The Psychologists Board was originally established by the Psychologists Act 1981, and was subsequently appointed as an authority in respect of the practice of psychology under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003. [Refer Schedule 2 of the HPCA Act]
The HPCA Act established the Board as a body corporate. This means that the Board can set up its own administrative arrangements (e.g., lease premises and equipment, employ staff, and set up its own finances and bank accounts). The Board established its own, independent Secretariat in July 2006, but continues to work in close collaboration with the other authorities established under the HPCA Act.
The Board's main purpose is to protect the health and safety of members of the public through the registration of psychologists who meet the registration requirements established under the HPCA Act and through the management of competence, conduct, and fitness matters concerning psychologists. The Board also reviews and promotes the competence of psychologists and sets standards of clinical and cultural competence and ethical conduct. [A more detailed list of the Board’s responsibilities can be seen at the bottom of this page]
The Board is accountable to the New Zealand public through the Minister of Health and must provide an Annual Report, including audited accounts, to the Minister every year. All (financially current) psychologists receive a copy by mail, and the report can also be viewed on this website.
The Board has no formal relationship with either the New Zealand Psychological Society or the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists, but does work closely with both organisations on matters of mutual interest. The Society and College are collegial bodies whose primary mandate is to promote the interests of the profession, whereas the Board’s mandate is to protect the interests of the public. Most of the time, the three organisations are able to find pathways that serve the interests of both the public and the profession.
The Psychologists Board normally has 8 members (including 2 lay members). Its day to day operations are managed by a secretariat with 6 employees. Details of the Board’s current membership and the Secretariat staff can be viewed elsewhere on this website.
The Board's Functions (Section 118 of the HPCA Act) are:
(a) to prescribe the qualifications required for scopes of practice within the profession, and, for that purpose, to accredit and monitor educational institutions and degrees, courses of studies, or programmes:
(b) to authorise the registration of health practitioners under this Act, and to maintain registers:
(c) to consider applications for annual practising certificates:
(d) to review and promote the competence of health practitioners:
(e) to recognise, accredit, and set programmes to ensure the ongoing competence of health practitioners:
(f) to receive and act on information from health practitioners, employers, and the Health and Disability Commissioner about the competence of health practitioners:
(g) to notify employers, the Accident Compensation Corporation, the Director-General of Health, and the Health and Disability Commissioner that the practice of a health practitioner may pose a risk of harm to the public:
(h) to consider the cases of health practitioners who may be unable to perform the functions required for the practice of the profession:
(i) to set standards of clinical competence, cultural competence, and ethical conduct to be observed by health practitioners of the profession:
(j) to liaise with other authorities appointed under this Act about matters of common interest:
(k) to promote education and training in the profession:
(l) to promote public awareness of the responsibilities of the authority:
(m) to exercise and perform any other functions, powers, and duties that are conferred or imposed on it by or under this Act or any other enactment.