logo.png }
Ottawa West Professional Services Offering Psychological Services for Children, Youth, Adults, Families, and Couples

Privacy Policy


In Ottawa West Professional Services we are committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our clients and the information that they share with us.

This document provides a brief overview of our privacy policies that are made under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

What is Personal Information?

Personal information is information about an identifiable individual that relates to their personal character (e.g., gender, age, phone number, home address, family status), their health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received), or their activities and views (e.g., an opinion expressed by an individual). This differs from business information (e.g., an individual’s business address and telephone number) that is not protected by privacy legislation.

privacy-policy-1Collection of Personal Health Information

Our primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide psychological services to our clients. For example, we collect information about a client’s birth history, early development, medical history, educational history and social situation to help assess what their needs are, advise them of treatment options and help them to receive the treatment they choose. Usually the information is collected directly from the client and/or his/her guardian except when (a) consent has been received to collect information from others (e.g., reports of previous assessments) and/or when (b) the law requires or allows us to collect information without your consent (e.g., in an urgent situation when information is needed to prevent potential harm). Like other organizations, we also collect information for secondary purposes such as invoicing clients for services and to collect unpaid accounts.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Health Information

Your personal information will not be communicated to any third party, either directly or indirectly, without your informed written consent. Exceptions to this situation include:

You have the legal and ethical right to know what information is contained about you and/or your child in your record. Clients or their legal designates shall have access to information which can be identified as pertaining to them and which is stored in the client record. Some exceptions include, information that is believed to be harmful or information that is confidential about or from third parties. We reserve the right to confirm your identity and legal right to have access to the information, which, in some cases, may include producing identification or proof that you have legal authority to act on the client’s behalf. A nominal fee may be charged for this request.

You may be asked to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access to your record we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access. If you believe there is a mistake in the information, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation of any mistakes. If changed, a statement of changed information will be included in the record.

Protecting Personal Information

Several steps are taken to protect a client’s personal information, including:

privacy-policy-2Retention and Destruction of Personal Information

We are required by law to keep client files for ten years following the client’s last contact or if the client was less than 18 years of age at the time of the last contact, for ten years following the day the client would have become 18. We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is physically destroyed.

If You Need More Information

Please feel free to contact us to answer any questions or concerns you might have. If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, please send it to us in writing. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, investigate it promptly and provide you with a decision and reasons in writing. Please note that our Privacy Policy is made under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) which is a complex Act that provides some rare exceptions to the privacy principles which are too detailed to include here.

For further information you may contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada who oversees the administration of privacy legislation in the private sector.

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Address: 112 Kent Street, Ottawa, ON, K1A 1H3
Phone: (613) 995-8210 or 1-800-282-1376
Fax: (613) 947-6850, TTY (613) 992-9190
Website: www.privcom.gc.ca