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Frequently Asked Questions
 

General

Q Who can practise psychotherapy?
Under the HPCA Act(2003) unless you are registered with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand you cannot call yourself a psychotherapist or hold yourself out to be a psychotherapist. However, others can practice psychotherapy, as long as they do not call themselves a psychotherapist or hold themselves out to be a psychotherapist.
Although the difference is quite subtle, it is very important. An example of this would be: Another person / practitioner might use psychotherapy in the treatment of clients; this is acceptable. However, unless the person / practitioner is registered with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand they are unable to advertise that they are a psychotherapist.

 

What range of clients and client groups are registered psychotherapists permitted to work with?
The Psychotherapist Scope of Practice enables those who are currently "competently" practising with a range of clients to continue in their current practice. Clients include children, adolescents, adults, couples, families, whanau, groups, organizations and the public. This makes it possible for those competent to carry on working with a range of clients. This includes Maori practitioners and those trained in Kaupapa Maori who work with whanau, hapu and iwi and with children, adolescents and adults.

There has been concern that there are some psychotherapists who may not be competent in "the assessment, formulation, diagnosis and treatment of mental problems". It is important to remember that in any scope of practice psychotherapists are only allowed to "practice within their area and level of expertise". Scopes of practice cover a range of functions and any particular psychotherapist is unlikely to be competent in all of them but will be competent in some.

Psychotherapist Scope of Practice with Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist Specialism. The Psychotherapist Scope of Practice with Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist Specialism is designed to direct the public to a trained child and adolescent psychotherapist. Child and adolescent psychotherapy competencies are included within the Psychotherapy Scope of Practice. This specialism recognises the specialised training and competencies relating to working with children and adolescents in this scope for the benefit of the public. And psychotherapists registered in this scope are also only allowed to "practice within their area and level of expertise".

 

REGISTRATION
Q. How long will it take to register?
The registration process is quite involved as all applicants are required to meet the standards set out in the HPCAA. The Board has tried to make this process as easy as possible, however please note you will need to allow a good deal of time for completing the required application and compiling your supporting documentation.

Registration is a one off exercise, yet is an involved process. It will take you approximately 30-45 minutes to complete the online portion of registration. Compiling your supporting documentation will depend on how readily you have the information to hand.

 

QUALIFICATIONS
Q. What training programmes have been accredited by the Board?
The Board has yet to accredit any psychotherapy training programmes. The Board will consult with Training providers about criteria for accreditation, so that those graduating from accepted programmes are able to be registered after grandparenting ends.

Q. What will happen until then?
To enable practitioners to register the Board has accepted some qualifications for grandparenting. These qualifications can be viewed in the policy section of the website. All other qualifications will be assessed to see if they are comparable.

Q. If my qualification is not assessed as comparable how will I register with the Board?

There are various ways for a psychotherapist who does not have a qualification acceptable for grandparenting to qualify for registration.
If you want to work in the Psychotherapist Scope of Practice you will need -

You would be entitled to be registered under the "Psychotherapist Scope of Practice" (during the grandparenting phase) if you can provide;
Evidence of current full membership and a current practising certificate from:
The New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists
OR
Have satisfactorily completed a final assessment accredited or set by the Board

If you want to work in the Psychotherapist Scope of Practice with Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist Specialism you will need -

You would be entitled to be registered under the "Psychotherapist Scope of Practice with Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist Specialism" (during the grandparenting phase) if you can provide;
Evidence of current full membership and a current practising certificate from:
The New Zealand Association of Child & Adolescent Psychotherapists
OR
Have satisfactorily completed a final assessment accredited or set by the Board

You may be eligible to work in the Interim Psychotherapist Scope of Practice in which case you will need -

You would be entitled to be registered under the "Interim Psychotherapist Scope of Practice" (during the grandparenting phase) if you can provide;
Evidence of current Graduate Membership and a current practising certificate from:
The NZ Association of Child & Adolescent Psychotherapists
OR
Evidence of current Provisional Membership and a current practising certificate from:
The NZ Association of Psychotherapists
OR
Have satisfactorily completed an initial assessments accredited or set by the Board

NOTE: Board approved assessments will be carried out by organisations approved by the Board which have requirements for training, clinical supervision, personal therapy and reference checks (including a final assessment and/or face to face interview). These organisations will be assessed on a case by case basis to ensure the organisation meets with Board policy.

 

CONSULTATION
Q. Does the Board intend to continue consulting with the profession, tangata whenua, stakeholders and other interested parties?
Yes, the Board has only just begun the process of regulating the psychotherapy profession. This process will take time and will involve the expertise and experience of many people. Ultimately the Board will make decisions however, these decisions will be made in consultation with those mentioned.

Q. Does the Board intend to work with the Associations?
Yes, the Board does intend to work with Associations in the protection of the New Zealand public. It is early days for the Board and for the regulation of psychotherapy as a profession, as such the Board hopes that the profession, tangata whenua, stakeholders and other interested parties will permit the Board time to follow through with its intentions.

Q. How is the Board working with the Associations?
The Board has asked Associations (ANZSJA, NZACAP and NZAP) to assist the Board by permitting the Board to register psychotherapists approved through the processes and systems of assessment currently setup by these Associations to review psychotherapist training and competence at this stage, and to consider assessing non association members on behalf of the Board.

The Board has already received a positive reply to this latter request.

Where possible, within the confines of the HPCAA the Board will continue to work with the Associations rather than re-invent the wheel, for example in relation to ethics and competencies.

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING
Q. Do New Zealand Registered professionals need a Certificate of Good Standing i.e. if I am registered with the NZ Psychologists Board?

Yes, you will need a certificate of good standing if you are or have been registered with a compulsory Board/Council either in New Zealand or another Country.

 

OVERSEAS QUALIFICATION
Q. I have a qualification in psychotherapy from overseas, will I be able to register with the Board?
Applicants with a qualification in psychotherapy from overseas will have their qualification assessed on a case by case basis. You will need to provide evidence that your psychotherapy qualification is comparable to the qualifications approved by the Board for grandparenting. Please refer to the Overseas Qualification section of the Board's website. https://secure.pbanz.org.nz/index.php?ForOverseasQualifiedPsychotherapists

Section 15(2) if the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act states that an authority may, for the purpose of subsection (1) (b), treat any overseas qualification as a prescribed qualification if, in the opinion of the authority, that qualification is equivalent to, or as satisfactory as, a prescribed qualification.

 

FEES
Q. Is there a reduced fee for low income or part time psychotherapists?
Yes, the Board has provided for a reduced fee for those that earn less than $25,000 (gross taxable income). Eligibility for this reduced fee will require proof of income and a signed declaration. Those eligible for the low income fee will pay a reduced fee of $418.60 including GST for their APC. The Registration fee will remain the same.

Q. What type of things does my APC cover?
The Board has developed a modest budget on the information it has with a guesstimate of the number of people that may register. The APC fee is used each year to cover a number of things, some examples are listed below:

  • All Board operating expenses
  • Secretariat costs (including personnel, IT, rent, financial accounting and auditing)
  • Complaints
  • Competency reviews (including health matters)
  • Creation of competencies, cultural competencies, ethics
  • Towards accreditation of psychotherapy qualifications
  • Hui, and meeting with practitioners, professional associations and employers. Ministry of Health meetings
  • Communication and Ministry of Health Annual Reports
    Note: These are just some of the items your APC fee needs to fund

    Q. Can I defer my payment yet still be registered?
    No, your application must be accompanied by the required fee before the Board can begin processing your application. This is a requirement of the HPCAA. Sn 17(2) (iii) & Sn 26(b)