Welcome to our final newsletter for 2018. The fourth Psychology Board of Australia has been appointed by Health Ministers, and it is a privilege to write to you in my capacity as the new Chair.
I acknowledge the significant contributions of five retiring members who have led the consolidation of psychology regulation from eight state and territories into one national scheme: Professor Brin Grenyer, Professor Alfred Allan, Radek Stratil, Chris O’Brien and Joanne Muller.
I welcome the reappointment of current members Mary Brennan (ACT), Rebecca Campbell (NT), Marion Hale (Tas.), Vanessa Scott (ACT.) and Kathryn von Treuer (Vic.). Jen Scott (Tas.) continues as a member of the Board.
We also welcome five new members to the Board: Melissa Hughes, Chris Joseph, Peter Hooker, Jenny Thornton and Tim Ridgway. You can read more about them in this newsletter.
What does it mean to me to be a regulator of the psychology profession?
There are two factors that drive me as a regulator – one is the regulatory approach of risk mitigation, and the other is being clear on the importance of regulation in supporting the provision of high quality psychological services.
A risk-based approach to health practitioner regulation has been adopted within the National Regulation and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme). In essence, this means both that a Board will only seek to regulate when it is required to do so in the interests of the public; and that any action taken must be proportionate to the level of risk. I recognise that the practice of psychology is complex, with the majority of psychologists acting with integrity and diligence. Boards and AHPRA are committed to proactively engaging with all parties to fully understand the context in which concerns are raised before a decision is made. A decision that involves a form of regulatory action is aimed at preventing the risk of further notifiable practice.
The second factor is that the Board must provide confidence to the community, practitioners, stakeholders, and government that the National Scheme is operating in a transparent, accountable, efficient, effective, and fair way. We do this by being clear about our purpose within the broader psychology stakeholder environment, maintaining our independence in decision-making, and widely and openly consulting on our reform agenda, standards reviews, and how the regulation of psychology impacts on the profession. After all, the test of psychology regulation is how safe and satisfied the public feel when receiving services from psychologists.
The Board will be continuing its education and training reform agenda over its next term and I look forward to consulting on proposals that will ensure that the services of psychologists continue to meet the needs of the Australian community.
Chair, Psychology Board of Australia
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The National Board consists of twelve members who are appointed by the Australian Health Workforce 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.
On 3 October we welcomed five new members to the National Board.
I am a dually endorsed Clinical Neuropsychologist and Forensic Psychologist, currently working in both a public setting, at corrective services NSW, and in private practice, at Neuroforensics. My work focuses on assessment (cognitive, forensic, and psychological) of clients with complex histories, including multiple brain trauma, forensic and substance issues, and associated difficulties including mood and personality issues. In my private practice I see people with possible brain and/or cognitive impairment related to motor vehicle or workplace accidents.
I have worked internationally and interstate in non-government, health, and mental health settings, as well as academic research positions. I have supervised students and colleagues in research and clinical settings, frequently peer review for various academic journals, participate in professional organisation groups, and have been appointed to the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) Authorised Health Practitioner Panel.
Having previously been on a committee approving psychologists for registration in Canada, I understand both the privilege and responsibility involved in being a National Board member. First, I really want to get a feel for the Board and a better understanding of what and how I can best contribute, particularly in how we can learn and improve our processes based on systems that work better or not as well in other areas. This includes standards of professional practice, pathways to registration and endorsement, and support for psychologists. This is to ensure we have a well-respected profession that feels supported and competent enough to provide the public with the best service.
I am involved in a family farm operation at Dalby specialising in irrigated and dryland food, fibre and hay crops, and cattle production. I have added to my knowledge and experience by active participation in various government and rural panels and committees. I am a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. My work has taken me right across Australia as well as some international work in India. While agriculture has been my primary focus, education and health have blended into my daily routine. Moving in wide circles has enabled me to try and help regional, rural and remote communities remain sustainable and viable.
These communities have been doing it tough since 2000. Drought, the closure of many services and the dwindling rural population have all contributed to hardships and despair in areas west of the Great Dividing Range on the East Coast and inland areas in the other states and territories. Morale has been at a historical low and the number of depression-related illnesses and suicides has been at a historical high. I see all of this as I go about my daily work. I have worked with community organisations such as Rotary International, grant proposals and the distribution of funds to rural and remote communities as well as pro bono work. I hope I can understand what else can be done to help these communities who are the grass-roots people of Australia and for whatever reason may have been overlooked in the National Scheme.
I am coming into the community member role with a fresh set of eyes and no preconceived ideas and assumptions. It will be a steep learning curve, but I hope I can add value and contribute to the strategy and objectives of the Board by acting as a voice for the voiceless community, navigating on their behalf a very complex National Scheme.
My original qualifications are in chemistry and chemical engineering. I worked as a chemical engineer for Exxon Chemical before changing career to finance, becoming an equity analyst for a large investment bank shortly before the 1987 stock market crash. I subsequently ran the industrial research department and specialised in the bank and chemicals sectors, and during a break from finance in 1998, went into business with a partner and started a maternity wear and baby goods brand, which we recently exited.
Meanwhile, I served as Treasurer and Director of Médecins Sans Frontières Australia from 2001 until 2012, and as a non-executive director of Mediherb Ltd. In 2011, I began an involvement in the health regulation framework by serving on the NSW Health Professions Councils Authority (HPCA) shared lay panel, usually on health professional matters coming before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
I have long held an interest in the health sector, and in psychology in particular. I believe Australians benefit from a very well-run, safe and cost-effective health system, and I feel it is both a duty and a privilege to contribute back to that where possible. It was very stimulating to serve as a lay member on NCAT, and the Psychology Board role seemed like a natural progression.
I hope my private sector governance experience and my occasional work with NCAT, together with a general scientific background and a common sense and systematic approach to problem solving, may be of use to the Board and the National Scheme.
I have been a psychologist for 38 years − which seems an awfully long time when I write it down! I began my career as a research assistant before 10 years as a TAFE Counsellor. After completing my Masters I began what has been an ongoing career training postgraduate students while maintaining a small private practice. I am currently the Program Director of the Master of Psychology (Counselling Psychology) course at Curtin University. I have held national positions on the Australian Psychological Society (APS), been an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) Director and was Presiding Member of the Psychologists Registration Board of Western Australia. In 2010 I was involved in the transition to the National Scheme as Chair of the NT/SA/WA Regional Board.
My eight years on the Regional Board have placed me in the privileged position of observing first-hand the dedication of Board members, both regional and national, in developing a regulatory system to be proud of, and a psychology workforce that provides an invaluable service to the community. I see my role on the Psychology Board as a way of bringing together my experience as a practitioner, an educator, accreditor and regulator and hope to contribute to the Board in ensuring psychology continues to be a valued profession.
I am an Organisational Psychologist and Director of InPsychful Pty Ltd and ISC Consulting Group Pty Ltd, boutique consulting firms providing a broad range of leadership development, coaching, psychological assessment and organisational psychology services to corporate, sporting and small to medium-sized businesses (SME) clients across Australia and overseas. In this capacity, I have 25 years of experience in research and consulting, together with managerial experience in owning a small business and managing a South Australian division of a multinational organisation.
Currently, I am an adjunct lecturer on the topics of selection and psychometric assessment in the University of Adelaide’s Master of Psychology program. I have completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and been a non-executive Director of the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia (LFA) since March 2009 and Director of the Leukaemia Foundation of South Australia for six years.
As a consultant, I have provided governance and board enhancement services to numerous client organisations over the past 10 years. I also held the role of Professional Standards Director for the Anglican Church of Australia for over 10 years.
We are currently consulting on a revised registration standard for area of practice endorsement (AoPE). A consultation paper enclosing a draft copy of the standard is available on the Board’s website.
We consulted on an earlier draft of the AoPE standard and guideline in 2016, proposing to add flexibility in registrar program requirements, formally recognise bridging programs, and clarify the ability to seek reinstatement of endorsement after it lapses. These improvements remain part of the current proposal.
We are consulting on the AoPE standard again as we are proposing to add a pathway to endorsement via a ‘stand-alone’ area of practice program, introduced under the new accreditation standards effective as of 1 January 2019. These are one-year programs higher education providers can offer to psychologists who do not hold a postgraduate qualification or endorsement in another area of practice, for example, those who obtained general registration through a 4+2 internship.
Submissions on the draft registration standard are due by close of business Friday 7 December 2018.
Under the new Guidelines for supervisors, introduced 1 August 2018, there are now only two supervisor approval categories: a general ‘Board-approved supervisor’ category and a ‘Registrar program principal supervisor’ category. Approval in the general category allows you to supervise the following psychology training pathways:
Approval as a registrar program principal supervisor will require you to have held endorsement in the relevant area of practice for two years.
We published a fact sheet to help supervisors understand the changes. This fact sheet has further information about endorsement requirements for higher degree supervisors.
Current supervisors have automatically transitioned to the new categories. The Board is updating the list of supervisors and the supervisor self-service portal to reflect the new categories. We remind supervisors that they can use the portal (available via the practitioner login) to change their status to ‘not available’ if they do not wish to be contacted by potential supervisees.
The forms for applying for and for maintaining Board-approved supervisor status have also been updated.
We recently invited expressions of interest from organisations, groups and individuals to act as a Board-approved provider of supervisor training for the next five-year approval period.
Board approval has been granted to the following 16 providers to deliver supervisor training across Australia from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2023:
Approved training provider
Approved to deliver:
Proposed training locations
The Australian Psychological Society Institute
Perth, Cairns, Mackay, Mount Isa, Newcastle, Townsville
Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Parramatta, Wollongong, Albury, Armidale, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Devonport, Launceston, Lismore, Orange, Townsville, Wagga Wagga
Perth, Fremantle, Broome, Bunbury, Geraldton
Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Byron Bay
Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Wollongong, Byron Bay, Taree, Toowoomba, Townsville, Wide Bay
Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong
Canberra, Batemans Bay, Bega
Existing Board-approved training providers will continue to deliver supervisor training until 31 December 2018. Training providers approved for the 2019-23 period will start supervisor training delivery from 1 January 2019.
The contact details for Board-approved training providers for 2019-23 will be published on the Supervisor training page of the Board’s website.
We thank all applicants for participating in the 2018 expression of interest process. We also thank the current approved training providers for their expertise and commitment to delivering quality supervisor training over the past five years.
We have launched the 2018 renewal of registration campaign for psychologists and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has sent email reminders to psychologists who have provided an email address.
Act now and update your information if your contact details have changed, to not miss future reminders to renew. To update your contact details visit the Board’s website and use the appropriate link under Access online services. A user ID and secure password is necessary. If you have forgotten your user ID you can complete a web enquiry form. Select Online services - Practitioner as the category type.
The registration renewal date for psychologists with general or non-practising registration is 30 November 2018. The quickest and easiest way to renew registration is online.
Renewal applications received during December will incur a late payment fee.
Under the National Law practitioners who do not renew their registration within one month of their registration expiry date must be removed from the Register of Psychologists. Their registration will lapse and they will not be able to practise psychology in Australia. A fast-track application can be made, only during January. The practitioner cannot practise until the application is processed and the register is updated.
You should read the Board’s registration standards carefully before applying to renew, as information in support of declarations made in an application could be requested.
A renewal FAQ is available on the Board’s website.
The annual report for AHPRA and the National Boards for the year to 30 June 2018 is now available to view online.
The report provides a nationwide snapshot and highlights our multi-profession approach to risk-based regulation across the work of the National Scheme. Our mission is to make sure that Australians have access to a safe and competent registered health workforce.
Insights from the year include:
‘AHPRA works in close partnership with the National Boards’, AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher said. ‘Our annual report highlights the joint work we do to regulate health practitioners efficiently and effectively to keep the community safe.’
To view and download the 2017/18 annual report, visit the AHPRA website.
In the coming months, AHPRA and the National Boards will publish profession-specific summaries and these will also be available for download from the AHPRA website.
Changes to the national Register of practitioners will make it easier to access public information about health practitioners across Australia.
The online Register of practitioners has accurate, up-to-date information about the registration status of all registered health practitioners in Australia including psychologists. As decisions are made about a practitioner’s registration renewal or disciplinary proceedings, the register is updated to inform the public about the current status of individual practitioners and any restrictions placed upon their practice.
Along with other National Boards, the Board has decided to introduce links to public tribunal decisions when serious allegations have been proven, in the interests of transparency and on the recommendation of the Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia.
No information about the notifications received by the National Boards and AHPRA will be published. The change is simply helping to make already publicly available information easier to find.
Further information is available on AHPRA’s website.
AHPRA and the National Boards have welcomed the publication of the Independent Accreditation Systems Review final report.
The Independent Accreditation Systems Review’s (the Review) final report makes significant, far-reaching recommendations to reform the accreditation system for regulated health professions in Australia. It proposes recommendations which range from relatively uncontentious and which the National Scheme bodies generally support, to those which are significantly more complex and contentious.
Health Ministers commissioned the Review following a review of the National Scheme as a whole.
For more information read the statement on the AHPRA website.
Connect with AHPRA on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to receive information about important topics for your profession and participate in the discussion.