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If my membership hasn’t been renewed last year, what do I need to do to get recertified?

You have two options:

First, you must have sufficient CECs for your certification period. Then CCPA would have to receive payment for your membership ($185) and certification ($75) fees for every year since your membership expired. A $30 late fee and any chapters would be added to the total.

The other option is to submit new membership and certification forms. We may be able to use previously submitted documents, but would require a new criminal records check and perhaps new references if the registrar feels the date is too old on the existing records. In this case, if certification requirements have changed, you would have to meet the new requirements. The fee would be $185 for membership, $95 for the evaluation and $75 for the first year of certification. Any chapters would be at an additional charge.  If the membership has lapsed for more than a year, please contact the national office.

How do I apply/renew online?

To apply:
To apply for membership online, click here and complete the online form. Remember to submit the proper documentation to complete the application process (Proof of graduation is required for Professional Members and Proof of student is required for Student Members)

To renew:
Members will receive their renewal notice by e-mail two months in advance of their renewal date. In order to renew your membership online, click on the link in your renewal notice e-mail.

To verify or edit the e-mail address we have on file, please login in to the members only section of the website.

How do I upgrade from a Student Membership to a Professional Membership?

Go to https://www.ccpa-accp.ca/applyformembership/ and Click apply under Professional Member then choose the first option to login using your account (the email and password you use to login to the Member Portal). You will need to provide Proof of Graduation.


Proof of Graduation can be submitted in the form of an unofficial copy of your transcript showing conferral date, a letter from your school confirming you have met all requirements to graduate or a copy of your certificate, and must contain the following information:

  • Your full name
  • University Name
  • Degree Title
  • Conferral Date

Mention of Membership and Use of CCPA Logo

Can I use the CCPA logo on my website or business cards?

No, use of the CCPA logo is not permitted by members. Use of the Counselling and Psychotherapy: Talking Helps logo by CCPA members on their websites, in social media, and in any other literature likewise is not permitted.

Can I include mention of membership on my website or business cards?

All CCPA members may advertise themselves using their appropriate current membership category as follows:

  • I am a Professional Member of the CCPA possessing a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) designation;
  • I am a non-certified Professional Member of the CCPA.

Feel free to seek clarity from the CCPA National Office ([email protected]) as to the correct way to advertise prior to proceeding with publication  of advertising on websites, social media and in print.

Please note: CCPA proactively monitors adherence by CCPA members to this advertising policy.

Can I indicate that I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor on my website/business cards?

Yes, if you are a Certified Member of CCPA, you may state that you are a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) on your website or business cards. If you are a professional member but you are not certified, you can state that you are a non-certified Professional Member of the CCPA.


For certification FAQs, please click here.

Continuing Education

Can I receive CECs for presenting at a workshop/conference/seminar? For writing a paper/book? If so, how do I apply?

Yes, you can receive CECs for presenting or writing a paper. To apply, complete the same forms you would use if you had attended the presentation. These forms can be here.

In the case of presenting, you would require a letter or proof that you presented the workshop and a brief outline of the workshop to be submitted with the application. We do not look at the length of the workshop, but rather the preparation time for credit. In the case of writing a book or paper, we would require a copy of the material. Again, it is the preparation time that is evaluated for credit.

How do I find professional development opportunities?

To find professional development events, hover over the “Continuing Education” tab on the principal menu of our website. They are listed under “CCPA Endorsed Activities”, “Events Calendar”, and “Webinars”. You can apply for CECs  for any of these events by filling out the CEC application form. Those events listed under Pre-approved CEC Events and CCPA Webinars have already been pre-approved for CECs and only proof of attendance is required to receive credit.

How do I apply for CECs?
  1. Research continuing education opportunities that are of interest to you.
  2. Determine whether the event is pre- approved for continuing education credits with CCPA (check with the provider, check on the CCPA website under Continuing Education, check with CCPA National Office).
  3. Attend the event.
  4. Complete the Continuing Education Credit Application Form and have the facilitator sign your attendance at the event or submit a proof of participation (e.g. copy of the University transcript, certificate, etc.). Please note that a receipt is not a valid proof of attendance.
  5. Submit a proof of the length of the event (e.g. copy of the program, certificate with the hours of attendance, etc.)
  6. Submit the form to CCPA National Office (insert address / e-mail etc.)

Notes: Attendance at the National CCPA Conference (annual event) automatically generates Continuing Education Credits that are then included in your record of CECs. Incomplete applications may be returned to the sender. CCPA reserves the right to determine the number of CECs awarded after reviewing the CEC Application Form. If you have more than 36* Continuing Education Credits for a three year period, the extra Continuing Education Credits cannot be applied to the next three years.


Which schools/programs are accredited through CCPA?

Click here to view a list of all CACEP accredited programs. Applicants who graduated from a CACEP accredited program can be fast tracked through the certification process.

What's the difference between accreditation, certification and statutory (government) regulation?

It is important to highlight the complementary but distinguishing aspects of accreditation, certification, and regulation.

Accreditation is a voluntary, self-regulatory process of evaluation that focuses on programs. It is a recognition of quality assurance indicating that a program (e.g., master’s level counselling program) has met or exceeded pre-determined standards of excellence set by a relevant professional body (e.g., CACEP) and been granted approval. In order to become accredited, a master’s level counselling program must fulfill certain requirements or standards with regard to institutional settings; program mission, orientation, goals, objectives, and priorities; program content areas and competencies; supervised practice; student selection, advising, performance review, and program information; faculty qualifications and workload; program governance; instructional support; and self‐evaluation.

At CCPA, the Canadian Certified Counsellor (C.C.C.) is a protected title and focuses on individuals. It identifies to the public those counsellors who satisfy CCPA’s entry-to-practice competency standards. Certification represents a successful evaluation of a member’s qualification to practice, membership does not. In order to be certified, counsellors must meet certain levels of education and training in counselling, they must follow the code of ethics and corresponding standards of practice, and they are held accountable to show competent and ethical performance in practice.

Statutory (government) regulation pertains to provincial/territorial governments granting certain rights and responsibilities to a profession through legislation in exchange for the profession regulating its members in the public interest. Licensure/registration focuses on individuals. The College for that profession becomes the regulatory body that oversees the following professional functions:

setting entry-to-practice registration requirements; establishing ethical and practice standards; requiring that registrants hold appropriate professional liability insurance; the fair and timely investigation and resolution of public complaints, which may proceed to more formal disciplinary hearings; requiring registrants to maintain minimum standards of professional development, such as continuing education; and enforcing the occupational title(s) granted to registrants that may be used by non-registrants so that the public can rely on those who use the designated title(s) as holding defined competencies and being accountable to their peers.

In order to administer its accreditation program, CCPA has established the Council on Accreditation of Counsellor Education Programs (CACEP) referred to as the Council on Accreditation.

The CCPA National Board of Directors approved the revised CCPA Accreditation Standards for Master’s Level Counselling Programs in Canada in 2021 to be used as a basis for evaluation of master’s level counselling programs in Canada. The CACEP Standards, CACEP policy and procedures manual, and forthcoming CACEP Standards Handbook apply only to accreditation and not to certification.

CACEP Standards are intended for post-secondary institutions seeking accreditation, on a voluntary basis, for master’s level counselling programs in Canada.

What does it mean to graduate from an accredited program?

Students who graduate from CACEP Accredited programs can be fast tracked through the CCPA certification process.

When applying for certification, members would simply have to submit the following:

* Completed CCC Application Form
* Submission of an official transcript of marks sent from your university directly to CCPA’s office. Note: transcript must have the university seal and state that the degree has been conferred.
*A description of Practicum Report for each practicum completed.
* Two (2) professional references (from professionals in a non-compliant relationship with you who know you in your capacity as a counsellor). You must use the professional reference forms found on the CCPA website.
* A Criminal Record Check that includes the abuse registry conducted within the last 12 months. See Certification Criteria for more information.
* The appropriate administration fees: $170.00 ($95 Evaluation fee + $75 annual certification fee).

(The course description does not need to be completed for students graduating from CACEP Accredited programs)


My institution’s policies are in conflict with the CCPA Code of Ethics, what do I do?

For example, a client tells you that they’ve been harassed by a member of the community, the CCPA Standards of Practice states that “Counsellors have a fundamental ethical responsibility to take every reasonable precaution to respect and to safeguard their clients’ right to confidentiality…”(p. 7) However, the policy at your place of employment may dictate that you are to prevent and report discrimination and harassment by others. The CCPA Standards of Practice, Section A (p. 6), states that “when counsellors are confronted with demands from an organization with which they are affiliated or from an employer that is in conflict with the CCPA Code of Ethics, they take steps to clarify the nature of the conflict, assert their commitment to the Code, and to the extent possible, work to resolve the conflict that will allow adherence to their Code of Ethics”.

Can a supervisor access a counsellor’s client files/case notes without consulting the counsellor first?

The counsellor is responsible for safeguarding the notes that they keep regarding their clients. The notes belong to the client, but the counsellor acts as a guardian of those notes. The counsellor is also responsible for ensuring that the client’s records are not misused in any way. This can become an issue in situations where multiple counsellors are contributing to a client’s care over time or where a supervisor may be involved. However, informed consent pertaining to access of records still applies. The CCPA Code of Ethics (B7) states that “Counsellors understand that clients have a right of access to their counselling records, and that disclosure to others of information from these records only occurs with the written consent of the client and/or when required by law”. Therefore, if the client has not consented to the disclosure of their records, the counsellor must ensure that all confidential files and case notes are not shared without the client’s permission, even with a supervisor.

My employer is switching to electronic record keeping. What sort of steps or precautions should be taken to ensure that the confidentiality and safety requirements are met?

There are many factors to consider when switching to electronic record keeping, especially when the software is shared in a multi-practitioner environment. The first point of concern would be to ensure that others do not have access to a specific counsellor’s client files or case notes. This includes other counsellors, supervisors, database administrators or IT support workers. Client files should be dated and signature stamped. The software must not allow documents to be altered without being detected (for example, unalterable PDF files).

A client has admitted to a past crime (shoplifting, robbery, etc.). Do I have any obligations to report?

Briefly put, you would not have an obligation to report these crimes. In fact, a counsellor would be breaching confidentiality if s/he were to do so. According to the CCPA Standards of Practice (p. 7), counsellors are required to keep all information confidential, with the exemption of the following circumstances: – There is an imminent danger to an identifiable third party or to self; – When a counsellor suspects abuse or neglect of a child; – When a disclosure is ordered by a court; – When a client requests disclosure, or – When a client files a complaint or claims professional liability by the counsellor in a lawsuit.

Do I need parental consent to counsel a child?

This question is of a legal nature and the answer varies per province/territory. Many provinces/territories have a child safety act (can have many various names) that would mandate a specific, legal response to this question. For example, the Child and Family Services Act of Ontario states that “A services provider may provide a counselling service to a child who is twelve years of age or older with the child’s consent, and no other person’s consent is require, but if the child is less than sixteen years of age the service provider shall discuss with the child at the earliest appropriate opportunity the desirability of involving the child’s parents.” (RSO 1990, c. C.11, s. 28) If you are unsure of the laws regarding consent to counsel a minor within your workplace context in your province/territory, it is suggested that you contact the regulatory college/ordre in your province (where one exists), your supervisor, or the legal department of the provincial/territorial ministry responsible for the Act(s) that relate to your context. It is important to note that Federal Law (such as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) supersedes any provincial/territorial law.

I have decided to change employers or move to a different city/province. What are my ethical responsibilities for proper care/support, transfer and closure for clients?

The CCPA Code of Ethics, Section B19, states that “…counsellors make reasonable efforts to facilitate the continued access to counselling services when services are interrupted by these factors and by counsellor illness, client or counsellor relocation, client financial difficulties and so forth”. If another counsellor is taking over your practice or has agreed to see your clients, it may be helpful for the client if you can arrange a short meeting with the next counsellor. This helps reduce the client’s anxiety. Your files should all be signed off and either transferred to the next counsellor or returned to your central filling centre according to policy.

I’m creating a website for my private practice. Can I use testimonials from my current or former clients?

Page 41 of the CCPA Standards of Practice says that “Counsellors do not use testimonials by clients, former clients, or by relatives or friends of clients. Testimonials may be acceptable from an organization or business which receives the counsellors’ services”. If testimonials unrelated to a client are used, they should clearly indicate who or what organization they are from such that the testimonial cannot be mistaken as having been provided by a current or past client, or their relatives or friends.

Can I see a client in their own home?

For a variety of reasons, clients do sometimes find it more convenient to be seen by the counsellor in their own home. While there is no ethical reason why a counsellor could not practice in this manner, there are issues to be considered prior to that first meeting. The counsellor should check with their insurance company to ensure that coverage is available for home counselling. Issues related to privacy and confidentiality should be discussed openly with the client. Additionally, there are safety factors to be considered. Is the client known to the counsellor? Is the client considered to be of any risk to the counsellor? Is the client’s family, associates, or home environment considered to be of any risk to the counsellor? Does the counsellor have access to a cell phone and contact with his/her office should there be a problem? Someone, such as a managing director or supervisor, should know the address of the client and should be able to reach the counsellor at an agreed upon time if the counsellor has not contacted them. These considerations should be discussed with the client prior to the session so that confidentiality is not violated.