College of Psychologists of Ontario: Regulation of Behaviour Analysts
O. Reg. 74/15 (Registration)
O. Reg. 801/93 (Professional Misconduct)
O. Reg 209/94 (General)
Regulation - Other
Bill or Act:
Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis Act, 2021
Summary of Decision:
On July 20, 2023, the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council approved three new regulations made under the Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis Act, 2021 (the "Act") to regulate the profession of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) under the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO). These regulations provide the CPO with the regulatory framework necessary to regulate ABA in the public interest while maintaining the existing provisions for the profession of psychology. The regulations pertain to registration, quality assurance, and professional misconduct requirements for behaviour analysts.
The Act and regulations will be effective on July 1, 2024. At this point, O. Reg 74/15 (Registration), O. Reg. 209/94 (General), and O. Reg. 801/93 (Professional Misconduct) will be revoked and replaced with the approved O. Reg. 193/23 (Registration), O. Reg. 194/23 (General), and O. Reg. 195/23 (Professional Misconduct). Current and future behaviour analysts will use this 12-month lead time to pre-register before the Act and its regulations are in force. After that date, only behaviour analysts who are registered with the CPO will be permitted to use the title "behaviour analyst" and hold themselves out as a person who is qualified to practise ABA in Ontario.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The regulations are intended to improve patient safety by addressing the risk of harm to vulnerable Ontarians receiving services from behaviour analysts. The regulations ensure consistency in ethics and professional standards, provide clearly defined entry-to-practice requirements, and establish quality assurance and professional misconduct requirements for these providers.
Once the Act and regulations are in force, the public can have confidence that anyone using the protected title "behaviour analyst" in the provision of ABA services in Ontario, is competent to provide safe, quality care to clients and is accountable to a regulatory body (the CPO) for maintaining the standards of practice of the profession. The public will additionally have access to a robust complaints process that holds behaviour analysts accountable for their professional behaviour.
The regulations will result in some financial costs to individuals seeking to register with the CPO, including application and membership fees and professional liability insurance premiums. However, many behaviour analysts currently practising in Ontario have sought voluntary certification with the US-based Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Since the majority of these costs already exist when applying for BACB certification, the financial impact is minimized.
The costs associated with the proposed regulations do not outweigh the benefit of increased public protection. The regulation of behaviour analysts with the CPO is an essential step to providing families and clients with a means to adequately assess the qualifications and competence of providers.
February 6, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
In Ontario, the regulation of health professions is based on a self-governance model. There are 26 health regulatory colleges governing 28 health professions under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and their respective health profession Acts. Under this framework, colleges have the authority to make regulations on a variety of subject matters, including standards and qualifications for certificates of registration.
Bill 283, Advancing Oversight and Planning in Ontario's Health System Act, 2021 received Royal Assent in June 2021. Schedule 4 of the Act, when fully proclaimed into force, will revoke the Psychology Act, 1991 and replace it with the Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis Act, 2021 to enable the regulation of behaviour analysts as an additional profession under the current College of Psychologists of Ontario, which will be renamed as the College of Psychologists and Behaviour Analysts of Ontario (College).
To implement the regulation of the profession of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) in Ontario, the College is proposing amendments to the following regulations.
O. Reg. 74/15 (Registration):
The proposed changes to the Registration Regulation would set requirements for registration for behaviour analysts.
The regulation would provide for a 24-month transitional period during which applicants may meet registration requirements by:
-Holding an approved certification with the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB); or
-Demonstrating to the College that they are competent to practice the profession and have practiced in Canada for at least 1500 hours in the three years prior to the date the regulation comes into force.
In addition, after the close of the transitional period, applicants would be able to register with the College by meeting the ongoing registration requirements set out in the proposed regulation. The proposed ongoing registration requirements for a certificate authorizing autonomous practice include:
-A post-graduate degree from a Canadian university and completed recognized coursework in behaviour analysis or an accredited post-graduate program in behaviour analysis or a substantially similar program;
-A minimum of 1500 hours of supervised practice in ABA while holding a certificate of registration with the College authorizing supervised practice and while under the supervision of a member of the College authorized to practice ABA; and
-Passing the examination approved by Council
During the transition period, applicants would also be able to register by meeting the ongoing requirements if they do not meet the transitional requirements. All applicants, including those during the 24-month transitional period, will also be required to complete the College's Jurisprudence and Ethics Module and provide evidence of the following: French or English fluency, standing in any other jurisdiction or profession in which they were/are regulated, and good character, including a criminal record check.
O. Reg 209/94 (General) and O. Reg. 801/93 (Professional Misconduct):
The proposed changes to its General Regulation (O. Reg 209/94) would enable the College to implement a Quality Assurance Program for behaviour analysts that is based on the model currently in place for Psychologists and Psychological Associates. There will also be minor housekeeping amendments to O.Reg. 801/93 to reflect the inclusion of behaviour analysts as members of the College.
Health Workforce Regulatory Oversight Branch
438 University Ave, 10th floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1N3
July 1, 2024