Your Guide to the Recent PsyBA Change: Additional Pathways to Endorsement

Jan 30 / Dr Rebecca Frost
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What has changed?

Historically, the only pathway to endorsement has been an approved postgraduate qualification (generally a Masters, DPsych or Combined Masters / PhD program in an area of endorsement) or recognition of overseas qualifications.
This news now means that area of practice endorsements identifies psychologists who have completed an approved postgraduate qualification (or a postgraduate qualification that is substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an approved qualification), and supervised training in an area of practice.

To be eligible for endorsement, you must:

  • hold general registration as a psychologist in Australia, and
  • have an approved qualification accredited at sixth year or higher in one of the nine approved areas of practice, or hold a qualification assessed by the Board as substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies

Why did this happen?

The Board’s updated approach to assessing applications for endorsements follows a 2022 tribunal decision involving Australian qualifications. The Board had refused an application for clinical endorsement on the basis that the applicant did not hold an approved qualification.
The tribunal accepted expert evidence following an analysis that the standard, extent and learning objectives of the courses completed consecutively by the practitioner to gain two qualifications were substantially equivalent to those of the Board-approved qualification. As a result, the tribunal directed the Board to endorse the applicant’s general registration for the area of practice endorsement. Read more about the tribunal here.

What qualifications would be eligible for this pathway?

Honestly, this is untested so far and it will be very interesting to watch the first applications and see which are successful. In the case described above, the successful applicant held an approved qualification for the area of practice endorsement in counselling psychology (professional doctorate) and held a further postgraduate qualification (graduate certificate) from the same university.

ie. This person was already eligible for endorsement as a counselling psychologist (an area of endorsement that has competencies overlapping strongly with clinical psychology) and an extra relevant qualification.

What is clear is that the Board will not accept informal or incomplete training (eg., continuing development activities, professional certificates, or incomplete qualifications) or work experience as meeting the professional competencies for areas of practice endorsement. 

So this means that anyone who gained registration through the now retired 4+2 pathway are still not going to be eligible for endorsement without completing a bridging program regardless of their experience or supervision in a setting relevant to an area of endorsement. The new MPP (5+1) pathway remains untested.

How to apply

Psychologists who believe they meet the requirements can apply using the new application form AEAE-76. The AEAE-76 has an application fee of $640 to reflect the time and effort that will be required to assess every application for endorsement as each person’s professional journey will have been different.

Applications will be assessed against the professional competencies for areas of practice endorsement outlined in the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) Accreditation Standard.

In preparation for applying you will need to gather the following information;
academic transcript indicating that you met all of the requirements of your postgraduate qualification and that you graduated from the degree
course handbooks from the educational institution where you undertook your qualification
course handbooks must set out in detail the course work, placements and research undertaken in the degree.

What form should I now use to apply?

AEAE-76 -Application for an area of practice endorsement - equivalence pathway - PDF (490 KB) – effective from 29 January 2024

If you believe that you have already completed a period of supervised practice after gaining the qualification that is comparable to a Board-approved registrar program then you can apply for full endorsement as part of this application.

In order to prove equivalence you will need to provide the following:

  • the total hours of supervised psychological practice
  • the number of direct client contact hours 
  • the amount of individual supervision received 
  • the total amount of supervision received 
  • the amount of relevant professional development undertaken 
  • position descriptions setting out specific details of psychological practice undertaken, and 
  • details of supervisor(s). 

NB the inclusion of the word after is important as it means that anyone undertaking a bridging program or similar will still be required to do a registrar program and supervision and CPD undertaken prior are not going to be recognised at this point.

If you believe that you meet the qualification requirements but have not yet completed a registrar program, apply to commence a registrar program using form AEAP-76 and this now includes the option to be assessed as having substantially equivalent qualifications within this form.

Then, speak to us at PREP as we can ensure that you meet all of your competencies and registrar program requirements for a high quality and hassle free road to endorsement.

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Useful links

Good luck and let us know if you are applying as we would love to keep up to date with your successes at gaining endorsement!

Compiled by Dr Rebecca Frost and Mikayla Yates - 30th January 2024

NOTE: This is a living document and will be updated as more information becomes available. If you receive a copy of this please check back for a new version

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