Psychology Board of Australia - Higher degree FAQ
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Higher degree FAQ

Yes. Fifth year students in the 5+1 pathway, and masters, doctorate and combined degree students in the higher degree pathway are required to hold registration as a provisional psychologist for the duration of their studies. You need to apply for provisional registration after you have enrolled in your postgraduate degree (i.e. enrolled in subjects), and before you start your degree (i.e. attending classes and undertaking placements).

It may take some time for AHPRA to process your application, so you can commence coursework while you are waiting for your provisional registration application to be processed, but you must not start any supervised practice placement or have any client contact until your application for provisional registration has been approved.

When you apply for provisional registration you need to provide evidence of current enrolment in a Board-approved higher degree. AHPRA will accept a print-out of your online record of enrolment and will cross reference your enrolment record with a list of currently enrolled students that is provided directly to AHPRA by the head of psychology at your university or college. AHPRA will not accept a letter of offer to enrol in a course instead of evidence of current enrolment.

Full details on how to apply for provisional registration are available on the Provisional registration page and on the forms page.

Provisional registration cannot be renewed more than twice. If you don’t finish your degree within three years, you’ll need to make a new application for provisional registration using the special form ARPP-76. We recommend lodging your application at least two months before your expiry date to ensure your study is not disrupted. You won’t incur any application fees; you’ll just need to pay the annual provisional registration fee (so it’s the same cost as renewing).

Given that provisional registration is required for the duration of the higher degree, including the thesis, doctoral candidates and part-time candidates will often need provisional registration for more than three years, and will therefore need to re-apply for provisional registration.

If you don’t renew or re-apply for provisional registration and your registration lapses, you won’t be able to continue as a provisional psychologist until a new application for provisional registration is approved.

No, changing to a different accredited degree doesn’t affect your registration. However, you must advise AHPRA of the change in writing and provide evidence of enrolment in the new degree.

Yes. The Board requires all training programs leading to registration and endorsement of registration to be supervised by Board-approved supervisors. Board-approved supervisors are experienced psychologists who have undertaken Board-approved training in competency-based supervision.

The Find a supervisor page hosts the list of Board-approved supervisors, which can be searched by practitioner name, registration number, location, and supervisor approval category.

You should discuss PII arrangements with your workplace and ensure appropriate cover for your practice is in place before you start practice.

If your practice as a provisional psychologist is covered by your employer’s professional indemnity insurance and this complies with all the Board’s requirements, you don’t need to take out extra cover. If your workplace does not cover your practice, you will need to take our your own PII before you start practice.

For more information on PII see the Professional indemnity insurance arrangements registration standard.

Page reviewed 19/07/2019