Professor Lyn Littlefield OAM FAPS

The August 2012 edition of InPsych presented the proposed new APS model of psychology education and training. It was devised by the APS Psychology Education and Training Review Group – comprised of senior academics and practitioners – to respond proactively to the significant current challenges and pressures on Australian psychology education and training. The presentation of the model in InPsych was part of an extensive consultation process that has been undertaken. The model has attracted a high level of enthusiasm, and very constructive feedback has been received. The APS model has now been significantly modified and improved through this consultation process. 

The finalised proposed APS model of education and training was presented to the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) in a submission to the pre-consultation phase of Review of Accreditation Standards for the Psychology Profession in Australia 2012. Following the pre-consultation phase of the review, APAC has now entered a consultation phase on the proposed new Draft, which were released in a consultation paper in late September 2012. It is very pleasing to observe that many of the structural elements of the APS model are contained in the revised Draft Accreditation Standards.

A diagram of the final proposed APS model of psychology education and training is presented below. The model provides significant opportunities for more flexible, higher education-based training pathways for the profession. It introduces both ‘generalist’ and ‘specialist’ Masters degrees alongside specialist Doctorates, and allows the options of direct entry from undergraduate degrees into these Masters degrees or the retention of Honours. It enables Australian psychology training overall to become significantly more comparable with the internationally transportable EuroPsy, facilitates the availability of postgraduate education to more students by cutting the costs to universities, and supports the profession to respond flexibly and in a timely manner to changes in workforce needs. Given that many of the structural elements of the model have been incorporated into the revised APAC Draft Accreditation Standards which are currently under consultation, the APS is hopeful that these forward-looking changes to the education and training of psychologists in Australia will be incorporated into the revised APAC Standards that receive approval from the PsyBA.

The full details of the APS model, including a discussion of the key elements and major benefits, can be found in the submission to APAC: www.psychology.org.au/submissions/science_and_education/

 

InPsych October 2012