Further information

The Area of practice endorsements registration standard (288 KB,PDF) includes the nine area of practice endorsements that have been approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) and requirements to be eligible for an endorsement.

You can also view all the Board’s other registration standards.

The Guidelines on psychology area of practice endorsements (768 KB,PDF) outline the requirements for obtaining and maintaining area of practice endorsement.

You can also view all the Board’s other guidelines, codes and policies.

For more information about endorsement see the endorsement FAQ.

For information on application and registration fees see the Board’s schedule of fees.

For all the Board’s application and reporting forms see the Forms page.

The Board undertakes wide ranging consultation with the profession, the community, government and other key stakeholders whenever it develops or proposes to change a registration standard or a guideline and the Board reviews its standards and guidelines every three years.

To view the consultation papers and submissions on the Area of practice endorsements registration standard (288 KB,PDF) and Guidelines on psychology area of practice endorsements (768 KB,PDF), visit the Past consultations page.

Specialist registration

The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) has issued guidance to National Boards in relation to the criteria for the approval of specialties for the purposes of specialist registration in a health profession under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS). This guidance provides clarity as to Ministerial Council’s expectations of a National Board when it makes a recommendation to the Ministerial Council under section 13(2) of the National Law. The guidance has been published on AHPRA’s website.

Currently, there is no specialist registration for psychology in Australia. Instead all psychologists are registered on a single register and advanced qualifications and supervised practice are reflected on the register of practitioners through area of practice endorsement. Increasingly, area of practice endorsement has been used by governments, Medicare and other employers as the mechanism to identify psychologists possessing additional relevant qualifications and supervised practice. Since area of practice endorsement arrangements under the National Law protect title (e.g. forensic psychologist), employers, the public and others can have confidence in those advertising themselves using these protected titles have met Board requirements for Board-approved appropriate qualifications and supervised practice. Unlawful use of protected titles can lead to heavy fines and/or disciplinary action.

In considering the guidance from Ministerial Council, the Psychology Board of Australia has formed the view that the ‘case for action’ has yet to be made for submitting the psychology profession and the public to the increased regulatory burden associated with specialist recognition under the National Law. At present, endorsement has provided a legal mechanism within the National Scheme to regulate psychologists with specialist training in a proportionate way without unduly restricting scope of practice.

The guidance makes it clear that approval for specialist registration is a 'regulatory instrument' within the meaning of the Council of Australian Governments Best Practice Regulation. It requires a robust regulatory assessment process be carried out prior to Ministerial Council decision with oversight by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. It is important to note that within this process the burden of proof is on the Board through consultation with the public and profession to establish that (1) current risks in the profession are not being managed by the current arrangements, and that (2) specialist registration is the appropriate remedy (rather than some other mechanism or process) to control those risks.

It is clear that further debate is required within the profession and the community about the need for specialist registration for psychology. In recognition of the robust assessment process, the profession should progress the debate by focusing on how it might respond to the wide-ranging requirements outlined in Appendix 2 of the guidance.  

Further information

Page reviewed 17/08/2015