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 – last updated 10/04/24

Why isn’t there a community psychology scope? 

The Board is proposing to introduce Community Psychology as an additional scope of practice (amongst others).  This is outlined at paragraph [15] of the Consultation document, but it was inadvertently omitted from paragraph [9].  

Why is the endorsement period so short?

Endorsement

In the suggested framework that was proposed in the consultation, endorsements were intended as an ongoing option for recognising career development with no end date – not for a limited period. A more formal pathway for adding endorsements in the future would be developed so that the opportunity to expand practice beyond the scope obtained at registration would always be available.  

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 

The initial phase does have a proposed two-year Recognition of Prior Learning Pathway (for endorsements) for psychologists currently registered.  

Why is there no coaching psychology scope? 

A coaching psychology scope wasn’t proposed as there is currently no training pathway in NZ. We also looked at the Areas of Practice Endorsement used in Australia – because of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act it is helpful for New Zealand to have a similar set of practice areas identified. 

Why is the General Scope being deleted? 

The consultation does not suggest that the general scope should be deleted. 

Are the scopes exclusive? 

In the suggested framework that was proposed in the consultation, scopes were not intended to be mutually exclusive and had some overlapping areas. The same activities can be in more than one scope. For example, providing psychotherapy would likely belong in several scopes but probably not all of them. Having an activity in a scope means that the accredited programme(s) for that scope would have to ensure that graduates are competent to perform the activity. Looking at what the programmes currently teach gives an idea of what is likely to belong in the scope that the programme registers into.  

Why is the Board proposing a review?

The Board’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 is implemented in a way that protects the health and safety of Aotearoa New Zealand public. The Board must ensure scopes of practice are fit for purpose, consistent with the Act, and enable a flexible and responsive workforce in an ever-changing health sector. To discharge its responsibility, the Board needs to periodically review its scopes of practice

What is the process that needs to occur?

The Board needs to consider the feedback it receives following this consultation and any potential further consultations. This will occur at a Board meeting.
An advisory group will be set up to ensure representation across the sector. The purpose of this group will be to review feedback, develop recommendations and provide input into further iterations of any future consultation documents.
In due course, if the Board decides to make any changes to scopes, it would Gazette the new scopes of practice notice. Once gazetted there would be a time period before it came into effect. The Board will continue to communicate with all practitioners during and following any consultations.

Will there be an implementation process?

No decisions have been made however if the Board decides to make changes, the Board’s decisions will be communicated so that all practitioners and employers are aware of any changes and the timing of those changes.

When will this change come into effect?

No decisions or changes have been made. The Board needs to thoroughly consider all the feedback it has received from 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?

Yes.
No identifying information is available to staff or Board members unless you supply it of your own volition.

What is the process that needs to occur?

The Board needs to consider the feedback it receives following this consultation and any potential further consultations. This will occur at a Board meeting.

An advisory group will be set up to ensure representation across the sector. The purpose of this group will be to review feedback, develop recommendations and provide input into further iterations of any future consultation documents.

In due course, if the Board decides to make any changes to scopes, it would Gazette the new scopes of practice notice. Once gazetted there would be a time period before it came into effect. The Board will continue to communicate with all practitioners during and following any consultations.

Will there be an implementation process?

No decisions have been made however if the Board decides to make changes, the Board’s decisions will be communicated so that all practitioners and employers are aware of any changes and the timing of those changes.

When will this change come into effect?

No decisions or changes have been made. The Board needs to thoroughly consider all the feedback it has received from the consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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