Why should only Clinical Psychs get Specialist Registration?

A RAPSter’s comment this week prompted us to revisit the leak from the Clinical College that RAPS received in late February. The leak was in an email sent by the Chair, Ros Knight, updating members on the Specialist Registration for clinical psychologists, amongst other things.

Ros states: “This issue is with the PsyBA currently. Members are welcome to send further documentation in support of specialist title to the PsyBA direct, or via the committee if they wish.”

The Clinical College has been chasing after the specialist item number for several years and now actually they seem confident they will get it. This would provide them with a secure place in the Medicare system, on a separate register to the rest of us, similar to the GPs and medical specialists. It would ensure them a place in Medicare forever, while the rest of us may be kicked out of Better Access.

RAPS asks: Why cant the rest if us get specialist item numbers like the GPs? Why cant we be like the psychiatrists who have the same item numbers?

Is the APS board supporting the Clinical College to do this? Or are they standing by while the Australian Clinical Psychologists Association (ACPA) does the work for them? What is the relationship between the APS Clincial College and ACPA?

Is the APS supporting the generalists and other colleges to apply for specialist registration? 

Is the APS Board aware of what’s happening? Or is it just a rubber stamp for the Clinical College?

Although the AHPRA website  says the ‘case for action’ has yet to be made for by  the psychology profession for specialist recognition, Ros’ comment suggests differently.

Currently, there is no specialist registration for psychology in Australia. Instead all psychologists are registered on a single register and advanced qualifications and supervised practice are reflected on the register of practitioners through area of practice endorsement.

…In considering the guidance from Ministerial Council, the Psychology Board of Australia has formed the view that the ‘case for action’ has yet to be made for submitting the psychology profession and the public to the increased regulatory burden associated with specialist recognition under the National Law.

The guidance makes it clear that approval for specialist registration is a ‘regulatory instrument’ within the meaning of the Council of Australian Governments Best Practice Regulation. It requires a robust regulatory assessment process be carried out prior to Ministerial Council decision with oversight by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

It is important to note that within this process the burden of proof is on the Board through consultation with the public and profession to establish that (1) current risks in the profession are not being managed by the current arrangements, and that (2) specialist registration is the appropriate remedy (rather than some other mechanism or process) to control those risks.

They have already tried to do this by trying to restrict it to people in Aps colleges and it took the government to deem that we all have the same basic qualifications. Is the self esteem of registered psychologists so low? Think about it!!

Leave a Reply