A letter from the CYCAA President

Dear CYCAA Members,

We are pleased to announce that the new year has brought recent progress and momentum toward regulating Counselling Therapists, Addiction Counsellors, and Child and Youth Care Counsellors.

Recently, Alberta Health sent the consultation package for the College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta to stakeholders. Consultation is a pivotal step in our progress toward regulation.

The consultation is a process led by Alberta Health, supported by Health Minister Shandro. The consultation package consists of the CCTA draft policy documents (a “mock-up” of our regulation, along with our draft Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and supervision guidelines). The consultation package will be on ACTA’s website for everyone to view.

Alberta Health has decided which stakeholders will receive the consultation package, and we are told the stakeholders include: practitioner associations; educational institutions; other colleges under the Health Professions Act; other government departments; Indigenous partners; insurance providers, and; employers (including ALIGN, the association of children’s service’s agencies).

What is next? After the consultation is complete (on March 1, 2021), ACTA will work with Alberta Health to review and incorporate feedback where needed. There will be additional internal government circulation, and then Cabinet approval is required. As part of the approval process, Cabinet will set a proclamation date, in consultation with ACTA, to open CCTA. ACTA aims to have the College prepared for an opening date within a few months after Cabinet approves the regulation.

It’s been a long journey to regulation, marked with many milestones, with this consultation being one of the most significant. ACTA has been preparing for this step and the final stages of College development for the past two years. While ACTA still has a substantial amount of work ahead, they now face this work with renewed energy.

We are looking forward to the months ahead and the opening of the College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta! In the meantime, it is crucial for the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta to advise all practitioners practicing child and youth care work to pay attention to the process for applying to ACTA as timelines will be tight.

Certified Child and Youth Care Counsellors with their CYCAA Certification in current good standing are strongly advised to apply to ACTA now, during the Expedited route. This route of membership is going to be the lowest in cost and lowest in different expectations, as individuals have already proven their knowledge, skills, and entry to practice competencies in the process of becoming certified. Apply here for ACTA

Individuals who have a child and youth care education and are not already certified are strongly urged to get their Certification in place as soon as possible and then apply to ACTA in the Expediated route. Apply for Certification here

Individuals without a child and youth care education are strongly urged to enroll in the certification process through the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta and become certified as soon as possible. Then apply to ACTA via the Expedited route, or if not able to make that deadline in time via the Intermediate Route. Apply for Certification here

At this moment, we do not know precisely when proclamation will occur, but we do know the process is underway, and as such, the Expedited route will close soon, and the Intermediate route will open. The Intermediate route will be different than the Expedited route. It will require an extra level of knowledge demonstration than merely providing evidence of Certification and will likely have a higher fee.

Once the Intermediate route closes, the only way into the College of Counselling Therapists will be via the Regular route, which will involve an examination process and higher costs associated with it.

With that being said, I strongly encourage people to register now under the Expedited route as quickly as possible to take advantage of the best rate. Please go to the attached links for answers to your questions but keep in mind the costs of Intermediate and Regular routes (and the details of application into the College via these routes) are not yet available, so we cannot answer those questions yet.

For more information, please go directly to the ACTA website https://www.acta-alberta.ca/child-youth-care-counselling

Best Regards,

Michelle Briegel
President, Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta