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InPsych 2016 | Vol 38

April | Issue 2

Cover feature : Psychology education and training

The five steps to reform of training and education in psychology

The Psychology Board of Australia welcomes this ongoing discussion on the reform of training models. The Board would also like to acknowledge the Australian Psychological Society’s long history of advocacy and innovation in reform of training and practice. There are a complex set of five steps to achieve reform in training and education.

First, the profession needs to reach a consensus with regards the need for reform and the direction of future training and education models. Debate and discussion is welcome and needed to set the right direction. The Board was delighted to work with all major psychology associations, groups and senior individuals to host the National Psychology Training and Education Summit in December 2015. A summary of outcomes can be viewed in the 18 December Communiqué from the Board (http://www.psychologyboard.gov.au/News/Communiques.aspx). It is recognised that ongoing discussion, consultations, and engagement with all stakeholders is required to test and achieve sustainable and contemporary models.

Second, the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council's (APAC) accreditation standards must be adjusted to allow new models of training and education to be approved – a process currently occurring.

Third, the Heads of Departments and Schools of Psychology – the discipline leaders responsible for the delivery of psychology courses in the higher education sector – have a critical leadership role in reforming courses and programs of study to meet future needs.

Fourth, the Psychology Board of Australia, which regulates the practice of Psychology, has a role in changing registration standards to meet this consensus. Standards must align with training pathways and accreditation standards, and meet the needs of employers and the community to ensure practitioners with relevant skills are in good workforce supply to both metropolitan and regional communities.

Finally, the Board makes recommendations to Ministerial Council – all State, Territory and Commonwealth Ministers for Health – about proposed registration standards for approval by Government – a critical fifth step.

The Board is mindful of the need to ensure standards of practice in Australia are consistent with international standards of competence. Psychology training prepares candidates for safe and effective independent practice across the diverse areas of the community that call on the services of psychologists. All five steps to reform are necessary. The Board is keen to work with all organisations, groups, individuals, associations, councils and government in preparing to meet the future psychological needs of the Australian public.

References

Disclaimer: Published in InPsych on April 2016. The APS aims to ensure that information published in InPsych is current and accurate at the time of publication. Changes after publication may affect the accuracy of this information. Readers are responsible for ascertaining the currency and completeness of information they rely on, which is particularly important for government initiatives, legislation or best-practice principles which are open to amendment. The information provided in InPsych does not replace obtaining appropriate professional and/or legal advice.