Educated Outside Canada/USA

The College welcomes psychology professionals who have trained and practiced outside of Canada and the United States, and works to fairly and efficiently evaluate all applications to determine if they meet the standards for entry to practice in British Columbia.

Practice of Psychology: In British Columbia the title “psychologist” can only be used by professionals who are registered by the College of Psychologists of BC, unless specifically exempted by regulation. The practice of psychology is defined by law as:

“Practice of psychology” includes, for a fee or reward, monetary or otherwise,

(a) The provision, to individuals, groups, organizations or the public, of any service involving the application of principles, methods and procedures of understanding, predicting and influencing behaviour, including the principles of learning, perception, motivation, thinking, emotion and interpersonal relationships,

(b) The application of methods and procedures of interviewing, counselling, psychotherapy, behaviour therapy, behaviour modification, hypnosis or research, or

(c) The construction, administration and interpretation of tests of mental abilities, aptitudes, interests, opinions, attitudes, emotions, personality characteristics, motivations and psychophysiological characteristics, and the assessment or diagnosis of behavioural, emotional and mental disorder.

If you intend to practice psychology and to use the title “psychologist” in British Columbia you must apply for registration with the College of Psychologists of BC, be approved by the College Registration Committee, and be granted a registration number.

Entry to Practice Standards: 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 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 detailed coursework information here. You can find more information about CPA and APA accreditation here. Additional resources for applicants from outside Canada/USA can be found here.

Information Meetings: The College has scheduled information meetings for foreign trained professionals who wish to become registrants of the College. These meetings are an opportunity for pre-applicants to ask questions of the College staff and obtain clarification regarding requirements. These meetings are designated specifically for foreign trained pre-applicants. Persons who have already submitted an application will have an opportunity to attend an orientation session for applicants.

Please feel free to complete a sign up form. As we tend to only receive a handful of requests each year, the College sets meeting dates according to number of requests received and notifies interested parties once a date is set.

Starting the process before arriving in Canada: You can start the application process while outside Canada, including downloading the application and submission of the required documentation. Foreign trained applicants are required to complete the same steps to registration as other applicants who have not completed a Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or American Psychological Association (APA) accredited program.

You can complete the following steps prior to arriving in Canada:

  1. Submission of application with the appropriate fee and required supporting documentation.
  2. Submission of university transcripts.
  3. Submission of credential evaluations.
  4. Submission of police checks.

Applications are reviewed by the Registration Committee to make sure the applicant’s training and credentials satisfy the registration requirements, and to identify any areas requiring clarification or further information. Once any concerns have been resolved, the Committee will grant permission in writing to the applicant to proceed to examinations. The Oral and Written Jurisprudence exams can only be taken in person in the College of Psychologists of BC offices in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) can be taken at testing centres across the United States and Canada.

Verification and Translation of Credentials: Applicants trained outside Canada and the United States must provide documentation showing their degrees have been reviewed by an international credentialing agency acceptable to the Registration Committee and indicating the agency’s evaluation of the equivalency between the applicant’s foreign training and a Canadian degree.

CPBC will accept education credential assessments from an educational credential assessor designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for Education Credential Assessment.

The following guidelines will help in your completion of the application form and other necessary documents.

  1. Application form – Please ensure all parts are completed.
  2. The following coursework requirements apply for applicants who are graduates of non-CPA- or APA-accredited programs. Please note that 13 classroom contact hours = 1 semester credit hour.  Colloquia and practica hours do not count towards the coursework requirements as set out below.First, the applicant must complete three (3) or more graduate level credits (13 classroom contact hours = 1 semester hour) in each of the 10 areas below.Secondly, the applicant must obtain six (6) or more graduate level credits in at least four (4) of the areas below. Coursework areas are as follows:
    • Biological Bases of Behaviour (physiological psychology, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, sensation and perception, or psychopharmacology);
    • Cognitive/Affective Bases of Behaviour (learning, cognition, motivation, or emotion);
    • Social Bases of Behaviour (social psychology, group processes, community psychology, environmental psychology, or organizational and systems theory);
    • Individual differences (personality theory, human development, abnormal, psychopathology);
    • Ethics and standards in professional psychology;
    • Research design and methodology (research design, experimental procedures, laboratory methods);
    • Statistics (statistics, multivariate analysis);
    • Psychometrics (measurement, test construction and validation);
    • Professional practice: assessment (application of assessment techniques);
    • Professional practice: intervention (application and theory of psychotherapy, counselling, behaviour modification).Applicants not meeting the coursework requirements are encouraged to demonstrate equivalent competence, particularly in the areas of Biological Bases of Behaviour, Cognitive/Affective Bases of Behaviour, and/or Social Bases of Behaviour.  The Registration Committee will review senior undergraduate courses in these areas, on a case-by-case basis, if requested by an applicant in response to a letter from the Registration Committee identifying deficits in required coursework.  A maximum of two undergraduate courses may receive credit towards the coursework requirement.For unmet coursework requirements, the College may require completion of additional coursework or a demonstration of equivalent competence

  3.  Please provide a detailed description, in your own words, of how the program meets each of the criteria outlined in Schedule H, Section C of the Bylaws point by point. We also encourage you to submit copies of the program catalogue and brochures, if available, published by the institution at the time you were enrolled in the program.
  4. For the purposes of registration one Area of Practice must be selected by applicants. A declaration of competence in an area of practice is a declaration by the applicant that he or she has the appropriate training, education, and experience (i.e., the tripartite requirement) in that area of psychology to be able to offer the wide range of activities and services within that area. Definitions of the recognized Areas of Practice are found in Bylaw Schedule H.1. The Registration Committee expects that a declaration in an area of practice will be consistent with the graduate program completed and subsequent internship. If the declared area of practice is different from either what is documented on the transcript or the attestation provided by the program training director, the applicant may be required to document competence in that area to the Registration Committee. Consistent with other psychology regulatory bodies in North America, the College does not offer specialty licenses to Registered Psychologists in any practice area.
  5.  Please refer to the “Pre‐Doctoral Internship Criteria” set out in Part I, section F of Schedule H of the College bylaws.  These are the criteria by which the Registration Committee evaluates all non-CPA/APA accredited internships. Please describe in a separate written submission how your internship meets each of the criteria listed in Schedule H. 
  6. Applicants should identify three referees who are registered/licensed psychologists in good standing for the past two years, and who have supervised the applicant’s work, one of whom is the internship director. All three referees should have supervised the applicant’s current clinical work, i.e., work within the five year period immediately preceding the application.N.B.: For reference purposes, a retired referee will be considered registered or licensed for a given application if he or she retired within five years of the applicant’s date of application for registration, and was registered or licensed for at least two years, in good standing, immediately prior to the date of his or her retirement.
  7. Applicants must complete the authorization form for a Criminal Record Review and send it to the College together with copies of ID OR complete the process online through the Criminal Records Review Program. For more information on this option, please consult the instructions and walk-through guide.N.B. The College does not accept shared results of a criminal record check previously completely with the Criminal Records Review Program for another organization.
  8. Applicants must submit original documentation providing the results of a national police check or the equivalent for every jurisdiction in which the applicant resided during the five‐year period immediately before the date of application, if it is not reasonably practicable to obtain such documentation for the applicable Jurisdiction, a letter of explanation is required and will go before the Registration Committee. For Canadian jurisdictions, the check must be completed by the police or RCMP.  For US jurisdictions, the check must be completed by the FBI.  For all other jurisdictions, a national check must be completed by the police or an equivalent authority.  Each check must be the most comprehensive check available in terms of coverage of records checked. Applicants must arrange for completed police check(s) to be sent directly to the College.
  9. The College requires verification of licensure and registration status from all jurisdictions in which an applicant has a previous or current application for psychology licensure or license to practice another health profession or is currently, or was previously, licensed or registered as a psychologist or other health professional.  The Verification of Licensure/Registration in other Jurisdictions form must be sent directly to the College from other licensing boards. Applicants are also expected to request that verification of status be sent directly to the College for any Certificate of Professional Qualification issued by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), any present listing with the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers (CRHSPP), and/or any present listing with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (NRHSP).
  10. Applicants currently providing, or planning to provide, psychological services in BC during the application period, are asked to submit a supervision plan, cosigned by the Registered Psychologist supervisor, including the name of the supervisor who has agreed to provide supervision and a description of proposed arrangements.  The supervisor will complete a short form at the time the applicant completes their last exam to confirm that the supervision took place according to the plan submitted.
  11. Request original and final transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate training to be sent directly from the university to the College. Applicants whose transcripts are not in English must submit translated and notarized copies of their transcripts, in addition to the original transcripts. For applicants who have completed all the requirements for their degree but who have not convocated by the date of the application, the Registration Committee will accept a letter from the Senate of the university, Director of Clinical Training of the program or other designated official from the Department of Psychology, attesting that the applicant has completed all the requirements of the degree. An original transcript indicating that the degree has been awarded is required prior to registration and placement on the College Register.
    The specific program completed (e.g., Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology) must be listed on the transcript or a letter must be sent directly from the department chair or training director to the College attesting that a specific program was completed by the applicant.