1Unless stated otherwise, all notification data is AHPRA data.
This year, the Psychology Board of Australia farewelled its inaugural Chair, Professor Brin Grenyer, and I started as the new Chair in October.
We acknowledge the significant contributions of Professor Grenyer and the four other retiring members – Professor Alfred Allan, Mr Radek Stratil, Mr Chris O’Brien and Ms Joanne Muller – who have led the consolidation of psychology regulation from eight states and territories into one national scheme.
In early 2019, the Board finalised the first stage of its Education and Training Reform Project and announced the retirement of the 4+2 Internship pathway to registration.
The announcement represents the culmination of three years of collaborative efforts from the Board and key stakeholders including the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, the Heads of Departments and Schools of Psychology Australia and the Australian Psychological Society. The Board consulted extensively with the profession, students, industry and government during the project.
Now that the pathways to general registration as a psychologist have been simplified through the retirement of the 4+2 pathway, the Board turns its attention to Part 2 of the Education and Training Reform Agenda. We anticipate this will be another multi-year initiative that will focus on ensuring that the registration categories of general and area of practice endorsement are being used effectively to promote safe practice and community access.
The Board also completed a quality assurance project to improve the national psychology exam’s reliability and use.
The Board is committed to ensuring the exam gives the best possible assessment of the competencies required for general registration as a psychologist in Australia and has agreed to regularly review and evaluate the exam content, effectiveness, processes and policies. The quality assurance project was a major step in this commitment.
The Board undertook a number of scheduled reviews of its standards, codes and guidelines. The Board completed its review of the Professional indemnity insurance registration standard, which was approved by Ministerial Council.
The Board also completed public consultations on:
The Board continues to participate in a review of the Australian Psychological Society code of ethics, which the Board has adopted for the profession.
The Board has started a journey to better understand how health regulation standards and guidelines can best support access to psychological services. The Board has completed an introduction to cultural capability training by the Australian Indigenous Psychology Association (AIPA). Board members are also participating in the National Scheme’s health equity strategy and have started developing a psychology-specific health equity strategy.
The Board has met with the senior leaders of AIPA and with a group of Indigenous psychologists and other psychologists working in Darwin and surrounding communities. We heard about their commitment to influencing change in local communities and listened to the opportunities to change health and education policy. Consequently, the Board understands the need for more culture-informed psychology education and training across Australia, to improve the supply of psychologists working with Aboriginal communities. Actions speak louder than words, and the Board looks forward to working in partnership to create positive and enduring change for First Nations Peoples.
Ms Rachel Phillips, Chair