Type: COVID-19

March 13, 2020

Dear Registrants,

Please read below for new important update information for Registrants.

1.     Information About COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for College of Psychologists of BC Registrants

An important resource for information about COVID-19 for all BC health practitioners is the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website, which offers guidance to health professionals on COVID-19 that is updated on an ongoing basis. The Public Health Agency of Canada website also has detailed information on COVID-19 for health professionals, including the interim national case definition for coronavirus disease.

The BCCDC website provides guidance on infection control as well as guidance to those needing medical care, advising that anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, should contact their primary care provider or call 811. If a patient/client is concerned about potential exposure or is experiencing symptoms, ask them if they have taken the above steps. If not, encourage them to make the call immediately and follow medical advice. For those requiring urgent care, for example chest pains or difficulty breathing, the number to call is, as always, 911

2.     Telepsychology

Many registrants are considering providing services to their clients through telephone and online services to protect their clients and themselves. The College has posted  checklists on Telepsychology and Telepsychology Assessment which provide general guidance to assist registrants in identifying issues and options that should be considered, and implementing strategies to address issues, resolve problems and improve practice, with respect to this aspect of
psychology practice.  These checklists were developed under the aegis of the Quality Assurance Committee and the Practice Support Service.

Registrants may also find it is helpful to review the 2016 CPBC AGM presentation of Dr. Christine Korol “Safely Integrating Technology Into Your Practice” for helpful information about using these technologies in practice. That presentation is available through the Registrant Portal of the CPBC website.

As always, the CPBC Practice Support Service is available to Registrants for assistance in considering new aspects of practice in both general and specific contexts. Please feel free to contact Practice Support:

By telephone: (604) 736-6164 (or toll free in BC at 1-800-665-0979), option 4
By facsimile: (604) 736-6133
By email: practicesupport@collegeofpsychologists.bc.ca

3.     Announcing the Postponement of CPBC 2019 AGM

Typically, the CPBC AGM occurs during the month of May.  In the context of the COVIC-19 pandemic, the CPBC Board has determined it is prudent to postpone the AGM until a time when concerns for infection control and social distancing have passed. The Board anticipates that the AGM will be deferred until the Fall, and will establish and communicate a date in coming weeks.

In the interim, the College is considering an appropriate date for an online information session to be held in May, wherein Registrants will have the opportunity to attend a program to provide information about matters related to the government’s recent proposal to amalgamate health professions colleges and other matters important to the ongoing business of the College. Please watch for confirmation of that event in coming weeks as well.

4.     Ministry of Health Emergency Contact List

The Ministry of Health has asked all health professions regulators to assemble a list of registrants who are available to be contacted to provide services in an emergency. Registered Psychologists who wish to be on such a list are invited to contact the College by emailing feedback@collegeofpsychologists.bc.ca using the subject heading “emergency” and providing their name, registration number and contact information, including phone numbers and preferred email addresses, in the body of the email.

5.     College Hours of Operation

The College continues to be open for regular hours of operation from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday, and staff are briefed on infection control protocols and social distancing practices. However, there may come a time when it is prudent to reduce the number of staff working at the office or reduce the number of hours the office is available to the public and registrants. Should that need arise, CPBC will inform you of the changes and appreciates your support and understanding in the impacts those changes might have on the level service we are able to provide.

Kind Regards,
Andrea Kowaz, Ph.D., R.Psych.,
College of Psychologists of BC