Provisional registration

You’ll need provisional registration to complete any of the three supervised practice pathways to general registration as a psychologist:

Provisional registration is also required for those completing a transitional program (for overseas-qualified applicants seeking psychology registration in Australia) or a return-to-practice program (for those who have taken a long break from psychological practice).

Requirements for provisional registration

The requirements for provisional registration are set out in the Provisional registration standard.

Before applying for provisional registration, ensure you are familiar with the obligations and responsibilities of provisional psychologists, including our registration standards, the code of ethics, and applicable guidelines and policies. You must meet the requirements set out in the following registration standards when you apply for provisional registration:

  • Provisional registration standard
  • Criminal history registration standard - you must declare all criminal history including spent convictions and overseas criminal history when you apply for registration; AHPRA will conduct criminal history checks
  • English language skills registration standard - you must provide evidence of your English language competency; this applies to all registration applicants including Australian applicants
  • Recency of practice registration standard – note that if you completed an approved program of study (e.g. undergraduate psychology degree) within the last five years you automatically meet the standard
  • Professional indemnity insurance arrangements registration standard - you must declare that you will meet the requirements of the standard. 

Applying for provisional registration

You can apply for provisional registration online if you have completed an accredited four-year sequence of study within the last 10 years and wish to start an internship, or if you are enrolled in an accredited Masters or Doctorate program (provided you have never been registered as a health practitioner in Australia before).

There are three simple steps to applying for provision registration online:  

  1. Fill out an online application for provisional registration.
  2. Upload supporting documents as part of the online application.
  3. Wait to be contacted by AHPRA.

Alternatively, you can apply for provisional registration using the APRO-76 form and lodge it with your local AHPRA office.

Note for 4+2 interns: You’ll need to submit an internship program plan using the SPPR-76 form to finalise your application for provisional registration.

Fees for provisional registration can be found on the schedule of fees.

Renewing provisional registration

Provisional registration is granted for one year from the date your application is approved. You will need renew each year while undertaking your supervised practice program (e.g. a higher degree or an internship). We will send you an email reminder when it is time to renew. To ensure you get these reminders, add AHPRA to your safe senders list in your email account. We aren’t required to send you a reminder so, ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure you renew on time.

If you do not renew and provisional registration lapses, you will have to reapply for provisional registration and you will not be able to undertake your internship or any placements within your degree until provisional registration is in place.

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

Further information

Refer to the Board’s registration standards, guidelines and policies and relevant Fact sheets and FAQ.  

COVID-19 financial hardship payment plan

The Board and Ahpra have made a payment plan available for provisional psychologists applying to renew their provisional registration or applying for general registration who are experiencing genuine financial hardship due to COVID-19. If you meet the criteria, you will be eligible to pay half your registration fee at the time of application, and the second instalment three months later.

Eligibility criteria

Provisional psychologists renewing their provisional registration or applying for general registration between 12 October 2020 and 30 April 2021 and who have self-assessed as experiencing financial hardship because the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the practitioner being:

  • underemployed, or
  • unemployed, and/or
  • unable to work because of restriction of or disruption to the delivery of the health service, or caring responsibilities.

This may also include the provisional psychologist becoming the sole earner in their immediate household.

This policy can only apply to a practitioner once prior to 30 April 2021 – either for the application to renew their provisional registration or to apply for general registration.

*Financial hardship means that because of family tragedy, financial misfortune, unemployment, serious illness, impacts of a natural disaster and other serious or difficult circumstances a practitioner is unable to reasonably provide necessities such as food, accommodation, clothing, education, and/or medical treatment for themselves, their family or other dependents, and by extension, the costs associated with their registration.

The COVID-19 pandemic is considered a national health emergency for the purpose of this definition.

What if I don’t meet the financial hardship criteria?

If you don’t meet the financial hardship criteria, you will need to pay the fees in full.

How do I apply for the financial hardship payment plan?

You'll need to complete the application for financial hardship payment plan and receive the outcome from us before applying to renew your provisional registration or applying for general registration – we can’t consider an application for the financial hardship payment plan if you have already applied to renew/register.

To apply for the financial hardship payment plan, you will need to:

What if I have already applied to renew/register but I think I am eligible for the payment plan?

Sorry, we can’t consider applications for the financial hardship payment plan after you have applied to renew/register.

What happens after I apply for the payment plan?

We will review your application and let you know the outcome so that you can proceed with your renewal/registration application. If we have any questions, we will call you on your preferred phone number.

How do I pay the second instalment?

We will send you these details separately within three months of your successful application

Page reviewed 12/10/2020