Best Practice Documents and Guidelines

The Code of Ethics for Psychologists Working in Aotearoa New Zealand

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.


The Board’s Best Practice Guidelines

The Board is committed to developing guidelines to support psychologists in providing competent and ethical practice. These guidelines will be consistent with the principles of the Code of Ethics and will enlarge on an aspect of practice in light of current specialised knowledge and Board policy.

Psychologists are expected to familiarise themselves with guidelines adopted by the Board, and to review their practice accordingly. Although not prescriptive, guidelines may be referenced in evaluating a practitioner’s conduct or competence in the event of an investigation or review.


Process for developing guidelines 

Proposed guidelines will be developed in stages. The Board’s secretariat will:

  • Announce the intention to develop a specific guideline.
  • Collate relevant background material.
  • Invite initial comment and offers of assistance.*
  • Coordinate review by a working/reference group*.
  • Draft and redraft the guideline with input from the working group.
  • Present the draft guideline to the Board for consideration.
  • Produce and publish a final draft (“proposed guideline”) for consultation.
  • Incorporate feedback and present the final version to the Board for endorsement.
  • Publish the guideline.
  • Review and update the guideline every three years.

*Membership on a working/reference group will involve review of initial documents (including an early draft) with a view to make written comments and to participate in a teleconference discussion.

A list of the Board’s current guidelines can be found in the Forms and Guides section.


Guidelines currently under development/review during 2020/2021:

The following guidelines are currently under review:

  • Cultural Competencies
  • The Code of Ethics (Te Reo & English)
  • The Practice of Telepsychology

The Board welcomes your suggestions for other guidelines that you think should be developed to support the profession.