Psychology Reforms and PERG Petition

Posted on 22 February 2021
By Tegan Carrison, Executive Director, AAPi

The Psychology Board of Australia is currently undertaking 'Education and Training Reforms'. Step one was to retire the 4+2 pathway, due in part to the 'safety concerns' for the public. 

The next step, currently being undertaken, is to review competencies for general registration, and we fear that this may limit the scope of practice for registered psychologists. The Psychology Board is currently reviewing the competencies for registered psychologists which includes:

● clearly defining the competencies for general registration as a psychologist, and promoting a clearer delineation of the training for general registration from advanced training for area of practice endorsement

● improving stakeholder understanding of what knowledge and skills are expected of a registered psychologist

Given that the Psychology Board has stated that at present, there is too much overlap between the competencies of registered psychologists and endorsed psychologists, in my opinion, in order to justify the extra rebate for endorsed clinical psychologists, the scope of registered psychologists may be reduced and restricted.

You can read more about the Education and Training reforms here.

While AAPi has been invited to participate in the reform process and we thank the Psychology Board for inviting AAPi to this process, we have concerns about the reference group appointed to oversee the reforms.

As part of the reforms, the Psychology Board has appointed a Psychology Expert Reference Group (PERG) to advise the Board on the review of the competencies for general registration. The PERG Group representatives currently consists of the following:

● Ms Rachel Phillips (Clinical Psychologist) National Board Chair - Qld, and Chair of PERG 

● Professor Jennifer Scott (Clinical Psychologist) National Board member - Tas 

● Ms Julia Duffy Regional (Community Member) Board Community member - Qld 

● Professor Caroline Hunt (Clinical Psychologist) and current director of The Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA)

● Ms Ros Knight (Clinical Psychologist) former President, Australian Psychological Society (APS) 

● Professor John Dunn (Psychology Academic) Chair, Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) 

● Professor Renata Meuter (Psychology Academic) Chair, Heads of Departments and Schools of Psychology Association in Australia (HODSPA) 

PERG will draft the revised competencies for general registration. Each member of PERG was selected and invited to participate by the Psychology Board. AAPi is concerned that AAPi does not have a representative on PERG. AAPi is concerned that this group is not representative of the diversity of the psychology profession. For a group responsible for reviewing the competencies for general registration, there should be psychologists with general general registration included. 

AAPi met with the Psychology Board to discuss our concerns and ask for a more representative sample of psychologists in Australia. We were told no.

If you believe that AAPi should have a representative on PERG and help to decide the future of Psychology, it is vital you act now. Please sign this petition today.

We do not want to be in a position at the end of 2021, after PERG has made their recommendations, to appeal any decision that may negatively effect registered psychologists and their clients.

Please sign the petition today.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. There is strength in numbers, we can make a difference together.

 

As always please reach out to me via admin@aapi.org.au if you have any questions.

 

Take care,

Tegan Carrison

Executive Director AAPi