the CPA/CPAP PLI policy will cover you for services delivered virtually. As with the coverage generally, you must be acting within your scope of practice and licenced jurisdiction(s). If you are delivering your services via telepsychology, however, BMS recommends that you purchase additional cyber security and privacy liability coverage so that you have adequate coverage for the kinds of exposures specific to a virtual practice.

Please click here to read information from BMS regarding professional liability insurance regarding returning to practice.

Other resources for members that may help as they consider a gradual return to increasing face-to-face services can be found in terms of the following documents:

COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators

CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage

CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational. This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been added to the webpage, as well as, a link to request Personal Protective Equipment for your psychological practice. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership.

The CAP Monitor Self-Care Issue 61

Issue 61 of The CAP Monitor was released last week. This issue is timely as self-care among psychologists is more important that ever during such times of crisis. Psychologists, as professional caregivers, face many stressors and they can be at risk for burn-out or other effects of caring for others mental health needs. This Monitor provides many useful ideas for members to think about and plan for in their self-care efforts.

Please click here to read Issue 61 of The CAP Monitor.

CAP and PAA Town Recent Hall Meeting

The second province-wide CAP-PAA Town Hall Meeting was held on May 14, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. This Town Hall Meeting focused on issues of Returning to Face-to-Face Practice, Telepsychology, and Advocacy. Dr. Judi Malone, R. Psych. (CEO of PAA), and Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych. (CAP Registrar and CEO) were presenters. It was moderated by Dr. Troy Janzen, R. Psych. (CAP Deputy Registrar and Complaints Director). At the time of writing, over 1,700 members have viewed this presentation. You can view this presentation by clicking here. This link can also be accessed on CAP’s COVID-19 webpage.

CAP's COVID-19 Survey

An environmental scan survey regarding psychologist’s response in light of COVID-19 was distributed by CAP on April 17, 2020. We thank those who have participated and are pleased to report that we had responses from over 380 psychologists. This represents nearly 10% of our overall membership and also is the single highest participation rate for a CAP survey. While we will report greater details of the survey results in the near future, early highlights of results are as follows:

  • The survey appears to be roughly representative of overall membership with 62.9% in private practice setting, 26.3% in a public setting, 7.1% in a not-for-profit setting and the remaining reporting some other setting.
  • A majority of psychologists (89.2%) agreed or strongly agreed that their practice was disrupted due to COVID-19. The largest impact being that of reduced access to clients followed by a reduction in financial resources.
  • A majority (54.2%) of psychologists were successful in transitioning between 90-100% of their clients to a digital/virtual platform. A very small percentage of psychologists reported that they did not transition any clients to a digital/virtual platform.
  • Nature of client population and nature of practice were the top two ranked factors that impacted psychologist’s ability to transition clients to a digital/virtual platform.
  • There was significant variability in terms of what percentage of clients were either unable or unwilling to make the transition to digital/virtual platforms. However, the results suggest that most psychologists did have at a proportion of clients with this issue.
  • A majority of psychologists believe that demand for psychological services will increase post-pandemic (67.6%).
  • While most psychologists expect that demand for digital/virtual delivery will decrease post-pandemic (42.9%) there is still a sizable number of psychologists who believe that digital/virtual demand will increase (27.1%) or remain the same (17.1%).
  • Psychologists report that the single largest barrier for Albertans in accessing their services is cost. There was less agreement on what the 2nd through 4th ranked barriers were with approximately equal numbers of psychologists ranking the following factors: lack of centralized referral system, lack of awareness of digital/virtual options, and stigma of services.
  • A majority of psychologists believe that the pandemic will have some future impact on how psychological services will be delivered. 25.8% feel this impact will be substantial and long-term, 21.3% feel it is substantial but will be short-term, and 48% feel there will only be somewhat of an impact on service delivery.

This information is only preliminary. A more detailed analysis of results including the anecdotal information will be published for members in the near future.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

For those of you that submitted requests for PPE to CAP, they have been provided to Alberta Health along with your name and contact information. Alberta Health will contact you directly regarding your request. CAP is aware that those who made their request at the initial call out have now received some or all of their order.

If you need to make a request for PPE, please click here to submit your request directly to Alberta Health. This is the most effective and efficient way to make your request. This is especially true during the CAP office closure and re-distribution of resources. Please be aware that PPE may not continue to be available from this site in the long term.

GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS

CAP continues to communicate with the Government of Alberta on the public’s need for accessible and publicly funded psychological services. We have also raised the significant impact the pandemic has had on many psychologists regardless of setting. The results from the above survey will assist in this understanding.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice

CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

MNP has issued a special edition newsletter, MPact, which provides excellent financial and business resources, on important pandemic-related strategies for your business. You can access this information by clicking here. KPMG has also recently released a COVID-19: Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers that also provides helpful information. Please click the blue button below to access their guide.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff please stay safe and well.

Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych.

CAP Registrar and CEO

KPMG COVID-19 Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS ND SUPERVISORS**

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video-conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

For test centre closures and reopenings, please continue to check the Pearson VUE website for ongoing updates by clicking here.

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office:
678-216-1175
Fax:
678-216-1176
Web:
www.asppb.org

UPDATED RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

REMINDER OF CAP OFFICE CLOSURE

In an attempt to protect the health of the public and CAP staff, our office doors remain closed until further notice. A reduced number of CAP staff are working on site and the remaining are working remotely. Nevertheless, we are ensuring that all of our legislative responsibilities are being carried out. Please do not hesitate to contact CAP, recognizing there may be slight delays because of these unprecedented times.

A Message from the Registrar and CEO

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 22, 2020

INTRODUCTION

Thank you again for opportunity to communicate to each of you during this unprecedented time of uncertainty. CAP has received much positive feedback on the nature and timeliness of our communications. A smaller number of members have questioned the frequency, volume, and level of detail in our recent communications. CAP appreciates the diversity of opinions held by our members. We recognize that many have different needs, views, and desires for regulatory information.

It is important to reiterate that it is a regulatory requirement for members to have an active email address with CAP. This is to ensure that CAP is able to communicate with all members in a timely manner. This is even more critical during times of crises such as the current pandemic where new and evolving expectations are placed on all regulated health professionals.

A concrete example of the above, is CAP’s Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Guideline”). These are a requirement of a recent Public Health Order from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). All colleges under the Health Professions Act must have similar guidelines in place.

CAP’s draft Guidelines have been submitted to Alberta Health for approval. They are currently under review. The final step is approval by the CMOH. CAP is releasing the Guideline to members in draft form to allow regulated members to immediately take steps to protect the public and themselves while returning and/or continuing the delivery of face-to-face professional services. The final version will be released and posted on the CAP website after the government review process has been completed. A checklist is also being developed to accompany the Guideline. You can access the draft Guideline by clicking on the appropriate blue box at the end of this message.

Please also find information on the latest recommendations regarding the use of masks for public and personal protection. The evidence for, and public health recommendations for, the use of masks have been changing in real time. We hope this article is of value.

CAP has been receiving an increasing number of calls related to Alberta Health Services Contact Tracing App and any potential privacy implications. Importantly, this is new technology and the implications are likely not fully known. That said, it appears that both parties must provide consent to utilize the application and some thought has been placed into the privacy policy that must be read prior to activation. CAP previously provided information to all regulated members on the COVID-19 disclosure obligations under both the Health Professions Act and the Public Health Act.

Alberta Health has called a meeting for Monday May 25, 2020 to discuss Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The use and supply of PPE continues to be an evolving issue. We hope to provide members an update on this issue in the near future.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations

While all psychologists are allowed to see members of the public face-to-face, consideration should continue to be given to the risks inherent and the viability of employing secure virtual platforms. This is because the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 has been widely discussed and predicted. Psychologists who are able to offer services virtually will likely be best able to meet patient needs and quickly pivot if additional restrictions are advised or ordered. As the risk for COVID-19 is predicted to remain for the foreseeable future, investments in both virtual platforms and risk mitigation strategies are worthwhile.

In recent communication from the Canadian Psychological Association to its’ members regarding BMS liability coverage they state, With some members shifting to deliver professional services via telepsychology, we would also like to confirm that the CPA/CPAP PLI policy will cover you for services delivered virtually. As with the coverage generally, you must be acting within your scope of practice and licenced jurisdiction(s). If you are delivering your services via telepsychology, however, BMS recommends that you purchase additional cyber security and privacy liability coverage so that you have adequate coverage for the kinds of exposures specific to a virtual practice.

Please click here to read information from BMS regarding professional liability insurance regarding returning to practice.

Other resources for members that may help as they consider a gradual return to increasing face-to-face services can be found in terms of the following documents:

COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators

CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage

CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational. This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been added to the webpage, as well as, a link to request Personal Protective Equipment for your psychological practice. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership.

The CAP Monitor Self-Care Issue 61

Issue 61 of The CAP Monitor was released two weeks ago. This issue is timely as self-care among psychologists is more important that ever during such times of crisis. Psychologists, as professional caregivers, face many stressors and they can be at risk for burn-out or other effects of caring for others mental health needs. This Monitor provides many useful ideas for members to think about and plan for in their self-care efforts.

Please click here to read Issue 61 of The CAP Monitor.

CAP and PAA Town Recent Hall Meeting

The second province-wide CAP-PAA Town Hall Meeting was held on May 14, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. This Town Hall Meeting focused on issues of Returning to Face-to-Face Practice, Telepsychology, and Advocacy. Dr. Judi Malone, R. Psych. (CEO of PAA), and Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych. (CAP Registrar and CEO) were presenters. It was moderated by Dr. Troy Janzen, R. Psych. (CAP Deputy Registrar and Complaints Director). At the time of writing, over 2,000 members have viewed this presentation. You can view this presentation by clicking here. This link can also be accessed on CAP’s COVID-19 webpage.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice

CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

MNP issued an update on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program. Please click here to read this update. KPMG has also recently released a COVID-19: Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers that also provides helpful information. Please click the blue box below to access their guide.

In closing, CAP is very proud of our profession’s response to the current pandemic. We have had very few concerns voiced to us by the public or government officials regarding the steps taken by psychologists to protect the public and reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, CAP is anticipating that the frequency of messaging can be reduced in the coming weeks as we all adapt to our new reality.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff, please stay safe and well.

Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych.

CAP Registrar and CEO

CAP Draft Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

KPMG COVID-19 Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS**

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video-conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

For test centre closures and reopenings, please continue to check the Pearson VUE website for ongoing updates by clicking here.

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org 

UPDATED RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

CAP OFFICE REOPENING JUNE 1, 2020

The CAP office is reopening June 1, 2020. While the office doors will be open, we ask that members help prevent the spread by limiting their visits to the office. Should you wish to attend at the CAP office, please call ahead and book an appointment. CAP continues to welcome all telephone calls and emails.

Have any questions? If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us by replying to this email or calling the College at 780-424-5070.

A Message from the Registrar and CEO

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 29, 2020

INTRODUCTION

This is CAP’s final weekly email dedicated to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The decision to move toward less frequent email communication is based on CAP’s desire to respect those who have voiced feeling overwhelmed with COVID-19 information. It is hoped that CAP’s Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Guideline”) will soon be approved by Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health and is sufficiently informative to answer most regulated member questions. You can access the draft Guideline by clicking here.

All CAP members have continuously been provided with links to real time direct sources for updates. We encourage regulated members to stay informed and to ensure best practices in public health are followed. To date, CAP has been extremely impressed with regulated members responsiveness and willingness to meet these additional mandated professional responsibilities.

We have heard much positive feedback on CAP’s COVID-19 communications to date and we recognize that for many, the pandemic has had a significant impact on their professional lives. More importantly, many have also suffered personal losses. Organizations including the American Psychological Association warn that “the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus will be serious and long-lasting.” CAP will transition to less frequent COVID-19 communications as the pandemic waxes and wanes.

The most recent joint Psychologists' Association of Alberta (PAA) and CAP Town Hall Meeting has reached an unprecedented amount of over 2,000 views. As a result, consideration is being given to delivering the PAA-CAP Annual Professional Development Day in a virtual format. This follows similar decisions by both the American and Canadian Psychological Associations, as well as, a number of Alberta health regulators. A formal joint decision should be made in the very near future.

The COVID-19 crisis made CAP stronger and better able to serve the public. We are continuing our efforts to reduce paper-based processes and increase the number of virtual communications/meetings. We are also exploring virtual professional conduct hearing processes to ensure that existing technologies and cost savings are leveraged at every opportunity.

Not surprising, professional guidance inquiries saw a dramatic rise during the initial weeks of the pandemic. This rise is understandable given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic. CAP recognizes the financial and emotional toll the pandemic placed on many regulated members. We encourage all members to access natural and professional supports when necessary.

CAP’s professional conduct complaints have remained relatively stable. There has only been a single public concern related to COVID-19. In this particular case, the client did not believe that the use of personal protective equipment was necessary. As the psychologist was acting in the client’s best interest and in accordance with public health guidelines, CAP’s Complaints Director encouraged the client to discuss their concerns directly with the psychologist.

Registration and credential applications to CAP have continued to be processed despite the pandemic. CAP Council approved a series of Bylaw changes to allow CAP to make timely decisions ensuring no applicant suffered undue hardship because of possible processing delays. Pre-pandemic practices will resume in July 2020. Please click here to view CAP’s Bylaws.

CAP staff are set to return on June 1, 2020 under an updated CAP Pandemic Flu Policy. CAP’s policy is consistent with the draft Professional Practice Guideline. CAP is encouraging members of the public and all regulated members to avoid unnecessary office visits to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Face-to-face meetings are by appointment only to allow all visitors to be pre-screened prior to attending in-person at the CAP office. All visitors will be required to complete a written COVID-19 screening checklist upon arrival. Completed checklists will be retained for the purposes of contact tracing while the COVID-19 Pandemic is ongoing. CAP is continuing to conduct reviews of all internal policies/practices to ensure they offer a safe and secure work environment for staff and volunteers.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Until June 30, 2020, you can purchase PPE through the Government of Alberta by clicking here. After June 30, 2020, psychologists must seek their own supply. Please click here to find suppliers identified by the Government of Alberta. Psychologists must observe proper procedures for donning and doffing PPE as per Alberta Health Services.

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations

While all psychologists are allowed to see members of the public face-to-face, consideration should continue to be given to the risks inherent and the viability of employing secure virtual platforms. This is because the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 has been widely discussed and predicted. Psychologists who are able to offer services virtually will likely be best able to meet patient needs and quickly pivot if additional restrictions are advised or ordered. As the risk for COVID-19 is predicted to remain for the foreseeable future, investments in both virtual platforms and risk mitigation strategies are worthwhile.

In recent communication from the Canadian Psychological Association to its’ members regarding BMS liability coverage they state, With some members shifting to deliver professional services via telepsychology, we would also like to confirm that the CPA/CPAP PLI policy will cover you for services delivered virtually. As with the coverage generally, you must be acting within your scope of practice and licenced jurisdiction(s). If you are delivering your services via telepsychology, however, BMS recommends that you purchase additional cyber security and privacy liability coverage so that you have adequate coverage for the kinds of exposures specific to a virtual practice.

Please click here to read information from BMS regarding professional liability insurance regarding returning to practice.

Other resources for members that may help as they consider a gradual return to increasing face-to-face services can be found in terms of the following documents:

COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators

CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage

CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational. This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been added to the webpage, as well as, a link to request Personal Protective Equipment for your psychological practice. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice

CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

MNP issued an update on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program. Please click here to read this update. KPMG has also recently released a COVID-19: Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers that also provides helpful information. Please click the blue box below to access their guide.

In closing, CAP is very proud of our profession’s response to the current pandemic. We have had very few concerns voiced to us by the public or government officials regarding the steps taken by psychologists to protect the public and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff, please stay safe and well.

Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych.

CAP Registrar and CEO

KPMG COVID-19 Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS**

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video-conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

For test centre closures and reopenings, please continue to check the Pearson VUE website for ongoing updates by clicking here.

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org 

UPDATED RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

CAP OFFICE REOPENING JUNE 1, 2020

The CAP office is open as of June 1, 2020. To reduce the risk for spreading COVID-19, CAP is discouraging face-to-face, in-person office visits at this time. Face-to-face meetings are by appointment only and visitors will be pre-screened by staff prior to attending the CAP office. All visitors will be required to complete a written COVID-19 screening checklist upon arrival. These checklists will be retained for the purposes of contact tracing while the COVID-19 Pandemic is ongoing. We appreciate your understanding as we all navigate these unprecedented times together. If you have any questions, we welcome you to contact us by phone or email.

Have any questions?
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us by replying to this email or calling the College at 780-424-5070.

A Message from the Registrar and CEO

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic
June 12, 2020

INTRODUCTION

This is CAP’s first bi-weekly email dedicated to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The decision to move toward less frequent email communication is based on CAP’s desire to respect those who have voiced feeling overwhelmed with COVID-19 information. It is hoped that CAP’s Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Guideline”) will soon be approved by Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health and is sufficiently informative to answer most regulated member questions. You can access the draft Guideline by clicking here.

All CAP members have continuously been provided with links to real time direct sources for updates. We encourage regulated members to stay informed and to ensure best practices in public health are followed. To date, CAP has been extremely impressed with regulated members responsiveness and willingness to meet these additional mandated professional responsibilities.

We have heard much positive feedback on CAP’s COVID-19 communications to date and we recognize that for many, the pandemic has had a significant impact on their professional lives. More importantly, many have also suffered personal losses. Organizations including the American Psychological Association warn that “the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus will be serious and long-lasting.” CAP has now transitioned to less frequent COVID-19 communications as the pandemic waxes and wanes.

Registration and credential applications to CAP have continued to be processed despite the pandemic. CAP Council approved a series of Bylaw changes to allow CAP to make timely decisions ensuring no applicant suffered undue hardship because of possible processing delays. Pre-pandemic practices will resume in July 2020. Please click here to view CAP’s Bylaws.

CAP staff returned to the CAP office on June 1, 2020 under an updated CAP Pandemic Flu Policy. CAP’s policy is consistent with the draft Professional Practice Guideline. CAP is encouraging members of the public and all regulated members to avoid unnecessary office visits to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Face-to-face meetings are by appointment only to allow all visitors to be pre-screened prior to attending in-person at the CAP office. All visitors will be required to complete a written COVID-19 screening checklist upon arrival. Completed checklists will be retained for the purposes of contact tracing while the COVID-19 Pandemic is ongoing. CAP is continuing to conduct reviews of all internal policies/practices to ensure they offer a safe and secure work environment for staff and volunteers.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Until June 30, 2020, you can purchase PPE through the Government of Alberta by clicking here. After June 30, 2020, psychologists must seek their own supply. Please click here to find suppliers identified by the Government of Alberta. Psychologists must observe proper procedures for donning and doffing PPE as per Alberta Health Services.

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations

While all psychologists are allowed to see members of the public face-to-face, consideration should continue to be given to the risks inherent and the viability of employing secure virtual platforms. This is because the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 has been widely discussed and predicted. Psychologists who are able to offer services virtually will likely be best able to meet patient needs and quickly pivot if additional restrictions are advised or ordered. As the risk for COVID-19 is predicted to remain for the foreseeable future, investments in both virtual platforms and risk mitigation strategies are worthwhile.

Please click here to read all articles published by BMS, including liability insurance coverage.

regarding returning to practice. Also find the most recent BMS sample Consent to Treatment Form.

Other resources for members that may help as they consider a gradual return to increasing face-to-face services can be found in terms of the following documents:

COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators

CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage

CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational. This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been added to the webpage. Also included on this webpage is a link to request Personal Protective Equipment for your psychological practice and CAP's draft Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice

CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

MNP issued an update on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program. Please click here to read this update. KPMG has also recently released a COVID-19: Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers that also provides helpful information. Please click the blue box below to access their guide.

In closing, CAP is very proud of our profession’s response to the current pandemic. We have had very few concerns voiced to us by the public or government officials regarding the steps taken by psychologists to protect the public and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff, please stay safe and well.

Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych.
CAP Registrar and CEO

KPMG COVID-19 Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS**

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video-conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

For test centre closures and reopenings, please continue to check the Pearson VUE website for ongoing updates by clicking here.

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org 

UPDATED RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

CAP OFFICE OPENED JUNE 1, 2020

The CAP office is open as of June 1, 2020. To reduce the risk for spreading COVID-19, CAP is discouraging face-to-face, in-person office visits at this time. Face-to-face meetings are by appointment only and visitors will be pre-screened by staff prior to attending the CAP office. All visitors will be required to complete a written COVID-19 screening checklist upon arrival. These checklists will be retained for the purposes of contact tracing while the COVID-19 Pandemic is ongoing. We appreciate your understanding as we all navigate these unprecedented times together. If you have any questions, we welcome you to contact us by phone or email.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us by replying to this email or calling the College at 780-424-5070.

A Message from the Registrar and CEO

Protecting the Public and Regulated Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic June 26, 2020

INTRODUCTION

This is CAP’s last bi-weekly email dedicated to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The decision to move toward less frequent email communication is based on CAP’s desire to respect those who have voiced feeling overwhelmed with COVID-19 information. It is hoped that CAP’s Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Guideline”) will soon be approved by Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health and is sufficiently informative to answer most regulated member questions. You can access the draft Guideline by clicking here. Member updates will now be provided on an as needed basis. Members can continue to contact CAP's Professional Guidance Department (guidance@cap.ab.ca) if questions arise. Otherwise, members are encouranged to access real time links available on CAP's COVID-19 Webpage.

CAP has followed up with the Alberta Government for an anticipated date when the Guideline may be approved but to date we have not received a response. Many inquiries have been received by CAP on the continued necessity and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health has continued to reinforce social distancing requirements. As such, masking is still required when a distance of two metres cannot be maintained. Importantly, the evidence for the use of masks while evolving, is very much supportive of this preventative measure.

All CAP members have continuously been provided with links to real time direct sources for updates. We encourage regulated members to stay informed and to ensure best practices in public health are followed. To date, CAP has been extremely impressed with regulated members responsiveness and willingness to meet these additional mandated professional responsibilities.

We have heard much positive feedback on CAP’s COVID-19 communications to date and we recognize that for many, the pandemic has had a significant impact on their professional lives. More importantly, many have also suffered personal losses. Organizations including the American Psychological Association warn that “the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus will be serious and long-lasting.” CAP has now transitioned to less frequent COVID-19 communications as the pandemic waxes and wanes.

CAP staff returned to the CAP office on June 1, 2020 under an updated CAP Pandemic Flu Policy. CAP’s policy is consistent with the draft Professional Practice Guideline. CAP is encouraging members of the public and all regulated members to avoid unnecessary office visits to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Face-to-face meetings are by appointment only to allow all visitors to be pre-screened prior to attending in-person at the CAP office. All visitors will be required to complete a written COVID-19 screening checklist upon arrival. Completed checklists will be retained for the purposes of contact tracing while the COVID-19 Pandemic is ongoing. CAP is continuing to conduct reviews of all internal policies/practices to ensure they offer a safe and secure work environment for staff and volunteers.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Until June 30, 2020, you can purchase PPE through the Government of Alberta by clicking here. After June 30, 2020, psychologists must seek their own supply. Please click here to find suppliers identified by the Government of Alberta. Psychologists must observe proper procedures for donning and doffing PPE as per Alberta Health Services.

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations

While all psychologists are allowed to see members of the public face-to-face, consideration should continue to be given to the risks inherent and the viability of employing secure virtual platforms. This is because the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 has been widely discussed and predicted. Psychologists who are able to offer services virtually will likely be best able to meet patient needs and quickly pivot if additional restrictions are advised or ordered. As the risk for COVID-19 is predicted to remain for the foreseeable future, investments in both virtual platforms and risk mitigation strategies are worthwhile.

Please click here to read all articles published by BMS, including liability insurance coverage regarding returning to practice. Also find the most recent BMS sample Consent to Treatment Form.

Other resources for members that may help as they consider a gradual return to increasing face-to-face services can be found in terms of the following documents:

COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators

CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage

CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational. This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been added to the webpage. Also included on this webpage is a link to request Personal Protective Equipment for your psychological practice and CAP's draft Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership.

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice

CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

MNP issued an update on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program. Please click here to read this update. KPMG has also recently released a COVID-19: Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers that also provides helpful information. Please click the blue box below to access their guide.

In closing, CAP is very proud of our profession’s response to the current pandemic. We have had very few concerns voiced to us by the public or government officials regarding the steps taken by psychologists to protect the public and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff, please stay safe and well.

Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych.
CAP Registrar and CEO

KPMG COVID-19 Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers

INFORMATION FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SUPERVISORS**

This is just a reminder that due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisonal psychologists are permitted to work remotely and provide telepsychology/video-conferencing to clients, as long as their supervisors are informed. Further, provisional psychologists and their supervisors may conduct their face-to-face supervision via a secured video conference platform. CAP's requirement for onsite supervision is temporarily lifted at this time.

UPDATE ON THE EPPP

For test centre closures and reopenings, please continue to check the Pearson VUE website for ongoing updates by clicking here.

If you have any questions regarding the EPPP, please contact ASPPB directly at:

Address: P.O. Box 849, Tyrone, GA 30290
Office: 678-216-1175
Fax: 678-216-1176
Web: www.asppb.org

UPDATED RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

CAP OFFICE OPENED JUNE 1, 2020

The CAP office is now open. To reduce the risk for spreading COVID-19, CAP is discouraging face-to-face, in-person office visits at this time. Face-to-face meetings are by appointment only and visitors will be pre-screened by staff prior to attending the CAP office. All visitors will be required to complete a written COVID-19 screening checklist upon arrival. These checklists will be retained for the purposes of contact tracing while the COVID-19 Pandemic is ongoing. We appreciate your understanding as we all navigate these unprecedented times together. If you have any questions, we welcome you to contact us by phone or email.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us by replying to this email or calling the College at 780-424-5070.

A Message from the Registrar and CEOImportant CAP Updates
July 24, 2020

INTRODUCTION

This is CAP’s first member mailout since the end of our weekly/bi-weekly updates. The number of emails from members to CAP seeking guidance has risen significantly of late suggesting a mailout may be of value. This is particularly true given the recent spike in active COVID-19 cases in Alberta. CAP appreciates this opportunity and would like to begin by thanking members for their continued responsiveness to public health guidance. It has been recognized by government officials.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

CAP Practice Guideline:
Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic

This is no longer a draft document and the Guidance remains in effect. For the time being, Alberta Health had now delegated COVID-19 practice guidance to CAP. CAP is confident that the advice provided in the above Guideline is consistent with current scientific thinking.

Current epidemiological thinking is that a second pandemic wave will occur in October. CAP is of the belief that maintaining our current strategy rather than adopting interim practice policies is in the public interest. Please click the blue button below to review the COVID-19 Practice Guideline. The Guideline will be available on CAP’s COVID-19 webpage shortly.

Calgary Mask Bylaw

Calgary City Council is in the process of finalizing their mandatory masking bylaw. It is CAP’s current understanding that the bylaw is for all City of Calgary buildings, public transit, public space in office buildings, shopping centers and grocery stores. It applies to all members of the public and employees in public buildings where social distancing cannot be maintained.  It does not include private workspaces or offices that have doors. It also does not include schools or daycares. There are also specific exemptions. Members should consult the City of Calgary website for further information.

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations
While all psychologists are allowed to see members of the public face-to-face, consideration should continue to be given to the risks inherent and the viability of employing secure virtual platforms. This is because the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 has been widely discussed and predicted. Psychologists who are able to offer services virtually will likely be best able to meet patient needs and quickly pivot if additional restrictions are advised or ordered. As the risk for COVID-19 is predicted to remain for the foreseeable future, investments in both virtual platforms and risk mitigation strategies are worthwhile. 
 
Please click here to read all articles published by BMS, regarding returning to work, including liability insurance coverage. Also find the most recent BMS sample Consent to Treatment Form.
 
Other resources for members that may help as they consider a gradual return to increasing face-to-face services can be found in terms of the following documents:

  • Government of Alberta Workplace Guidance for Business Owners
  • Alberta Health Services COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Environmental Cleaning of Public Facilities
  • American Academy of Family Physicians Checklist to Prepare Physician Offices for COVID-19
  • PPE Guidelines in Health Care Settings

COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators
CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage
CAP’s COVID-19 webpage is operational.  This is accessible by clicking here. Please note that a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin has been added to the webpage. Also included on this webpage is a link to request Personal Protective Equipment for your psychological practice. This is in addition to all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership.

COVID-19 BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice
CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. The three-month practice permit fee deferral initiative was implemented to assist these colleagues. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

MNP issued an update on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program. Please click here to read this update. KPMG has also recently released a COVID-19: Return to the Workplace Guide for Employers that also provides helpful information.  Please click the blue box below to access their guide.

Update on Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
MNP provided an update on the changes the federal government introduced to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Please click here for more details.

OTHER IMPORTANT UPDATES

Bill 30: Increasing Public Representation on CAP Council and Adjudicative Committees
On July 6, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced proposed changes to the Health Professions Act. Bill 30 will require all regulatory health profession colleges to increase the public member representation from the existing 25% to 50% on college councils, hearing tribunals, and complaint review committees. This change will take effect on April 1, 2021.

Currently there are 7 regulated members and 3 public members on CAP Council. CAP bylaws will be amended to reduce the number of regulated members by one and increasing the number of public members by 3 to a total of six. Overall, CAP Council would then increase from 10 to 12.  This size is within with range recommended for effective board governance. As a result, CAP will not be holding an electing during the current fiscal year.

Bill 17: Mental Health Amendment Act - Qualified Health Professionals
This letter is in keeping with CAP’s strategic objective of ensuring psychologists are able to work to their full scope of practice.Please click on the blue button below for CAP’s letter to the Minister of Health expressing this view. It is CAP’s position that many psychologists are qualified to perform these duties. It also provides for the designation of other qualified health professionals to perform these additional roles. This Bill is designed allow Nurse Practitioners to undertake additional roles in relation to Community (Mental Health) Treatment Orders. 

Proposals to Amend the Health Professions Act to Improve Regulatory Effectiveness and Efficiency: Discussion Paper
CAP must submit their feedback to Alberta Health by August 18, 2020.  Members who wish to provide feedback through CAP can do so by replying to this email as long as your feedback is submitted by August 7, 2020 so it can be tabulated.Likely, the most relevant to members is the possible expanded use of the title psychotherapist. CAP received a Discussion Paper for Consultation from Alberta Health on Sunday July 19, 2020.  You can access this document by clicking on the blue button below. The document addresses several diverse issues. 

Save the Date: October 2, 2020 CAP-PAA 2020 Psychology Annual Meetings and Professional Development Webinar
The joint CAP-PAA Annual Meetings and Professional Development Day is going virtual this year. Please save the afternoon of October 2, 2020 for the first virtual offering of the joint CAP and PAA 2020 Psychology Annual Meetings & Professional Development Webinar.  We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker will be Dr. Arthur Evans, CEO of the American Psychological Association.  The theme of his presentation will be how can psychologists assist in addressing racial inequality and discrimination. Several esteemed panelists will then join the conversation to discuss their research in this area and to answer attendee questions. Further details about this upcoming event are forthcoming.
 
In closing, CAP is very proud of our profession’s response to the current pandemic. We have had very few concerns voiced to us by the public or government officials regarding the steps taken by psychologists to protect the public and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff, please stay safe and well.

Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych.
CAP Registrar and CEO                                        

COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR ALL MEMBERS

In addition to the resources that CAP has been providing in all communication, please find below several links to real time information and links to other resources which you may find helpful as you navigate through these challenging times. On behalf of CAP Council and staff we wish you well in these unprecedented and uncertain times. Our strength is when we face tough times together with compassion and kindness.

A Message from the Registrar and CEO
COVID-19 Update
November 13, 2020

INTRODUCTION

This is CAP’s first member mailout since the summer, as the current pandemic has not resulted in any significant changes to ongoing health recommendations. CAP appreciates this opportunity to provide a brief update and would like to begin by thanking members for their continued responsiveness to public health guidance. Importantly, COVID-19 positive patient numbers and hospitalization rates are continuing to rise in Alberta. This is also true for the numbers of COVID-19 related deaths in the province.

Alberta Health is closely monitoring a variety of COVID-19 related indicators. Much talk has recently focused on the possible need for a "circuit breaker" response to the escalation of care. A "circuit breaker" response is a sharp/firm short-term intervention. What has been proven in other jurisdictions as a two-week period of social and business restrictions to disrupt the transmission of COVID-19. However, a more measured approach was announced at the November 12, 2020 Alberta Health Services media update. The primary changes relate to social gatherings and businesses that serve alcohol. The former have been identified as the chief source of transmission.

Despite being deemed an essential service, psychologists should closely follow Alberta Health updates. All regulated members are required to do their part in following the guidance of Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health. Psychologists can continue to provide face-to-face services but consideration should be given to virtual care when appropriate and possible. CAP's COVID-19 Practice Guideline remains relevant and all members should follow it as close as possible.

COVID-19 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

CAP Practice Guideline: Navigating Psychological Practice During and Post the COVID-19 Pandemic

CAP's Practice Guideline has been in effect since our last mailout, July 2020. CAP is confident that the advice provided in the above Guideline is consistent with current scientific thinking and is relevant today. Please click the blue button below to review the COVID-19 Practice Guideline. The Guideline is available on the CAP website.

Return to Work Guidance and Professional Liability Insurance Considerations

While all psychologists are allowed to see members of the public face-to-face, consideration should continue to be given to the risks inherent and the viability of employing secure virtual platforms. This is because the possibility of being in a second wave of COVID-19 has been widely discussed and predicted. As the risk for COVID-19 is predicted to remain for the foreseeable future, investments in both virtual platforms and risk mitigation strategies may be wise.

Please click here to read all articles published by BMS, regarding returning to work, including liability insurance coverage, as well as the BMS sample Consent to Treatment Form.

Other resources for members that may help as they consider providing face-to-face services can be found in the following documents:

COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS

Communication with Regulators

CAP continues to communicate with psychology regulators and other regulated health professions across Alberta and North America. This is to ensure we are accessing the most up-to-date information and communicating real time information to our members.

CAP’s COVID-19 Webpage

CAP’s COVID-19 webpage has been operational for several months. This is accessible by clicking here. This webpage contains a number of resources such as a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) bulletin, a link to request Personal Protective Equipment for your psychological practice, and all previous COVID-19 messages to the membership.

COVID-19 BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Financial Support for Private Practice

CAP is also aware that many psychologists have had their practices interrupted because of COVID-19. This has come with significant economic costs impacting them and their families. Please click here to read information on how to access available government financial supports. We encourage these members to reach out to these programs and colleagues for support.

Update on Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
To read current information on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Please click here.

In closing, CAP is very proud of our profession’s response to the current pandemic. We have had very few concerns voiced to us by the public or government officials regarding the steps taken by psychologists to protect the public and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of CAP Council and staff, please stay safe and well.

Dr. Richard Spelliscy, R. Psych.

CAP Registrar and CEO