Membership FAQ

Here are some of the common questions we get regarding membership and insurance coverage.

Do I have to become a member of The Canadian PSW Network?

Not at all! It's not mandatory for anyone to become a member. It's 100% voluntary.

If you don't need insurance at this time, you can apply as a "Standard Member".  If you do need insurance coverage, you'd choose "Professional Member" which will include the insurance policy.

Students are FREE until 3 months after graduation.

You get access and discounts to special and exclusive educational programs, CPR renewals, up to 50% off your police VSS (in some cases 100%), products, programs and even updates from the government on changes to our industry, and so much more.

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Is insurance automatically included in my professional membership fee? 


Your membership automatically comes with Medical Malpractice Errors and Omissions (also known as E&O or Professional Liability).

Additionally, also included is an Abuse Extension! 

Most policies specifically exclude this  coverage and only offer it as a "stand alone" or "add on" to an existing policy, at an additional cost.

Your policy includes it at NO additional cost!

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Do I need a background check for membership or to renew membership?


Because PSW is an unregulated profession, you will be required to prove you are qualified to obtain the insurance policy with a clear Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) that is under 6 months old. A police service may require a letter to confirm your eligibility. Verify the requirements with your local police service. If needed, one will be provided to you free of cost.

Don't worry, The PSW Network will cover up to 50%, and in some cases 100% of your successful clear VSS!

Click on "Learn More" to visit the  info page on Police Screenings.

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Can I use a Third Party for my background check?


In order to qualify for the insurance, you will be required to have your  vulnerable sector screening (VSS) done only with your local police or OPP.


Third-party companies only have access to the national database of criminal convictions in Canada, maintained by the RCMP. While this is useful, it does not include local and other important information. It will also only reveal Criminal Code convictions for which fingerprints were taken.

Click "Learn Nore" for more information from Hamilton Police Services on the comparisons between third-party and local VSS checks.

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What is included in my insurance?  

Your policy would cover the following:

• Medical Malpractice Errors and Omissions (also known as E&O or Professional Liability)

•  Commercial General Liability

•  Abuse Extension

The insurance covers you for the most common liability claims  brought against a PSW. 

 This insurance protects you if you are found legally responsible for injury to another person or property damage as a PSW and defense costs if you are accused of abuse and found not guilty. 

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What does Medical Malpractice Errors and Omissions cover? 

This would  specifically cover you if you caused bodily injury to a client while doing your PSW duties. As a PSW you are responsible for the care of vulnerable patients.

Your care may include items such as feeding, medication reminders, bathing, dressing, and transfers. Every task you complete could open you up to liability (meaning legally responsible) for injury or damages. An example: during a transfer you accidentally dislocate Jane Doe’s shoulder. Jane’s family sues you for 1 million dollars as Jane continues to deteriorate after the injury. 

The insurance covers the cost of defense, and the sum ordered for you to pay in damages by a court up to 2 million maximum. You would pay the $1000 deductible only. 

You can imagine how a settlement like this could easily bankrupt a PSW who has no insurance. There is no coverage if you purposely injure a client/resident.

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What does Commercial General Liability cover?

This covers you for damages and defense of liability claims that are not related to your professional duties but occur while at work. 

Typically as a PSW you are working at your clients home, or care facility, and this insurance protects you from lawsuits that arise while working but not related to your professional duties as a PSW.

Some examples: you put down your purse and your client or another person trips over it and gets injured, or you accidentally break an expensive piece of art, or a fire occurs while you are making lunch. 

This coverage would pay for defense cost, and the sum ordered by a court to be paid by you for those damages to a maximum of 2 million and you would pay the $1000 deductible.

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 What does Abuse Extension cover?

This reimburses defense costs to a maximum of $25,000 per member, and $200,000 for all members for defense of abuse allegations if proven not guilty of the charges. 

 There is no coverage for actual, threatened or repeated abuse of any nature. 

This essentially is to cover defense cost for PSW that arise from false allegations. 

There is no additional cost for this coverage - it's included!

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But my employer has insurance, why do I need my own?

Most workplace insurance covers the organization/company first and may offer some limited protections to the employees of the organization.

If someone chooses to sue you directly, which they can, your employer may not cover you.

Having your own insurance ensures you have the coverage you need should you be sued. 

Your personal insurance’s priority is defending you, not the company you work for. 

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