To facilitate the development and recognition of continuing education activities, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has, since 1983, offered a system for reviewing and approving organizations and individuals that offer formal CE programmes and activities, including universities, clinics, professional associations, specialty societies, consulting firms, and individual psychologists.
Continuing education is intended to provide psychologists with new information, research, and skills in their area of focus, but is not intended to replace formal degree or internship training. CE in psychology is an ongoing process consisting of learning activities that:
- Are relevant to psychological practice, education and science,
- Enable psychologists to keep pace with emerging issues and technologies, and
- Allow psychologists to maintain, develop, and increase competencies in order to improve services to the public and enhance contributions to the profession.
The CPA approval programme and associated standards apply only to the subset of CE activities that are structured and organized by a provider or sponsor. Continuing education or professional development can also occur through participation in other learning activities as well as self-directed studies. Many professions now recognize the value of structured self-initiated learning projects, personal practice reviews, audits, incident reports, utilization studies, research, teaching, and clinical practice guideline development as some of the many options that can contribute to continuing professional education.
CPA assures that the CE programmes and activities of the sponsoring organizations and individuals are adequately planned and administered to meet specified standards, criteria, and procedures. CPA, through its Registrar for the Office of Accreditation, will review proposed new activities, as well as sponsors’ ongoing activities, through the annual report process. Approval relates only to the ability to sponsor CE activities. It is not accreditation of the sponsor organization. Accreditation is reserved for formal educational training (graduate and internship) programmes. Advertising and promotional materials can refer to approval and are not to use the term ‘accreditation’. The granting of approval for an organization to sponsor CE does not constitute approval of that organization in its other activities. CPA has no legal or financial obligations to either approved sponsors or to those individuals registered for sponsors’ continuing education activities.
Please review the links on this page to assist in preparing your application as a sponsor or provider of CE activities.