Competence Matters

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This page includes information on the Psychologists Board's;

Continuing Competence Programme

Core Competencies for Psychologists

Cultural Competencies for Psychologists


The Board's Continuing Competence Programme

The Psychologists Board (the Board) has introduced a Continuing Competence Programme (CCP) as part of its obligations under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act). The dual objectives of the CCP are to provide a framework to assist individual practitioners to address the ongoing challenge of maintaining competence while also giving the Board a mechanism to ensure that competence is maintained.

All actively practising psychologists are required to participate in the CCP and will be requested to declare that they have done so when renewing their Practising Certificate each year.

The full CCP programme (as revised for 2016/2017) can be downloaded here.

**UPDATE**: Two optional templates to provide guidance and reassurance about what the Board expects to be recorded in practitioners' Log Books have now been published (and can be downloaded by clicking on the following highlighted links). Optional template 1 (pdf  / Word) provides only for recording of the bare minimum information required by the Board. Optional template 2   (pdf Word) provides for one further (non-mandatory) category of information (Learning Plans) to also be recorded. Practitioners are not required to use either of these templates if they prefer to record their CCP activities in some other format. (For more information about what must be recorded, see page 10 of the CCP Guide for Participants.)


Each year the Board will audit a portion (normally about 20%) of APC applicants for compliance with the CCP’s requirements. When selected for an audit of their CCP participation, a psychologist will receive a letter and a declaration form from the Board.

On completion of his or her audit, a hard copy of the APC will be mailed and the psychologist will be provided with a summary of his or her results plus some feedback and suggestions that we hope will enhance future CCP participation.  (N.B.: As long as his or her application is received before April 1st, the psychologist is deemed to hold an APC while the audit process is being completed.)


Further information, sample letters and forms, and optional Log Book templates are available from the "Related Resources" box to the right. If you can't find what you are looking for there, or require further assistance, please contact us.


Core Competencies for Psychologists

Section 118(i) of the the Act requires that the Board set standards of ethical conduct and clinical and cultural competence. Its prescribed Core Competencies for the Practice of Psychology in New Zealand have been developed to assist the Board to protect the public. 

Parts 1, 3 and 4 of the Core Competencies document list those competencies the Board has identified as core to a particular scope of practice - the minimum requirement for competent practice at an entry level.  Each of these competencies is underpinned by the Board's Cultural Competencies (refer Part 2) and should be read in conjunction with them. All psychologists practising in the "Psychologist" scope must be able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills listed under that scope.

A psychologist who practises in a vocational scope must also be able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills listed under that vocational scope. The Board have tried to avoid duplication as much as possible and therefore both scopes/parts should be referred to by those practitioners who hold a vocational scope.

These competencies may be used in the assessment of initial qualifications for registration and scopes of practice, as standards in competency reviews and competence programmes, and/or in the Board's processes for accrediting tertiary educational institutions. They should also serve as a guide to members of the profession.  

The Core Competencies stand alongside the Code of Ethics for Psychologists Working in Aotearoa/New Zealand [2002] (English version) (Te Reo version) and any best practice guidelines adopted or endorsed by the Board. 


Cultural Competencies

The Board's Standards of Cultural Competence for Psychologists Registered under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 and Those Seeking to Become Registered apply to all psychologists in New Zealand. The guidelines have been developed to reflect the skill, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for effective cultural practice.  It is expected that all psychologists, regardless of their area of practice, will consider and incorporate these guidelines.

The New Zealand Psychological Society has compiled a very useful set of resources to help practitioners develop and maintain cultural competence. (Click here to go to the NZPsS Bicultural Resources page. Be sure to scroll down on that page to view the “Cultural Competence Resources” section).

The "Pasifikology" network also offers some very useful resources on their website that can help practitioners develop their competence in working with Pacific Peoples. (Click here to go to the Pasifikology resources page.)

    We welcome your comments on this website, on your interaction with the Board, or on any other aspect of the work we do.