Psychology Board of Australia - March 2022

March 2022

Connections

Issue 33 - March 2021


From the Chair

Rachel Phillips

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another – Albert Einstein

Our world has entered the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychologists supporting the community to cope, adjust, and recover will be required for many months − if not years − to come. The Board encourages you to continue to conserve your energy by looking after yourself and your loved ones.

Rachel Phillips

Chair, Psychology Board of Australia

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Board news

National Board appointments: meet our new members

The National Board is made up of 12 members who are appointed by the Ministerial Council. Eight members must be registered psychologists − one from each state and territory. Four additional members are appointed as community members and bring a public perspective to the work of the Board. Members are appointed for a three-year term and can serve up to three consecutive terms.

In December 2021 we welcomed three new members to the National Board:

  • Ms Miranda Bruyniks, community member, Queensland
  • Professor Petrina Coventry, community member, South Australia
  • Dr Robyn Vines, practitioner member, New South Wales.

These new members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board. Read more about them, and our returning members on our Board members page.

We wish to acknowledge and thank outgoing members Ms Jade Gooding, Mr Peter Hooker and Dr Melissa Hughes for their substantial contributions during their board terms.

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Current board and committee vacancies – express your interest

National Board

Applications are now open for a practitioner member from the Northern Territory on the Psychology Board of Australia. Information about what is involved in being a Board member and how to apply can be found on the Board member recruitment page. Applications close on 13 March 2022.

Regional board

There are vacancies arising for practitioner members from Western Australia on the NT/SA/WA Board of the Psychology Board of Australia. Regional boards make individual registration and notification decisions, based on national policies and standards set by National Board. The appointment process for WA is managed by the WA Department of Health and you can visit their website for further information on how to apply. Applications close on 8 March 2022.

National committee

A vacancy exists for an experienced Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander psychologist to join the National Psychology Examination Committee (NPE Committee).

The functions of the NPE Committee are to develop the national psychology exam multiple-choice questions and to contribute to the development of resources (such as the reading list and NPE orientation guide). We are seeking someone with experience and knowledge in the core competencies required for general registration in the profession. This may include experience in training, teaching, and assessment of professional competencies in either an academic or clinical setting.

NPE Committee members include psychologists with different areas of practice (practitioners and academics; private and public sector psychologists).

For further information or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact us.

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Psychology regulation at work: protecting the public in 2020/21

A profession-specific annual report summary that looks into the work of the Psychology Board over the 12 months to 30 June 2021 is published on our Annual report page.

The report draws on data from the Annual report 2020/21 by Ahpra and the National Boards and includes the number of applications for registration, outcomes of practitioner audits and segmentation of the registrant base by gender, age and principal place of practice.

Notifications information includes the number of complaints or concerns received, matters opened and closed during the year, types of complaint, monitoring and compliance and matters involving immediate action. Insights into the profession include:

Registration

  • 41,817 psychologists, up 3.2% from 2019/20
  • 5.1% of all registered health practitioners
  • 0.7% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 80.4% female; 19.6% male.

Notifications

  • 903 registered psychologists Australia-wide had notifications made about them
  • 2.2% of the profession
  • most notifications (65.8%) were made by a patient, relative or member of the public
  • the most common types of complaints were about clinical care (23.1%), followed by communication (11.5%), documentation (11%) and boundary violations (10.1%).

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Final call: 4+2 internship program

This is the final call for interested fourth year graduates to join the last cohort of 4+2 interns. We ask all supervisors and employers of prospective 4+2 interns to help them apply by the deadline.

The last day that the Board will accept applications for provisional registration to undertake the 4+2 internship program is 30 June 2022.This is a hard deadline, and no new applications for the 4+2 internship will be accepted after this date.

Applicants who miss the 30 June 2022 deadline will need to choose an alternative pathway to general registration such as the 5+1 internship pathway or the higher degree pathway.

Further information can be found on the Board’s 4+2 program retirement page

Information for practitioners on expansion of mandatory reporting laws in Western Australia

New child protection laws were passed by the Western Australian Parliament on 14 October 2021. When they come into operation, the new laws will introduce additional mandatory reporter groups, including psychologists. The new mandatory reporting groups will be brought into operation in a staged way to make sure they receive the necessary training and support to fulfil their new reporting obligations.

Further resources, including mandatory reporting FAQs, are available on the WA Department of Communities’ website.

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Registration news

Latest workforce data released

The Board’s quarterly workforce report is now available. It covers the period 1 October to 31 December 2021.

At this date, there were 42,657 registered psychologists, of whom 34, 417 had general registration, 6,408 with provisional registration and 1,832 with non-practising registration. The total figure includes 450 psychologists on the 2021 pandemic response sub-register.

For more information, including data breakdowns by age, gender and principal place of practice, visit our Statistics page.

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National Scheme news

Latest podcast: Tackling the blame culture to improve patient safety – is it possible?

In the latest episode of Taking care, we explore workplace culture in healthcare through a safety lens. What is the best approach to support a practitioner’s professional practice to ensure patient safety? How do we regulate when honest errors occur in a workplace environment.

It’s so much easier to blame an individual when something goes wrong than to do the hard work to really understand why something happened and put it right. The problem with blame culture is it drives problems underground, say our guests. They acknowledge the challenge in creating workplaces that encourage candour by practitioners and patients, to ensure patient safety.

Read more about the podcast and follow the link to listen.

Ahpra releases a new Taking care episode fortnightly, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. Download and listen today. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking care’ in your podcast player.

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Independent review of the regulation of health practitioners in cosmetic surgery

Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia have commissioned a review of the regulation of health practitioners in the cosmetic surgery industry.

The independent review was announced on 30 November 2021 and:

  • is looking at patient safety issues in the cosmetic surgery sector, including how to strengthen risk-based regulation of practitioners in the industry
  • will ensure Ahpra and the National Boards’ regulatory approach keeps pace with rapid changes in the cosmetic surgery industry
  • will make recommendations to Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia about actions that will better protect the public.

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Keep in touch with the Board

  • Visit the Psychology Board website for information on the National Scheme and for the mandatory registration standards, codes, guidelines, policies and fact sheets.
  • Lodge an enquiry form via the website by following the Contact us link on the bottom of every page.
  • For registration enquiries call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9285 3010 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Rachel Phillips, Chair, Psychology Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958 Melbourne VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 2/03/2022