It is timely to review the basic parameters of the Practice Support Service (PSS) offered by the College. The PSS is a free service offered by the College to assist individual registrants in considering how best to handle ethical dilemmas and practice decisions, and to enhance clinical practice in accordance with the College’s public protection mandate. The PSS is intended to supplement peer clinical consultation, which should be a routine component of clinical practice. It does not offer legal advice and is not intended to replace legal consultation.
The PSS provides registrants with an opportunity to discuss unfamiliar or new ethical dilemmas and practice situations with a senior psychologist who is familiar with governing legislation, the Code of Conduct, and general psychology practice issues. The intent of the service is to assist registrants in identifying and clarifying issues to be considered, in evaluating options, and in taking steps to address issues consistently with Code requirements and ethical practice. Registrants who contact the Service are referred to relevant Code standards and other relevant documentation as appropriate, and are offered a discussion of the issues under consideration. Consistent with Standard 3.1 of the Code, the final decision regarding the course of action to be taken in the circumstance under consideration remains the responsibility of the registrant who has contacted the service.
General information regarding Practice Support inquiries is collected, and is presented in summary form each year in the College’s annual report. Queries to the Service are confidential within the limits of the Code of Conduct and legislation. Registrants who access the service are doing so for their own practice enhancement and specific circumstance. For this reason, Practice Support responses are confidential to the recipient and are not to be disseminated more broadly. As registrants understand, the particular circumstance of any practice issue or ethical dilemma is key in deciding the appropriate course of action. The PSS does not provide the “official College stance” on any matter. It does assist individual registrants in considering their specific circumstance.
Registrants who have a general issue they believe is of broader interest to registrants are welcome to submit a request in writing to the College with a request for the development of a Practice Support checklist or other response as appropriate. These requests will be considered by the Board or Quality Assurance Committee, as appropriate. General PSS documents, including the Practice Support checklists, are prepared under the direction of the Quality Assurance Committee, and are intended to assist registrants in considering broad considerations relevant to particular issues. Existing Practice Support checklists are available on the College website under the PSS tab, and may be found by clicking here.
The PSS cannot respond to questions regarding any matter currently under investigation or discipline by the College, and is not able to address specific questions regarding an individual’s registration. Registrants with questions regarding complaint matters should direct their inquiries to Line 3 on the College’s telephone directory, and registrants with questions related to their registration should direct those inquiries to Line 5. Registrants with a specific inquiry related to their ethical practice are welcome to contact the PSS by leaving a message on Line 4, or via email, facsimile, or regular post. All contact information for the PSS is located below. Practice Support inquiries are responded to via telephone, regardless of how the inquiry is sent, to enable a direct conversation regarding the matter at hand.
The College remains pleased regarding the high level of registrant engagement with the PSS.