FAQ on Legislation

For OAMFT Members

Here are some frequently asked questions about the new College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario (  This FAQ represents the understanding and views of the OAMFT only (last update April 14, 2014.  For official questions and updates, please contact the College directly at the site listed above.

Pre-registration for “Grandparenting” now open. 


If you do not already belong to a college that has access to the act of Psychotherapy (e.g. Social Workers, Psychologists, Nurses, Physicians, or Occupational Therapists) you will have to register with the College of Registered Psychotherapists to continue to practice. You MUST join this college in order to practice in Ontario after the act is proclaimed in 2014.

Do I have to join the new College?

Yes, unless you belong to another College that has access to the controlled act of Psychotherapy (e.g. Social Workers, Psychologists, Nurses, Physicians, or Occupational Therapists), then you MUST join this college in order to practice in Ontario after the act is proclaimed in 2014.  About one-third of OAMFT members are already members of another college, so if this applies to you, then joining this new college will be optional.

How do I get more information about the new regulations and registration requirements?

The latest draft regulations and registration requirements were passed by majority vote of the Transitional Council on April 5, 2013 and will be forwarded to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for approval. To view the most current draft of the registration regulations on the Council’s website, click here.

How do I contact the new College with questions?

Transitional Council of the College of Registered Psychotherapists
and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario
163 Queen Street East, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON M5A 1S1
 Phone: 416 862-4801 or toll-free 888 661-4801
 Fax: 416 874-4079


Will there be a grand-parenting provision for new applicants to the College when it is operational following Proclamation?

Yes. The grand-parenting route to registration will be available to established, experienced and competent practitioners in Canada for a two-year period following Proclamation of the Psychotherapy Act, 2007, originally   expected by April 1, 2014.  While April 1, 2014, remains the target date, both the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and the transitional Council have acknowledged that the date may be pushed back two or three months. Despite the uncertainty about the proclamation date, the College expects to open up pre-registration for those applying using the grandparenting route by the end of March 2014. The opportunity to register via grand-parenting extends for two years to enable those who may be out of the country, on parental leave or otherwise not currently practising, to register via grand-parenting. This alternate route to registration is not designed to enable those in active practice to wait until the end to the two-year period to register.  In fact, anyone who is:

  • using the title “Psychotherapist,” “Registered Psychotherapist” or any abbreviation of these titles;
  • ‘holding him/herself out’ as someone qualified to practise psychotherapy in Ontario; or
  • performing the controlled act of psychotherapy

must pre-register prior to Proclamation in order that they not be in breach of the legislation.

The following are general eligibility criteria for those intending to apply for registration as a Registered Psychotherapist via the grand-parenting route which will assess practitioners using a different set of criteria than regular applicants (from the draft Registration Regulation and subject to change):

  • Currency Requirement: 750 currency hours (500 in Canada) in the three years prior to application (may include a broad range of professional activities).
  • May not practise independently, i.e. without clinical supervision, until having completed a total of 1000 direct client contact hours and 150 hours of clinical supervision.

Among other things, applicants for grand-parenting will be asked to provide a “portfolio” of information in five categories, including education and training background, clinical experience, supervision, safe effective use of self, and other professional activities, and will ‘earn’ points in each category.  A minimum score in each category will be required, as well as a minimum total score.

For more information about the grand-parenting provision, visit the following link of the College’s website:

How can I start preparing for my application to the College?

Familiarize yourself with the requirements

√       Go the CRPO website and read what is required for grandparenting:


Start building your application portfolio

√       Step 1: Create an applicant profile with CRPO and prepare to take the Professional Practice and Jurisprudence e-learning module at:

  1. This a requirement for all applicants to the College whether or not they are eligible for grandparenting
  2. The coursepack Professional Practice and Jurisprudence for Registered Psychotherapists is available to you once you register and it provides all the information you require to complete the online module.


√       Step 2: Start gathering the details of your activities that support your professional psychotherapy practice

  1. Using the categories from the sample scoring chart



Portfolio Criteria

What I can do now

How does this help

Education and training related to the Scope of Practice for Psychotherapy
  • Contact Jenny Weiand, MS at AAMFT and ask for a pdf copy of your education (courses, degree), practicum, direct client contact and supervision hours
  • Provide documentation of any other formal training related to psychotherapy


  • This can serve as documentation of the required education, 1 000 hours of direct service and 150 hours (yes, we know we have more hours than this) of supervision that you received during your training
  • Document any specialties – EMDR, Trauma, EFT, Narrative, Solution-Focused, etc., or further education (doctorate, another masters, etc.)
Clinical Experience (direct client contact) Seen any clients over the past three years? Document your hours
  • If you are self-employed (private practice) – Write a letter indicating how long you have been in private practice and the number of clients you have seen in that period (review your case notes)
  • If you are employed by an agency – ask your supervisor or Clinical Director to write a letter verifying your employment and direct client hours, supervision and any professional development pursued at the agency
Supervision This is about the supervision you have received during your training and since “An applicant must have a minimum of 40 hours of supervision over her or his professional career, 20 of which must be clinical supervision; the remaining can be other allowable forms of supervision. A maximum of 80 hours (or 50% of the maximum countable supervision hours) can be other allowable forms of supervision”
Safe and effective use of self (SEUS) Applicants will need to do the best they can at identifying elements of SEUS in supervision, personal psychotherapy, coursework, etc. and calculating their hours.

  • Likely, the college expects an applicant to begin with developing some assumptions and estimating the hours to the best of one’s ability.
  • Ideally, if proof is requested, one’s supervisor is willing to ‘sign off’ on this element.


For the application form, the College will not be asking for a letter from a supervisor, just name, date and other particulars.

  • The College would only contact the supervisor if they are concerned about verifying information presented in individual applications, or as part of its random auditing process.


Certain forms of Clinical Supervision may be counted doubly as Supervision and Safe and effective use of self. *


*Clinical supervision that is in-depth, reflexive and insight-oriented would be the kind of supervision that one could count towards training in the safe and effective use of self (as opposed to administrative supervision that has little or no emphasis on the therapist’s use of self in specific therapeutic relationships).

“Psychotherapeutic traditions and practices related to the development of a psychotherapist’s safe and effective use of self in the therapeutic relationship are diverse.

  • Some applicants will have developed this competency while engaging in their own personal psychotherapy.
  • Others will have taken courses that address use of self; these may include, for example, personal family history and dynamics, anti-oppression and diversity, power dynamics, relational boundaries, experiential practice as client, or interpersonal relationship development.
  • Others may have engaged in a guided and reflective Indigenous practice, such as the four directional ways.

For many practitioners, this competency is also addressed in a particular form of clinical supervision.”

Other professional activities
  1. Unearth your certificates of participation, webinar, conference and/or training receipts,
  2. Unearth your employment contracts (to teach, provide supervision, consult with an agency, etc.)
  3. Retrieve the syllabi for the courses you have taught
  4. Retrieve your supervision contracts/receipts for supervision given
  5. Document the articles/books you have had published
  6. Document the interviews you have given for publication regarding family functioning, healthy relationships, etc.
  7. Do you blog and post your musings on your website?
  8. Are you actively involved in research projects? Do you supervise student research projects?
  9. Do you provide seminars/workshops related to relational well-being?
To document the 750 currency hours required over the past three years, go on a fact-finding mission


Step 3: Store this information in a safe and retrievable place.

Step 4: Keep yourself informed by:

  • Reading your OAMFT e-blasts and visiting the Members’ Only section of the OAMFT website
  • Directing your questions to your professional association
  • Make regular visits to the College website



Can I use the title I earned as a “Registered Marriage & Family Therapist” (RMFT)?

Yes.  OAMFT worked with other groups to uphold the use of specialty titles and to eliminate proposals to curtail the use of earned professional designations.  The current regulation allows the use of the RMFT title, so long as it is used after the primary professional designation issued by the College. In other words, when you become a Registered Psychotherapist (RP), you will place the RP after your degree(s) and before the RMFT title (example: John Doe, M.A., RP, RMFT).

When will the regulations come into effect?

As it stands, the Ministry of Health is committed to meeting the following timeline: 

Summer 2013 – Ministry plans to send the final regulations to the Legislature for final proclamation.

Fall 2013  – The Legislature plans to vote on the final proclamation.

Fall 2013 — The Transitional Council plans to begin collecting applications for registration (TBD).

March 31, 2014 — The target date for the legislation to go into effect. ANYONE PRACTICING PSYCHOTHERAPY IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO MUST BE REGISTERED IN ORDER TO NOT VIOLATE THE LAW. (The new College plans to pre-register all potentially grand-parented practitioners PRIOR to this date, and then issue registration certificates ON THE DAY THE LAW GOES INTO EFFECT.)  While April 1, 2014, remains the target date, both the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and the transitional Council have acknowledged that the date may be pushed back two or three months. Despite the uncertainty about the proclamation date, the College expects to open up pre-registration for those applying using the grandparenting route by the end of March 2014.

How can I learn about changes that will affect my practice?

  1. Read the three Regulations that will apply to Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) of the new College: (i) the Professional Misconduct Regulations, (ii) the Draft Registration Regulations, and (iii) the Quality Assurance regulations thoroughly. (See link above)
  2. Contact the College with any questions. (See contact information above)
  3. Watch your eblasts from OAMFT: we will be sending information to members as we receive it from the College.
  4. Check the College website regularly for news from the College. (See link above)

As an RMFT, should I become a Registered Psychotherapist or Registered Mental Health Therapist in the new College?

In November, 2012, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care gave a firm directive to the Transitional Council of the College to defer the RMHT title for a future use for a group that emerges who would fit this category. The latest draft regulation that was circulated for the required 60 days of stakeholder consultation was approved by the Council and submitted for approval by the Ministry of Health on April 5, 2013. The latest registration regulation draft makes no reference to the RMHT membership category. When the Psychotherapy Act is proclaimed in 2014, anyone who is registered by the new College will have the Registered Psychotherapist, (RP) designation.

OAMFT members have among the highest credentialing standards in the province with significant advanced training, supervision, and Master’s level education. Our standards for membership generally meet or exceed the education and training requirements for the Registered Psychotherapist category of membership. While we do not anticipate our members having significant difficulty meeting the RP threshold for registration, it will be important to carefully review your own education, training and experience relative to the College’s registration requirements. There are currency requirements that will require applicants to the College to provide evidence of education, training and recent practice. Please review the registration documents carefully and, if you have any questions or concerns, contact the College for clarification. (See links and contact information above.)

Does the new College have a Code of Ethics?

Yes, although the Code of Ethics of the new College is strictly an aspirational document, describing the ethical stance of members of the College. The Psychotherapy Act requires that members of the College abide by the Professional Misconduct Regulation. This regulation will be in effect upon Proclamation and it describes the conduct that will be legally prohibited by members of the College. RMFTs in the new College will be required to adhere to the AAMFT Code of Ethics, the Code of Ethics of the College and the Professional Misconduct Regulations of the College.

What about portability of registration across Canada?

Portability of the RP designation is an issue that the College will be addressing with the Ministry of Health and other regulating bodies in the months ahead. It is likely that the recent changes to the Registration Regulations requiring an RP to have a Master’s degree or equivalent will bring standards for membership in the new College in line with the standards of existing Colleges regulating mental health services in other jurisdictions. Such changes make it more likely that Registered Psychotherapists from Ontario will have their registration standing recognized in other jurisdictions in Canada.

What can I do now to help OAMFT and its membership prior to Proclamation?

Study the three Regulations. Watch for OAMFT eblasts in the coming weeks; read and respond to calls for action. Your help is not only appreciated, it is essential.


For more information, please contact the College directly with your questions and suggestions. Thank you.


OAMFT Submission to the Transitional Council September 2011

Letter to Announce OAMFT Separation from the Coalition 

OAMFT President Letter to the Ministry of Health March 2012

Supervision Recommendation April 2011

OAMFT Additional Stakeholder Response February 2012

Letter for MFT Designation 2009

Last updated February 27, 2014