Australian Psychology Accreditation Council

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Proposed Accreditation Standards for Psychology Programs

APAC was advised in April, in a letter from the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA), that the revised standards submitted to them in September last year would be approved provided a number of changes are made.

Many requested changes are simple and APAC is happy to undertake them. There are a small number of other suggestions that seem problematic, but it is possible we have not understood what is intended. Therefore we have asked for a meeting to clarify. In particular, we would be concerned if any of the changes suggested would mean a return to a rigid, inputs-based approach, contrary to our stated objective of loosening many of the inputs-based requirements in favour of allowing providers to achieve excellent outcomes in innovative ways.

(We note, however, that the final draft submitted to the PsyBA for approval did include some inputs supported by a majority of stakeholders, but in a way which we believed achieved a workable compromise between the old and new approaches.)

We are very disappointed that there has been such a long delay, which was occasioned partly by a request received from the PsyBA in October of last year for a considerable amount of additional information designed to cover off on regulatory risk, one of AHPRA’s key concerns. In particular we were asked to map out in detail any requirements left out of the new standards that had been included in the 2010 standards, and to explain in detail our responses to the suggestions made by stakeholders during the public consultation period.

Given there will be more work on the standards, prior to re-submission for formal approval, we see no possibility that they will be introduced in time for application in 2018. Therefore, providers due for a cycle assessment in 2018 have been advised that the current standards will apply.

We will provide further information in the near future, after we have had further discussions with the PsyBA.