Registrations and Insurance
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
~ Pablo Picasso
The titles of “Counsellor” or “Therapist” are currently not protected titles. Because of this, being registered with a licensing body helps set you apart and bring peace of mind to your clients. Additionally, it can provide support and opportunities for continuing education and networking.
If you are not already registered with an association, this week investigate which group would be the best fit for you based on your experience, education and location.
Learn what is required for you to get registered and start taking steps towards gathering this information.
Even if launching your practice is far in the future – start NOW! Getting registered often takes much longer than you think.
It involves tracking down past supervisors and getting them to fill out paperwork, providing documentation for all coursework and degrees, getting a criminal records check, among other things. Additionally, although some associations do rolling registrations, others only accept new members at pre-determined times throughout the year. This could mean even after you get in all your paperwork, it could still be months before you hear back on your status. The sooner you start the registration process, the sooner you can get your designations.
The following links may be helpful at locating the right association for you. It is not an exhaustive list but gives a place to start.
The CCPA also has an incredibly helpful directory of all the national and provincial counselling associations HERE
Another big reason to get registered is it allows you access to group rates for insurance.
After you have decided which association is the best fit for you, and have yourself registered, your next step is purchasing insurance. Although you can legally practice without it, it is strongly NOT recommended.
There are two types of insurance recommended for therapists in private practice:
1) Professional Liability Insurance
2) General Liability Insurance
Professional Liability Insurance helps protect you from bearing the full cost of defending yourself in court in the event a client or client’s family sues you for negligence, and can assist you if damages are awarded in a civil lawsuit. Although the incidences of these lawsuits are low in Canada, it’s better safe than sorry. Even if charges are dropped, the legal process itself can be costly. As a member of the various registration bodies, you will generally have access to group insurance coverage that is very reasonably priced.
General Liability Insurance covers your office and is recommended if you are renting your own space. This means that if a client slips and falls in your office, you have insurance that can help cover the costs if they decide to file legal proceedings. If you are working as an Associate, or in some cases renting hourly, there may be general liability insurance in place that would cover you as you work in the space. Always check what is and isn’t covered in your rental agreements or associates contract to see if you need your own general liability insurance.
Make sure you check with your regulatory bodies around what kind of insurance is recommended and available to you in your area of expertise.