What constitutes a ‘sound rationale for any variation’ as is referred to in the Evidence Guide at various points?
The move to outcome-focussed Standards allows providers to focus on evidence that demonstrates that outcomes are achieved rather than relying solely on inputs that assume that outcomes can be achieved. This means that the lists of evidence provided are a guide to how the Standards and graduate competencies can be met and innovation is encouraged. Where variation is applied, education providers will need to consider each situation carefully with a view to ensuring the Standards and Graduate Competencies are met and, when next subject to assessment, demonstrate that any decisions taken fit within that context.
Until APAC conducts a full assessment (whether that be, for example, as part of a cycle accreditation assessment, an out-of-cycle assessment for a new program, a follow-up site visit etc.), we can’t advise or offer a determination on which rationales for variation may be appropriate, because there will be a range of factors to consider as part of the wider picture. An assessment takes into account documentation submitted, information obtained from meetings with staff, students and supervisors, etc. In the first instance, therefore, the onus will be on providers to ensure that all aspects of accredited programs meet the requirements of the Standards and Graduate Competencies.
What are the transition arrangements for the 2010 Standards to the 2019 Standards?
The transition to the 2019 Standards will occur officially at midnight on 31 December 2018, with the 2019 Standards coming into effect 1 January 2019. The current 2010 Standards will become historical as of this date.
Any existing conditions on accreditation in place at the end of 2018 will be transferred into the language of the 2019 Standards.
The APS College approval process ceases as of the end of 2018, and APAC will no longer be joined by College assessors on site visits. Any existing APS College conditions in place at the end of 2018 will also be transferred into the language of the 2019 APAC Standards.
A small number of Standards and resulting conditions in place under the current 2010 Standards are not replicated in the 2019 Standards, for example conditions relating to nomenclature or graduation of the first students in a new program. Such conditions currently applied, therefore, will be removed as of 1 January 2019.
All education providers will receive notification at the end of 2018 of their changed conditions. All accreditation assessments undertaken from 1 January 2019 will be made under the 2019 Standards.
Any program currently accredited under the 2010 Standards will maintain its accreditation status into 2019 and beyond, assuming no changes resulting from any required follow-up site visits, audits, etc. Education providers will not have to apply for accreditation under the 2019 Standards until their scheduled cycle accreditation assessment or until they submit an application for a new program in an out-of-cycle assessment.
Is the 10 year rule still part of the entry requirements?
The 10 year rule was specified as an entry requirement in the 2010 Standards for programs at 4th year and above. It has been removed from the entry requirements in the 2019 Standards. Entry requirements for Graduate Competency Level 2, 3 or 4 programs are listed in the introductory comments for each level within the Accreditation Standards for Psychology Programs (Effective 1 January 2019.
APAC Standards are minimum and education providers may set additional requirements above and beyond those set out in the Standards.
What are the research requirements for programs at a particular level?
Refer to Appendix 1 in the Evidence Guide for details of research requirements. Note that the research requirements align with the Australian Qualifications Framework.