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Current news...

Review of the Board’s Continuing Competence Programme (Survey now closed)…

Grand-Parenting into the 'Counselling Psychologist' scope...

Significant changes made to the Care Of Children Act (updated)...

Summary of latest PPAF and PWG meetings...

The International Project on Competence in Psychology (updated)...



Review of the Board’s Continuing Competence Programme (Survey closed)

The Board established the present Continuing Competence Programme (CCP) as part of its responsibility under the HPCA Act to assure competent practice in order to protect the public. We promised that a review of the CCP would be carried out at the completion of five years’ use (one complete audit cycle). That review is now underway.

As part of the review, Frank O’Connor (a former President of the NZPsS) and John Bushnell (a former President of the NZCCP) have been engaged to independently undertake a survey exploring practitioners’ experience with the CCP. On the basis of the data collected, they will deliver to the Board a report and recommendations focused on:

  •  meeting the requirements of the Act,
  •  minimisation of the compliance burden on registrants,
  •  suitability of the programme to the full range of activities conducted by psychologists, and
  •  sustainability of the audit process.

The Board will consider the report and recommendations at their meetings on February 18 & 19, 2015, before deciding what changes could be made to the CCP and what further consultation should be conducted in regard to any proposed changes.

If you have any concerns or questions, please call us on 04 471 4580 or email us.

Posted 06/11/14. Updated 19/12/14, 05/01/15.


Grand-Parenting into the ‘Counselling Psychologist’ Scope

The Psychologists Board recently adopted a set of core competencies for the Counselling Psychologist scope of practice. We are therefore now able to consider applications for registration in the scope from practitioners who do not hold the required academic qualifications, but who have been safely practising within the area described by the scope for an extended period. A revised vocational scope application form for this purpose is now available (click here to download a copy).

NB: Applications based on the grand-parenting pathway will only be accepted until 31 March 2016. This pathway into the scope will be discontinued from 1 April 2016.

Grand-parenting criteria:

1. The applicant must already be registered or eligible for registration in the Psychologist scope.

2. The applicant must have practised mainly within the area described by the Counselling Psychologist Scope for at least three of the past five years.

3. The applicant must have had regular professional supervision appropriate for his or her work in the scope.

4. The applicant must currently be fit for registration in terms of section 16 of the HPCA Act.

5. The applicant must not have any current competence notifications against them.

6. If the applicant has previously been the subject of any complaints or competence notifications, the details of those (considered individually and/or collectively) must not reflect adversely on his or her current fitness to practice as a Counselling Psychologist.   

Evidence required to support a grand-parenting application:

  • A completed application form (including statutory declaration).
  • A detailed work history for the relevant time period.
  • A letter of support from each relevant supervisor.

If you have any concerns or questions please call us on 04 471 4580 or email us.

Posted 06/11/14


Significant changes made to the Care of Children Act (updated 24/08/14)

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 has been prepared to inform other key officials (including the Minister of Justice) of our concerns and to request a change to the legislation. A copy of the paper can be downloaded here. 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.

Posted 27/06/14, updated 08/08/14, 11/08/14, 24/08/14

Summary of latest PPAF and PWG meetings

A summary of the most recent meeting (18/11/14) of the Psychology Profession Advisory Forum (PPAF) can be downloaded here. For those unfamiliar with PPAF, the relevant Terms of Reference can also be downloaded here.

A summary of the most recent Psychology Workforce Group (PWG) meeting (18/11/14) can be downloaded here. The Terms of Reference for PWG can be downloaded here.  

Last updated on 28/01/15.


The International Project on Competence in Psychology (update)

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 met on 12 July 2014 to consider feedback from the broader Reference Group and from attendees at the IPCP sessions at the ICAP Conference (Paris, 11 July) on a draft progress report (with Reference Group comments showing), a collation of all reviewer's comments, and a version of the report showing Moana Waitoki's comments (many of which were specific to cultural issues). (Just click on the version to download and view.)

The Working Group also met on 22 & 23 September (Oslo) to progress the next iteration of the document, now referred to as the draft "International Declaration on Competences in Professional Psychology". A draft progress report is being prepared, and will soon be circulated to members of the global Reference Group. A copy of that report (including the draft competences) will also be posted here as soon as it is available.

The Working Group next meets in Auckland in February, 2014, with a goal of finalising a draft document for presentation to the IAAP and IUPsyS.

Questions about this project can be forwarded to Steve Osborne.

Last updated on 01/10/14.

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