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Prevention-Of-Violence
Threat-Analysis

Certifications

The Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals

CATAP’s Program for Earning Your Designation as a Certified Threat Assessment Professional

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Questions? Contact the Certification Program Coordinator, Erin Fuller, at erin.fuller@catap.ca

Threat Assessment and Management (TAM) is a growing industry encompassing diverse professional activities related to the assessment and management of risk for violence. This involves most broadly the practice of and research related to violence prevention through development, implementation, and evaluation of assessment and management procedures. 

 

 At present, certification programs in Canada are available through three law enforcement agencies: Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and Integrated Threat and Risk Assessment Centre (ITRAC). CATAP believes that substantive and procedural elements are necessary to maintain the integrity and quality control of services provided by members of the TAM community.

 

CATAP is the only professional association dedicated to the study and practice of TAM in Canada. As a non-profit entity that provides stakeholders from various professions with information about violence prevention, it is appropriate that CATAP provide a certification process for individuals who provide violence prevention services. The program is upheld by the CATAP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, Guidelines for the Practice of TAM, and Core Competencies for the Practice of TAM

 

CATAP:

(1) has established and disseminated a national standard that sets out the attitudes, knowledge, and skills essential for the effective practice of TAM and will revise that standard as required; and

(2) has established and will maintain a process for certifying that professionals demonstrate they are competent and compliant with respect to the national standard.

 

The CATAP TAM certification designation is intended to attest that a professional has achieved a high level of expertise in the practice of TAM, including:

(a) general skills with respect to delivering services to (potential) victims or perpetrators of violence; and

(b) specific skills with respect to TAM. Read more about the program below.

 

Download the complete Certification Program brochure below.

 

  Download Program Brochure

The CATAP TAM Certification Program

Professional Designation Successful applicants will be designated as Certified Threat Assessment Professional (Canada), abbreviated as CTAP (C).

Certification Process The process includes four sequential stages. Below, requirements for each of the four application stages are discussed in more detail.

STEP 1: Application

The applicant submits a completed web-based application and must be deemed to meet minimum requirements for training, professional and practical experience. In addition, the applicant must pass a conduct and ethics review through verification with, at minimum but not necessarily limited to, the referees nominated by the applicant.

STEP 2: Written Examination

The Candidate passes a written examination assessing their breadth of knowledge regarding the theory, legal, practice, and scientific aspects of TAM.

STEP 3: Written Reports

The Candidate submits two de-identified written reports (without supporting / collateral documents) that were completed as part of actual professional duties, which must be deemed to meet required standards of competence for TAM generally and report writing specifically.

STEP 4: Oral Examination

The Candidate passes an oral examination assessing (i) skills demonstrated in written reports submitted in stage 3, including depth of knowledge regarding any specific forms of violence of focus in the written reports and (ii) adherence to standards of practice. As part of the oral examination, the Candidate completes an oral report based on a standardized case file that will be provided on the day of the oral examination.

STEP 1: Application

The application is intended to ensure that applicants (a) meet requirements for adequate qualified training and experience, and (b) do not have problems with ethical or unlawful behaviour. This requires producing appropriate documentation for a credential review and verification of past behavior from referees. The applicant will submit the CATAP Certification Application Form online, which gathers the requisite information and supporting documentation (i.e., resume or curriculum vitae). Once the applicant has passed the credential and conduct/ethics review and paid the appropriate fees, they are considered a Candidate in the CATAP Certification program. The application form will be available in French in the near future.

Qualified Training and Experience
Applicants are expected to have sufficient background in TAM, as demonstrated by appropriate training and requisite professional and practical experiences, and to be practicing TAM currently. It also is expected that an applicant:

  • Has completed education generally relevant to TAM, which may include a certificate, diploma, degree, or other training program
  • Has attended or completed training or continuing professional activities specifically relevant to TAM* (e.g., workshops, online training, conferences); for example:
    • Has completed a formal Threat Assessment Professional understudy program in law enforcement; or 
    • Has completed the equivalent of at least 12 full days of TAM training
  • Has been and continues to be actively involved in the practice of TAM in the role of trainee, practitioner, supervisor, instructor, or administrator; for example:
    • Has worked, individually or as part of a team, on 25 or more cases; and
    • Has been the lead or primary evaluator on 15 or more cases; and
    • Has authored a written opinion or report on 10 or more cases
  • Is a member or affiliate member of CATAP 
  • Has attained the core competencies as outlined in CATAP materials 

*CATAP may offer or sponsor TAM training activities from time to time. Under no circumstances will applicants be required to attend or complete these training activities to be certified. 

Ethics and Conduct Review

  • The applicant has an affirmative duty to acknowledge any allegations of ethical misconduct or unlawful behaviour that have been lodged against them. 
  • CATAP will conduct background checks with nominated referees and others as necessary. 

 

STEP 2: Written Examination

The written examination is intended to provide a uniform way to assess the Candidate’s breadth of knowledge. Therefore, the examination focuses on a wide range of categories that guide the practice of TAM, such as principles, procedures, and law. The standard does not require a high level of expertise in each of these areas; rather, it requires good familiarity with core principles, issues, and findings.

The examination questions are diverse in format (i.e., multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, and long essay) and cover five broad content domains (see Appendix D, CATAP Certification Reading List). The approximate relative weight given to each of the content domains on the examination at present is as follows: Violence (20%), Threat Assessment (20%), Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues (20%), Basic Procedures (15%), and Tools (25%). Candidates have two hours to complete the written examination. Candidates must obtain a score of 80% on the written examination to continue to the next stage of the certification program. In the event that a Candidate does not pass, they will be allowed to re-write the examination within three months or on the next occasion at which the exam is offered at the annual CATAP conference, whichever is sooner; the fee for the written examination will be charged again. The written examination passing score is valid for 10 years.

STEP 3: Written Reports

Candidates who pass the written examination will submit two de-identified written reports authored by the Candidate in actual practice. The reports should reflect the Candidate’s own work and opinions and be authored solely by the Candidate. Each report will be evaluated according to structured criteria (see Appendix E). Candidates will be required to obtain a passing grade on both reports to progress to the next step. Should a candidate pass on only one report, they will be invited to submit one new report within three months and will not be required to pay the fee again. Should a candidate not pass the resubmitted report, or fail both reports at the initial attempt, they will be required to begin this step again by submitting two new reports within three months and paying this step’s fee again.

STEP 4: Oral Examination

In preparation for the oral examination, the Candidate will be provided case materials three hours in advance of the start of the examination. The oral examination itself will comprise three components:

  • The Candidate will present a summary of their findings and opinions regarding the case materials to last no more than 15 minutes. Candidates will be allowed to refer to any written notes made during review of case materials. 
  • The Candidate will be asked questions regarding their findings and opinions based on the case materials. 
  • The Candidate will respond to questions pertaining to legal, ethical, research, and practice issues more generally, including issues related to the Candidate’s areas of competence (as reflected in the written reports submitted in stage 3).

The Candidate will complete the oral examination with a panel of three examiners selected by the Certification Committee, one of whom will serve as Chair. All panel members will have the CTAP (C) designation. At least one of the panel members will have practice experience in the Candidate’s practice setting or discipline (e.g., law enforcement, mental health, etc.). At the time of scheduling the Oral Examination, the Candidate will be provided with a list of potential examiners and be asked to identify any of these persons whose participation on the Oral Examination panel might constitute a conflict of interest. CATAP is not restricted from having an examiner serve on the examination panel for a Candidate if they previously acted in that capacity during the Candidate’s previous (i.e., unsuccessful) Oral Examination. Moreover, this would not routinely be construed as a potential conflict of interest. The oral examination is expected to last 90 to 120 minutes. Candidates will be notified of the outcome of the examination within two weeks. Candidates’ performance during the oral examination will be evaluated according to structured criteria (see Appendix F).

Continuation of Certification Status

Continuation of certification status will be granted every two years, provided the certified professional remains in good standing and submits documentation of completion of 40 hours or more of professional development activities. Such activities may include attendance at TAM conferences, participation in trainings or workshops, review of recent professional literature and research, contributions to the scientific or professional literature (e.g., submission to Journal of Threat Assessment and Management), and so forth. The CATAP Certification Committee reserves the right to request additional information to ensure compliance. The certified professional is responsible for submitting their Continuation of Certification Status (Appendix G) 30 days prior to the anniversary of certification (or upon request). As noted above, the written examination passing score is valid for 10 years. Candidates with passing scores older than that must re-take the Written Examination and pass to continue to use the CTAP (C) credential.

Timeline for Completion and Fee Schedule

Applicants pay a non-refundable fee at the outset of each stage. Payment is made via the CATAP website. Fees are determined by the CATAP Board and may be revised as needed. Deadlines to apply to complete each stage and the associated fees are presented in the following table. An applicant can make up to 3 attempts to pass each of the steps in the certification process. 

STAGE FEE($) DEADLINE TO APPLY TO PROCEED
APPLICATION 250 N/A
WRITTEN EXAMINATION 250 Written examinations will be scheduled on an individual basis. At minimum, the exam will be offered annually at the national conference and by arrangement throughout the year as needed. Candidates must be scheduled to write the exam at least one month in advance. 
WRITTEN REPORTS 400 June 1
ORAL EXAMINATION 400 September 1. Oral examination panels will be convened annually at the national conference venue in the days preceding the conference.
CONTINUANCE OF CERTIFICATION STATUS 100 Every two years following certification designation

Suspension or Revocation of Certification Status

Certification may be suspended or revoked if the CATAP Board determines that the certified professional has violated CATAP’s Code of Conduct.

Appeals Process

Candidates may appeal a decision made by the CATAP Certification Committee by submitting a written request to the CATAP President outlining the reason for the appeal. The appeal must be submitted within 30 days of notification of the decision. Failure to adhere to that timeline may serve as the basis to deny an appeal. The basis of appeal must be that CATAP did not follow its procedures during the examination and that the failure to follow its procedures resulted in an egregious error that was related directly to the decision to fail the Candidate. Disagreements pertaining to the outcome of the examination or examiners’ comments are not to be construed as nonadherence to procedures or egregious error. 

All appeals are reviewed for potential merit by the CATAP President. The President will deny appeals that are without merit. For appeals with potential merit, the President, within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, will convene a Certification Appeals Committee comprising three credentialed TAM professionals who have experience with the nature of the violence assessed in the Written Reports and with the Oral Examination process and criteria. Once convened, the President will provide the Certification Appeals Committee with the Candidate’s Written Samples, written comments made by the Oral Examination panel members, a copy of the recording of the Oral Examination, and the Candidate’s appeal letter.  The Certification Appeals Committee will review the materials and conclude by consensus whether the appeal is granted.

Candidates whose appeals are granted may be scheduled for re-examination using the same Written Reports by a different Oral Examination Committee at the next available opportunity. The Candidate will not be charged a fee for this examination. Under no circumstances can the Certification Appeals Committee declare a failed Candidate as having passed the Oral Examination.

Policy on Representation of Affiliation by Applicants and Candidates 

By submitting an application for CATAP TAM certification all applicants and Candidates agree to abide by CATAP’s policy regarding representation of affiliation by applicants and Candidates. CATAP does not permit applicants or Candidates to represent their status in relation to CATAP in any manner during the pendency of their application or candidacy. Applicants and candidates are prohibited from identifying themselves as an applicant or a candidate for CATAP TAM certification on a resume/curriculum vitae and in any written or oral statement of qualifications. CATAP does not use, authorize, or recognize the term “Certified Eligible” or similar terms. Applicants and Candidates may not use this term to represent any relationship or status with CATAP and should not describe themselves to any outside person or entity that they have met the minimum requirements as an applicant or candidate for CATAP TAM certification. Failure to abide by these terms may be grounds to terminate an applicant’s candidacy.

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