Terms and Definitions

Primer of terms and definitions:

AIT:  Agreement on Internal Trade requires provincial regulators to use competencies as a means of comparing the requirements of other jurisdictions in order to make labour mobility decisions. This is to protect a worker’s right to move from province to province and transfer their regulated status without having to upgrade education or qualifications. In general, AIT requires a competency-based regulatory approach in order to assess workers across various provinces who have a variety of trainings within a particular profession. http://www.ait-aci.ca/index_en/ait.htm

College: the legal entity regulating the profession is called a College, or Ordre in Quebec.

Competency profiles (CP):refers to the entry-to-practice competencies that will define the regulatory standard by identifying the required competencies in the following areas of practise:

  • Foundational knowledge
  • Collegial relationships
  • Professional practise and ethics
  • Counselling process
  • Research applications

From 2004-2007, the BC Task Group for Counsellor Regulation worked with consultant, David Cane, to create the competency profile that is being used as a template across Canada.  It has been validated nationally and is being used by most provinces as they move towards regulatory status.

The competencies are generic and are designed to define the elements that counsellors and therapists would have that would effectively protect the public from harm.

Reserved act/controlled act: these terms are synonymous in different provinces to define a particular professional intervention that is “reserved” and able to be performed by members of a particular College. An example might be that a particular College has identified the reserved or controlled act of diagnosing a mental health illness as only being carried out by members of a particular College. Reserved or controlled acts may be included in more than one College.

Title protection**:

As part of the College’s mandate to protect the public from harm, regulation will include specific titles that will be protected. The protected titles will vary province to province, and may or may not include the title of “music therapist”.

In Ontario, two titles are regulated:  Registered Psychotherapist and Registered Mental Health Practitioner. Music therapists in Ontario will be able to call themselves either Registered Psychotherapist-Music Therapist or Registered Mental Health Practitioner-Music Therapist.

In Nova Scotia, the title of “counselling therapist” is protected, and at this time, the College does not include music therapists.

In BC, although not regulated at this time, the proposed title is “counselling therapist”. There have been ongoing discussions over the years that the first board may consider the creation of “advanced competencies” that would address each of the member professions (clinical counselling, music therapy, art therapy, pastoral counselling, etc.) and this may be reflected in the regulated title (i.e. counselling therapist-music therapist).

In Quebec since June 21st, 2012, the “title of psychotherapist and the practice of psychotherapy are now reserved in Quebec. This means that any person who wants to practice psychotherapy and use the title of psychotherapist, and who is neither a doctor nor a psychologist, must hold a permit of psychotherapist issued by the Ordre des psychologues du Quebec. To obtain this permit, one must meet certain requirements in terms of training and skills specified by regulation from the Office des professions. Those who are not a member of a professional order  and who are not eligible can apply for a permit of psychotherapist through the recognition of their acquired rights if they meet all of the requirements.”

It means for music therapists in Quebec that they need to integrate an existing order or to create a professional Order. Creative arts therapists (art, drama, music) are working toward that possibility.

Revelant Resources: