Transitional program

The Psychology Board of Australia (the Board) provides for the protection of the public by ensuring that only psychologists who are suitably trained and qualified to practise in a competent and ethical manner are registered. The Board fulfils its role through the powers defined in the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).

The Board sets the registration standards that define the requirements applicants or registrants need to meet to obtain or maintain registration. Registration standards must be approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) before they can take effect.

The Board must be certain that applicants meet the registration standards before granting general registration. As such, overseas-qualified applicants must demonstrate that their qualifications and supervised experience are equivalent to the qualifications and supervised practice required by the registration standard for general registration.

All Australian-trained psychologists are required to demonstrate competence in Australian ethical, legal and professional matters and working with diverse groups of people in an Australian context. These skills and knowledge are essential for safe and effective practice in the Australian context.

Therefore overseas-trained psychologists are required to demonstrate these capabilities in a practical setting under the supervision of a registered Australian psychologist who is a Board approved supervisor - ‘the transitional program', and by passing the national psychology examination.

The competency areas in which overseas-trained psychologists must demonstrate knowledge and competence to practice in the Australian context are detailed in the Guidelines: transitional programs for overseas qualified applicants.

Who needs to do a transitional program?

Applicants who meet all the qualification and supervised practice requirements for general registration in Australia, except for the competencies specific to the Australian context are required to do a transitional program.

This is determined by the outcome of an assessment of your qualifications completed in the assessment of an application for provisional registration - Form APOS-76.

You generally need to do a transitional program if you are assessed as having completed the equivalent of a six year sequence of education and training in Australia.

Flow diagram - transitional program pathway for overseas trained applicants for registration as a psychologist

For more information about the application process, see the overseas qualified psychologists page.

Additionally, all overseas qualified applicants must sit and pass the National Psychology Examination.

On successful completion of the requirements, the applicant can apply for general registration.

I have been advised I have to complete a transitional program - what do I do next?

  1. Arrange the transitional program - see below for guidance on what to do. 

  2. Submit your transitional program plan (form AATP-76) to the Board for approval.

  3. Undertake the transitional program. 

  4. Pass the national psychology examination (at any time during or after the transitional program) 

  5. Submit the assessment of capabilities (ACTP-76) completed by your supervisor together with your application for general registration (AGEN-76).
    You may continue to practise as a provisional psychologist while waiting for your application for general registration to be approved provided you continue to receive regular supervision.

Arranging a transitional program

The transitional program requires:

  • work in a psychological position in Australia for at least three continuous calendar months for at least 17.5 hours per week (applications for two or more concurrent positions may also be approved). If you are coming to Australia to take up employment as a psychologist in a specific role you would usually do your transitional program with that same employer.
  • Board approved supervisor who has agreed to provide you with direct supervision for at least one hour per fortnight for the duration of the Transitional Program. You must choose a supervisor who holds current Board-approved supervisor status, and who is eligible to provide supervision in any one (or more) of the following pathways:
    • 4+2 internship program
    • 5+1 internship program 
    • Higher degree placements 
    • Registrar program 
    • Working in addition to placements for higher degree students

There is a searchable online list of all Board approved supervisors which may be useful for finding a suitable supervisor.

A supervision plan that is agreed between the applicant, their supervisor and their workplace that will enable the overseas applicant to demonstrate competency in ethical legal and professional matters to the standard required by an Australian entry level general psychologist. The supervision plan must include psychological practice and supervision and may also include professional development courses or activities.

More information

You can also contact AHPRA directly via web mail enquiry or phone with specific enquiries.

 
 
Page reviewed 10/04/2017