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Notes, Record Keeping, and Subpoenas

Event number: 19154
4 CPD hours
Study Group Network
Presenter(s): Dr Phil Watts MAPS MCCLP MCFP

This workshop is designed to highlight the importance of some of the ethical and practical obligations associated with good psychological practice for clinicians. Beginning with fiduciary duty and legal responsibility, this workshop overviews why notes are important protection against legal and professional threats. The threats to be managed include possible subpoena to court, sued for negligence, or audit by AHPRA. However, the creation of notes can have various issues such as storage, destruction, and electronic conversion of the notes. Notes also include more formal materials such as letters and reports. These documents can create other professional issues.

To know whether you are going to benefit from this workshop, ask yourself the following questions:

What is your fiduciary responsibility?
Can you be sued for giving advice at a party?
Do you know your responsibilities for creating and maintaining records?
How about the National Privacy Principles and when notes can be released?
How long do records have to be kept for children? How much detail is necessary in the notes you write?
If you are subpoenaed can you send a copy of your notes or do you have to send the original to Court? 

These and many more interesting points which are essential knowledge points for all psychologists are addressed in this half day workshop.

Dr Phil Watts has extensive experience in working in the areas of clinical and forensic psychology but also has a particular interest in applied ethical practice.

This workshop will be practical, useful, and understandable, despite the complex legal issues being discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding fiduciary duty, negligence, and legal responsibility
  • Learn what type of notes to take
  • Review professional responsibility for storage of notes and records
  • Consider the ethical protection and release of notes
  • Know how to deal with subpoenas and other investigations  

About the presenter(s)

Dr Phil Watts is a clinical and forensic psychologist with 25 years’ experience. He is an entertaining presenter, well known to many within the profession. He is from WA but is also an adjunct associate professor at the University of Canberra. Dr Phil has recently published a self-treatment guide for men on the topic of internet pornography “IP:DIY Internet Pornography: Do it yourself treatment guide for men”. He has varied interests and has books on shared care, and giving evidence in court.


Please make sure you read the group description and details carefully before registering for a study group. CANCELLATION POLICY: As we keep study group fees to a minimum and presenters are paid according to the numbers who attend, we prefer not to provide refunds other than for 'exceptional, unforeseeable circumstances'. We are happy for you to nominate an alternative attendee or you may transfer to another study group, but only within 2 months as this adds extra admin costs. Cancellations up to 14 days prior to the study group you are registered for will receive a full refund. Cancellations within 1-13 days of the study group will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations within 24 hours of a study group will not be refunded. All cancellations must be given in writing.

Online registration


Psychology Melbourne
2/50 Queen Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Start date: 17/4/2018
End date: 17/4/2018
Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm


APS member: $110
APS student member: $110
Non APS member: $220


APS - Melbourne Branch
The Study Group Network (SGN) is an initiative of the APS Melbourne Branch designed to improve psychologists’ clinical and research skills and to keep them current with new developments.
Contact Karen Holst
03 8662 3300