Competency-based standards and guidelines for psychology practice in Australia: opportunities and risks

Gonsalvez, C. J., Shafranske, E. P., McLeod, H. J. and Falender, C. A. (2021) Competency-based standards and guidelines for psychology practice in Australia: opportunities and risks. Clinical Psychologist, 25(3), pp. 244-259. (doi: 10.1080/13284207.2020.1829943)

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Recent changes to clinical psychology training and supervision in Australia have been driven by a deliberate endeavour by regulatory authorities and professional bodies to align education and training with competency-based models of training, a development that is apparent internationally across health disciplines. A critical question is: how do reforms in Clinical Psychology training standards match international benchmarks for competency-based pedagogies? Objective: To outline key principles of competency-based pedagogies and to critically examine whether Australia’s new standards and guidelines for accreditation of coursework, practicum requirements, and supervision are consistent with competency principles, and match similar guidelines proposed in the U.K. and the U.S.A. Method: Following a critical analysis of the extant literature, the authors highlight progress achieved, discuss major gaps and challenges, and examine the extent to which current accreditation changes constitute a reliable blueprint for the development of a competent psychology workforce for the country. Results and Conclusions: The current review indicates that in an overall sense, practitioner training in Australia is tracking well in comparison to international developments. Specifically, the decreased emphasis on the regulation of inputs (e.g., nature and type of coursework and practicum) is pedagogically sound and has the potential to promote training innovation and efficiencies. However, a revision of the current competency framework is required to underpin future progress. Also, the lack of reliable and valid competence instruments in combination with less than rigorous adherence to systematic, timely, and ecologically valid assessments constitute a major challenge and a serious threat to ensuring safe and competent psychology practice.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McLeod, Professor Hamish
Authors: Gonsalvez, C. J., Shafranske, E. P., McLeod, H. J., and Falender, C. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Clinical Psychologist
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1742-9552
Published Online:17 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Australian Psychological Society
First Published:First published in Clinical Psychologist 25(1): 244-259
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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