What is meant by “self-disclosures of unethical or criminal conduct”?

Individuals are required on the CPA membership/affiliateship application or renewal forms to respond to ethics questions pertaining to whether they have been sanctioned for unethical behaviour or convicted for serious criminal offence. The expression “self-disclosures of unethical or criminal conduct” refers to any disclosure of unethical behaviour or serious criminal offence made voluntarily in completing a CPA membership/affiliateship application or renewal form. Such disclosures are reviewed by the Chair of the Committee on Ethics or its Review Subcommittee, as applicable, only if it involves the disclosure of a serious criminal offence for which the individual has been convicted and a pardon has not been granted or the disclosure of unethical conduct for which the individual was sanctioned by a regulatory body, licensing board or any other professional, scientific or administrative body.

What is considered a serious criminal offence?

A serious criminal offence is defined by the CPA’s Rules and Procedures for Dealing with Reports and Complaints of Unethical Behaviour (found here: ) as an infraction of the Criminal Code or related statutes that has resulted in a peace bond, a fine of $5000 or more, probation, or any period of post-conviction imprisonment, and would include conviction of any offence classified as an indictable or hybrid offence for which a pardon has not been granted.

What is considered a “sanction”?

A sanction is any condition or penalty imposed by a disciplinary body (e.g., regulatory/licensing/certification body, research ethics board, complaint structure within a university) because of conduct that was judged by that disciplinary body to be unprofessional or unethical. Such sanctions may include, but are not limited to, fines, loss of funding, demotion or loss of position, required education, required supervision, or temporary or permanent revocation of a license or certification to practice.


How are voluntary self-disclosures of unethical or criminal behaviour handled?

The Association’s Director of Membership brings a need for review of the application or renewal to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or the CEO’s designate, who forwards the matter with all related information to the Chair of the Committee on Ethics (CoE) for review. The Chair determines whether to: (i) make a recommendation directly to the CEO; or (ii) refer the matter to the Committee’s Review Subcommittee for a formal review of the unethical behaviour and recommendation to the CEO. In either case, the individual who reported to have been sanctioned or convicted may be asked for further information by the CPA Ethics Officer or the Chair of the CoE to help to determine whether the unethical or criminal behaviour is inconsistent with the expectations set out in the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists (found here:

What happens after the Committee on Ethics completes its review of a self-disclosure of unethical or illegal behaviour?

Once the review of a self-disclosure has been completed, the Committee’s Chair or Review Subcommittee, as applicable, makes a recommendation to the Association’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the CEO’s designate about whether the relevant membership/affiliateship application or renewal should be approved, denied, or made provisional under specified conditions and, in the case of an existing Member or Affiliate, whether further action is required (e.g., temporary conditions on continued CPA membership or affiliateship, recommendation that the Member or Affiliate be suspended or expelled from the Association). The CEO then determines whether to uphold the recommendation made by the Committee’s Chair or Review Subcommittee. The CPA Board of Directors is responsible for making the final determination when the CEO does not agree with the recommendation from the Committee on Ethics.