Core Competencies and Code of Ethics
Core Competencies for Psychologists
The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act requires that the Board set standards of ethical conduct and clinical and cultural competence. The Board’s Core Competencies for the Practice of Psychology in New Zealand have been developed to assist the Board to protect the public.
Parts 1, 3 and 4 of the Core Competencies document the minimum requirements for competent practice at an entry level. All psychologists practising in the “Psychologist” scope must be able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills listed under the applicable scope. Each of these competencies is underpinned by the Board’s Cultural Competencies which should be read in conjunction with the other parts.
All psychologists must be able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills listed under the ‘Psychologist’ scope.
A psychologist who practises in a vocational scope must also be able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills listed under that vocational scope.
These competencies may be used in the assessment of initial qualifications for registration and scopes of practice, as standards in competency reviews and competence programmes, and/or in the Board’s processes for accrediting tertiary educational institutions. They should also serve as a guide to members of the profession.
The Core Competencies stand alongside the Code of Ethics for Psychologists Working in Aotearoa/New Zealand  and any best practice guidelines adopted or endorsed by the Board.
Code of Ethics
The main document guiding the practice of all psychologists in New Zealand is the Code of Ethics for Psychologists Working in Aotearoa New Zealand 2002 (the Code).
Although aspirational, it is also referenced by the Board, by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, and by the courts as a guide and as a helpful indicator of proper practice and ethical standards.