License to Practice in Canada

To practice psychology in Canada, like other health care professionals, psychologists must be licensed. Licensure to practice is granted by regulatory bodies in each Canadian jurisdiction. Click here or see below for a listing of all the Canadian regulatory bodies of psychology.

Alternate terms for licensure are registered and chartered. When considering the services of any professional, it is always wise to seek the services of someone who is licensed. Licensure helps to protect the public by ensuring that the professional has met, and is accountable to, rigorous standards of practice.

Requirements for Licensure

The requirements for licensure vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions, the doctorate degree is required for registration and in others it is the master’s degree. Psychologists with a doctoral degree can use the title ‘Dr. ’. Click here or see below for a listing of all the provincial and territorial licensing requirements.

For those trained in Canada:

For psychologists already registered in one Canadian jurisdiction wanting to practice in another jurisdiction, their mobility might be facilitated by the Mutual Recognition Agreement.

For those trained outside of Canada:

For those trained in psychology outside of Canada, and who want to move to a Canadian jurisdiction to practice psychology, they should contact the regulatory body in the jurisdiction in which they want to practice to determine if they have the necessary qualifications for registration.

For those wanting to study psychology outside of Canada, and then return to work as a psychologist in Canada, they should also contact the regulatory body in the jurisdiction to which they are likely to return, to ensure that the foreign studies they are planning to undertake would give them the necessary credentials for registration to practice psychology in Canada.

Information on the Provincial and Territorial Associations, Regulatory Bodies and Licensing Requirements

Provincial and Territorial Associations

Each province and territory also has a psychological association whose mandate is to meet the needs of Canadian psychologists and advocate for science and practice within their own jurisdictions: Provincial & Territorial Associations.

Provincial and Territorial Regulatory Bodies

Each province and territory also has regulatory bodies whose responsibility is to oversee the licensure of the psychologists in a respective province or territory: Provincial & Territorial Regulatory Bodies.

Provincial and Territorial Licensing Requirements

Each province and territory has specific licensing requirements for the psychologists and psychological associates practicing in a given province or territory: Provincial & Territorial Licensing Requirements.

Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) of the Regulatory Bodies for Professional Psychologists in Canada

The purpose of the MRA is to establish the conditions under which a psychologist who is licensed/registered to practice without supervision in one Canadian jurisdiction will have his/her qualifications recognized in another jurisdiction that is a Party to this Agreement.

Agreement on Internal Trade

The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) is an intergovernmental agreement signed by Canadian First Ministers that came into force in 1995. Its purpose is to foster improved interprovincial trade by addressing obstacles to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada. In January 2009, Canada's premiers agreed to amend the AIT (specifically Chapter 7 on Labour Mobility) to remove labour mobility barriers for certified workers so they will be able to move freely to work where opportunities exist. Click here for more information. 

CPA has put forth a number of briefs, responses and positions on this issue, including:

For information on other briefs, responses and position put forth by CPA on a variety of issues of relevance to the practice of psychology, click here