COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS
MARCH 24, 2020
Psychological Services by Out of Province Practitioners to Clients
Temporarily Relocated to New Brunswick
The College of Psychologists of New Brunswick (CPNB) has had several inquiries from licensed psychological service providers from other North American jurisdictions whose clients have temporarily relocated to New Brunswick during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, the clients may be experiencing considerable distress and are at increased risk because their psychological services have been interrupted.
As members know, the Psychology Act, 2017 limits the provision of psychological services in New Brunswick to members of the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick. In the absence of legislative amendments, CPNB is not able to authorize anyone other than members of CPNB to provide telepsychology services to clients located in New Brunswick.
Under normal circumstances, CPNB views such activities by non-members as “unauthorized practice” and considers whether there is a need for appropriate action. CPNB has carefully considered the extreme circumstances in which we find ourselves. We recognize this must be taken into account with regard to duly registered/licensed practitioners from other jurisdictions who must provide telepsychology services into New Brunswick for their existing clients during the current emergency situation.
Therefore, in response to the urgent COVID-19 situation, CPNB will not initiate an “unauthorized practice” action against an out of province practitioner provided they:
- Are registered/licensed in good standing in another jurisdiction at the time the services are provided;
- Practice only within their areas of competence and in keeping with any terms, limits and conditions on their license/certificate of registration;
- Provide the services to existing clients temporarily in New Brunswick due to the COVID-19 situation;
- Determine it is clinically ill-advised to temporarily stop services and/or to transfer the service to a member of the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick.
Out of province practitioners are asked to confirm their understanding and acceptance of the requirements listed above by notifying CPNB of their intention to provide telepsychology service to existing clients in New Brunswick. Practitioners should email CPNB (firstname.lastname@example.org) providing their name, the jurisdiction in which they are registered/licensed, and their registration/license number. While CPNB will endeavour to acknowledge receipt of this information, practitioners need not wait for confirmation before initiating service.
NOTE: CPNB does not have the authority to authorize its members to practice in other jurisdictions. If members of CPNB have questions regarding the provision of telepsychology services into other jurisdictions based on their registration in New Brunswick, they should contact the jurisdiction in question. It is our understanding that many other Canadian jurisdictions are taking steps to make this possible but the requirements, e.g., notifying the College; time limits on such services, etc., may vary among jurisdictions.