Psychology Board of Australia - November 2022

November 2022

Connections

Issue 35 - November 2022


From the Chair

Rachel Phillips

I am still learning – Michelangelo at age 87

With the end of the calendar year fast approaching, so too is the new 2022/23 registration cycle for psychologists. I renewed my registration last week and took the opportunity to reflect on my learning goals for the next year. The professional role of the psychologist is as broad as its behavioural science underpinnings. With Michelangelo's reflections front of mind, I know I will always be learning how to be more effective as a psychologist and I look forward to developing my learning plan for the next 12 months, 5 years, 20 years ...

Rachel Phillips

Chair, Psychology Board of Australia

back to top


Priority news

Renew your registration now and avoid a late fee

Psychologists have until 30 November 2022 to renew their general or non-practising registration on time.

We encourage you to renew early to avoid delays during the busy renewal period. Renewing on time also means you’ll avoid late fees which apply after 30 November 2022.

Look out for an email from Ahpra providing access to online renewal.

Ready to renew?

Head to our registration renewal web page to start an online application.

If you submit your application on time, or during the following one-month late period, you can continue practising while your application is assessed.

If you don’t renew by the end of the late period, 31 December 2022, your registration will lapse, you’ll be removed from the national register and you won’t be able to use the protected title for the profession.

Got questions?

Read the renewal FAQs on the Ahpra website for helpful tips and information on what you need to do to renew.

We cover common questions on professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice, continuing professional development, and what to do if you have a change in your criminal history or health impairments you need to tell us about.

back to top


Board news

Registration fee decreases in 2022-23

The registration fee for psychologists will decrease by 5% to $415.

This will cover the registration period from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023.

Practitioner registration fees fund the work of Ahpra and the National Boards to keep the public safe by:

  • supporting national registration to ensure only qualified, safe, and professional health practitioners can practise in Australia
  • developing evidence-based and practice-tested standards, codes, and guidelines
  • accrediting programs of study that lead to registration and endorsement, and
  • investigating concerns raised about registered health practitioners.

We work closely with Ahpra to keep fees as low as possible while continuing to meet regulatory obligations and the expectations of the public and practitioners. We are pleased to be able to reduce the psychology registration fee again this year, following continued growth of the workforce.

back to top

New national committee structure for psychology

We have decided to establish national committees to support the management of registration and notifications functions. The committees will replace the current regional board structure from 1 December this year.

These committees will be organised as follows:

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

Under a national structure for delegated decision-makers, all committees are national function-based committees and the geographically based regional boards are dissolved. This aligns with the committee structure adopted by other similar-sized Boards within the National Scheme.

This change will have other positive benefits such as:

  • ensuring national consistency of decision-making by aligning governance structure with regulatory function
  • retaining local knowledge by maintaining representation from each state and territory on each committee, and
  • reducing costs and better managing workload and volume by aligning structure and function.

To support transition, all current regional board members will be appointed to a committee in the new structure for the length of their current term of appointment. Future vacancies will be filled via an open recruitment process and appointments will be made by the National Board.

What will the national committees do?

The National Board delegates functions to the national committees so they can make decisions about individual practitioners. This includes deciding whether a practitioner is suitable to be registered and about whether to take action against a practitioner when a notification is made about them.

In contrast, the National Board is responsible for developing policy and setting the professional standards that the national committees will use to help them make decisions about individual practitioners.

How can I get involved?

We will advertise future vacancies for committee members on our website. We anticipate running recruitment rounds in early 2023, as well as in 2024 and 2025.

back to top

Supervisors, your refresher training and renewals are coming up

More supervisors than ever before will be required to complete their refresher training between now and July 2023. The Board’s Supervisor guidelines require supervisors to complete refresher training every five years to maintain their Board-approved supervisor (BAS) status. 

If you are a supervisor, you can check the date that your BAS status expires on the Board’s online list of Board-approved supervisors. All supervisors with a BAS status expiry date before July 2023 will have received an email from Ahpra email reminding them that their refresher training is due, with full details on renewal requirements, and regular reminders are being sent. 

There are 15 Board-approved providers of master classes across Australia. Their contact details and websites are available on the Board’s Supervisor training page.

Due to the high demand expected over the coming months, we encourage you to book early to secure your preferred provider and master class topic. Once you have completed training, you must apply to maintain Board approval using the MBAS-76 form.

If you do not meet refresher training requirements your BAS status will lapse and your name will be removed from the Board’s online list of supervisors.

back to top


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.

Psychologist has registration cancelled for boundary violations

A Victorian psychologist has had her registration cancelled, has been reprimanded and disqualified from applying for registration or providing any health service until July 2023 for professional misconduct.

The Psychology Board of Australia referred Ms Julianna Bonola to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after allegations were made about multiple relationships with three related clients; attempting to deceive and/or mislead other practitioners; and failing to prepare adequate treatment plans and keep accurate clinical records.

Read more in the news item.

Psychologist disqualified, reprimanded and has registration cancelled for professional misconduct

A Victorian psychologist has had his registration cancelled, been reprimanded, and disqualified from applying for registration for one year for professional misconduct.

Mr Gerard Knobel was found to have engaged in professional misconduct primarily relating to his treatment of a couple, to whom he provided individual and joint counselling in 2016. During this time, Mr Knobel had a personal and sexual relationship with one of the clients while continuing to provide psychological services to her and her husband.

Read more in the news item.

back to top


Registration news

Practitioners opt in to extend their registration on the pandemic sub-register

A total of 1,792 practitioners opted in to remain registered on the pandemic sub-register for another year, continuing to support the health system. These include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, dental practitioners, diagnostic radiographers, medical practitioners, midwives, nurses, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and psychologists who have opted to extend their registration on the sub-register to 21 September 2023 or apply to transition to the main register for ongoing registration.

Practitioners who were on the sub-register and did not contact Ahpra are no longer registered as of midnight on 21 September 2022. The names of these practitioners were removed from the sub-register; if they wish to continue to be registered, they will need to apply for registration through the standard process.

For more information go to:

back to top


What's new?

Cosmetic surgery complaints line and resources hub launched

Ahpra and the National Boards are committed to making cosmetic surgery safer. Patients who have been harmed by cosmetic surgery can now report their concerns to a hotline. Practitioners who are aware of unsafe cosmetic surgery practices are also encouraged to call.

Key points

  • Our Cosmetic Surgery Hotline – 1300 361 041 is a new service for cosmetic surgery patients and concerned practitioners to tell us about their bad experiences. If we know about it, we can investigate it. The specialised notifications team is here to listen Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm AEDT. Concerns can also be lodged confidentially.
  • We have also set up an online Cosmetic surgery hub that gathers helpful resources for practitioners and the public in one place.

The hotline and hub are part of the response by Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia to the Independent review into the regulation of medical practitioners who perform cosmetic surgery.

Read more in the news item.

back to top

Latest podcasts – listen up!

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. We also publish transcripts of our podcasts. Recent episodes include:

  • the inextricable link between climate change and healthcare
  • the unique world of rural and remote healthcare
  • accessing safe healthcare when cost is an issue
  • two conversations about caring for the LGBTIQA+ community, from the perspectives of patients and of practitioners
  • safe healthcare for people experiencing homelessness
  • safe healthcare for refugee and asylum seeker communities
  • openness and candour – a road to greater patient safety.

Listen and subscribe by searching for Taking care in your podcast player (for example Apple Podcasts or Spotify), or listen on our website.

back to top


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.

back to top

 
 
Page reviewed 22/11/2022