Q: Should I join OPA or CPA?
A: You should belong to both your provincial and national associations. Both are important and both need your support.
OPA is important since most health, education and social welfare social policy and legislative decisions impacting your professional practice in Ontario are made at Queen's Park. Our Canadian Constitution distributes powers between the federal and provincial governments and assigns responsibilities for areas such as health, educational and social services to the provinces. Professional advocacy, aimed at influencing public policy decisions impacting psychological practice, needs to be directed accordingly at the provincial government. In Ontario, the OPA plays a vital role in advocating for legislation, government policies, activities and initiatives the that bear directly on psychological practice, and the well-being of the recipients of our services.
CPA brings scientists, educators and practitioners of psychology together from across our country and represents our profession nationally and internationally. CPA also has a training role through our accreditation system. The federal government has a role in developing health-related policy and delivering health services to some populations. Federal legislation impacts psychological practice related to disability, taxation of psychological services, medical assistance in dying, and criminal justice. Approximately one in four health care dollars spent by the provinces comes from the federal government which means our professional advocacy also needs to be directed at the federal government and CPA takes on this important role.
Q: Is OPA for psychologists in private practice, working in the public sector, or in academia?
A: The OPA is committed to support and advocate on behalf of all members of the profession, whether they work in private practices, hospitals, schools, community agencies, industry, corrections, or academia. The OPA believes a vibrant and enduring presence across all sectors of psychological service and scientific endeavour will support the health of the profession, and thereby, will let us help the people of Ontario. A stronger profession feeds a stronger academic presence, and vice versa. We are committed to supporting psychologists and psychological associates wherever they work.
Q: Will I get good value for my OPA dues?
A: We’re always on the lookout for ways we can increase your membership benefits, through such things as discounts for services and access to professional liability and other forms of insurance. Your dues support a head office, staff members, the activities of over 10 committees, sections and task forces. But most importantly, your dues support the advocacy efforts that we undertake on your behalf. Your dues let you be part of our work in making Ontario a better place to be in the profession of psychology, and ensuring that Ontarians have access to mental health professionals with the highest training.