Area of practice endorsement is a mechanism under the National Law to identify practitioners within a profession who have undertaken additional qualifications. The Ministerial Council is responsible for approving areas of practice for endorsement and their relevant protected titles, for each health profession.
For psychology, the Ministerial Council has approved nine areas of practice for endorsement.
Endorsement in an area of practice allows for a notation to be included on a psychologist’s record on the public register of practitioners to show that the psychologist has completed a Board-approved qualification and a period of supervised practice (registrar program) in an approved area of practice.
Area of practice endorsement is optional (a psychologist can practice without an endorsement), and around half of psychologists with general registration do not hold an endorsement.
The National Law protects titles associated with the nine approved areas of practice (e.g. forensic psychologist). Unlawful use of protected titles can lead to heavy fines and/or disciplinary action. Therefore, the public, employers and others can have confidence that psychologists using these protected titles have completed approved qualifications and supervised training in that area of practice.
Area of practice endorsement under the National Law does not restrict scope of practice for the psychology profession. The only practice limitations for psychologists relate to their knowledge and skills and their obligation to practice within the boundaries of their own scope of competence.