1,000 signatures reached
To: Dear Ministers, AHPRA, Psychology Board of Australia, COAG and Mental Health Australia
Stop Changing the Goal Posts! All Psychologists are Qualified
This petition calls on the Psychology Board of Australia to end the divisive and capricious provision of Areas of Practice Endorsement in Australian psychology. We assert that AoPE are pseudo ‘specialties’ which do not reflect a practitioner’s training background, the extent of their experience, or their areas of expertise. This problem has been inherent in AoPE since its inception with their automatic granting as per a practitioner’s membership to an APS college. There is not, nor has there ever been any justification for privileging members of a voluntary organisation.
It is well recognised that when colleges were introduced to the APS, they were reflective primarily of interest areas - membership to colleges, and the Boards which pre-dated them, were open to APS members as per their professional interests. As a result, around 50% of endorsed clinical psychologists do not have masters degrees or doctorates in clinical psychology - however, they were automatically granted an AoPE. In addition, many or most of the leaders of the APS and PBA have been granted multiple AoPE (some up to 4-5), despite only having had one career in psychology, mostly in university teaching.
As a consequence, we the undersigned believe that the entire system of AoPE has been corrupted from its very inception, and therefore it has no credibility in a psychology, which purports to be based on available evidence. We call on the PBA to disband AoPE and begin a process which genuinely recognises the competencies of its practitioners in a fair and unbiased manner. We do not attribute any credibility to Areas of Practice Endorsement.
Why is this important?
Many long term practitioners of applied psychology were and are excluded from AoPE simply because they chose to not be members of the APS. The vast majority of these have 6 years of study and training in psychology; many of them have masters degrees and PhDs in psychology, and/or extensive professional development training in the application of psychology. A system that does not recognise the competence of many of its well trained and experienced practitioners is system we cannot support. Many psychologists (the vast majority of whom are not 'endorsed') view PBA endorsements as an insult to their training, experience and competence as it implies that they are in some way less capable than endorsed psychologists. As such, AoPE are simply damaging to most Australian psychologists. Any perception of differences in expertise based on endorsements are simply not based on any demonstrable facts. With AoPE, the PBA has created a system which facilitates this misperception. Many psychologists are facing serious restrictions to their practice, employment opportunities and financial disadvantage due to not being a member of the APS at the time that 'grandfathering' into Areas of Practice Endorsement occured.
How it will be delivered