Psychology Board of Australia - November 2019
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November 2019


Issue 27 - November 2019

From the Chair

Rachel Phillips Endorsement of registration is a regulatory tool under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to identify practitioners who have additional qualifications and expertise. Each National Board determines if and what types of endorsement are required to provide safe practice.

The Psychology Board of Australia endorses psychologists who have completed education and training in nine areas of practice.

The Board recently published the updated area of practice registration standard and guidelines. The Board has also announced its intention to carry out a comprehensive review of the competencies associated with the nine areas of practice, to ensure they meet the diverse needs of the Australian community.

Rachel Phillips
Chair, Psychology Board of Australia

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Board news

Revised registration standard and guidelines for area of practice endorsement

We are pleased to announce that a revised Registration standard for area of practice endorsements has been approved by Health Ministers and will come into effect on 1 December 2019, along with new Guidelines for area of practice endorsements. Advance copies of the documents are available on our news page.

The revised documents bring the Board’s endorsement qualification requirements in line with the new accreditation standards (effective January 2019), which allow higher education providers to develop one-year bridging or ‘stand-alone’ programs for endorsement. These programs may be offered to all psychologists, including those who obtained general registration through an internship pathway. As well as completing an accredited endorsement qualification, psychologists must complete a Board-approved registrar program to be eligible for endorsement. We have published a factsheet detailing the changes to the AoPE registration standard and guidelines and providing an updated diagram of the training pathways to endorsement.

Other changes have been made to the AoPE guidelines to reduce regulatory burden on registrars and their supervisors. These include slightly reduced supervised practice hours, less frequent progress reports and greater flexibility in supervision arrangements. The factsheet will assist current registrars and supervisors in understanding and implementing the changes.

The review was done as part of our regular, scheduled reviews of Board registration standards and guidelines and was targeted in scope. Separate to this regular review, the Board has started a comprehensive program of work to ensure that the registration categories of general registration and area of practice endorsement are being used effectively to promote safe practice and community access to effective psychology services.

This review will focus on clearly defining the competencies for general registration and areas of practice endorsement and aligning them more effectively with our registration categories and training pathways. Feedback previously given to us about endorsement, including that the competencies are not contemporary and need revision, will be considered in the context of this broader review.

Our multi-year work program will initially focus on general registration competencies before examining competencies for the nine approved areas of practice. We are now working through the policy development phase and plan to consult with stakeholders and the public in 2020.

The Board is appointed under the National Law with the paramount objective of protecting the health and safety of the public. We also seek to facilitate access to psychology services in the public interest, and ensure a flexible, responsive and sustainable psychology workforce. We will consult broadly and carefully consider all views put to us and will ultimately ensure our final proposal to Health Ministers meets our objectives under the National Law.

For more information on the Board’s education and training reform program see our professional practice issues page.

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CPD requirements – refresh your understanding

As scientist-practitioners, psychologists understand the importance of evidence-based practice. The value of doing regular continuing professional development (CPD) is well accepted and has a long history in our profession. CPD helps psychologists to maintain, improve, and broaden their knowledge and expertise, and assists psychologists to hold themselves and their peers to high standards. Carefully tailored CPD enhances professional competency and relevance in practice, which in turn benefits members of the public who seek psychology services.

Make sure you are familiar with the CPD requirements

With renewal of registration this month, it is a good time to check the details of the Board’s CPD requirements. Have you completed 30 hours of CPD for this registration cycle? Are you aware of the different types of activities you can count as CPD, or what holding an area of practice endorsement means for your CPD requirements? How do you define your learning goals, and log and deliberately reflect on your CPD activities? Are you accurately calculating peer consultation hours?

The Board’s CPD guidelines detail all these requirements and provide answers to frequently asked questions. The Board updates its guidelines every five years, so it’s good to regularly refresh your understanding of the requirements. You can find Word templates for your learning plan, CPD/peer consultation log and journal on our forms page, under Other forms.

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Renew your registration online now

We have launched the 2019 renewal of registration campaign for psychologists and AHPRA has sent email reminders to psychologists who have provided an email address. Psychologists with general or non-practising registration need to renew by 30 November 2019.

The quickest and easiest way to renew registration is online.

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 during audit. The Board has revised the Professional indemnity insurance (PII) registration standard this year, so you need to make sure you are familiar with and comply with the new PII standard from 1 December 2019.

Renew on time and avoid penalties

Renewal applications received during December will incur a late payment fee. 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 psychologist cannot practise until the application is processed and the register is updated.

Act now and update your information if your contact details have changed, so you don’t 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.

A renewal FAQ is available on the Board’s website.

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Call for applications for appointment to regional boards

The four regional boards of the Psychology Board of Australia play an important role in regulatory decision-making for psychologists. They perform functions that are delegated by the National Board in regulatory matters related to registration and health, performance and conduct. They also bring a local perspective to regulatory decision-making.

The following vacancies are arising on the state and regional boards in the following jurisdictions in early 2020:

  • New South Wales – 4 community members, 5 practitioner members and Chair
  • South Australia – 1 community member
  • Tasmania – 1 community member and 1 practitioner member
  • Queensland – 3 community members, 2 practitioner members and Chair

To be eligible for appointment as a practitioner member, you must hold current registration as a psychologist. It is expected that applicants practise and reside in the state or territory in which they are applying for appointment.

To be eligible for appointment as a community member, it is expected that applicants reside in the state or territory in which they are applying for appointment.

The National Scheme has a commitment to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ leadership and voices. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply, as are people from rural or regional areas in Australia.

Appointments are made by the Minister for Health in each jurisdiction under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory. Appointments can be for up to three years, with eligibility for reappointment.

More information

More information about the roles, eligibility requirements and the application process can be found in the information documents and online application form available on AHPRA’s statutory appointments page.

If you have questions, please contact [email protected].

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Get to know your colleagues – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners

Members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board (ATSIHPBA) recently gave a update to the Board at its August meeting about their Board, the profession and its practitioners.

The ATSIHPBA wants to help the psychology profession understand the value that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners can bring to Australian healthcare to make it culturally safe and help close the gap. Below are some facts about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and their profession to help psychologists know more.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners: fast facts

  • Programs of study that lead to registration as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner are the only ethnically based health training programs of this type in the world and have been recognised as such by the United Nations.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners work across organisations in many roles and act as cultural brokers and make healthcare settings, including hospitals, more culturally safe.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners are one profession under the same roof as many other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals and account for a small number of the Indigenous health workforce (e.g. Aboriginal Health Workers, Liaison Officers and so on).
  • They predominantly work for public hospitals and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.
  • The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) is the professional body which works hard to promote the profession.
  • Tasks Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners are qualified to perform include immunisations, screening of physical, social and emotional wellbeing, administering and supplying medications, advocating for clients, health promotion, and providing advice, support and training on culturally safe health services.
  • They complement the roles of other health practitioners, including psychologists. The cultural liaison and expertise they provide is invaluable. Their patient rapport and insight into culturally safe and responsive approaches to care helps non-Indigenous clinicians to achieve the best health outcomes for the patient.
  • New accreditation standards starting next year will enable programs offering qualifications higher than the current Certificate IV level to apply for accreditation.
  • Challenges to the profession include retention, lack of career mapping, employers not harnessing their full scope of practice, and completing their study in the time allowed (for cultural reasons and because of travelling distance). However, registrant numbers are steadily rising.

The ATSIHPBA would like to continue to work with AHPRA and the psychology profession to help spread the word about the culturally safe workforce which is qualified, competent, registered and ready to go to work in both clinical and non-clinical roles.

What you can do to help and spread the word

Here are some things that you, as a psychologist, can do to help:

  • Ask a question: ask your health service, employer or other team members, ‘How many Aboriginal Health Practitioners do we employ?’ or ‘Did you know we could make our practice more culturally safe by employing an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner, and do our bit towards closing the gap?’
  • Make them a priority: Prioritise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce agenda.
  • Share the message: Distribute the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice profession brochures explaining their role to employers..

Engaging the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce to work in partnership with psychologists is a key opportunity to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

If you would like to find out more about the profession, please contact Executive Officer Jill Humphreys at [email protected].

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National Scheme news

Have your say on the latest National Board and AHPRA consultation

A public consultation is now open asking for people to have their say on revised guidance to help practitioners and others understand their obligations when advertising a regulated health service.

Alongside other National Boards and AHPRA, the Board is conducting a consultation on revised Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service. We invite you to give your feedback. The consultation closes 26 November 2019.

The consultation papers are available on the Consultation page of the Board’s website. To make it easier to participate, you can use the online survey option to send us your feedback.

New videos give two practitioners’ perspectives on having a notification made about them

Earlier this year, AHPRA launched a series of videos to support members of the public and registered health practitioners who are going through the notification process.

The video series, called ‘Let’s talk about it’, explains what happens when concerns are raised with the regulator, gives easy-to-follow information about the notifications process and addresses common questions, so consumers and health practitioners know what to expect when they interact with AHPRA and National Boards.

The series is part of work to minimise the adverse impact of the notifications process on practitioners and notifiers. Over the last few months two new videos were added. These provide a first-hand account of the notification process from a practitioner’s perspective:

The videos sit alongside other written resources available on the website, including information about understanding the notifications experience. See:

You can view the videos on the AHPRA and National Board websites or on our YouTube and Vimeo channel, and join the conversation by following AHPRA on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, use the hashtag #letstalkaboutit and tag @AHPRA.

My experience: receiving a notification

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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 9275 9009 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Rachel Phillips, Chair, Psychology Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958 Melbourne VIC 3001.

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Follow AHPRA on social media

Connect with AHPRA on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to receive information about important topics for your profession and participate in the discussion.

Page reviewed 21/11/2022