Substantial Equivalence Legal Update

Posted on 29 August 2023

We are thrilled to share the incredible news that two further AAPi members have won their challenges to the current endorsement system and have been granted clinical endorsement based on substantial equivalence. 
Substantial equivalence is where a psychologist is granted endorsement via an alternative route to the standard Australian Higher Degree pathway and is based on an assessment of their qualifications, training and experience. 
Since the endorsement system for psychologists was established, the narrative has been of a two-class system: those with endorsement and those without. The two-tier system. The narrative has been that psychologists who don’t have clinical endorsement are less than. Less qualified. Lower educated. Less competent. The two-tier system says psychologists without an endorsement or without a particular endorsement should be paid less, their clients should receive lower rebates, and psychologists should be arbitrarily restricted in their activities and cannot work in specific jobs. This is categorically untrue. The system is wrong, and AAPi is changing this.

Since 2010, AAPi has been fighting for equality and recognition for all psychologists, and this most recent legal win is another significant step in reaching our goal. This decision will hopefully pave the way for others to gain endorsement via substantial equivalence. We want 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. AAPi remains dedicated to a unified and equal psychology profession without the need for tiers, classes or endorsements.

AAPi is committed to systemic change and removing the two-tier system in all its iterations. This includes public sector discrimination, different Medicare rebates, lower DVA fees, perceived lower scope of practice, and revitalising the diversity of psychology.

This is just one of our legal challenges, and we look forward to providing you with further legal updates. We are achieving what we set out to do. Now is a crucial time to join AAPi. Thank you for your support.

Further information:
May 2023 Legal Update
First substantial equivalence success case 
Costs awarded summary
Watch the substantial equivalence success webinar
Contribute to the legal fund to end the two-tier system
Legal EOI form for AAPi assistance with Substantial Equivalence