Groundbreaking Legal Win

Posted on 21 April 2022

We are thrilled to share with you the incredible news that we have had our first legal win in our challenge to the current endorsement system.The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) ruled in favour of our first test case and granted endorsement in clinical psychology based on substantial equivalence. Substantial equivalence is where a psychologist can gain endorsement based on alternative qualifications and experience rather than via an approved Area of Practice Endorsement (AoPE) higher degree pathway. To our knowledge, this is the first time clinical endorsement via substantial equivalence has been obtained since the transitional or ‘grandfathering’ period when the two-tier system was first established. This is an important precedent.

Since 2010, AAPi has been fighting for equality and recognition for all psychologists. This is a significant step in reaching this goal. Thanks to our member Marian for her courage and determination in taking her case all the way through to VCAT, and thanks also to the AAPi team, members and supporters.

This decision will hopefully pave the way for others to gain endorsement via substantial equivalence. We would like to to emphasise that the goal in pursuing this aspect of legal recourse is to allow recognition for those with alternative qualifications and experience to be recognised under the existing endorsement system framework. 

We are closely considering the decision with our legal advisors and others as to how we might advocate for changes to policy and specifically the two-tier system in all its iterations (public sector discrimination, Medicare rebates, DVA/Open Arms fees, Centrelink reports etc) and revitalise the diversity of psychology.

This is just one of our legal challenges, and we look forward to providing you with further updates. As we are a not-for-profit, we rely solely on contributions to tackle the two-tier system and to continue our ongoing fight for equality, we are seeking further contributions. If you would like to contribute you can do so here.

We are achieving what we set out to do. Now is a crucial time to join AAPi