1. Does CAVEWAS represent a Profession?
CAVEWAS represents a unique Professional practice. The following components must exist in order for a field of practice to be defined as a Profession:
- An accepted definition
- A defined Scope of Practice
- Defined Standards of Practice
- Defined competencies and domains
- A recognized set of values
- A Code of Ethics
- A complaints / disciplinary process
- Credentials / designations
- Continuous professional development
- A Professional Association / Society
- A College of Practice
Over its 27 years, CAVEWAS has successfully established all of these components either independently or through collaboration to make Assessment, Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment a profession in Canada.
2. What is the vocational rehabilitation professional association most widely accepted in Canada?
The Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada is the oldest and most acknowledged Professional Association for the field in this country. CAVEWAS currently functions as the only specialty Society under the umbrella of the VRA.
3. Is the field represented by CAVEWAS regulated?
The field is self-regulated. This means that the members working in the field have opted to pursue a voluntary College of practice, the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals (CVRP) that holds us accountable to our clients, customers and the public at large. Registration with the College is not mandatory but it is encouraged.
4. What is the working relationship between CAVEWAS and CVRP?
Since the Society is about the membership and the College is about protecting the public, both parties must be careful about any interaction between the two bodies. They must be seen to be independent and impartial. Having said that, the two bodies are working together to ensure that their roles and responsibilities remain unique, that areas of overlap are eliminated and that respective processes are simplified for the benefit of our constituents. They have recently collaborated on the development of the Canadian Certified Vocational Evaluator (CCVE) credential with CAVEWAS providing the Study Guide and respective exam preparation workshop and CVRP managing the exam and credential.
5. How long has CAVEWAS been in existence?
The Society’s Letters Patent are dated June 30, 1989, giving it over 30 years of longevity.
6. Does the Society exist for the members or to advocate in behalf of people with disabilities?
CAVEWAS is a Professional association. Its mandate is to support its members through guidance and advice, promotion, education, insurance, research and other valuable membership services. It advocates for its members who in turn may “advocate” for people with disability.
7. Has the Society always been known as the Canadian Assessment, Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Society?
No. The Society was first incorporated as the Canadian Association for Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment (CAVEWA).
8. Has CAVEWAS always been under the umbrella of the VRA?
No. In the 1980’s several Assessment professionals opted to form their own professional association, the Canadian Association for Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment (CAVEWA). Although CAVEWA was highly successful and respected, the membership voted to reunite with the VRA to enhance its operations through economies of scale and to focus more on outcomes and less on administration. CAVEWA (now CAVEWAS) became the first functionally based Society of the VRA and remains so to this day.
9. Why do some CAVEWAS members have CVE after their names?
Several members specializing in Assessment opted to seek out the Certified Vocational Evaluator (CVE) credential through the American based Commission on Certification of Work Adjustment and Vocational Evaluation Specialists (CCWAVES). These members were required to successfully pass an exam and maintain their credential through Certified Educational Units (CEUs). CCWAVES has since disbanded passing responsibility for maintenance of the credential over to the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Many CAVEWAS members continue to maintain their credential with the Commission through the maintenance of CEUs. This provides them with National and International credibility.
10. Can CAVEWAS members without the CVE credential still apply for it?
The CVE application process is now an American one. A member would need to approach the Commission. The Canadian Certified Vocational Evaluator (CCVE) has been developed to take its place and has been launched by CAVEWAS and the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals in 2016.
11. How is CAVEWAS governed?
12. What is CAVEWAS’ internal structure for decision-making?
CAVEWAS has an elected National Board of Directors. Positions include President, President Elect / Past President, Treasurer and Secretary. The Board is elected by members at an Annual General Meeting. The President sits on the National Board of Directors for the Vocational Rehabilitation Association representing CAVEWAS. CAVEWAS Committees include a Professional Development Committee, Conference Planning Committee, Designation Committee and Communications Committee.
13. How is CAVEWAS managed?
For the most part, CAVEWAS self manages. Periodically they get the support of the VRA’s management company especially in areas of membership renewal.
14. Is there an overall strategy for CAVEWAS?
CAVEWAS is currently working diligently on introducing the Canadian Certified Vocational Evaluator (CCVE) credential into Canada in order to solidify the uniqueness and viability of the profession. The Society will also be introducing an extensive amount of training opportunities specific to Assessment, Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment domains over the next year. This is all part of a strategy to grow membership, to enhance membership services and to reinforce a strong presence in Canada.
15. I am a Career Development Specialist. Could I be a member of CAVEWAS?
If you function within the CAVEWAS Scope of Practice in any capacity, you can be a member of CAVEWAS. This includes Disability Managers, Career Counsellors, Career Developers, Life Care Planners, Ergonomists, etc. Basically, if you are working with people with disabilities and / or disadvantages and the focus is employment and / or engagement in the community for quality of life, you are welcome to join CAVEWAS. Others who supervise or educate individuals providing services and researchers in the field can also be members.
16. What are the levels of membership and, if new to the organization, where would I start?
Keeping in mind that you are registering first with the VRA, the levels of membership are:
- Student – student in post-secondary education studies in a field related to Vocational Rehabilitation.
- Associate – those Members who are gaining work or educational experience to qualify for their Professional Member status or those Members who want to join CAVEWAS to access networking or educational opportunities.
- Professional – those Members who hold the designation of RRP, RVP, RCSS, MCVP, CVRP, CCRC, CRC, CVE, CCVE, or another designation approved by the Board from time to time.
Individuals usually join the VRA as a student, if that is their status, or as an Associate. Once you meet the criteria for a designation (CCVE, RRP, RVP, RCSS), you can submit an application. If approved and you pay the difference in membership fee, you automatically become a Professional member.
17. Can you be a Professional member without having an RRP, RVP or RCSS designation?
Yes. If you have a CCRC, Certified Rehabilitation Counsellor (CRC), CVE or the new Canadian Certified Vocational Evaluator (CCVE) credential you are also accepted as a Professional member. If you are credentialed through the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals (CVRP), you would be a Professional member of the VRA. That does not mean you automatically are approved for the RRP, RVP or RCSS though. You would still need to apply for one or more of those designations separately.
18. As a CAVEWAS member, what designations can I apply for?
You can apply for all three designations offered by the Vocational Rehabilitation Association. These are:
- Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP). The RRP requires a minimum of a degree plus you must meet other specific criteria. Please link to the Guide for details.
- Registered Vocational Professional (RVP). The RVP was specifically designed for CAVEWAS. It requires a degree or a diploma plus you must meet other specific criteria. Please link to the Guide for details.
- Registered Community Support Specialist (RCSS). The RCSS requires a diploma plus you must meet other specific criteria. Please link to the Guide for details.
You can also take the Canadian Certified Vocational Evaluator (CCVE) exam to gain this credential from the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals (CVRP). You must be a member of CAVEWAS and have a degree in order to meet requirements.
Regardless of the designation, there is a time frame and number of Continuous Education Units (CEUs) associated with renewing each. Each CEU relates to approximately 1 full hour of development time. Please refer to Question 27.
19. How do I go about contributing to the CAVEWAS newsletter?
Contact the Editor of the newsletter, Melissa Bissonnette at 519-254-2445, ext. 201. She will provide you will the details you need to write articles and can suggest other ways in which you can participate. Your involvement is worth CEUs.
20. What other ways can I gain CEUs to maintain my credentials in addition to attendance at events or contributing to the newsletter?
You can gain CEUs by:
- Actively participating in a committee
- Completing a book report
- Developing and delivering curriculum
- Speaking at a conference / event
- Mentoring a student or individual new to the field
- Conducting research
- Answering quizzes from various locations, like VRA’s Rehab Matters
- Writing a summary on activities you have engaged in outside of CAVEWAS but related to the VRA
To suggest other ways of contributing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
21. I want to apply for the RVP designation and I meet all requirements. The Guide indicates that one of my references should be someone with a VRA credential. I do not know anyone with a VRA credential who could provide a reference. What should I do?
The Guide actually stipulates “where applicable, one (1) letter of reference should be requested from a current manager/supervisor and the remaining reference must be requested from a rehabilitation professional that currently holds the RRP, CCRC, CRC, or CVE designation(s). Where an applicant does not know or has not worked with another professional member, a letter of explanation should accompany application.” It is not always possible to access a credentialed reference who meets other reference requirements. That is why we state “where applicable” and provide the option of an explanation through a written letter.
22. I am applying for the RVP designation. I graduated from university in 1986. The course curriculum has changed since then so I am not able to cut and paste from the website to support my core competency course work. What should I do?
You can do one of four things:
- Often courses change title but not content. Check the university or college website to see if the content is listed under another course and cut and paste that. It may have moved to a different faculty altogether.
- Check back to any hard or soft copies of your school documents to see if you have any details about your courses there or any assignments you completed that may demonstrate the core competency in question.
- Write a brief description yourself about the course you took and how it relates to the core competency. The reviewers will cross reference to your transcripts to confirm that you successfully completed the course and may contact you for further details or clarification.
- Delay your designation application until you have completed the core competency courses required. Check the VRA and / or CAVEWAS website for university or college programs that might help you with this activity.
23. My designation application is ready for submission. What is the best way to send it?
You can now complete your application for a designation online. Your references, resume, job description, course details, employment plan, etc., can be uploaded to link with your application. Once ready, push “submit” and everything will be directed to the VRA office. You will be sent a confirmation of receipt.
Processing of your application does not begin until all documentation, including university or college transcripts are on file and the designation application fee is paid. Please allow for 2 weeks for processing of your application once all products have been received and payment is processed. Applications will be processed on a first come, first serve basis regardless of the urgency.
24. How do I submit my university or college transcripts so they become part of my application?
The university or college should be asked to send your transcripts directly to the VRA office by mail. The office will open the mail and marry your transcripts up with your application. The application will then be sent electronically to the reviewer(s) for processing. The address is listed as CAVEWAS address on this website and again on the VRA Canada website.
25. Do I get charged the designation application fee if my application is denied?
Yes. This is a fee for administering the application. Reviewing applications is time consuming and administratively heavy, hence the fee. This is, however, a once only charge.
26. I have just received notice that it is membership renewal time. What is the difference between membership renewal and designation renewal?
All members must renew their membership every year. Membership renewal at an “early bird” discount usually starts November 1 and ends December 31. Membership renewal continues until February 28th at the regular fee rate. If you have not renewed by February 28th, your membership and your designation may be revoked.
Designation renewals (RRP, RVP, RCSS) occur every 5 years. Your designation renewal date is the day on which you originally achieved and paid for designation status and is found on the bottom right corner of your certificate. To renew your designation, you must achieve the required number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) within that 5-year period.
27. How many CEUs do I need to renew my designation?
- If you have your RRP designation, you need 100 CEUs, 10 of which are in ethics.
- For RVP you need 100 CEUs, 30 CEUs must be directly related to the area of vocational / employment and career services / training.
- For RCSS you need 50 CEUs.
28. How will I know if a workshop, seminar conference or in-service training session I attend is considered pre-approved for continuing education?
If the program is one sponsored by the VRA or by CAVEWAS, it will be pre-approved for CEUs. Many other organizations also seek pre-approval of their educational session(s). When registering you can ask the sponsor directly or when the session is complete the sponsor will provide participants with an Attendance Verification Form (AVF) with an approval number on it. Alternatively, you can check the website to see if the event is listed as pre-approved. To receive credit, upload the AVF received at the event to your profile on the website. If you run into difficulties, contact email@example.com.
29. I am planning to attend a conference next month but do not see it listed as a pre-approved program on the VRA website. I would like the event to be considered for CEUs. What should I do?
Send the following details immediately to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- The request for pre-approval form
- The event title, dates and times
- The agenda or schedule for the event
- A brief description of the event and each session
- Bios of the speakers
- What domain you think the event is aligned with
- An indication of any ethics component
- The contact or sponsor for the event
- The website link for the event
Alternatively, you could ask the sponsoring organization to submit these details directly to the VRA at email@example.com.
The VRA will review the submission and will provide the sponsoring organization with the Attendance Verification Form. They will also list the event on the approved CEU database for other members to reference and CAVEWAS may advertise the event so other members may benefit. Depending on the sponsor and the VRA’s relationship with them, the VRA may charge them a fee for listing their event on their website. CAVEWAS may do the same if they are working with us in isolation.
Once you have attended the event, upload your AVF to your profile on the VRA website.
30. What is considered to be proof of attendance for events?
Proof of attendance is considered to be any of the following:
- Certificate of Completion
- Letter from the sponsor (on letterhead) verifying your attendance, which includes date(s) of program, title of session and number of hours
- VRA Canada Attendance Verification Form (AVF)
- A copy of transcripts when completing a university or college course
31. Can I get continuing education credits for activities that are not pre-approved?
Yes, continuing activity that satisfies the Designation Approved Focus/Content Area can be submitted for post-approval. The procedure is outlined in the Continuing Education Process Guide.
32. If I acquire more than 100 hours in a five-year period, can I apply the excess hours to the next renewal cycle?
No, since continuing education is intended to keep the rehabilitation professional current with emerging trends and technology, credits may ONLY be applied to the current 5-year designation period.
33. Is there an advantage to submitting my continuing education units more often than on an annual basis?
Yes, it helps keep track of how many continuing education credits you have accumulated and how many hours are still needed to renew your registration.
34. Whose responsibility is it to track my CEUs?
Professionally, it is your responsibility. The VRA has automated the system in order to make this easier for you. Once you upload your CEUs to your profile, you can reference and print a CEU report as often and whenever you want. It is recommended that you review this at least annually so there are no surprises come designation renewal time.
35. What should I do if I am having technical difficulty in uploading my CEUs?
Try a second time. If the problem persists, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
36. What should I do if I notice inaccuracies in my VRA website profile?
If it is something to do with your contact details, “edit” your profile. If it is an issue you have no online control over, contact the VRA office at email@example.com.