One Tier, Many Colleges

All psychologists should be able to use evidence based therapies – not just Focused Psychological Strategies. Reform APS has been asked to explain in more detail its key policies to clarify any misunderstanding that supporters may have. However, this is the beginning of the discussion and we welcome your comments.

The One Tier system

Many people speak of a one tier system but there are actually three interpretations of this. RAPS supports the first interpretation :

  • All psychologists on a single tier at a new rebate that the government will decide
  • All psychologists on a single tier at the existing lower rebate
  • All psychologists on a single tier at the existing higher rebate

We believe the single tier/new rebate policy is the most effective in protecting our profession and preserving our Society!

Reform APS would support a single tier for all Colleges (endorsements), as long as a General Practising Psychologists College is established – and general psychologists get endorsed. It’s a one-in-all-in policy!

A single tier for all Colleges will ensure their survival and the diversity of clinical approaches. And all psychologists should be able to use evidence-based therapies – not just clinical psychologists.

The higher rebate for the Clinical College is attracting students for the wrong reasons (i.e. money) and alternative psychological training is being seriously threatened and recklessly abandoned by universities.

We do not support a single College of Clinical Psychologists, in which the rich tradition of diverse psychological approaches are discarded or subsumed under the biomedical model.

The College for General Practising Psychologists. 

  • A General Psychologist College would reflect the broad focus of its members, while other colleges take a more specific narrow view.
  • All general psychologists registered who have 10 years experience (incl. CPD) to be grandfathered into the Gen Psy College.
  • APS to advocate to AHPRA for endorsement for all Gen Psy College members

Bridging pathways to Colleges

  • Bridging pathways between all Colleges should be available in a situation where no one College gets a higher rebate.

Please send us your feedback on any of the above at: 


34 thoughts on “One Tier, Many Colleges

    1. How can you advertise yourself as fairness for all psychologists when you intend to make it unfair for 7000 clinical endorsed psychologist by reducing their wages that is not fairness for all psychologists? That is simply famous for generalists how about truth in advertising raps

      1. Cate – How is it fair to millions of taxpayers and clients expecting them to pay 47% more for identical services and treatment outcomes? How about providing some data you are providing better service and outcomes, because there isn’t any to date.

          1. Cate: Seriously, who do you think pays for Bulk Billing? I’m sure all taxpayer’s would like to know why they are paying 47% more via Medicare Bulk Billing for basically identical services via their taxes. I only bulk bill too, because the overwhelming majority of the people I see, that are most in need in the outer suburbs, can’t pay a gap.

      2. I think The RAPS position is simply parity and leaving it to the Government to decide the rate. Personally I believe all psychologists should get a higher rate than the top tier. Think of the money the Gov would save by properly resourcing psychology. The demand for expensive long term medication would drop and most of the revenue would recirculate in Australia rather than going offshore to big pharma. Psychologist should unite for higher rates and better resourcing for psychosocial services.

  1. “I’m special, so special. I gotta have some of your attention. Give it to me.” Sang what Australian Band? And the prize for the correct answer is….. to be recognized as Special (just like everybody else).

    1. Correction. British/American band. Not Australian. I am all Special. The name of the band is “The Pretenders” with lead singer Chrissy Hynde.

  2. Hi RAPS,

    Thank you for all the time and effort being spent on carving the way forward for all of us – it’s no easy feat!

    At face value, it’s an interesting proposal but as alluded to by others, some further clarification would be appreciated.

    For eg. How will the 10 years experience be measured? In any capacity, or strictly applied psych contexts?

    Also, I’m not sure whether you can answer this yet; but is the long term view that Gen Psycs will also need to complete the additional 2 years Registrar program to attain endorsement?

    I feel if we are to unify and equalise the playing field, this would be a necessity, otherwise we risk reinforcing the view that we want all the benefits without all the work.

  3. Thank you Harold. I totally agree. So much hoop jumping. If we complete the graduate degree and do a 2 extra years of either a masters, a post grad dip, or 2 years traineeship, then surely we have jumped through enough hoops. It should make no difference in how we did that extra 2 years. The PBA class us all as general psychologists, so surely that should be enough. We are only inviting further divisiveness by making distinctions between endorsements or not. Why should we have to wait 10 years to be in a generalist college when we can all be part of the DGPP anyway? RAPS, please consider what you are saying. We want unity not division.

  4. Hi Harold

    It is possible that there is some “privileged” information here that cannot be revealed at the moment. I can think of several possible scenarios, we do live in a political system!

    1. Why do we need to be in any College. I don’t want to be in a Generalist College but undertake a significant amount of PD and ongoing training. I should still be eligible for the one-tier Medicare Rebates if this was to happen. We need to make this more inclusive and keep the APS out of it. We can belong to the APS but shouldn’t NEED to to get paid!! Private Practice for 24 years.

  5. By bridging program are we talking about a course equivalent to a grad dip level run by a uni or provider or a course where content is delivered and supervised by someone in that particular field? Or another model?

    1. Great question Harold and one that I would expect as a response to the above. Let me say at the outset that under the RAPS proposal above I would be Grandfathered into the Gen Psych College, so I am not pushing a self interested specific agenda here.

      What is this?

      I have tried in previous posts here to reveal my assumptions about learning, about learning design, about the outcomes you are going for from that learning design and the need for congruence between these things. I do so to reveal deeply and hold those things as a vulnerability between myself and others … a vulnerability that can be explored because it’s made known. When I do so it seems that those who agree with me say thank you … and I thank you for your thank you’s : ). However others who are pushing vague notions of 6+2 and Masters and the 4+2 is not standardised etc etc say nothing. In the somewhat vague notions the deep assumptions are not revealed and therefore cannot be challenged … this is a way for us to cancel each other out … and now, it appears as though RAPS may have done the same thing? If RAPS truly believes what they are saying about the 4+2 then how can a suggested policy such as that in the post above be generated. It seems to be a contradiction, so let’s run the numbers here.

      Removing the pre 2006 condition from the policy statement it is stating;

      4+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2 = 6+2 or …?

      What is this?

      If you really believe in the 4+2 why aren’t you opting for parity;

      Prerequistes for entrance to all colleges = 8 years i.e. either 6+2, or 4+2+2.

      Come on RAPS, don’t sell your supporters down the river. Clear this up, answer Harold’s question.

      Did you merely forget about post 2006? Or is there something else going on here?

      Kind Regards


      1. As a caring profession, particularly, I would especially like to think that we should all stick together and live by those principles. The last thing we want is more divisiveness in R.A.P.S, as there is more than enough of that elsewhere. Our common bond is we are ALL registered psychologists. I find the 2006 limitation on College Membership extremely concerning and offensive. Let’s all focus on that for a moment and reflect. There is definite unity if we agree that all Registered Psychologists are just that, registered to practise. That means no artificially created boundaries, restrictions on practise, constantly trying to change the goal posts or monopolies on dubious titles such as “Clinical” Psychologists. How about we just call ourselves Psychologists. Then we can move forward. Unity is strength. At present, all we seem to have is disunity, that ultimately leads to divide and conquer.

    2. I note that the all psychologists registered before 2006 statement has been deleted from the R.A.P.S. Reform College Entry Requirement suggestion, but where does that leave psychologists with less than 10 years experience? If they have 5 years experience now, for example, does that mean they have to gain another 5 years experience and then they would have to apply to be admitted in 5 years time or would it be automatic admission? Would they even be guaranteed admission? Just wondering where did that magic 10 years experience figure come from? The devil is always in the detail and this must be spelled out beyond any doubt. This is real peoples’ lives and incomes we are dealing with here.

      1. Please forgive me, it appears I can’t do simple addition today .. I do have the dreaded lurgi and it’s especially vicious
        (. Anyway that post should obviously say 4+2+2+2+2+2+2. The above requirement of 20 years of practice before endorsement is likely to present quite a challenge!

        Kind Regards

        Peter – off to the couch.

          1. Thanks Greg : ).
            I woke at 2:30am covered in sweat, got out of bed and promptly fainted!

            When I have some more energy I think we also need to look at the name “General Practising Psychologists” as it’s imbedded deeply in our culture, still aligns Psychology with the medical model and, by inference, suggests that the others are “Specialists”. I have long advocated for a name something like “Multi-Skilled Psychologists”. That could have further implications though because we don’t want to infer that the others are “Narrowly Skilled”. Regardless “General” just doesn’t wash with me.

            1. RAPS: Please note that medical GP are actually recognised as specialists in Medicare. They made sure of that! They have a specialist Item number, which is the prize everyone wants.

              1. Perceptions are everything. How many members of our public are aware of that and would it make any difference to them if they were? They are often referred to “Specialists” where they expect to pay a lot more. We need to entirely eradicate the medical model from Psychology, it is confusing and, as I have written elsewhere on this blog, incongruent.

            2. Peter, what about “Major-Generalist Psychologists”? How about “Ultra-versatile Psychologists”? or “Mega-Multi-Faceted Psychologists”? We could be called “Renaissance Psychologists” but we would need a bit of a true enlightenment to occur first. “Could the last person to leave please turn off the ‘Enlightenment'” said TISM (a bit of Melbourne Culture for yas).
              I hope that all sits well with your flue delirium. Get well soon.

              I am quite happy with the title ‘Psychologist’ and I don’t require any further qualification of that, as it is the highest level of Specialisation possible. I challenge anyone to tell me they are a Specialist Psychologist, name your specialisation and state your true name. Go ahead, make my day.
              I am a Psychologist and that is as special as it gets.

              1. Thanks Greg, that gave me a laugh, the delirium is alive!
                I have to say that I have always enjoyed your passion on this blog. I suspect that you are one of the very few in the industry who can truly wear your heart on your sleeve and are able to survive while doing so. Sorry you had to experience that garbage … passion pulls you through.

              2. Renaissance Psychologists cracked me up! lol 🙂

                But in all seriousness, I’m with you on that one – Psychologist is the only title I need.

      1. Yes, thank you RAPS for opening up the discussion.

        It is a messy minefield that the APS board has created. Perhaps apart from one or two – and I’m still not sure of that – the notion of Areas of Practice Endorsement has little relationship with the realities of practice; I have never been in favour and still aren’t.

        Still what to do about it? People who have gained an endorsement are likely to be livid if it’s removed and rightly so. We may be stuck with it and therefore, as you suggest in your post, all others will need their own College with an endorsement.

        If we seek parity with what others are claiming then perhaps the new standard becomes 8 years for full registration.

        In which case the Generalist in the new era completes a 4+2+2. In which case their academic qualifications are termed “Master of General Psychology”. That could open the door for changing Areas Of Endorsement to the effect that:

        • All psychologists will hold a Masters
        • All psychologists are allowed to advertise themselves as holding their masters
        • That advertising is merely a statement and does not include a claim to Specialist Abilities or Elitism e.g. I hold a Masters in Counselling Psychology would be the sum total of the statement.
        • Realistic descriptions of Psychologists can be included on the APS site
        • The colleges can be dismantled
        • We would not be left having to consider messy bridging programs – which really are programs to bridge into what we already do
        • Psychology in Australia is once again a level playing field.

        This still leaves two issues.

        One is people who already have gained an area of practice endorsement may object. I doubt that there would be many objections from non-clinicals, afterall what have they gained from their endorsements?

        I am prepared to live with objections from the clinicals, realistically I think this is unavoidable. Nevertheless I would encourage them to seek a higher ground. If the two tier system is abolished it is unlikely that the government will do it in a rapid way that will harm businesses that have become reliant on it. So I would expect a graduated change to parity so those businesses can prepare themselves.

        The other is we are still left with the question of Grandfathering current “Generalists” into a Masters of General Psychology. Your current suggestion of 10 years practice may be somewhat harsh. Are there standards somewhere we can refer to?

        Not a perfect solution? Well it’s a mess to begin with. Sometimes you have to radically change a structure in order to change a process.

        Kind Regards


        1. That’s precisely the problem I’ve been trying to avoid – the division between 4+2’s and masters trained psychologists. For whatever reason, 4+2’s may or may not have the opportunity, or the ability to return to do a masters course. Can we not just have one term for all psychologists? Or are we intent on drawing in more division and casting 4+2’s aside?

          1. Please re-read my post, I’m not advocating that 4+2’s need to do a masters at university but instead that in future we could consider that the 4+2 be extended to 4+2+2 and offically recognised as a Masters and that existing 4+2’s be grandfathered into the masters status. This is a comprise to try and bridge the oft referred to gap by others between 6+2 and 4+2 so that we end up with overall parity and everyone has done a masters.

            1. Most Colleges grandfathered their members in when they established their colleges a majority of whom did not have a Masters degree but recognised prior learning. Today we understand that even today 40% of Clinical College members do not have a Masters degree.

        2. Peter – I might add I understand a recent, random sample conducted by the A.A.P, Inc found a large number of those within the sample, with endorsements (and in some cases multiple endorsements) were found to be invalid. So, that alone casts some doubt over existing endorsements in general, which in turn further opens up quite a Pandora’s Box, especially if you think about all the implications that flow on just from that alone.

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