APS leaders: there’s just nowhere to hide

The APS has come out strongly in this month’s InPsych magazine. Interestingly there are two large articles on proper board behavior: Mr Cichello’s article, “The APS Board of Directors 101” and “Board behaviour: What should beneficiaries expect? by Professor Kathryn von Treuer FAPS MCHP MCOP FAHRI MAICD, Executive Director, The Cairnmillar Institute and Rosie McMahon MAPS MCOP MAICD, Director, People Tactics

They’ve brought in some big guns to remind us about how the APS Board should be operating, but did Mr Cichello or any of the others read what they wrote? 

Mr Cichello’s first paragraph states: “Many members will be aware that, in line with the legal requirements and duties applicable to directors of Australian companies, all directors of the APS Board of Directors, whether they be elected or appointed, must act in the interests of the Society as a whole and not as a representative of any particular APS member group”.

Surely history shows that the Board has not acted in the interests of the Society as a whole and has demonstrably only represented the interests of the Clinical College.  I don’t wish to rehash the same old arguments here except to draw your attention to the 2006 APS submission to government promoting clinical psychologists as the only psychologists suitable to provide services under Medicare.

Paraphrasing Prof. Littlefield’s claim, “OMG! The two-tier system was all Tony Abbott’s fault. I had nothing to do with it!” has very quickly reached it’s use by date.

RAPS has exposed the real APS submission in 2006 obtained through Freedom of Information (FOI). Readers can edify themselves with Prof. Littlefield’s statements in InPsych February 2017 and APS Matters 5 May 2017 and by referring to the RAPS website.

Mr Cichello’s statement is barely credible and hardly represents the interests of the Society and all it’s members. It is certainly not in the interests of the Australian taxpayer and consumers of psychological services. CentreLink and Department of Veterans Affairs will now only accept reports prepared by clinical psychologists.  There is no evidence to suggest clinical psychologists get better outcomes or, for that matter, write better reports.

Again, the APS is favouring the minority clinical members over all other psychologists which appears to be in breach of both the APS constitution and Corporations act. Thousands of Australians, including war veterans, have been delayed or actually denied benefits through lack of access to minority clinical psychologists.

How did this come about?  Let me guess. Prof. Littlefield and Mr Cichello had nothing to do with it. Federal ministers just spontaneously decided to rule that only clinical psychologists are able to write these reports. And just like how Tony Abbott spontaneously created the two-tier  system in 2006.

So Mr Cichello and Prof Littlefield, do you want to fess up? Or do you want to tough it out until the FOI documents come to light?

In “Board behaviour: What should beneficiaries expect?” I quote the final paragraph: “The Board’s Chairperson has a critical role ensuring members understand their role, and that they apply the constitution to their work ethically and responsibly. Should Board members be negligent in that role, the constitution should include the means by which they can be removed. No organisation should tolerate an ineffectual Board”.

Members are definitely following that advice. They are enthusiastically supporting an active spill motion to remove the current APS Board for exactly this purpose. 

Sign the Spill Motion and vote NO to the governance review.

Download Spill Document  – send to RAPS only at apsreform@gmail.com

Download Proxy Form – send to APS at gm2017@psychology.org.au and send a copy to us at apsreform@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “APS leaders: there’s just nowhere to hide

  1. Can we officially request their resignation?

    Is the media going to be interested in this soon?

  2. It is very odd. If the board of the APS is so certain it is representative of the entire membership, why are they so scared of RAPS?

    Methinks I detect the aroma of rattus norvegicus.

    PS. If you are a ‘generalist’ psychologist, do consider raising your hand for yourself, your association and your profession. Enough with the Clinical elitism already.

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