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.
Standard for Entry to Practice
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 predoctoral 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
Start Your Application Outside or Inside Canada
CPBC has collaborated with participating members of the Association of Canadian Psychology Regulatory Organizations (ACPRO) to make application for registration by internationally-educated psychologists more streamlined and consistent across participating Canadian jurisdictions. ACPRO has developed a portal where internationally-educated applicants can now apply for licensure in Canada. The ACPRO Portal serves as a single window of entry for participating Canadian jurisdictions. The ACPRO portal will compile and authenticate required standard application documentation, including:
- Identity documents
- Education documents
- Registration/license documents
- Language proficiency test results
- Criminal background check
Once you have completed this process, you may authorize the ACPRO portal to provide your application package to CPBC for evaluation for registration in British Columbia.
Completing Application for CPBC Registration
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. In addition to the application package compiled by the ACPRO portal, you will be required to complete a written information statement, which can be found here, demonstrating you have met the following requirements:
- Applicants must demonstrate they have met the College coursework requirements of a minimum of three (3) or more graduate level credits (13 classroom contact hours = 1 semester hour) in each of the 10 areas below and a minimum of six (6) or more graduate level credits in at least four (4) of the areas below. (Please note that 13 classroom contact hours = 1 semester credit hour. Colloquia and practica hours do not count towards the coursework requirements.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Applicants are required to 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 should have been the applicant’s 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.
- All applicants in British Columbia must undergo a Criminal Record Review through the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP). This is different than the Police Record Check required in the ACPRO portal process, and is specific to Canadian jurisdictions. For many applicants, this can be completed online. Please consult the instructions document which includes a link and College specific access code and review the walk-through guide. The College does not accept shared results of a criminal record check previously completely with the Criminal Records Review Program for another organization.If you are unable to complete the online process, please follow this link to request a consent to a criminal record request form from the College. You will need to complete the form and return it to the College along with copies of two acceptable forms of ID. The Criminal Records Review Program no longer allows organizations to post this form publicly. All applicants who are unable to use the online process must use this form as of October 5, 2019. Any older versions of the form will be rejected by the CRRP.
- 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.
There is a $1,100 fee (Canadian Currency or US Equivalent) for this review process, and you are required to submit this payment along with the written information statement.
Proceeding to Examinations
Once any concerns have been resolved, the Registration Committee will grant permission in writing to the applicant to proceed to the examinations stage of the application process. The Oral examination can only be taken in person in the College of Psychologists of BC offices in Vancouver, British Columbia. Written Jurisprudence exams can be taken online. The Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) can be taken at testing centres across the United States and Canada. Completion of the examination stage is the final step before your application goes to the Registration Committee for a final decision on licensure.