Psychology Board of Australia - Provisional psychologist penalised for providing false details and breaching supervised practice rules
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Provisional psychologist penalised for providing false details and breaching supervised practice rules

16 May 2023

A provisional psychologist who provided false details about her employment when applying for registration has been reprimanded and had supervision and education conditions imposed on her registration.

In its decision dated 16 March 2023, the State Administrative Tribunal (WA) found that Ms Esra Erkilic improperly obtained registration with the Psychology Board of Australia (Board).

It was found that in October 2016 Ms Erkilic falsely claimed to be employed at a psychology and counselling centre in her supervised practice plan, which is required to be submitted for registration with the Board.  

She again used the false details when applying for provisional registration in 2017 and made no reference to the role that she did hold, as a program facilitator at a prison. The prison role was not disclosed to the Board and was not an approved work role or placement under the guidelines for supervised practice.

The tribunal also found that Ms Erkilic engaged in professional misconduct by working in a role which breached the requirements of her provisional registration.

From June to September 2017, Ms Erkilic worked as, and used the title, Acting Supervisor – Psychologist (Prov). The tribunal found it was ‘a title capable of inducing a belief’ that she held general registration as a psychologist.

During this time Ms Erkilic provided psychological services to inmates of the prison, contrary to the Board’s guidelines for psychology internships and provisional registration standards.

The Board’s guidelines and standards require that provisional psychologists must not use the title of ‘psychologist’ or ‘registered psychologist’.  They can use the title ‘provisional psychologist’ while engaged in supervised practice, but only for approved work roles or placements.

The Board took immediate action and suspended Ms Erkilic in January 2018, which remained in place until the tribunal’s decision in March 2023.  A reprimand plus mentoring and education conditions were then imposed on Ms Erkilic’s provisional registration, and she was ordered to pay the Board’s legal costs of $6,500.

The full tribunal decision can be read here.

Practitioner registration details, including any conditions, can be viewed by the public via the Register of practitioners.

Page reviewed 16/05/2023