Canadian Psychological Association
Logo of the CPA
|Headquarters||141 Laurier Avenue W
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Dr. Kerry Mothersill|
|Dr. Karen R. Cohen|
The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the primary organization representing psychologists throughout Canada. It was organized in 1939 and incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act, Part II, in May 1950.
Its objectives are to improve the health and welfare of all Canadians; to promote excellence and innovation in psychological research, education, and practice; to promote the advancement, development, dissemination, and application of psychological knowledge; and to provide high-quality services to members.
The CPA was founded in a University of Ottawa psychology lab in 1938, although it was not formally organized until 1939. Initially, the CPA's purpose was to help with Canada's contribution to World War II; indeed, the CPA was heavily involved with test construction for the Department of National Defence.
CPA hosts a convention annually. The conventions usually include pre-convention workshops, keynote and invited speakers, poster presentations, symposiums, award presentations, and various social events. The location varies each year from city to city across Canada.
CPA's head office is located in Ottawa, ON. The CPA has a directorate for each of its three pillars – science, practice, and education.
- The Science Directorate’s mandate is to lobby government for increased funding for psychological research, promote and support the work of Canadian researchers in psychology, and educate the public about important findings from psychological science.
- The Practice Directorate’s mandate is to support and facilitate advocacy for the practice of psychology across Canada.
- The Education Directorate’s mandate is to oversee the accreditation of doctoral and internship programmes in professional psychology.
The Board of Directors sets policies that guide the CPA. It is made up of Presidential Officers, Directors, and Executive Officers.
The CPA offers 5 types of memberships to individuals residing in Canada or the United States.
- Full member: One has to have a Masters or Doctoral degree in psychology (or its academic equivalent) to become a full member.
- Retired member: One has to be a full member or fellow who has retired.
- Student affiliate: One has to be an undergraduate or graduate student at a recognized university.
- Special affiliate: Open to those who have an active interest in psychology.
- Honorary life fellow/Honorary life member: Offered to individuals who are 70 years old and have been full members of the CPA for at least 25 years.
2 types of memberships are available to individuals residing outside of Canada or the United States.
- International affiliate: Open to international psychologists.
- International student affiliate: Open to international undergraduate and graduate students in psychology.
Each year at the annual convention, CPA honors individuals who have made distinguished contributions to psychology in Canada with the following awards:
- CPA Gold Medal Award For Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Canadian Psychology
- CPA John C. Service Member the Year Award
- CPA Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science
- CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology
- CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Profession
- CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology
- CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public or Community Service
- Distinguished Practitioner Award
- CPA Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service to the Canadian Psychological Association
- CPA Humanitarian Award
- President’s New Researcher Award
The CPA has numerous student awards. As an example, the CPA gives out Certificates of Academic Excellence to students in each Canadian psychology department for the best undergraduate, masters, and doctoral thesis. The sections of CPA also award students for exceptional papers, presentations, and posters at the annual convention.
Fellowships are awarded to members of the CPA who have made distinguished contributions to the advancement of the science or profession of psychology or who have given exceptional service to their national or provincial associations. The Committee on Fellows and Awards review nominations and make recommendations to the Board of Directors who appoint fellows.
The CPA, in partnership with the American Psychological Association, quarterly publishes the following three academic journals:
- Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science
- Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology
- Canadian Psychology
The CPA also publishes a quarterly magazine called Psynopsis. Issues contain brief articles on specific themes relating to psychology, as well as updates from the head office of CPA, committee news, information about the annual convention, and much more.
Mind Pad is a professional newsletter that is written and reviewed by student affiliates of the Canadian Psychological Association. The newsletter is published biannually online.
Members of the CPA with interests in specific areas of psychology are able to form and join sections. Sections have official status under the By-laws of the CPA, which give them power to:
- Initiate and undertake activities of relevance to its members.
- Draft position papers on topics of relevance to the Section.
- Initiate policy statements in areas of expertise.
- Organize meetings within CPA.
- Make specific representation to external agencies or organizations, if it has received the approval of the Board of Directors to do so.
- Recommend that CPA make specific representations to external organizations or agencies.
Public outreach and partnerships
The CPA produces a series of informative brochures for the public called “Psychology Works Fact Sheets”. Each brochure is reviewed by psychologists who are knowledgeable on that subject before being published online. Topics range from information on psychological disorders, parenting challenges, pain, stress, perfectionism, and much more. Along with these informative brochures, the CPA website contains lots of resources for individuals interested in psychology or receiving psychological services in Canada.
Every year, the CPA promotes February as Psychology Month and encourages Canadian psychologists to reach out to the public to raise awareness of what psychology is, what psychologists do, and how psychology benefits everyone.
The CPA is engaged in numerous emergency preparedness activities. Following national and international emergencies and disasters, the CPA provides the general public with timely resources on effective coping and information about stress and the indicators of psychological distress. The CPA is also involved in the National Emergency Psychosocial Advisory Consortium (NEPAC), the Mental Health Support Network, and the Council of Emergency Voluntary Sector Directors.
The CPA is also involved in partnerships with the following:
- Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH)
- Canadian Association for School Health Communities of Practice
- Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century (CCPH21)
- Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR)
- Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS)
- Canadian Primary Health Care Research and Innovation Network (CPHCRIN)
- Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC)
- Mental Health Table
- Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet)
- Science Media Centre of Canada
- The Health Action Lobby (HEAL).
Policy and position statements
The CPA publishes policy and positions statements which are based on psychological evidence and ethical standards on given issues of importance. Below are some issues in which the CPA has issued public statements on:
- Gender identity in adolescents and adults
- Violence against women
- Bullying in children and youth
- Physical punishment of children and youth
- Convictions based solely on recovered memories
- Equality for lesbians, gay men, their relationships and their families
- The death penalty in Canada
- "About CPA". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "A Vision for the School of Psychology: Building Upon Our Strengths to Define Our Future". University of Ottawa. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- Conway, John B. (2013). "Review of A Chronicle of the Work of the CPA 1938-2010". Canadian Psychology (Canadian Psychological Association) 54 (2): 133–134. doi:10.1037/a0031558.
- "Years and Locations of Past CPA Conventions". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Science Directorate". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Practice Directorate". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Accreditation". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Board of Directors". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Membership Types". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "CPA Award Descriptions". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Student Awards". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "CPA Fellows". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "CPA Journals". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Psynopsis". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Mind Pad". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "CPA Sections". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Psychology Works Fact Sheets". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Psychology Month". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Emergency Preparedness". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Practice Partnerships". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Research Partnerships". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Policy & Position Statements". Canadian Psychological Association. Retrieved 2013-08-13.