23 Sep 2016
A tribunal has reprimanded a psychologist for engaging in professional misconduct.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has found that Mr Mark Tunstall engaged in professional misconduct and reprimanded him, disqualifying him from applying for registration for 18 months. Mr Tunstall had previously let his registration lapse in November 2012.
The Psychology Board of Australia (the Board) referred the matter to the tribunal in October 2015, after a notification was received by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) concerning Mr Tunstall's conduct as a registered psychologist, namely entering into a relationship with a client.
During its investigation, the Board found that:
The tribunal found Mr Tunstall while working as a psychologist, engaged in professional misconduct in relation to all five allegations made by the Board, which included:
VCAT took into account Mr Tunstall’s admissions, the changes in his life, and the time that has elapsed since the offending behaviour. It, however, pointed out the he had not taken any further education in the field of psychology, nor sought professional help to analyse his own shortcomings that would be required to support any application for future registration.
As Mr Tunstall had not been registered as a psychologist since November 2012, the determinations that could be imposed were limited. VCAT reprimanded Mr Tunstall, further disqualifying him from applying for registration as a registered psychologist until 27 January 2018 (a period of 18 months) and indicated that any shorter period would fail to convey to the profession its strong disapproval of Mr Tunstall’s conduct.
The full decision is available on the Austlii website.