Frequently Asked Questions about CPA Sections

Click on the Frequently Asked Question below to see the corresponding answers.

What is a Section?

1) What is a CPA Section?

A CPA Section is a group of psychologists with common interests. Sections may be added, change or disappear from time to time at the discretion of the CPA Board.

Sections have official status under the By-Laws of the Association. They are the primary agents through which the particular and special needs of members are met and interests served, and have the power to:

  • Initiate and undertake activities of relevance to its members.
  • Draft position papers on topics of relevance to the Section.
  • Initiate policy statements in areas of expertise.
  • Organize meetings within CPA.
  • Make specific representation to external agencies or organizations, if it has received the approval of the Board of Directors to do so.
  • Recommend that CPA make specific representations to external organizations or agencies.
2) I wanted to be a member of a Section but it is no longer in the list. Why?

A Section must number at least 25 Affiliates and Fellows/Members to continue. The By-Laws of the Association mandate that the Board of Directors may dissolve a Section when the Section's membership falls below 25 Affiliates and Fellows/Members. In some cases, a Section may be merged with another to form a new Section while still addressing a given content area.

3) What role do Sections play in CPA’s Annual Convention?

Sections play a key role in CPA’s Annual Convention programming in June, as the majority of the content is Section-driven. Sections identify speakers for their program, review their Section’s submissions, and retain a certain amount of the program for their Section in the form of posters, conversation sessions, theory reviews and symposia. As per by-laws, Sections must hold an Annual Business meeting during the convention; they may choose to host a reception.

4) How can I join a CPA Section?

You can enroll in a CPA Section online, in several ways:

  • when completing the online Membership Renewal application
  • when completing the New Membership application form
  • as a paid CPA Member/Affiliate, you can click on Membership Profilein the Members Only Area to enroll in a section at any time.

Please contact the CPA Member Service Centre at or by telephone 613-237-2144 (Toll Free 1-888-472-0657) ext. 324 if you need any assistance.

5) How can I be an executive on a Section?
  1. Candidates for all executive positions in a Section must be members, fellows or affiliates of CPA and the Section of interest.
  2. You may contact the Chair and express your interest or as a member of a Section, respond to the Chair’s call for nominations for vacant positions
  3. Nominations for vacant positions on the Executive Committee may be made up to the time of the annual election, either by e-mail or in person at the Annual General Meeting.
  4. Nominations shall include: a statement from the candidate indicating his/her willingness to stand for office; a brief biographical statement from the candidate; and a letter of nomination signed by at least three Members or Fellows of the Section.
6) How active are each of the Sections?

It all depends on the Section. If you would like more information on a Section, you may contact the Section Chair by going to the CPA Section website ( and going under the Section that interests you. Each Section webpage contains a description of the Section’s mission and contact information for the Chair.

7) Can I resign from and/or get a refund on my Section Membership(s)?

According to Section by-laws, “any member may resign from membership in the Section by giving written notice to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Section. Membership dues are not refundable following resignation.”

8) What is the Section Associate Category

The Section Associate category is for individuals who do not qualify for membership or are interested in joining only one section and receiving their section communication, along with a quarterly newsletter from the CPA.

The fee to become a Section Associate is $85 + the fee for the chosen section + tax.

Section Associates do not have access to BMS Liability Insurance, nor do they have access to CPA Member Benefits or the ability to vote or hold office in the association. A full list of benefits, by category, can be found here -

To apply to be a Section Associate -

What is a Section Chair?

1) What is a CPA Section?

Section Chairs provide the overall supervision and administration of the affairs of the Section and ensure that all policies and actions approved by the general membership or by the executive Committee are properly implemented.

Section Chairs preside at general meetings of the Section and chair meetings of the Executive Committee. They also represent the Section on the CPA Committee on Sections, to the CPA Board of Directors, and to external bodies.

Section Chairs are responsible for providing an annual report to the members and to the CPA.

2) Do I need to be a member of CPA to be Chair of a Section?

Yes. As per CPA By-Laws, every member of the Executive Committee must be a member of CPA. If you are not a member, you may apply online by visiting:

3) How long is the Chair term?

Chair terms are normally 1-year unless specified otherwise in a Section’s Terms of Reference. Chairs may stay on in the position beyond a term as voted on by the Section Membership during the Section’s Annual Business meeting during the CPA convention in June.

4) How do I form a Section?

Approval to establish a Section within CPA may be granted by the Board of Directors when a group of at least 25 (any combination) CPA Fellows/ Members and Affiliates of the Association submit a petition which includes: 1) a statement of purpose and goals of the proposed Section; 2) the name of the Section; 3) the name of the founding Chairperson or Coordinator; and 4) the name of any other founding officers.

Additional information on forming a Section can be found on this page,

5) Does the Chair need to create Terms of Reference for the Section?

Yes. Within one year of obtaining approval to establish a Section from the CPA Board of Directors, a Section is required to pass Terms of Reference (by email vote or at the Section's annual business meeting held during the Convention) in conformity with the Model Terms of Reference. These Section-passed Terms of Reference shall be forwarded for Board approval to the Chair of the Committee on Sections via email at
Section Terms of Reference may completely parallel the Model Terms of Reference structure, or expand on them as the Section sees fit.

6) Who makes the decision on the amount for Sections fees?

Sections establish their own membership fees, discussing/voting on them at their Annual Business Meeting in June during the CPA convention. Fees are collected by the CPA during the course of membership renewal. Three times per year, January, April and October, the Financial Coordinator direct deposits into the Section’s account the total collected.

7) Will the full amount from Section fees come to the Section?

No. CPA keeps an administration fee for each member: $2.00/Section member/special or international affiliates, $1.00/student/international students.

8) How can I direct members to join a Section?

People can sign up for a Section when they register for CPA membership or at the time of renewal by logging into their account ( or by contacting CPA by email at or by telephone.

9) Can I advertise in Psynopsis?

Space in each issue of Psynopsis is made available to Sections in order to provide a formal mechanism for communication to Section members and to all other members of CPA. The Editor may solicit content for the space by direct correspondence with each Section prior to each volume; however, Section contributions may be sent at any time directly to the Editor. Psynopsis is published in January, April, July, and October of each year. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of the preceding month.

10) Do I have a specific format to follow for our Section’s newsletter or letterhead?

Newsletter: Sections are free to develop and circulate their own newsletters. However, each newsletter must carry the following disclaimer: "The opinions expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Canadian Psychological Association, its officers, directors, or employees".

Letterhead: Since Sections do not represent the Canadian Psychological Association as a whole, they are not supplied with CPA letterhead or stationery.

11) Can I post any job postings on the ListServ?

No. Position vacancies must be posted on CPA’s career page. All requests for postings are reviewed by a staff member and the fee for posting is commensurate with how long the posting is up on CPA’s website. Once a job is posted on CPA’s website, Section members can be notified of the position and referred to CPA’s website via the listServ.

12) How do I make edits to my Section’s webpages?

Direct editing access is not currently available. Any edits to the contents of the Section pages can be sent to the CPA’s who will take care of making the edits on your behalf.

13) What is the Section Management System?

The Section Management System is an online tool hosted on CPA’s website, for which login access is required. You can access the SMS through CPA’s Members Only Area on the website: The SMS allows you to manage all of your Section’s administrative tasks, including: updating your Section’s executive’s list, sending emails to your membership, displaying financial reconciliation, displaying the address list for your members, submitting invited speakers, accessing the submission review system/submission, accessing the Review Coordinator system, accessing resources such as the Operations Manual, Model Terms of Reference, Template for certificates, etc.. For more detailed information, please consult the Section Spaces Chair Manual

14) Do I have to send CPA a list of the executive?

Yes, CPA must have an updated list by July 2nd.

15) Do I have access to any administrative support from the CPA Head Office?

Yes, the CPA has a staff member devoted specifically to providing Administrative Support to the Sections. She can be reached at The Sections Administrative Assistant is available to provide assists with various tasks, including but not limited to: convention submissions and programming, administration, financial reporting/management, and website editing.

Additonal resources are available for the Section Chair on this page:

16) What documents are available to Section Chairs?

The CPA has compiled the following documents to aid Chairs of CPA’s Sections in the formation, responsibilities, and running of a Section.

Sections Operations Manual

17) What needs to happen once a new Section has been formed?

Section Terms of Reference

Within one year of obtaining approval to establish a Section, a Section is required to pass Terms of Reference (by email vote or at the Section’s annual business meeting held during the Convention) in conformity with the Model Terms of Reference (2016). These Section-passed Terms of Reference shall be forwarded for Board approval to the Chair of the Committee on Sections via email at

Section Terms of Reference may completely parallel the Model Terms of Reference structure, or may expand on them as the Section sees fit.

18) What status do Sections have within the CPA?

CPA By-Laws

Sections have official status under the By-Laws of the Association (see CPA By-laws).