Psychology Board of Australia - March 2023
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March 2023


Issue 36 - March 2023

From the Chair

Rachel Phillips

The Board has released the updated general registration competencies for public consultation. Importantly, while the threshold for general registration has not changed, the Board is proposing to update the competencies to reflect contemporary expectations for safe and effective practice by all psychologists. We look forward to feedback from interested stakeholders. 

Rachel Phillips

Chair, Psychology Board of Australia

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Priority news

Have your say on updating the competencies for general registration

We are consulting on updating the competencies for general registration as a psychologist in Australia and welcome your feedback.

The competencies were last reviewed in 2010, so it is time to update them to ensure they remain relevant for current and future psychology practice. While we are not proposing significant changes, there are some areas where updates to the competencies are being proposed, including:

  • keeping the current number of competencies (eight) and improving and updating them
  • publishing all the competencies in one document, rather than several documents as is currently the case
  • enhancing 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, and
  • placing an increased focus on professional reflexivity, deliberate practice, and self-care to support practitioners practising professionally and safely in a sustainable way.

The consultation paper is published on our website and explains how to provide your feedback. Submissions must be received by close of business on Tuesday 11 April 2023.

We have also published a Guide to the review that outlines the key aspects of the consultation and how the proposed changes will affect you.

We invite stakeholders to attend one of our 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 questions.

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Board news

National committee vacancies: express your interest

The Board delegates responsibility for making registration and notification decisions about individual psychologists to national committees. We encourage interested practitioners to apply for vacancies on the following committees:

  • Psychology Notifications and Compliance Committee
  • Psychology Notifications Committee: Assessment
  • Psychology Registration and Compliance Committee.

To be eligible for appointment as a practitioner member, you must hold current registration as a psychologist. Practitioners whose principal place of practice is New South Wales are only eligible for appointment to the Psychology Registration and Compliance Committee due to co-regulatory arrangements.

The National Scheme is committed to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ leadership and voices. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warmly encouraged to apply, as are people from rural or regional areas.

More information about the roles, time commitment, eligibility requirements and the application process is provided on the Committee member recruitment page.

Applications close Sunday 19 March 2023.

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National Board vacancy for NT practitioner member

The National Board develops policy and sets the professional standards for the psychology profession.

Applications are open for a practitioner member from the Northern Territory on the National Board. To be eligible for appointment, you must hold current registration as a psychologist and your principal place of practice must be in the Northern Territory.

The National Scheme is committed to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ leadership and voices. If you’re an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander candidate and would like to talk about this opportunity further, please email [email protected] and our Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Officer will be in touch.

Information about what is involved in being a Board member, time commitment and how to apply is available on the Board member recruitment page.

Applications close Monday 10 April 2023.

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Interested in becoming a Board-approved supervisor training provider?

The purpose of Board-approved supervisor training is to equip supervisors with the knowledge and skills needed to provide competency-based supervision to psychologists.

We will shortly begin an expression of interest (EOI) campaign to invite applications from organisations, groups and individuals to deliver supervisor training programs to psychologists across Australia. Successful applicants will be approved for a five-year period (from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2028) to provide Board-approved supervisor training.

If you, or your organisation, are interested in becoming a Board-approved supervisor training provider, please send an email to [email protected] to register your contact details. We will be contacting interested parties to provide full details ahead of the EOI campaign. The EOI application period will run from 20 March 2023 until 28 April 2023.

You can find more information about Board-approved supervisor training on our Supervisor training page.

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Registration news

Latest workforce data released

The Board has released its quarterly registration data report to 31 December 2022. At that date, there were 45,233 registered psychologists, including 78 on the pandemic response sub-register.

Of the total, 35,588 had general registration, 7,531 had provisional registration and 2,114 had non-practising registration. The total number of practitioners with an area of practice endorsement was 15,931 (counting each endorsement).

For more details, including registration by principal place of practice, age, gender, and numbers and types of endorsement, read the report on our Statistics page.

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Regulation at work

Latest tribunal and court summaries

We regularly publish court and tribunal summaries for their educational value for the profession. Here are recent tribunal cases.

Former psychologist reprimanded for professional misconduct

A tribunal has reprimanded a Victorian former psychologist for professional misconduct after finding he failed to recognise he was ‘professionally out of his depth’. The Board alleged the psychologist had failed to establish and/or maintain professional boundaries, appropriately manage termination of the professional relationship, and maintain accurate and adequate clinical records about the services he had provided.

Read more in the news item.

Tribunal approves psychologist's application for endorsement after appeal

A tribunal has set aside a Psychology Board of Australia decision to refuse a registered psychologist’s application for endorsement as a clinical psychologist. The tribunal accepted expert evidence that the standard, extent and learning objectives of the courses completed by the applicant were substantially equivalent to those of the approved qualification, the professional doctorate in clinical psychology.

Read more in the news item.

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What's new?

How do we prevent trust violation in healthcare?

Building trust is fundamental to safe healthcare, as is responding effectively when a practitioner breaches that core responsibility to a patient.

In the first Taking care podcast for the year we look at building trust in healthcare, how do we keep it, how can patients be better supported if things go wrong?

International guest Professor Rosalind Searle unpacks the impacts on patients when trust isn’t prioritised.

Rosalind Searle is a Professor of Human Resource Management and Organisational Psychology at the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow. She is inaugural director of the European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (EAWOP) Impact Incubator.

Pointing to examples in Australia, Professor Searle provides a guide for strengthening processes and support mechanisms to boost trust in healthcare.

Our Taking care podcast series covers a wide range of current issues in patient safety and healthcare in conversation with health experts and other people in our community. Listen and subscribe by searching for Taking care in your podcast player (for example Apple Podcasts or Spotify), or listen on our website.

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New engagement and support team to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners with their registration

Ahpra has recently established a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement and Support team (the support team) to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants, registrants and stakeholders through the registration process.

The support team forms part of Ahpra’s commitments to providing culturally safe services to its applicants, registrants and stakeholders.

Who is it for?

The support team will focus on assisting recent applicants and new graduates who have identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander on their application form. The team’s one-on-one services range from providing helpful tips and tricks for navigating the registration process to regular phone contact, updates and advice on disclosures made on application (for example, impairments or previous criminal history) that may require consideration by the National Board.

The team plans to expand its services soon, which will include helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners with the renewals process from 2023 onwards.

What to expect?

The support team is committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners, including psychologists, get registered/renewed promptly so they can focus on their contributions to safe healthcare and to their communities. Keep an eye out for regular emails from the team or reach out for help at [email protected].

Members of the team will be attending community events and conferences relating to psychology.

If you are a current student, contact your Indigenous Student Support centre for information.

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New-look website homepage

You may have already noticed the refreshed design of our website homepage, which went live in February. The vibrant colour and images are designed to make the homepages more engaging, and drop-down menus at the top of each page should make it easier for people find what they’re looking for. Any links you had bookmarked will continue to work because all addresses for webpages, documents and forms remain the same.

Your thoughts on this change are important and all feedback is welcome. Please tell us what you think via this quick survey.

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National Scheme news

Click on the image below to read the National Scheme newsletter.

National Scheme news banner graphic

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 7/03/2023