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Have your say on updating the competencies for general registration – public consultation now open

10 Feb 2023

The Psychology Board of Australia (the Board) is consulting on updating the competencies for general registration as a psychologist in Australia.

The Board is inviting feedback to the consultation from all stakeholders, including psychologists, employers, the public, education providers and professional associations. 

The competencies for general registration were last reviewed in 2010. The Board is consulting to ensure the competencies remain relevant for current and future psychology practice. While not proposing significant changes, the Board has proposed that some key areas of the competencies be updated.

The Board proposes keeping the current number of competencies (eight) but improve and update them and publish all competencies in the one document. 

To support practitioners practising professionally and safely in a sustainable way, the proposal places an increased focus on competencies in the areas of professional reflexivity, deliberate practice, and self-care. These are all established competencies within the psychology profession, and many of them are already included in other board documents. The Board proposes to include these competencies more explicitly in one competency document.

It also proposes enhancing the current Competency 7 (working with diverse groups) to better address the kinds of diversity in the Australian community and to emphasise culturally safe care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, families and communities. 

Rachel Phillips, Psychology Board Chair, said, ’we are committed to achieving equity in health outcomes between First Nations Peoples and other Australians and help close the gap by 2031’.

Just as they do now, the updated competencies aim to be relevant to all psychologists, no matter where they work, so they are written at a high level to allow the flexibility to be applied in different settings. While the eight core competencies are arranged thematically, they do not standalone. They are interconnected and, like the current competencies, are designed to be used holistically.

‘The Board has a major role in ensuring the provision of high-quality education and training of psychologists across all sectors, to facilitate a flexible, responsive and sustainable Australian psychology workforce. We think that our proposed enhancements to the competencies for general registration will help support us in this task,’ Rachel said.

Provide feedback to our consultation 

The consultation paper is published on the Board’s website and explains how to provide your feedback. Submissions must be received by close of business on Tuesday 11 April 2023. The Board has also published a Guide to the review that outlines the key aspects of the consultation and how the proposed changes will affect psychologists.

Register now to attend a webinar

All stakeholders are invited to attend one of two webinars to find out more about the consultation and what is proposed. Board Chair Rachel Phillips will provide background and context to the changes and answer any questions. 

Register now to attend one of these webinars:  

  • Tuesday 14 March at 3-5pm AEDT
  • Thursday 16 March at 5-7pm AEDT 

Each webinar will focus on helping participants to understand the proposed updates to the general competencies for registration including:

  • the updates on professional reflexivity, deliberate practice and self-care (Competency 3)
  • the improvements to Competency 7 to emphasise culturally safe care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, families and communities
  • the improvements to Competency 8 to better address the diversity in the Australian community
  • how to meet and maintain threshold competency in an individual’s scope of practice
  • the importance of continuing professional development as a tool for maintaining and extending scope of practice
  • how to provide feedback to the Board’s consultation.
Page reviewed 10/02/2023