Practicum Information

Onsite Practicums

Upon reaching this page students should have already reviewed the Pre-Practicum Information in the  and have a full overview of what is to come. If you haven’t reviewed the Pre-Practicum Section, please review this section as it gives you a full understanding of the roadmap to follow 12 months prior to beginning your practicum through to successfully applying for your practicum.

The Director of Field Training must officially approve all practicums before a student can begin their placement.

When searching for a practicum site, it is important that students recognize their level of competence and look for practicum sites that will provide them with an entry-level counselling experience in general mental health settings.

The search for a practicum opportunity can at times be anxiety-inducing. It is important to realize that it is not uncommon, depending on your area, to have to apply to upwards of 30+ sites to secure one spot. It takes hard work. Not securing a spot does not necessarily mean that you are doing anything wrong. It is also a matter of fit, availability and timing.

For this reason, the way you approach your search is critical. You should absolutely be tracking your search with dates, notes, and other important details. This will allow you to reflect on what you have accomplished so far, provide direction and focus, and help you to time your follow up. For sites that have their own application dates, your tracking sheet will ensure you don’t overlook applying on time. We have provided a tracking sheet for you to use. This resource was developed by the YU Field Training team based on our experience and knowledge about the practicum search process and the type of information that is necessary for students to track.

Try hard not to feel discouraged if your initial attempts are not successful. Remind yourself this is a process that requires persistence and a positive attitude. However, if you find that after contacting 30+ sites you have no success, it may be time to check in with your Practicum Advisor to review your situation. Please be aware, one of the first things your Practicum Advisor will ask for is a copy of your up-to-date tracking sheet, cover letter and resume. This will be important information for them to have in order to assist you.

  • An Internet search is the best place to start. Most potential practicum sites have websites that will give you a very good sense of the type of agency they are. You will be able to answer some of your YU requirement questions here (such as whether they work with young children, for example). Make notes on your tracking sheet of important details, perhaps even include a specific fact that you can use to personalize your cover letter when applying to the site.
  • Networking is very beneficial in a practicum search. Consider joining professional and student groups to find connections to sites that may be looking for practicum students but not advertising the opportunity, or sites where current practicum students are finishing up their trimester. You never know what connections and knowledge others have that may inform your search.
  • Follow-up is important. This will show your intent and professionalism, as well as offer you another opportunity to connect with placement staff. Please respect requests that sites may have communicated regarding appropriate follow up. You do not want to leave a bad impression by ignoring direction.
  • You may also want to review your resume and cover letter. If you are using these tools from a previous job search, then you are missing the opportunity to tailor them to best show what you have to offer. It is recommended that you watch the self-directed modules on the MACP Practicum Portal on Effective Cover Letters and Resumes to maximize your first impression. Students should contact the Yorkville University Career Centre, located in Student Success Centre for assistance with resume writing/revision, writing cover letters, and interview preparation. The Career Centre is the resource for students to have their resume and cover letters reviewed and receive feedback from a professional career counsellor.

Potential Practicum Sites

Yorkville University’s MACP Practicum Portal Site Locator is a list of sites that have previously hosted Yorkville students and have indicated they are willing to have their agency or organization be approached by future students seeking placement. It is possible that some of these sites no longer meet current practicum site requirements; or, are not able to offer placements in a particular trimester.

We encourage students to do their own research beyond the sites that are listed, as this is not an exhaustive list. While we work hard to provide students with the most recent and up-to-date contact information for the sites on the list, we also recognize that site information and the site’s ability to accept a student does change from time to time without our knowledge. If you encounter this, please send an email to [email protected] so that we can update the contact information immediately.

As you are researching for potential practicum sites, be sure to read site and supervisor requirements in the Practicum Guide for Students.

It is equally important for students to understand that by the time they have completed their academic coursework, the majority of MACP students are just beginning their counselling careers and, therefore, are novices to the profession. As such, it is important for students to recognize their level of competence and look for practicum sites that will provide them with entry-level counselling experience in general mental health.

 

In general, appropriate practicum settings that may be acceptable include:

  • Any established venue in which general mental health counselling services are professionally delivered.
  • Organizations specifically identified as providing mental health services are acceptable, whether public, private, culturally, or religiously affiliated.
  • Mental health services embedded within a larger context, such as the psychology or clinical social work department of a general hospital.
  • Organizations not specifically identified as mental health services, but in which mental health issues figure prominently, such as minimum-security prisons, special schools (for children older than age 10 years), and eldercare organizations.

It is vitally important students understand the MACP program is first and foremost a counselling degree and not a psychology degree. As such, the focus of the MACP practicum is to develop basic entry-level counselling skills within the traditional 50-minute counselling session while also learning to appropriately apply psychological theory. It is important students seek out a potential practicum site that has an established and structured mental health counselling delivery model where general mental health issues, such as stress, depression, anxiety, grief, etc. are addressed.

Entry-level counselling students are strongly cautioned away from securing practicums at agencies or organizations where the focus is on highly specialised mental health services, such as:

  • Agencies that exclusively provide services such as assessments
  • Eating disorders
  • Forensics
  • Individuals with cognitive impairments (clients with IQs less than 70 and serious brain trauma)
  • The focus is predominantly on play therapy as a counselling method
  • Severe emotional trauma
  • Severe psychiatric disorders,
  • Focus is predominantly on psychological research
  • Equine assisted therapy
  • A strictly single session model would not be sufficient for Practicum. Students need the opportunity to work with clients throughout the therapeutic process.

Agencies that exclusively provide these services are not appropriate for MACP Practicum:

  • Academic or Educational counselling
  • Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)
  • Agencies that exclusively provide services such as assessments
  • Career or Vocational counselling
  • Children under the age of 10 years
  • Life coaching
  • Psychological Research, as predominant focus
  • Work rehabilitation counselling
  • Summer camps
  • Semi-structured day programs
  • Residential treatment programs
  • Agencies or private practice settings where students are responsible for generating their own client base (or sites that in any way expect students to market their own services or run their own private practices).

Agencies / Health Authorities

Agencies or Organizations requiring Yorkville University to apply on the student's behalf

There are several organizations — in particular, health authorities — which require the university to apply on the student’s behalf. Generally, they will identify this on their website. Should you encounter this, please contact the Department of Field Training at [email protected]. You will also find information about some of the more common umbrella sites we currently work with (such as Alberta Health Services, Island Health Authority, Interior Health Authority, Ministry of Child and Family Development, Vancouver Coastal Health) below.

It is extremely important students do not circumvent the application process established by the organization by making their own practicum arrangements with an individual employee of the organization. Even if a student is an employee of the organization, or has contacts with individuals who work for the organization and the contact offers the student a practicum placement, students must still follow the organization’s application procedures and contact Field Training at [email protected] to apply on their behalf. At that time, students can provide Field Training staff with any information or contacts they may have related to their preferred placement site(s) within the organization and we will do our best to advocate on the student’s behalf.

These organizations have a formal affiliation agreement with YU that requires us to follow their application process. This ensures the organization is fully aware of all students completing a practicum within their organization and that Yorkville’s liability and workplace accident insurance coverage is not compromised. If a student does not follow the appropriate application process, Field Training will not be able to approve the student’s Practicum Application. The student will have to defer their practicum until the following trimester in order to give Field Training the opportunity to officially submit the application to the organization in the appropriate manner.

Please Note: Yorkville University does not have affiliation agreements with Fraser Health Authority OR with Nova Scotia Health Authority. These health authorities do not want students contacting any of their sites. Students are advised to seek practicum opportunities elsewhere.

You can download a copy of the HSPnet Consent Form here for sites that require one:

Some of the agencies we work with on a regular basis:

For students who want to apply for a practicum with any of the sites under the umbrella of the Interior Health Authority (IHA), the initial request must be made by the university on behalf of the student. IHA does not want students contacting sites or their Clinical Student Placement officer/coordinator directly.

All required documentation for an IHA application must be received by the following deadlines:

  • For a January practicum start – September 15
  • For a May practicum start – January 15
  • For a September practicum start – May 15

To apply, begin by completing the HSPnet Consent Form provided at the beginning of the Agencies and Health Authorities section. Send your completed form and an up-to-date resume / cover letter (as one document) to [email protected], with your intended practicum start date. Include a list of the IHA sites (with geographical location) you wish to apply to in order of preference as Interior Health only accepts one application at a time.

Once Field Training (FT) submits your application to IHA you will receive a confirmation email. It can take several weeks to receive the decision from the Interior Health Authority. Students may or may not be contacted directly for an interview, but formal acceptance will come from the HSPnet program via the university. Please keep in mind that only a small percentage of Interior Health Authority applicants actually secure a practicum, so it is important to continue searching and considering other practicum opportunity options while you wait.

Please Note: If you are successful in obtaining a practicum with Interior Health a Police Information Check, immunizations and further training will be required before you can begin practicum.

For students who want to apply for a practicum with any of the sites under the umbrella of the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the initial request must be made by the university on behalf of the student through the HSPnet system. VCH does not want students contacting sites or their Student Placement Coordinator directly to arrange placement.

All required documents for a VCH application must be received by the following deadlines:

  • For a January practicum start – August 15
  • For a May practicum start – December 31
  • For a September practicum start – March 15

The VCH coordinator will send Yorkville student applications to potential sites shortly after these deadlines, but no earlier. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Students should specify which program they would like to apply to: adult mental health, addictions or child and youth mental health. Applications are sent as fan-out requests to all accepting sites. To apply, please submit your resume, tailored cover letter and a completed HSPnet consent form to [email protected].

Please Note: If you are successful in obtaining a practicum with Vancouver Coastal Health a Police Information Check, immunizations and further training will be required before you can begin practicum.

For students who want to apply for a practicum with any of the sites under the umbrella of the Island Health Authority (IHA/VIHA), the initial request must be made by the university on behalf of the student through the HSPnet system. IHA / VIHA does not want students contacting sites or their Student Placement Coordinator directly. Also note, the IHA/VIHA gives priority to students studying at a university in British Columbia.

All required documents for an IHA application must be received by the following deadlines:

  • For a January practicum start – August 25
  • For a May practicum start – December 30
  • For a September practicum start – April 10

Important Note: Absolutely no extensions will be given.

To apply, begin by completing the HSPnet Consent Form. Send your completed form plus an up-to-date resume / cover letter (as one document) to [email protected], with your intended practicum start date. Include a list of specific IHA / VIHA sites / programs (with geographical location) you wish to apply to in order of preference as Island Health only accepts one application at a time.

Once Field Training (FT) submits your application to IHA / VIHA you will receive a confirmation email. It can take several weeks to receive a decision from the IHA. Please keep in mind that only a small percentage of Island Health Authority applicants secure a practicum, so it is important to continue searching and considering other practicum opportunity options while you wait.

Please Note: If you are successful in obtaining a practicum with the Island Health Authority a Police Information Check, immunizations and further training will be required before you can begin practicum.

For students who want to apply for a practicum with any of the sites under the umbrella of the MCFD for the Child and Youth Mental Health Program only, the initial request must be made by the university on behalf of the student. Please be aware that practicum opportunities with the CYMH program are highly competitive and you are advised to seek practicum opportunities elsewhere as well.

The MCFD suggests applying for practicum positions at least 6 months in advance. Some sites in highly-populated areas (Vancouver Island, Fraser, and Coast/North Shore) will accept applications up to 18 months before the intended start date. There is no firm deadline, but applications close when spaces are filled.

To apply, begin by emailing [email protected] stating the date you hope to begin your practicum and supplying a list of geographical locations in which are you interested. Please include the following documents:

  • Cover Letter (typically 1 page) inclusive of your address, locations you can commute to for a practicum, practicum hours, days at the practicum, and practicum duration (term start/end dates);
  • Resume (up to 3 pages); reference the ages and related behavioural issues of children and youth worked with in each work/volunteer resume item; reference related clinical experience (or training) related to clients that have been diagnosed or referred for diagnosis;
  • Addendum of completed related courses (present graduate degree, prior undergraduate degrees, diplomas and certificates), workshops or scheduled courses in your remaining term(s) (up to 1 page).

Once Field Training (FT) submits your application to the MCFD and you will receive a confirmation email. A Field Education Consultant (FEC) from the MCFD will be in touch with you. Please note that it may take some time to receive a response, as FECs must canvass the team leaders in the areas you are applying for to determine if there is an available supervisor/ if they have the capacity to host a student for the identified term. If both these conditions are met, the FEC will refer students for selection interviews.

Please note: the MCFD has a specific Criminal Record Check program that students must complete with the FEC for their area if offered a practicum spot. RCMP or regional CRCs are not accepted. The FEC for your area will help you complete this requirement.

For students who want to apply for a practicum with any of the sites under the umbrella of the Alberta Health Services (AHS), the initial request must be made by the university on behalf of the student. AHS does not want students contacting sites or their Clinical Student Placement officer/coordinator directly.

All required documentation for an AHS application must be received by the following deadlines:

  • For a January practicum start – August 15
  • For a May practicum start – December 15
  • For a September practicum start – February 15

To apply, begin by completing the HSPnet Consent Form provided at the beginning of the Agencies and Health Authorities section. Send your completed form and an up-to-date resume / cover letter (as one document) to [email protected], with your intended practicum start date. Include a list of up to 3 sites (with geographical location) you wish to apply to in order of preference.

After the student deadline, Field Training (FT) will select the top 7 candidates and submit the applications to AHS.  You will receive an email confirming if you have been selected and once again once your application is submitted.

It can take several weeks to receive the decision from Alberta Health Services. Students may or may not be contacted directly for an interview, but formal acceptance will come from the HSPnet program via the university. Please keep in mind that only a small percentage of Alberta Health Service applicants actually secure a practicum, so it is important to continue searching and considering other practicum opportunity options while you wait.

Please Note: If you are successful in obtaining a practicum with Alberta Health Services a Police Information Check, immunizations and further training will be required before you can begin practicum.

 

Regulatory Colleges & Professional Associations

Yorkville University’s MACP degree program is officially recognized by a number of regulatory bodies and professional associations across the country and outside of Canada (see below).

The criteria for certification, registration or membership among the different regulatory bodies and professional associations varies. Therefore, the Department of Field Training recommends that you make yourself fully aware of the criteria of the regulatory body or professional association you wish join post-graduation, as these requirements may differ from the YU practicum requirements.

While you are an MACP student, we also recommend that you inquire directly with the various professional associations about the benefits of obtaining a student membership. The number and variety of benefits available to students will vary among associations, and you will want to be associated with the association that offers benefits that are the most relevant to your professional development, at this time.

Before you secure a practicum placement, it is very important that you self-inform about a regulatory body’s or professional association’s credential requirements for practicum site supervisors. It is your responsibility to ensure you secure a practicum site supervisor who has the credentials required by the regulatory body or professional association you wish to be affiliated with after graduation. It may be that a practitioner meets the YU eligibility criteria for being a practicum site supervisor but does not meet requirements for the supervision required to ensure you can become a member of a particular regulatory body or professional association.

In addition, it is equally very important that you self-inform about a regulatory body’s or professional association’s supervision requirements before you secure a practicum placement. What these are, and how they are applied, vary slightly from organization to organization, and may differ from YU practicum requirements (please see the relevant section of the Practicum Information Guide for the YU requirements). It is your responsibility to check directly with the regulatory body or association in which you are interested, to determine what they require for supervision.

You will want to make sure you are fully informed so that you will be able to maximize any supervision opportunities you may have during your practicum. For some regulatory bodies or professional associations, you will be able to use the hours of supervision acquired during practicum toward your registration or membership application, while for others you may not. In the case of the former, you will want to make sure that you acquire as many qualifying supervision hours as possible from your YU approved site supervisor during your practicum.

Yorkville University graduates have been recognized by the following organizations and jurisdictions:

Regulatory / Licensing Bodies

  • College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO)

    As of April 2015, the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario recognizes the MACP program offered by Yorkville University. To qualify for registration with the College, individuals applying for membership must have completed a program of education and training in psychotherapy that has allowed them to develop the required entry-to-practice competencies. Yorkville’s MACP degree was one of the first four programs recognized and listed on the CRPO website. See the CRPO website for more information.

  • Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT)

    The MACP degree meets the academic requirements set out by the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT). Graduates of Yorkville University’s MACP program are eligible to apply for candidacy and upon meeting the requirements of the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT), will be eligible for licensure as a Registered Counselling Therapist under the Counselling Therapist Act of Nova Scotia. See the NSCCT website for more information.

  • College of Counselling Therapists of New Brunswick (CCTNB)

    The MACP degree meets the academic requirements set out by the College of Counselling Therapists of New Brunswick (CCTBN). Graduates of Yorkville University’s MACP program are eligible to apply to become a Licenced Counselling Therapist-Candidate (LCT-C) and upon meeting the requirements of the CCTBN, will be eligible for licensure as a Licenced Counselling Therapist (LCT) under the Licensed Counselling Therapy Act of New Brunswick. See the CCTNB website for more information.

Voluntary Professional Association

  • Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)


    Yorkville University graduates from the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MACP) program are eligible to become members of CPA. See the CPA website for more information.

Practicums in Place of Employment / School Settings

Completing a practicum in place of employment is considered a last resort. It is possible to apply to complete practicum in a student’s place of employment if both the site and proposed practicum supervisor meet the necessary YU eligibility criteria, and the employer is agreeable. An MACP student interested in doing practicum in his/her/their place of employment must adhere to the following guidelines:
  • The practicum must be completed in a different unit, department, or program. Teachers wanting to complete a practicum in a school setting (middle and high schools) would complete their practicum ideally at a school different from where the student is employed, but within the same school district.
  • The practicum student must be performing substantially different activities during practicum than the student performs as a paid employee (i.e., practicum activities and responsibilities must be distinct and different from employment activities and responsibilities).
  • The proposed practicum supervisor must be a different person from the practicum student’s employment supervisor. The practicum supervisor cannot have served or be currently serving as an employment supervisor to the practicum student, or be a coworker, educator, mentor or someone to whom the student has direct reporting alignment at his/her/their place of employment. In addition, the supervisor should not have a personal relationship, such as familial or friendship, with the practicum student.
  • Dual relationships or conflicts of interest between the practicum student and practicum supervisor, or between the practicum student and any potential practicum clients must be prevented or managed.

    All workplace practicums must receive additional review for approval. To obtain this approval, the student must complete the Practicum Application and provide required supporting documentation, such as the:
For those of you applying to complete practicum in your current place of employment, please remember that an organizational chart is required. This document is part of your Practicum Application and must be scanned with all the other forms for submission.

Hour Requirements

Practicum Requirement Chart

Click above to download YorkvilleU's MACP Practicum Requirement Chart which breaks down practicum hour requirements.

Required Total Hours (400 Hours)

  • Students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 400 practicum hours over two full trimesters.
  • Students are expected to spend a minimum of approximately 13.5 hours per week at their practicum site. These hours may fluctuate a bit from week to week depending on the needs of your clients, the site requirements, and the student’s personal schedule.
  • Students are responsible for researching the hour requirements of the regulatory body or association they with to become a member of after graduation.
  • For a detailed breakdown of practicum hour requirements, refer to the Student Practicum Manual.

Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance is required for all practicum students. Insurance coverage should cover the student’s work being performed while in the capacity of a practicum student. Proof of liability insurance documentation must be submitted with the student’s practicum application. Students must maintain a current professional liability insurance policy throughout the practicum.

Many professional associations (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association; Canadian Psychological Association; Career Professionals of Canada) offer liability insurance coverage as part of student membership. Students may also obtain insurance through private insurance agents.

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