About the Board

The Psychologists Board was established by the Psychologists Act 1981, and was subsequently appointed as an authority in respect of the practice of psychology under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003.

The Board’s main purpose is to protect the health and safety of members of the public through the registration of psychologists and the management of matters related to competence, conduct, and fitness to practise. The Board also reviews and promotes the competence of psychologists and sets standards for clinical and cultural competence and ethical conduct.  The Board’s functions under the Act are set out below.

The Board is a body corporate that can set up its own administrative arrangements, employ staff and manage its own finances. It normally has nine members, two of which are lay members. Its day to day operations are managed by a secretariat with nine employees. Read about the Board’s current membership and the secretariat staff.

The Board is accountable to the New Zealand public through the Minister of Health and must provide an Annual Report, including audited accounts, to the Minister every year.

The Board has no formal relationship with either the New Zealand Psychological Society or the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists, but we work closely with them on matters of mutual interest. The Society and College are collegial bodies whose primary mandate is to promote the interests of the profession, whereas the Board’s mandate is to protect the interests of the public.

The Board’s Functions (Section 118 of the HPCA Act) are:

(a) to prescribe the qualifications required for scopes of practice within the profession, and, for that purpose, to accredit and monitor educational institutions and degrees, courses of studies, or programmes:

(b) to authorise the registration of health practitioners under this Act, and to maintain registers:

(c) to consider applications for annual practising certificates:

(d) to review and promote the competence of health practitioners:

(e) to recognise, accredit, and set programmes to ensure the ongoing competence of health practitioners:

(f) to receive and act on information from health practitioners, employers, and the Health and Disability Commissioner about the competence of health practitioners:

(g) to notify employers, the Accident Compensation Corporation, the Director-General of Health, and the Health and Disability Commissioner that the practice of a health practitioner may pose a risk of harm to the public:

(h) to consider the cases of health practitioners who may be unable to perform the functions required for the practice of the profession:

(i) to set standards of clinical competence, cultural competence, and ethical conduct to be observed by health practitioners of the profession:

(j) to liaise with other authorities appointed under this Act about matters of common interest:

(k) to promote education and training in the profession:

(l) to promote public awareness of the responsibilities of the authority:

(m) to exercise and perform any other functions, powers, and duties that are conferred or imposed on it by or under this Act or any other enactment.