The College’s authority to enforce standards and specific competencies derives from a global commitment of the Registrants to demonstrate their unique level of skills and competencies to those seeking their expertise for their particular clientele and the public at large. The consumers of these services know and can take comfort in knowing that the professionals they are hiring have had their minimum level of competency evaluated via a peer reviewed process through achieving a CVRP credential. These are private rights that can be privately enforced by CVRP as opposed to public rights that can be enforced through administrative processes.
Registrants of the College have begun a process of transformation from an association to a self-managed college similar to many other professional groups who eventually became government regulated bodies.
The first stage was establishing a membership body (such as VRA Canada) and from there came the following developments and evolution: Accredited Rehabilitation Worker (ARW), progressed to Accredited Rehabilitation Professional (ARP), to Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP), to Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional (CVRP). The next and final step would be to seek government regulation.
CVRP is continuing to work towards this highest level of validation of the uniqueness of the special skills and competencies of our Registrants, as compared to others without this demonstrated knowledge. This shows stakeholders (including the public), how and why we are qualified to do what we do and, as a result of our certification requirements, are being recognized via government/stakeholder tender requirements. This is now occurring due to the peer review competency board exams and related peer review processes. Without which, anyone can claim to be qualified or claim to be competent by simply reporting employment in a particular job which, in itself, does not validate one’s knowledge and competency. This is why we evolved from an ARW to an ARP, to an RRP, to becoming certified (CVRP).
It is in best the interest of the public and Registrants that the College establish and maintain standards as it raises the profile of our Registrants and their earned credentials in the marketplace.
The profession is small in Canada as compared to other professions (physicians, occupational therapists, registered nurses, lawyers, accountants, etc.) and if the College were at this time to pursue provincial legislation in each province granting legal authority, to either self or government regulation, this would result in a large number of our Registrants regressing at least a decade in professional development. As many provinces in Canada have only a few professionals doing this work, consequently, it would not be financially viable to pursue legislation at this stage.
The latest example of this is the profession of Kinesiology in Canada. Currently Kinesiologists are only government regulated in Ontario. The rest of the Kins, residing or practicing in other provinces in Canada, are not. Also, the Canadian Association of Certified Counselors are also working towards government regulation. So, do we regress or move forward to protect our unique set of valued skills? If we do not continue with development as a unique profession, other government regulated bodies could adopt our scopes of practice. Our profession will not be permitted to perform most of the work we do.
This progress of professional certification has been established in the USA for decades through bodies such as the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) and the International Commission on Health Care Certification (ICHCC) for life care planners or the life care certifying body for RNs, the Certified Nurse Life Care Planner (CNLCP), or the life care planning certification body for physicians, the Certified Physician Life Care Planner (CPLCP) and other professional groups certifying vocational evaluators, the American Board of Vocational Experts (ABVE), and case managers, the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC).
The College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals is here to support likeminded professionals who want to demonstrate to stakeholders, via formal written examination of their skills, peer review, and other requirements, why our profession is qualified and why it meets the highest standards.
Finally, the College is a regulating body of professionals who want the highest standards for themselves and for the public they serve. Therefore, the College sets requirements and standards and, of course, it has a complaints process for the public to avail itself of, should it be necessary. It is the certification process that actually protects the Registrants as they have professional guidelines which they must follow.
These steps are proving to be of great benefit to the public as witnessed by the limited number of complaints the College has received, especially since we have established the certification process for those doing transferable skills analysis (TSA) and vocational evaluations (VEs). The Colleges certification processes are proving to be of benefit to those who become certified, demonstrating that the training and requirements of the profession are working for all.