Professional Guidance

The Role of Professional Guidance

Public inquiries regarding the conduct of a psychologist are addressed by the Complaints and Professional Conduct Department.

The role of professional guidance is to guide psychologists and provisional psychologists (hereinafter referred to as "psychologist") in identifying regulatory information that may be relevant to their practice. Familiarity with the foundational professional and regulatory documents that guide the profession is essential to providing ethical and competent care for the public. This means psychologists are familiar with the following documents (located under Resources and Regulatory Information):  

  • Jurisprudence: Legislation naming or affecting psychologists in Alberta 
  • Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists 
  • CAP’s Standards of Practice and Practice Guidelines 
  • Content covered in The CAP Monitor and other communications and consultations
  • Training materials related to preventing and addressing sexual misconduct and sexual abuse

Psychologists must demonstrate the skills, knowledge, judgment, and diligence associated with their area of practice. However, there may be times in their career when psychologists face unusual or complex problems and as a result, supplement their peer consultation by requesting professional guidance from CAP. Specifically, guidance is intended to protect the public by assisting psychologists in their ethical and professional decision-making processes. In accordance with CAP's public protection mandate, action on issues involving unprofessional conduct may be required when brought to the CAP's attention. 

Clinical Advice: CAP does not provide specific practice advice as it may present a conflict of interest with our primary public protection mandate. Psychologists’ Association of Alberta’s (PAA) members can consult with a practice advisor through the PAA Practice Advisor program. When deciding who to contact first, please read the following document CAP and PAA Resources.

Specialized Advice: Business, legal and/or technological professional guidance consultations are limited to the scope of CAP's primary public protection mandate. Psychologists are encouraged to seek consultation with qualified members of the appropriate profession when seeking guidance on these issues. 

Consultation

Professional guidance is available to psychologists. While options and possible outcomes may be discussed, the psychologist remains responsible for all decisions related to the course of action to be taken. Requests for consultation may be submitted through email or by telephone.

Psychologists are encouraged to follow the process outlined below: 

Before

  • Review Resource and Regulatory Information
  • Consult 
    • PAA Practice Advisor
    • Colleague and/or Supervisor
    • Another professional (e.g. lawyer, insurance, accountant)

During

  • Have access to a computer/internet (CAP webpage)
  • Find a private space to avoid interruptions and the potential for others to overhear the conversation
  • Have necessary details available

After

  • Follow up on any referrals/readings
  • Document your consultation and decision-making following a process such as the CPA ethical decision-making model
  • Evaluate your outcomes and course correct as needed

Professional Guidance Feedback

Member feedback is important. Your contribution is anonymous and will become part of a collection of information to inform professional guidance. Click here to begin a short survey.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Professional Guidance.

Engagement

Professional engagement is critical to public protection. Psychologists are encouraged to provide input and feedback on existing and proposed Standards of Practice, the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists and Practice Guidelines. Providing feedback is consistent with the professions' self-regulatory status and also aligns with the professions’ ethical commitment to engage in activities beneficial to the public. 

Feedback is solicited from psychologists and a variety of stakeholders, including other regulated health professions and Alberta Health. Feedback strategies may include a document review, online surveys or ad hoc committees. 

Member and Stakeholder Consultations

From time to time, opportunities arise for psychologists and stakeholders to review and provide feedback on new and/or proposed amendments to CAP documents. 

CAP reviews and considers all feedback submitted. We thank those in advance who generously contribute their insight to the regulatory framework that governs psychology in Alberta.

The following section provides a list of recent documents currently and/or under recent review. 

Practice Guideline: Working with Indigenous Populations and Communities: A Guide to Culturally Safe Practice and Humility

Member Consultation draft: August 2021

Sunday, September 12, 2021
Expired
Practice Guideline: Professional Regulation

Member Consultation draft: June 2021

Friday, July 30, 2021
Expired
Practice Guideline: Psychological Assessment and Testing

Member Consultation draft: June 2021

Friday, July 30, 2021
Expired

Still have questions?

Contact the Professional Guidance Department for further information.


Copyright 2021 by College of Alberta Psychologists

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This section provides information and resources to address concerns about the conduct of a psychologist. 

 

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Professional Guidance

CAP communicates with members, providing regulatory information and guidance. Regulated members are welcome to contact CAP for professional guidance related to regulatory information.

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About CAP

Learn more about CAP and its mandated responsibiliites under the Health Professions Act. 

Resources & Regulatory Information

A number of documents govern the regulation of the profession of psychology and documents and resources are developed in order to promote competent and ethical practice and to guide its members. 

Sexual Abuse/Misconduct

Addressing and Preventing Sexual Abuse and Misconduct for Psychologists