While the following does not represent new information concerning the provision of service via telepsychology, this notice is being presented in the context of the evolving Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
With respect to NSBEP supervision, the current guidelines allow that up to two supervision sessions a year can be provided by electronic means and that additional sessions may be allowed with permission of the Board. In the event that two sessions are insufficient to meet any constraints imposed by COVID-19, the Board will waive the requirement for Board approval for additional sessions. Supervisors should, however, document in their reports which sessions were electronic and why, and note any difficulties meeting direct-observation requirements caused by COVID-19.
NSBEP understands that psychologists may wish to continue to provide services to their clients if there are interruptions to in-person services that occur when dealing with the effects of COVID-19. The Board recognizes that in the event of a crisis, it could be in the greater public interest for psychologists to use technology to provide continuity of service, rather than providing in-person services, which could pose risks.
Please note that because specifications for technology are constantly changing and evolving, NSBEP cannot make specific recommendations for communication apps and software.
It is expected that regardless of the medium used for service delivery, psychologists practice within the limits of their competencies, review standards of practice and consider relevant Board publications, such as those listed below. Also, when choosing to use communication technology, registrants should review information about the technology with respect to confidentiality, privacy and security. When obtaining informed consent, registrants should clarify and document any relevant potential limitations or issues posed by the use of the technology.
For further guidance, psychologists using electronic means to provide service are referred to the Telepsychology Standards adopted by NSBEP.
Update from the Chief Medical Officer of Health
Finally, please see the following information from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
This will replace the bulletin issued on March 9, 2020.
The Board will continue to provide updates from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and may provide additional updates from NSBEP as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology