Why do Psychologists have to be registered?
Only practitioners who are currently registered by the New Zealand Psychologists Board can lawfully use the title ’Psychologist’ or any other names, words, titles, initials, abbreviations, or descriptions stating or implying that they are a Psychologist.
Also, no one can claim to be practising psychology as a psychologist or say or do anything that would suggest that they practise psychology unless they are registered by the Psychologists Board and hold a current practising certificate.
These requirements are designed to protect the public by providing assurance over a psychologist’s competence and fitness to practise, and a system for addressing complaints and concerns about practitioners.
How is ‘practise’ defined
Practise means to perform services that fall within the description of the profession. The Board has described the psychology profession in terms of various scopes of practice, the broadest of which is ‘Psychologist’. The Psychologist scope is defined as ‘rendering or offering to render to individuals, groups, organisations or the public any psychological service involving the application of psychological knowledge, principles, methods and procedures of understanding, predicting ameliorating or influencing behaviour, affect or cognition’.
This means that if anyone who offers to see you as a psychologist, or offers you any psychology-related services as part of another service, such as a management consultant or a life coach, they must be registered, they must hold a practising certificate and they must only offer services within their approved scope of practice. This is true even if they offer these services for free.
If you are consulting a psychologist check that they are registered with the Psychologists Board
Before consulting a psychologist, check the Register of Psychologists to make sure that:
- they are registered with us: it is illegal for any person to use the title ‘Psychologist’ if they are not registered with the Board as a Psychologist
- they hold a current Practising Certificate
- their scope of practice matches your needs.
If you are concerned that someone may be falsely claiming to be a psychologist, you can check the Board’s online register to see if he or she has ever been registered by the Board and whether they hold a current practising certificate.
If someone appears to be practising as a psychologist and is not listed on our register or does not have a current practising certificate, please contact us or the Ministry of Health’s Enforcement Team.
Find a Psychologist
The Board is not able to recommend individual psychologists. You can search the web for a psychologist, consult the Yellow Pages, or use one of the following services:
We recommend that you check the Board’s online Register to ensure that any psychologist you are considering seeing is properly registered and holds a current practising certificate , and to see if any conditions have been included in their scope of practice.