Australian Psychological Society
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is a professional association of psychologists in Australia. The APS has more than 18,500 members, making it the largest professional body representing psychologists in Australia. It has a Code of Ethics which APS members must agree to abide by, and a recommendation of appropriate fees charged for services.
The standard route to full membership (MAPS) of the APS involves six years of Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited study including two years masters program in a selected specialisation. The postgraduate training must be in one of the following nine specialist areas of psychology as recognised by the APS and reflected by their colleges (in alphabetical order): clinical neuropsychology, clinical psychology, community psychology, counselling psychology, educational & developmental psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, organisational psychology, and sports psychology. Alternate routes are available for those who have had gained experience and reputation in the field of psychology, including practitioners who have gained specialized expertise in a particular psychological area and academics who have made substantial contributions having published in psychological journals.
Other levels of membership are available, such as associate membership (Assoc. MAPS), which is normally available to those who completed four years of APAC accredited undergraduate study. Affiliate membership requires a three year sequence of study in an APAC approved course in psychology.
Undergraduate students studying any APAC accredited psychology units are eligible to become APS student subscribers. This subscription is dependent on continuing study in psychology.
Around 60% of all state registered psychologists are APS members, and student subscribers represent 12% of members. Of this, the gender breakdown by members is 74% female and 26% male.
Education and training
To be eligible for full APS membership a psychologist is required to have a master's degree or a doctorate. APS provides associate member status to those who have completed four years of university education plus two years of supervised practice.
The APS has nine specialist colleges, these are in the areas of neuropsychology, forsensic, community, health, clinical, counselling, education and development, organisational and sport. The standard entry criteria for APS College membership is six or more years of full-time university education, including an accredited master's degree or doctorate in psychology, involving intensive practical training and supervised placements relevant to that specialty domain.
In 2009, the APS developed a new 5th year postgraduate diploma in professional practice. This training model has been introduced via the '5+1' pathway as a transitional alternative to the '4+2' system that has been in place for many years as a basic standard for registration as a psychologist in Australia. This is reflective of the ultimate goal of the APS to set the minimum requirement of registration at the Masters degree level. The new '5+1' pathway incorporates a 5-year university sequence in psychology training, followed by one year accredited workplace supervision under probationary conditions.
For over 30 years in Western Australia, psychologist registration has also identified specialist title in the field of psychology across seven specialist domains (counselling psychology, forensic psychology, clinical psychology, educational and developmental psychology, neuropsychology, organisational psychology, and sport psychology). Specialist registration in WA has been available for psychologists who have attained at least a Masters degree or more in their specialist domain, followed by two years of specialised practice under supervision. (See also: Psychologist#Licensing and regulation)
As of 2010 the Psychology Board of Australia became the sole agency responsible for the registration of psychologists across Australia. The transition to this new body has caused significant friction within the profession as it is overseen by a government controlled executive who have made decisions at odds with previous professional practice. This includes not providing specialist registration which the APS has lobbied to include.
- American Psychological Association
- Australian Counselling Association
- Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia
- About the Australlian Psychological Society
- APS Code of Ethics (PDF)
- APS Presentation to 1st Year Students, 2006