Reporting Unethical Behaviour

What do I do if I have a complaint or concern about a psychologist?

If you have a complaint or concern about the services provided by a licensed or registered psychologist in Canada, you should contact the provincial/territorial regulatory body of psychology in the province or territory where the services were provided.  You can find a complete list of those bodies here:

If your complaint or concern involves services provided by someone who is not a licensed or registered psychologist (e.g., a researcher, teacher, consultant, psychotherapist, life coach), it should instead be forwarded to another appropriate authority for a response (e.g., another provincial/territorial regulatory body or a professional certifying organization of which that person is a part, a university disciplinary committee that has jurisdiction to hear a complaint about that person, an institutional complaint process, the person’s employer).

If you are not sure who you should contact, please send an email to or call 1-888-472-0657 ext. 260 to reach the CPA Ethics Officer for more information.

What is the role of the CPA in responding to complaints of unethical behaviour against its Members or Affiliates?

In brief, the CPA does not have a role in responding to direct complaints of unethical behaviour against its Members or Affiliates.

The CPA is a national, voluntary association whose Members include scientists, practitioners, and educators in psychology.  The CPA does not certify, license, or regulate its Members or Affiliates to practice in Canada. That is the responsibility of the provincial/territorial regulatory bodies of psychology under their respective statutory laws.

The CPA does not investigate complaints of alleged unethical behaviour against its Members or Affiliates. This is based on the fact that the CPA does not have regulatory authority or jurisdiction over the research, teaching, or practice of psychology in Canada. This is also based on the principle that fairness and justice are best served when investigation and review of complaints are carried out as close as possible to the parties and situation by bodies with the legal mandate, resources, and structures to do so.

For the same reasons, the CPA does not contest or re-adjudicate complaints that already have been processed by an appropriate external body (e.g., a professional regulatory body, a university disciplinary committee, a court of law). In the case of a substantiated complaint against one of its Members or Affiliates, the CPA reviews the findings of the external body and decides whether the individual subject to that complaint can remain a Member or Affiliate of the CPA.

If you have any questions about the information presented above, please contact the CPA Ethics Officer at or call 1-888-472-0657 ext. 260.

NOTE: If there is any discrepancy between the information presented above and any provision of the CPA’s Rules and Procedures for Dealing with Reports of Unethical Behaviour (found here:, the provisions of the CPA’s Rules and Procedures shall prevail.

Committee on Ethics
February 2023