The Board has heard from psychologists working in the Family Court who are concerned about some important (and very unfortunate) changes to the Care of Children Act (CoCA). The changes give the court discretion to allow a second psychologist access to a report writer’s notes when a lawyer is preparing for cross-examination, which goes well beyond what is currently covered in the Family Court’s Practice Note. This has clear implications for psychologists, who will now need to include an appropriate caution re this limit to confidentiality when seeking informed consent.
Representatives of the Board, NZPsS, and NZCCP met with Principal Family Court Judge Laurence Ryan on June 26th to discuss these concerns. The Judge clearly appreciated the ramifications of these changes, which are likely to include increased costs, process delays, more challenges and complaints, increased risk of harm to children and family relationships, and further disincentives for practitioners to work in this important area.
A background paper will now be prepared to inform other key officials (including the Minister of Justice) of our concerns and to request a change to the legislation. Until a change to the CoCA is achieved, however, practitioners should bolster their informed consent processes and should also carefully consider the ethics and implications of taking on assignments that require them to receive and review another psychologist’s notes. We anticipate that the Court will continue to consider the welfare and best interests of the children involved to be the paramount consideration in deciding whether or not to release a psychologist’s notes and/or to attach clear and protective conditions to the release.
Further updates will be posted here over the coming months.
After extensive consultation with stakeholders, the Board recently adopted a set of core competencies for the Counselling Psychologist scope of practice. Our thanks once again to all who contributed to this project, and especially to the NZPsS Institute of Counselling Psychology for their lead role. The new competencies have been incorporated into the Board's base "Core Competencies for the Practice of Psychology in New Zealand" document, which can be viewed here. The Board will now consider options for establishing a (time-limited) grand-parenting mechanism for registration in this scope.
A summary of the latest (quarterly) meeting of the Psychology Profession Advisory Forum (PPAF) (26/05/14) can be downloaded here. For those unfamiliar with PPAF, the relevant Terms of Reference can also be downloaded here.
Last updated on 11/03/14.
At the 5th International Congress on Licensure, Certification and Credentialing of Psychologists it was decided to continue the development of “a global agreement on identifying the benchmark competencies that define professional psychology”. (See Report of the Congress Part 1, September 2014). The project has been named the “International Project on Competence in Psychology” (IPCP). A core Work Group of 10 individuals from around the world has been established, including Moana Waitoki and Steve Osborne from New Zealand. A much broader (global) Reference Group/Network of more than 200 interested parties has also been established, and continues to grow.
The Work Group most recently held a meeting in Atlanta on the 24th and 25th of February 2014. The work product of that meeting (see draft progress report here) will feed into the next stage of the project, which includes consultation sessions at the ICAP Conference (Paris) and the PsySSA Congress (Durban) in July. The documents to be considered in Paris and Durban include a version of the draft progress report with Reference Group comments showing, a collation of all reviewer's comments, and a version showing Moana Waitoki's comments (many of which are specific to cultural issues). (Just click on the version to download and view.)
Last updated on 17/06/14.