National Clinical College moves to protect Two-Tier system again!

RAPS has been sent another email leak from the Clinical College showing more apparent abuse of APS campaigning rules and misuse of mailing lists by the Clinical College!  Now they are using students to further their agenda.

From: APS – CCLP – National <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 8:54:08 AM
To: <name withheld>
Subject: Calling all students to use your networks

A group of psychologists are intending to remove only those who are clinical psychologists from the APS Board of Directors. This is an attempt to form a new board for their own political agenda; their stated goal is to move the APS position to a “one tier Medicare”recommendation to government.

Several outcomes are possible, but one that needs to be considered is that the government may re-examine the role of psychologists in Better Access. Public statements devaluing post-graduate training undermine the public perception of psychologists, when psychologists have fought so hard for recognition of our skills.

There are now pathways between areas of practice endorsement as well as into areas of practice endorsement. This allows all psychologists access to the higher rebate regardless of their original training pathway.

So how can you help?

If you are receiving this email you are a student member and therefore unfortuntely not eligible to vote/provide a proxy (only associate members or full members are eligible).

So how can you help?

Call on your networks and get them to act.

You may know members who can vote.

What you are able to do with your network may be the difference.

More details for those able to vote are attached.

This is an important moment for the APS and the Clinical College

Thank you.

Tamara Cavenett

Chair APS College Of Clinical Psychologists (National)

Sent by APS – College of Clinical Psychologists – National

38 thoughts on “National Clinical College moves to protect Two-Tier system again!

  1. Thank you students Stephen and Jane. Refreshing young voices speaking to carry forward diversity and unity in our profession. I guess the clinicals call for students to support them isn’t going so well.

  2. Hi RAPS, am curious about the sentence that has been removed from the email above and am wondering why you wouldn’t want your group to see it?

    The unredacted version of the first paragraph of the Clinical College email sent to members actually reads:
    “A group of psychologists are intending to remove only those who are clinical psychologists from the APS Board of Directors. This same group was against a more diverse board at the EGM. This is another attempt to form a new board for their own political agenda; their stated goal is to move the APS position to a “one tier Medicare” recommendation to government.”

    The redacted statement about your position on the EGM is indisputably true given that your campaign against it is documented in these pages.

    You present yourselves as providing full information to members so its concerning when discrepancies arise in the information you provide. This sort of thing raises questions about what other information you may have distorted, at best inadvertently, or at worst, deliberately . Your members deserve full and accurate reporting every time and I hope that this discrepancy encourages some of your members to seek collateral information elsewhere to ensure they’re getting a full and accurate picture of the issues raised here.

  3. Well, it is not as if RAPS or their supporters has done anything to convince students (I.e future psychologists) that RAPS has any interest in representing them.

    1. Well RAPS has not created the division and disunity within Psychology via the PBA Endorsement fiasco and Medicare debacle have they!

      In my opinion ….The clinical pathway students and junior practitioners with clinical endorsement are by default the innocent party in this problem …doing what they need to do to survive within the current climate of clinical influence and perceived control (so its ok for Board Members to be a Clinical majority for so many years but when we mere non clinicals seek balance to address perceived bias all non clinicals are the paranoid enemy????)…. the clinicals are taught that they are the specialists in the world of mental health (too bad they are not taught ethics and national law – in breach if you define yourself as specialist or believe you are and therefore promote your higher competency compared to your collegues) and by default all other areas of direct client ( or patient as the clinicals like to call it) psychological THERAPY! NO FOCUSSED PSYCHOLOGICAL STRATEGIES FOR THEM…, even though they are ALL THE SAME evidence based therapeutic frameworks that guide our practice!!

      I would do the same if I was an emerging psychologist…. job security guaranteed from the get go!


      It is evident that this false dichotomy of 2 tiers embedded only within Medicare with this unbelievable insult of focussed psychological strategies (coined for GP Medicare training) the public has been told is provided by generalists (2 slaps in the face here) has now spread across all areas of psychology that provide direct client services ie “clinical” services and increasingly students are entering into the Masters of Clinical as emerging clinicals…. because it is the ONLY way to go… DARWINIAN Theory OF NATURAL SELECTION – SURVIVAL INSTINCT!

      Cant find a direct client job in mental health field (now branching into other direct client work) that doesnt require either a clinical master or clinical endorsement as basic mandatory criteria….so who do you think they would be identifying with? Yep obviously the Clinicals!

    2. On the contrary J Dwyer, many students fully support RAPS. I should know I am one!

      It is clear, even to students, that the two-tiered system is inequitable and unjustifiable. It has to go; it is the root cause of all the current problems and is not only dividing the APS but the profession of psychology in Australia.

      Until there is parity in the Medicare rebate system and an appreciation of the diverse expertise of all psychologists and training pathways to registration there can be no unity.

      RAPS is simply stating the obvious and is unlikely to be placated until these legitimate concerns are addressed. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.

      1. I too am a student and support RAPS. I agree that that the two-tier Medicare rebate system is an unfortunate development that inappropriately favours clinical psychologists at significant expense to public funds, in the absence of evidence to justify this inequity and in the face of decades of contrary research that that clearly suggests that all psychologists treating mental health concerns offer equivalence in practice outcomes thus confirming the lack of justification for such disparity in remuneration between different psychology groups. I also agree that 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. As students, we lack the life experience to appreciate the value of experience over formal university training. As such, it is best to wholeheartedly support RAPS in all their efforts to make the field fair for psychologists.

        1. Hi Laura,

          firstly, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg supports everyone moving to the top tier. If you’re worried about the use of public funds for the provision of psychological treatment, you shouldn’t vote for him because the thing you’re concerned about will get worse not better if he is elected.

          Secondly, if you’re a student, you must understand the value of a higher education. RAPS has been clear that their position is that higher education does not value add to a person’s knowledge or skill in the practice of psychological counselling. How does that sit with you?

          Finally, the government pays a higher qualification allowance to psychologists in recognition that higher qualifications deserve a commensurate increase in remuneration. With all the hard work and sacrifice you’re putting in as a student to get a higher degree, do you think it fair that someone who’s decided not to get a higher degree should be paid the same as you?

          1. Hi Interested Psychologist,

            If your assertion that the government pays a ‘higher qualifications allowance’ were true; then all higher degree graduates would be sitting in the higher tier; not just those whose qualifications are Clinical…

            And whilst I know there are plans to include other colleges in the higher tier; the fact that it’s 10 years down the track makes that argument a little hollow, don’t you think?

          2. RAPS doesnt say higher degrees dont add value. RAPS says many paths add value and their travellors achieve equivalent outcomes.

          3. I dispute that RAPS and its supporters don’t value higher education! What an ABSURD red herring! I hold a Masters degree (as well as having graduated from five other courses from four universities. The issue is NOT that RAPS denigrates education or higher education. It’s that we’ve been conned by a sectional interest group (the APS clinical clique) whose approach has led to a dramatic reduction of diversity in Australian post-graduate education nation-wide! Now, tell us again who is destroying Australian post-graduate education and the psychological workforce serving the various specialisations in our nation! I mean … REALLY!

          4. Hi Interested Clinical,

            RAPS advocates that ALL pathways on offer have merit and value add to the journey of the psychologist in training. My understanding is that you are the one suggesting that some pathways like the 4+2 “do not value add to a person’s knowledge or skill”.

            Kind Regards

        2. As a Clinical Masters student, I join with my fellow students in supporting RAPS. All my two years of study as a Clinical Masters student has taught me is that it is not enough to prepare me for the demands of practicing as a psychologist. I am embarrassed and ashamed that I will be getting a higher rebate from Medicare when I graduate then more experienced and capable psychologists because of an arbitrary label. I am angry at my Clinical lecturers who perpetuated the falsehood amongst my fellow students the ‘generalist’ and how their training and capacity to practice is limited, and did not teach us the evidence that Government commissioned research on the two-tier system shows very clearly that as a group of professional’s psychologists provide great outcomes regardless of artificial labels. I hope all my fellow students will help RAPS fight for a future where all psychologists, including we young people, are united. Please, fellow students, use your social networks and remind everyone you know to vote to RAPS representatives in the vacant Director positions and to support the motion for a spill at the AGM.

      2. Hi James Caulfield,

        are you an undergraduate or a post graduate student? If a PG, do you think that people without a higher degree should be paid the same as people who do? That is the position you’re advocating when you advocate for a single tier system.

        If so, that position is entirely inconsistent with the way people in the real professional world are paid.

        1. Hi Interested Clinical, yes I am a PG and a strong advocate for a one-tier system. In short, I believe that all registered psychologists irrespective of the training pathway or specialisation undertaken should receive the same rebate. In effect, all roads lead to Rome.

          This is not to devalue postgraduate training, but to appreciate the rigor of the 4+2 model where the emphasis is on experiential learning. In my estimation, the two are principally equivalent in that they both ultimately lead to registration.

          To your second point; I don’t know that it is entirely inconsistent with the way people in the ‘real professional world’ are paid. Having worked in the real professional world for many years, I can tell you that this is not the case. There are many people overqualified for the jobs they undertake, and others with minimal formal education that work effectively in very senior positions. Postgraduate training does not automatically lead to a higher salary, and often experience is more important to employers that a prodigious amount of formal education.

          The profession needs to move past the privileging of the academic pathway to registration. We’re all psychologists, and the diversity of our experience and training should be appreciated and not denigrated.

          1. Well said James!

            In fact, some of the biggest companies are moving away from placing great emphasis on postgraduate qualifications or academic achievement, and prioritising individual qualities.

            Here’s a quote:

            “Maggie Stilwell, managing partner for talent at Ernst and Young, which did away with academic and education details in its application process, said the new recruiting strategy would “open up opportunities for talented individuals regardless of their background and provide greater access to the profession”.

            A couple of articles about it:



            1. Hi Interested Psychologist,

              I chose the postgrad pathway for a variety of reasons, with consideration of my personal circumstances, interests, time, cost, the current socio-political environment and employment outcomes. But many have chosen a different path, and what’s wrong with that? I do not subscribe to a one-size fits all approach to psychological education and training.

              1. That’s interesting James, no other profession has so many pathways with such variable outcomes. You want to become a doctor you do a medical degree, a social worker does a SW degree, an occupational therapist does an OT degree, a lawyer does a law degree. A psychologist…..? Lets count the ways – a bachelor of arts/science/psychology/ social science/even economics….. then 4+2, 5+1,maaters, doctorate, clinical PhD. Unfortunately you dont seem to understand the history and challenges of the 4+2, its variable outcomes, and the modern health/mental health landscape psychologists now find themselves in.

                1. Hi Interested Psychologist,

                  You are perhaps oversimplifying things (to be generous). There are many different types of doctors, just as there are many different types of lawyers. Their education and training does differ somewhat. I concede that psychologists may have more diverse pathways to registration, but what you see as a limitation I see as a strength. As long as all pathways are accredited and regulated, I don’t see what the problem is.

                  It is clear from your comments that you subscribe to a very narrow idea of what constitutes genuine psychology education and training. But it is this kind of divisive view that has fractured the profession. All registered psychologists are your colleagues, regardless of their path to registration, and your failure to respect them and recognise their professional expertise is quite insulting.

                  As to the ‘variable outcomes’ you speak of, I believe you’ve been misinformed. There is no credible evidence to suggest there are variable outcomes between differently trained psychologists working in a mental health context. It is a myth perpetuated to justify the two-tiered system and to ensure the hegemony of clinical psychologists. If you can provide any evidence to suggest otherwise, I invite you to do so.

                  1. Keep blogging James, you are spot on! Embracing diversity is what attracted me to the profession in the first place. I am still perplexed by the dichotomous stance on training pathways. Just recently, a psych colleague of mine said she couldn’t remember a time where psychologists in Australia were not in conflict by the division! I felt genuinely sad. There was a time when everyone was united, BM! In my view (having undertaken the two pathways as well as achieving a PhD, and supervising for 4+2 and clinical and counselling registrar programs) the diversity of training has and will continue to help us evolve as a profession that understands and embraces individual differences. It is so relieving to read that students and early career psychologists know of our history, and are able to look at the bigger and brighter picture. I can assure you that many of my colleagues who have been endorsed as clinical and/or counselling psychologists, agree with you! Thank-you to RAPS for cultivating a space of spirited discourse, it has lead to many surprising conversations in my neck of the woods – I was fearful to speak out to my clinical colleagues but shouldn’t have been. Unfortunately, we do need to go beyond talking, and start acting. I hope everyone can consider donating what they can, and vote towards a unified future. The horror of the last decade, must end.

                  2. Hi James,

                    As someone who holds many points of disagreement with you, I would like to take a moment to thank you. Your calm and considered responses to queries are very refreshing in a forum that is so often volatile and divisive. I hope more can see the benefit of such a tone in future discussions.

                    1. And furthermore, it is also refreshing to read a graceful and considerate note. Of course we can disagree; it is deeply saddening that disagreements appear to lead people into pettiness. Thank you for your magnanimity.

    3. J Dwyer, please do not presume to speak for all psychology students. As a Masters of Clinical Psychology student, I can say that the vast majority of my class support RAPS. We have the integrity to acknowledge that being immediately paid a higher rebate then much more experienced and better trained generalists is inequitable and unjustifiable. The fact that upon graduation, we will treated as superior psychologists to the non-endorsed psychologists who supervised and guided us during placements is a ludicrous situation which no one in good conscience can support. We also have the humility to accept that the majority of students chosen for a place in a Postgraduate Clinical Program are selected not for their experience, empathy or even academic ability but for other reasons which have nothing to do with the ability to be effective psychologists.

      This two tier system must be removed as it is the root source of the current bullying of non-endorsed psychologists by the Clinical College and the ongoing divide in our profession. Until there is true equality in the Medicare system that takes into consideration that expertise in the field of psychology can take many diverse forms and does not require to be evidenced by a redundant university academic program or bridging program, there can be no unity. RAPS is simply making public a truth that has been suppressed by the APS and the Clinical College for too long.

      I will be using all of my social networks including Facebook and Email to inform everyone I know of the importance of supporting the spill of the clinical members of the APS Board, as well as voting in the following candidates:

      PRESIDENT ELECT: Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
      DGPP: Joe Gagliano
      DPRET: Dr Kevin Quin

      I hope all my fellow students have the moral integrity to do the same.

        1. Thanks, Jane! Integrity there! Equity in remuneration for all doing the same job is an Australian value and aspiration. I’ve been asked to supervise new young graduate clinical psychologists on several occasions. They tell me my experience (40 years as a psychologist) gave them valuable insights. In fact, some stated the supervision they had from me was superior to that offered by other clinical psychology colleagues. Of course the APS clinical clique would doubtless eschew this!

      1. Jane, if selection into a masters program isnt based on the factors uou losted then what on earth is it based on? Would be interested to hear what you think gets you into a masters program, if not academic potential, experience, empathic capacity….?

      2. “Jane Smith”…. seriously? You couldn’t come up eith a better fake profile name?
        Yes absolutely – respect for all psychologists, however do we want to retain so many pathways to becoming a psychologist? It is a mess and confusing. No one on the ‘other side’ here seems to acknowledge that.

        1. Hi Interested Psychologist,

          You accuse me of using a fake profile name but your opinion holds no weight given you have been asked to provide your real name several times.

          I have the self-awareness to admit that the reason why I and my fellow PG students were gifted a place in a Clinical Masters had nothing to do with our potential to be good psychologists, as if academics have any ability to judge what clients want in the real world. Clearly, we were chosen because it is easy to inculcate young naive students into the same disparaging narrative placing clinical psychologists above all others, even though logic dictates that established psychologists with often decades of experience would make better candidates. These self-anointed academic brahmins also obviously see the ability to surround themselves with young adoring minions as one of the perks of their lofty ivory tower positions. As for your claim that pathways are somehow flawed because they embrace diversity, I point you to Jame’s clear explanation above showing the only evidence in existence clearly reveals that there is no difference in quality of psychologists according to training pathway. As per the null hypothesis, the onus is on you and the clinical cabal to provide evidence to the contrary. In the meantime, I and my fellow students will do our best to get the word out about RAPS, and seize this chance to achieve equity and justice for all psychologists.

      1. Im lost in a reflective moment…..History repeats… the clinical chair many years ago lobbied very hard in mobilizing his cohort to support the 2 tier and flood the senate inquiries with their submissions …. they learn from the best…..

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