March 25, 2020
Shelley Briscoe-Dimock, CRPO President
President's Message
Both staff and Council of CRPO are mindful of the burden that health care professionals are facing as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. While the College team continues the work of public protection, our efforts have been focused on ensuring that we are responsive to the needs of RPs as they make efforts to ensure continuity of care for their most vulnerable clients.
Amid all the uncertainty of the early days of this pandemic, I am inspired by my colleagues. We’ve heard from RPs who are planning to provide pro bono services to those front line health care professionals who may not have access to adequate mental health care during this time of heightened stress. We know that registrants have started to respond to the government’s request for professionals to sign up to provide support as the system struggles to manage the surge of people needing care. And we’ve had many enquiries about how to move to electronic practice as a way of continuing to see clients while following government directives to practice social distancing. This speaks volumes about the capacity that RPs have to contribute to Ontario’s response and the ongoing mental health needs that will exist even after the outbreak is controlled.
I want to remind RPs to take care of their own health and that of their families. We’ve all had times when it was tempting to put client needs before our own, but now more than ever, you won’t be able to provide effective care if you don’t take care of yourself first. I’d also encourage you to be aware that your clients – as well as friends and family – are likely being made anxious by the steady stream of information and misinformation. You can play a role in reassuring them by making sure you are informed yourself and by pointing them to trusted information.
Please read the rest of this Bulletin. It has important information about the extension to the renewal payment deadline for RPs whose income has been impacted by the pandemic, as well as about other regulatory responsibilities.
Take care of yourselves. I look forward to being able to write to you under much better circumstances in the very near future.
Deborah Adams, CRPO Registrar
Registrar's Message
As the pandemic situation rapidly changes, we have been focusing on ensuring that RPs have the information they need to continue to provide safe, ethical care where possible while practicing social distancing and – if required – self-isolation in order to keep themselves, their families and their clients safe.
This is the third Bulletin that CRPO has circulated in response to the pandemic (you can find all issues here ). We will continue to disseminate information as required (including on Twitter and Facebook ), being mindful of the information overload that is likely happening for many of us by attempting to provide direct links to information that is important for you as practitioners.
I would encourage all registrants and stakeholders to monitor communications from CRPO as we are posting answers to questions that come in from registrants through the Practice Advisory Service , offering advice on topics like electronic practice, providing updates from government and making sure registrants are being directed to trusted sources for information about the pandemic and how it’s affecting the health care system. We will continue to use social media, post daily updates on our FAQs re: COVID-19 page, and write notices on our Latest News section, as well as mass messaging where needed.
We are continuing to monitor the situation and to consider how to best support registrants in providing safe and ethical care under difficult circumstances. 
Ontario government orders closure of all but essential services
As of 11:59 on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 as part of the declaration of emergency to protect the public , all non-essential business and services have been ordered by the Premier to close. The government of Ontario has identified a list of essential workplaces that can remain open, including health care and seniors and social services.

There are two sections that are relevant to Registered Psychotherapists as they consider if and how they should practice:

55. Businesses that provide products and/or services that support the health sector or that provide health services, including mental health and addictions and counselling supports
58. Health care professionals providing emergency care including dentists optometrists and physio-therapists

This means that you should use your professional judgement to determine which of you clients require ongoing care. The directive from Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, includes some useful parameters that you may wish to consider in determining where and for whom your care is essential.
CRPO is strongly advising that all registrants move to providing only remote care . We have posted resources and advice on Implementing Electronic Practice to support you in making this move.
If you determine that you need to provide any in-person care, you are encouraged to review resources related to:

We would like to remind any registrant who has traveled or been exposed to a known or probable case of COVID-19 infection that government and public health directives are that you must self-isolate for 14 days . Instructions on how to self-isolate have been posted by Public Health Ontario. Not abiding by these requirements exposes your clients to undue risk and – if CRPO was to receive a complaint or report about it - may be disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unbecoming conduct.
Electronic Practice
Those RPs who are new to providing care virtually during the pandemic can access guidance around Implementing Electronic Practice . This guidance includes a step that is unusual for CRPO, in that we point registrants to an external resource to help assess what platform they might choose: Virtual Care and the 2019 Novel Coronavirus .
Despite CRPO’s position that technical decision-making is not the place for the regulator to step in, we felt that this was warranted since RPs who have not explored electronic practice in the past may be pressed to find needed support to get something in place quickly. Please note that CRPO can’t recommend a specific platform because technology is constantly evolving and there are so many options available.
We would strongly encourage you to work with your professional association to consider what supports they can provide to assist you as you look at implementing or increasing electronic practice.
On March 17, in response to the government of Ontario enacting a declaration of emergency to protect the public and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, CRPO issued an update informing registrants that the deadline for payment of renewal fees had been extended to June 1, 2020.

NOTE : This extension applies ONLY to the renewal fees, NOT to the renewal information that all registrants are required to update. It is essential that all RPs complete the information renewal submission by March 31, 2020 . See here for full details .

The fee extension was create because CRPO recognizes that this is a difficult time for everyone, in particular for those providing services in a health care system that will be under increasing strain as the pandemic develops. We are also aware that, for some RPs, there may be a financial impact if they cannot practice or if their employment is suspended or terminated. We hope this one-time extension will provide RPs who are struggling because of the pandemic a small measure of financial relief.

RPs who have not been impacted financially by the pandemic are strongly encouraged to complete their renewal by the March 31, 2020 deadline. No refund will be offered to those who have already made a payment. By making your payment, you have assisted in providing the extension to your fellow RPs facing financial difficulty, while allowing the CRPO to continue to function and meet our mandate to protect the public. This support has allowed us to continue to process the applications of the approximately 100 new graduates a month who are preparing to join the growing ranks of Registered Psychotherapists.
Important: Even if you defer paying your fees, all RPs are required to complete the information requested in the renewal tab of your CRPO account . This is required should you wish to maintain your registration and continue to practice.
Fee payments made after June 1, 2020 will incur a late fee. 
Exam Postponed
The April 30, 2020 Registration Exam is postponed until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation to determine the first possible date to reschedule and will communicate next steps after May 1, 2020. Registrants facing deadlines for writing the exam for the first time within 2 years of their application or passing the exam within 5 years of registration will be granted extensions if this postponement or any future delays impact them. 
Supervision Online
Clinical supervision can be undertaken using the same electronic platforms as remote psychotherapy. Supervisors and supervisees are encouraged to look at the information CRPO has provided about how best to ensure that the approach taken and platform being used will comply with the standards of practice and be an effective way of connecting.  
Quality Assurance Program
Professional Development:
All registrants are required to continue with their professional development requirements . New Registrants have a two-month period from date of registration to start their Professional Development (PD) tools. This means completing a Self-Assessment and starting a Learning Plan.
All registrants have a two-year cycle to complete and submit their PD tools. If your initial date of registration was in the year 2016 or 2018, your deadline is November 30, 2020. At that time, you will be required to submit all your PD tools to the College. We will be communicating directly to you via your CRPO account about your requirements. 
Peer and Practice Reviews (PPRs):
The 2020 administration of PPRs for randomly selected registrants is being delayed due to the pandemic. Although PPRs start with interviews (Step 1 or remote interviews) conducted on the phone by trained assessors, the stress and uncertainty of the current moment prompted this decision.
Any outstanding PPRs from the 2019 cycle will proceed as planned except in-person interviews (Step 2), which will be postponed until it is safe for assessors and registrants to travel and meet in person. In certain circumstances where we can conduct an in-person interview using a web-based platform, we will proceed if the registrant is agreeable. 
Complaints and Reports
RPs who have any deadlines associated with an order or agreement as a result of a College investigation are still required to meet them, unless the program they are required to attend is cancelled or postponed.
College-mandated supervision should continue in a video conference format. 
RPs are also expected to continue to meet response deadlines by submitting documentation electronically.
RPs should contact staff if they require an extension as a result of current restrictions and conditions.
Ministry of Health Requests for Personal Protective Equipment
The Ontario Ministry of Health is turning to community members who may have access to unused Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE includes surgical/procedure masks, N95 masks, gloves, gowns, and eye protection. If you currently have PPE that you are able to spare, please follow these instructions:
For Large Quantities and Access to Suppliers
The Ontario government has set up a website where you can disclose the resources you have available.
For Smaller Quantities
If you have small quantities of PPE, please contact [email protected] with the following information:
Member Name:
Member/Clinic Location (please include postal code):
Member Phone:
Member Email:
Supplies Available and Quantity:
Healthcare Recruitment
The Ontario Ministry of health is recruiting health care professionals to help reduce the stress on the system. CRPO asks RPs to consider helping out. Go here for full information
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