18 September 2023

Roadshow Feedback

During the Roadshow, we promised we would update you on what happened with all of your fantastic feedback. We’ve made some progress and wanted to let you know what is happening next.

The Board met on 16 and 17 August. The main kaupapa for the hui was to consider feedback from the Roadshow and from the online consultation, to decide on next steps in the areas that we had consulted on.

1. Proposal to introduce a provisional scope of practice and cultural competence programme

The Board recognised the concerns raised that the proposed two-year provisional scope of practice may deter competent overseas-trained psychologists from applying to register in Aotearoa New Zealand – particularly those looking for certainty of a long-term future here. Given the current shortage of psychologists, we know there is a need to ensure that our regulatory policy supports both competent psychology practice, and access to competent psychologists. This includes providing a registration pathway for competent psychologists who have trained elsewhere.

Over the course of the Roadshow, an alternative option started to become visible, and the Board considered this new option at its hui. We noted that for the most part – both on the Roadshow and in consultation feedback – the profession supported an orientation programme for psychologists new to New Zealand, to assist them in finding their feet and acculturating to practice in the unique context of Aotearoa New Zealand. We heard that the sticking point for the profession was the barrier to full registration imposed by the provisional scope of practice. By removing that element but retaining the competence programme, we are comfortable that we can achieve the same goal – culturally competent overseas trained psychologists within two years of registration.

The next step with this kaupapa is to review the rest of the feedback we received from the roadshow to identify whether we can improve the programme. We will consult on the revised proposal again before the end of this year, with a view to implementation of a new competence programme for all newly registered overseas-trained psychologists early in 2024.

2. Review of the draft competencies

As signalled during the Roadshow, we have not yet had enough time to fully assimilate all the thoughtful whakaaro that you shared during our hui. That said, the Board agreed to provide Tūmāia Kaiārahi (the Board’s Māori Advisory roopu) with all of the feedback so that the roopu can use it to inform the next steps in the development of the draft updated competencies. At this stage, we don’t have an ETA for the draft competencies.

3. Intern and trainee scopes of practice

We consulted on the intern and trainee scopes of practice at the same time as the consultation on the proposed provisional scope of practice. It was interesting to note from the feedback we received that even though more than 75% of respondents agreed with our regulatory analysis of the situation, very few agreed with our proposal to revoke the scopes of practice.

The Board has agreed to defer a decision on how to proceed until it has checked in with relevant stakeholders (including training programmes, APEX, and ACC) to ensure the logistical concerns raised about the proposed revocation can be addressed. The Board will reconsider both the feedback from the consultation, and the new information, later in the year.

4. Scopes of practice

The Roadshow kōrerorero on this topic was even more energetic and multi-faceted than we expected it to be! Before we met with you, we thought we had a good idea of what the issues were. You confirmed this for us, and added more! There was strong agreement that the current Scopes of Practice don’t have sufficient detail to give psychologists a clear idea of what is in (or out) of the scopes, and that much has changed in psychology practice since they were written. One thing hasn’t changed – many people felt strongly that we should have more scopes, to reflect qualifications and area of specialisation; others felt equally strongly that we should only have one scope – Psychologist.

Again, we haven’t had time to fully work through the complexities of this issue. We see the gathering of your feedback as very much the first step in a process that is likely to take some time to find a solution.

The solution will need to:

  • Ensure that scopes of practice (and the prescribed qualifications for them) fulfil their role as a tool for public protection
  • Allow for growth and development of psychologists throughout their careers
  • Ensure public access to competent psychologists who are able to define clearly and correctly which psychology services they are able to provide.

We will be in touch again when we have more on this topic to share with you.

5. Growing the cultural competence of the profession

The Board considered the raw data from the feedback and noted that new competencies are coming, and that these will ask more of the profession in terms of culturally competent practice, particularly practice to do with Māori. With that in mind, the Board agreed that it would be helpful to start now with developing tools to help individual psychologists build on their current skills and knowledge. In the first instance, we will start building a toolkit of resources that the profession can access for learning experiences. We will also talk with the professional associations about how we can work together to support the profession to grow its cultural competence. This will include exploring your request for access to cultural supervision, and what that might look like.

We strongly recommend that psychologists who have not started their cultural competence journey, or who are very early on that journey, prioritise culturally safe psychology practice in their CCP – you don’t have to wait for the new standards.

We will let you know when we have a directory of resources ready for you. In the meantime, we do already have a list of recommended reading available on our website. You can access it here.

For those who were unable to attend the roadshow please find below: