Scopes of Practice

23 February 2024

Extension of Consultation Period for Scopes of Practice 

Te Poari Kaimātai Hinengaro o Aotearoa the New Zealand Psychologists Board would like to provide an update on the consultation of the proposed review of the scopes of practice.

First, we would like to acknowledge those who have found the time to provide feedback and appreciate the thought that has gone into the submissions we have received so far.

It is heartening to have such a fantastic response from the sector with an extraordinary range of opinions and ideas. Your engagement is crucial in setting the direction of the future of psychology and we want to hear from you.

At the recent meeting of the Board, the Board resolved to extend the consultation period to the 31st May 2024 5.00pm to provide you more time to digest the information, ask more questions, engage in the conversation further and provide more considered feedback

The Board strongly supports the work you are doing. Like you, we want everyone in Aotearoa to be able to share our confidence in our skilled and competent psychology workforce. This consultation is about ensuring future practice is demonstrably within the legal framework.

We value your input and perspective, so please talk to us.

Please keep an eye out for an invitation for an advisory group as we navigate our future landscape together!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Consultation

How will I be represented?
We will be setting up an advisory group with representation across the profession to do more thinking and contribute to this process.
We’re extending the timeframe for consultation to provide you with more time to digest the information, ask more questions, engage in the conversation further and provide more informed and considered feedback.
This is an initial consultation. There will be another opportunity to make further submissions.

Why are we changing?
No final decisions to change have been made. As we develop our collective thinking and hear further from stakeholders, we remain open-minded. Nothing is off the table.
We anticipate this to be the first of many consultation documents, in the meantime maintain the status quo, continue as normal.

Will I get my PC this year? Will this affect my work?
Nothing has changed. Please refer to our previous statements.
Any process as a result of floated options from the advisory group and consultations would be expected to take several years.

Is my feedback anonymous?
No identifying information is available to staff or Board members unless you supply it of your own volition.


Original Release from 13 November 2023

On 20 September 2023 the Board published a newsletter addressing issues relating to scopes of practice. The newsletter can be found here. Since publishing that newsletter the Board has continued to hear of confusion, particularly regarding the ‘Psychologist’ scope of practice. The purpose of this notification is to provide a further update to stakeholders and to confirm the Board’s current position.

The Board confirms, again, that there have been no changes to any of the scopes of practice. However, as discussed during the recent Board Roadshow, it is time for the Board to begin to review all its scopes of practice. The Board will shortly be releasing a consultation document seeking the views of the profession and other stakeholders on proposed changes to the scopes of practice. The profession and other stakeholders will have a full and proper opportunity to make submissions. No changes (if any) will be made until the Board has received submissions on the proposed changes, considered those submissions, and made a final decision.

In the meantime, the Board notes some key points:


      • The Board’s guidance regarding scopes of practice can be found here.


        • A particular area causing uncertainty appears to be confusion around the extent to which those registered in the Psychologist scope of practice can or cannot undertake complex mental health assessments and make mental health diagnoses.  This feedback is something that will be closely considered as part of the consultation process.  However, in the meantime, the Board’s position remains that this requires a case-by-case assessment as to the particular psychologist’s qualifications, training and experience.


          • The Board’s secretariat is often contacted about whether certain qualifications satisfy the educational requirements for particular scopes of practice. Where it can, the secretariat will provide guidance. However, it will always require a case-by-case assessment of the particular practitioner’s qualification, training and experience.

        Lisa Lawrence                           Vanessa Simpson

        Board Chair                               GM/Registrar