First Session, 47th General Assembly
61 Elizabeth II, 2012
AN ACT TO AMEND THE PSYCHOLOGISTS ACT, 2005
Received and Read the First Time...................................................................................................
HONOURABLE SUSAN SULLIVAN
Minister of Health and Community Services
Ordered to be printed by the Honourable House of Assembly
This Bill would amend the Psychologists Act, 2005 to
· state the objects of the board;
· amend the duties of the registrar;
· allow the board to grant temporary registration to a psychologist registered in another jurisdiction;
· establish a quality assurance program that includes continuing education and professional development; and
· incorporate quality assurance measures by authorizing the appointment of a quality assurance committee to perform quality assurance reviews, and by requiring compliance with those reviews.
AN ACT TO AMEND THE PSYCHOLOGISTS ACT, 2005
Part I Heading Added
Part II Heading Added
Part III Heading Added
Part IV Added
15. Part V Heading Added
S.31.1 & 31.2 Added
Part VI Heading Added
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. The Psychologists Act, 2005 is amended by adding immediately after section 2 the following:
2. Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following:
(1.1) The objects of the board include
(a) the promotion of
(i) high standards of practice, and
(ii) continuing competency and quality improvement through continuing education;
(b) the administration of a registration program; and
(c) ensuring that the public interest is protected by the administration of a quality assurance program and a discipline process.
3. Section 9 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Duties of registrar
9. (1) The registrar is the secretary of the board and shall
(a) keep a record of the proceedings of the board;
(b) maintain a register containing the names of the persons holding certificates of registration together with other information that the board may require;
(c) maintain a website which shall be available to the public and shall include
(i) the annual report,
(ii) the register,
(iii) the regulations,
(iv) the by-laws, and
(v) other information required by the regulations; and
(d) carry out other duties required by the Act and the regulations or as may be assigned by the board.
(2) The registrar shall make the registers of the board available for inspection by the public on reasonable notice and at reasonable times.
(3) Upon request, and the payment of a reasonable fee, the board shall provide the information on its website in paper form.
4. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 9 the following:
5. Section 10 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Application for registration
10. A person may apply for registration under this Act where he or she
(a) holds a doctoral degree or a master’s degree in a program of study in psychology from an educational institution satisfactory to the board;
(b) meets to the board’s satisfaction the required competencies as specified in “Guidelines for Evaluation of Applicants for Registration as a Psychologist” or a successor document adopted by the board;
(c) has obtained professional liability coverage in a form and amount satisfactory to the board;
(d) has paid the registration fee set by the board;
(e) submits an application in the form prescribed by the board; and
(f) satisfies other requirements prescribed in the regulations.
6. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 10 the following:
10.1 (1) The board may grant full registration to a person where the person
(a) meets the requirements in section 10;
(b) completes to the board’s satisfaction the examination prescribed by the board; and
(i) where he or she holds a doctoral degree, at least one year of professional experience, or
(ii) where he or she holds a master’s degree, at least 2 years of professional experience
in the field of psychology satisfactory to the board that was obtained after the degree and was supervised to the satisfaction of the board.
(2) The registrar shall issue an annual certificate of registration on approval of an application which shall expire on December 31 of the year for which it is issued.
(3) A registered psychologist may apply for a renewal of his or her annual certificate and where he or she meets the requirements of subsection (1) the registrar shall issue an annual certificate under subsection (2).
7. (1) Subsection 11(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
11. (1) The board may grant provisional registration to a person
(a) where the person meets the requirements in section 10 but does not meet the requirements in paragraphs 10.1(b) and (c); and
(b) in other circumstances considered appropriate by the board.
(2) Subsection 11(3) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(3) Provisional registration is valid until December 31 of the year for which it is issued and the board may, on application, renew a provisional registration.
8. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 11 the following:
11.1 (1) The board may grant temporary registration to a person where the person
(a) submits proof satisfactory to the board that he or she is registered in another jurisdiction and that his or her registration is not subject to any terms or conditions; and
(b) pays the fee set by the board.
(2) Temporary registration is valid for 30 days and the board may, on application, renew a temporary registration once in a 12 month period.
9. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 13 the following:
10. Subsection 15(9) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(9) The complaints authorization committee and an adjudication tribunal appointed under section 19 and a person appointed by either of them may summon a respondent or other person to give evidence, orally or in writing, upon oath or affirmation, and produce the documents and things that either of them considers necessary to the full investigation and hearing of an allegation or complaint and shall have the powers, privileges and immunities that are conferred on a commissioner appointed under the Public Inquiries Act, 2006.
11. (1) Subsection 18(1) of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (a) the following:
(a.1) refer the allegation to the quality assurance committee;
(2) Subsection 18(5) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(5) Where the registrar, a director or another person requires that a respondent or another person provide information under subsection (4), that information shall be provided within 7 days of the receipt of the request or a different period as specified.
12. Subsections 24(1) and (2) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:
Filing and publication of decisions
24. (1) An adjudication tribunal shall file a decision or order made under subsection 22(2) or 23(3) with the registrar and provide a copy to the
(c) respondent’s employer, if applicable; and
(d) respondent’s provisional registration professional experience supervisor, if applicable.
(2) The registrar shall maintain a copy of a decision or order filed under subsection (1) for a minimum of 10 years after the day the decision is filed and shall upon receiving a request to view the disciplinary records in relation to a registered psychologist permit a person to view a summary of a decision where that registered psychologist was the respondent, prepared in accordance with subsection (4).
13. Section 28 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
28. (1) Where a person who was ordered to pay the costs of the board under paragraph 22(2)(e) or 23(3)(e) fails to pay in the time required, the board may suspend the registration of that person until the costs are paid.
(2) Costs ordered to be paid under paragraph 22(2)(e) or 23(3)(e) are a debt due the board and may be recovered by the board by a civil action.
14. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 30 the following:
Quality assurance program
30.1 (1) The board shall establish and maintain a quality assurance program to promote high standards of practice within the psychology profession.
(2) The quality assurance program shall include mandatory continuing education and professional development and shall be designed to promote
(a) continuing competence; and
(b) continuing quality improvement.
Quality assurance committee
30.2 (1) The board may appoint a committee known as the quality assurance committee.
(2) The quality assurance committee shall investigate a concern
(a) on the referral of a quality assurance issue by
(i) the registrar, or
(ii) the complaints authorization committee; or
(b) on its own accord.
(3) The quality assurance committee may
(a) subpoena records, including patient records;
(b) order a psychologist to undergo an evaluation, assessment or examination;
(c) order a review of a psychologist’s practice, including any consequential review of patient records;
(d) order periodic or random audits of aspects of a psychologist’s practice; and
(e) accept an agreement between the board and the psychologist to give effect to matters which could be ordered by the quality assurance committee.
(4) Where a psychologist fails to comply with an order made by the quality assurance committee, that committee shall refer that failure to comply as an allegation to the complaints authorization committee.
30.3 (1) The quality assurance committee may appoint persons registered as psychologists under this Act as assessors for the purposes of the quality assurance program.
(2) An assessor may, for the purposes of the quality assurance program
(a) enter, without notice and at reasonable times, places where psychology is practised to make necessary inspections;
(b) inspect that psychologist’s records of care administered to patients;
(c) require from the psychologist information required by the quality assurance committee or the assessor respecting the assessment and care of patients by the psychologist, or his or her records of care administered to patients; and
(d) require that the psychologist confer with the quality assurance committee.
(3) A psychologist whose standards of practice are the subject of an assessment under the quality assurance program shall cooperate fully with the quality assurance committee and assessors.
(4) An assessor may access patient records without the consent of that patient.
(5) All records and specific information relating to the quality assurance program or a review or recommendation under it are confidential.
Report and compliance
30.4 (1) Upon completion of an assessment an assessor shall submit a report of his or her findings to the committee and the committee shall review the report and may
(a) make no recommendation to the psychologist who has been assessed; or
(b) confer with the psychologist assessed and make those remedial recommendations to him or her that the quality assurance committee considers appropriate.
(2) The committee may
(a) direct the psychologist who has been assessed to comply with recommendations made by the quality assurance committee under subsection (1); and
(b) direct that a psychologist be reassessed.
30.5 The costs incurred by a psychologist in implementing remedial recommendations of the quality assurance committee shall be paid by that psychologist and shall not be a cost of the committee or the board.
Termination of review
30.6 (1) Where an assessor or a member of the quality assurance committee learns, in the course of a review, that a psychologist may be guilty of conduct deserving of sanction within the meaning of section 14 the assessment shall be terminated, the psychologist shall be advised, and the matter shall be referred to the complaints authorization committee to be dealt with as a complaint.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection 30.3(5), an assessor or a member of a quality assurance committee shall provide all information and documents in its possession relating to the review to the complaints authorization committee.
(3) An order of the quality assurance committee issued before it refers a matter to the complaints authorization committee under subsection (1) remains in effect notwithstanding the referral of the matter to the complaints authorization committee.
Duty to report
30.7 (1) A psychologist who has knowledge, from direct observation or objective evidence, of conduct deserving of sanction of another psychologist shall report the known facts to the registrar.
(2) A person who dissolves a partnership with a psychologist based on direct knowledge of the psychologist’s conduct deserving of sanction shall report the known facts to the registrar.
(3) An action shall not be brought against a psychologist, officer, partnership or association for the sole reason that the person, officer, partnership or association complied with this section.
15. The Act is amended by adding immediately before section 31 the following:
16. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 31 the following:
Notice of change
31.1 A psychologist registered under this Act shall provide written notice to the board of
(a) a change in his or her employer or address prior to the change; and
(b) an intended change in his or her scope of practice at least 30 days prior to implementing the change.
31.2 This Act shall not be interpreted as forbidding a legally registered psychologist of another province or country from providing training, education or consultative services for a maximum of 28 days, where the psychologist does not hold himself or herself out as a registered psychologist registered to practice in the province.
17. Section 33 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
33. (1) An action for damages does not lie against the board, registrar, officer, employee or agent of the board, a person or committee designated by the board, the board as a corporation, an assessor, the complaints authorization committee, a person appointed by the complaints authorization committee, the quality assurance committee, a person appointed by the quality assurance committee, the disciplinary panel, an adjudication tribunal or the individual members of those bodies for an act, purported act or failure to act or a proceeding initiated or carried out in good faith under this Act, or for carrying out duties or obligations under this Act or any regulations or by-laws made under it.
(2) An action for defamation shall not be founded in the publication of a communication that consists of or pertains to an allegation or complaint where that communication is published in the course of proceedings under this Act.
18. Subsection 34(1) of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (i) the following:
(i.1) respecting the maintenance of the register and the form and contents of it;
(i.2) establishing standards governing the practice of psychology, including standards of professional competence and of capacity and fitness to practice;
(i.3) respecting the remuneration, and allowances payable to directors of the board for attending meetings and for carrying out the functions of the board under this Act, with power to prescribe different rates for different members and different functions;
19. Subsection 35(1) of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (a) the following:
(a.1) respecting the terms and conditions on which registration and provisional registration may be granted or renewed;
(a.2) prescribing the prerequisites, terms and conditions respecting supervision of a person granted provisional registration;
20. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 38 the following:
21. This Act comes into force on October 31, 2012.
©William E. Parsons, Queen's Printer