Policy/Program Memorandum No. 59

Issued under the authority of the Deputy Minister of Education

Date of Issue: October 11, 1982 Effective: Until revoked or modified
Application: Directors of Education
Principals of schools

When school boards are considering the provision of psychological services, the following principles should be taken into account:

  1. Consistent with the Education Act and Regulations thereunder, where a school board chooses to provide psychological services, a role description and/or terms of employment satisfactory to the school board and the person(s) employed should recognize:

    1. that before any psychological assessment is undertaken, the pupil, if he or she is an adult, or a parent, or guardian, if the pupil is a minor, must be informed of the purpose, nature and possible implications of the procedures, and must provide prior written consent for such assessment, based on the information provided;

    2. that psychologists providing such service function under the administrative supervision of the appropriate supervisory officer and, where performing their duties in a school, are subject to the administrative authority of the principal;

    3. that psychologists perform their professional duties within the rules of conduct which govern their profession at large;

    4. that responsibility for action related to judgements and recommendations as a result of psychological assessments rests with the school board through the appropriate supervisory officer, in consultation with the parent and with the parent's approval;

    5. that any service described by the use of the words psychological", "psychologist", or "psychology" should be offered only under the supervision of or by a duly registered psychologist.

  2. Services designated by a board as educational assessment or testing are not governed by the provisions of the Psychologists' Registration Act. School boards in providing assessments may utilize a variety oil procedures and tests.

  3. Care should be exercised in protecting the confidentiality of information. Since the reports of psychological assessments conducted under the aegis of a school board are for the educational benefit of the pupil, the subsequent recommendations should be discussed with parents, principals and appropriate teaching personnel.

  4. Consistent with Regulation 271, Pupil Records, reports may be placed in the pupil's record folder. With the concurrence of the principal, such reports may be removed upon request of & parent or guardian or, where he or she is an adult, the pupil. It is recommended that reports no longer conducive to improvement of the pupil's program be removed from the record folder by the principal.

  5. In cases where reports or portions of reports of psychological assessments are to be shared with persons, outside the employ of the board, it is essential that written permission be obtained from the parent of the pupil, or from the pupil, if he or she is an adult.

  6. The administration and interpretation of the assessment must be made carefully, recognizing the impact of the pupil's culture and language facility on the results of the assessment. The assessment should be conducted in English for an English-speaking pupil and in French for a French-speaking pupil. If the pupil's first language is other than English or French and/or the pupil lacks facility in either of these languages consideration should be given to postponing the assessment or, where possible, conducting the assessment in the child's first language.