Scopes of Practice

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