The Board considers education and training reform an important focus in the advancement of the regulatory environment for the psychology profession in Australia. A major statutory role of the Board is to facilitate the provision of high-quality education and training of psychologists across all sectors, and to facilitate a flexible, responsive and sustainable Australian psychology workforce.
The first area of reform has been focused on reducing regulatory burden and complexity of psychology training by retiring the 4+2 internship program as a pathway to general registration. Detailed information on the retirement of the 4+2 internship program can be found at: Retirement of the 4+2 internship program.
The Board is now ready to begin the second phase of education and training reform.
The Board is of the view that the next step in the reform agenda is to review the competencies required for both general psychologists and endorsed psychologists.
Since the beginning of the national registration and accreditation scheme in 2010, there have been significant changes in the context of our regulatory work that requires a review of the competencies required for each level of training and regulation. There is increased recognition that the competency standards for general registration and area of practice endorsement are not as well bounded as they could be, and would benefit from review, realignment, and reform. Such reform needs to occur with an understanding of the complexity of psychology training pathways in Australia and be benchmarked to competency frameworks used by international regulators.
The focus of phase two of the education training and reform program of work is to improve the alignment of psychology training and competency development with registration for general and endorsed psychologists, and to maximise the area of practice endorsement framework as a regulatory mechanism for the benefit of the public.
The Board is committed to ensuring that both general and endorsed psychologists can demonstrate the professional competencies to ensure safe, responsive, accessible, and effective practice. The regulation of psychologists needs to be responsive to client and industry needs. Clients should be able to easily find and access psychologists who have expertise that matches their needs, and psychologists need to have clear ways to explain to their clients the services they can provide. We need to help the community and the profession to better understand the competencies of a general psychologist and the meaning and purpose of area of practice endorsement.
Information and progress on the Education training and reform (ETR - Phase Two) program of work is noted below.
The Board has appointed a Psychology Expert Reference Group (PERG) to advise the Board on the review of the competencies for general registration. This work forms the first step in the education training and reform program of work. The PERG will periodically publish a communique on the progression of its work.