Psychologist Registration Overview
The College of Psychologists of British Columbia grants registration to applicants who meet the registration requirements and standards established by the Health Professions Act (HPA), the Psychologists Regulation and the College Bylaws. The College confirms an applicant meets these standards through a careful review and validation of an applicant’s education, training and practice experience as well as requiring oral and written exams. All applicants are required to provide references from three licensed/registered psychologists. The College also requires a criminal records and national police records check and will examine an applicant’s history for any investigations, discipline or limitations on practice in other jurisdictions. The application process is detailed and thorough and ensures College registrants meet the high standard required to protect public health and safety.
The standard for entry to practice as a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia is completion of a Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or American Psychological Association (APA) accredited doctoral degree in psychology completed in residence and a CPA or APA accredited 12-month pre-doctoral internship, or the equivalent. You can find more information about doctoral program and internship requirements in the College Bylaws Schedule H here and coursework information here. Find more information about CPA and APA accreditation here. A flowchart of the process can be found here and includes the following pathways (click to expand):
If you were trained in Canada or the US and have completed a CPA/APA accredited doctoral degree in psychology completed in residence and a fulltime CPA/APA accredited 12-month internship, or the equivalent, then these are the steps you must complete to confirm eligibility. If your program of study or internship was not CPA or APA accredited and completed in residence, your application will require more information and may take more time to complete.
The Canadian Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) facilitates the mobility of workers across the country. Applicants currently registered in another Canadian jurisdiction as the equivalent of a registered psychologist may apply through a streamlined registration process in accordance with the BC Labour Mobility Act, the Agreement on Internal Trade, and section 44(2), 45(2) or 47(2) of the College’s Bylaws.
Applicants who hold licensure in a United States jurisdiction as the equivalent of a registered psychologist and are either currently registered with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (NRHSP) or currently holding a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) issued by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) can apply through a streamlined registration process.
Applicants who have not completed their training in Canada or the United States and are not currently registered in either jurisdiction will require additional steps and resources to complete their application process. The College works to fairly and efficiently evaluate all applications to determine if they meet the standards for entry to practice in British Columbia.
This class of registration is intended for applicants currently licensed or registered for active practice in another jurisdiction in Canada or the United States and wishing to practice in British Columbia on a temporary basis (e.g., providing expert testimony).
Other Classes of Registration
The College also regulates the limited classes of Associate Psychologist (Corrections), intended for individuals with master’s degrees in psychology who are employed with a federal or provincial government corrections agency and practice only under the supervision of a registrant of the College in accordance with a supervision plan, and Psychology Assistant, for individuals who do not meet the criteria for other classes of registration but are competent to work safely under the supervision of a registered psychologist. Registration in either class does not allow for independent practice, including practice using any other title (such as RCC).
More information about these classes can be found in the College Bylaws or by contacting the College.