ACCREDITATION STANDARDS FOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY IN PSYCHOLOGY

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1 CONSULTATION DRAFT ACCREDITATION STANDARDS FOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY IN PSYCHOLOGY Eligible for Approval under the National Registration & Accreditation Scheme for the Health Professions September 2012 Australian Psychology Accreditation Council Limited ABN GPO Box 2860, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia Tel:

2 ABOUT APAC The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) is an independent quality and standards organisation, appointed by Governments as the accrediting authority for the psychology profession in Australia, under Section 253 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (the National Law). APAC s mission is to protect the public by conducting accreditation activities which ensure that graduates of accredited programs are well equipped to employ their psychological knowledge and skills in the community, including, where relevant, being sufficiently qualified and competent to safely practice as a psychologist. APAC s main functions include: Developing standards for the education and training of psychologists for approval by the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA); Assessing education providers and the programs of study they offer to determine whether they meet the Approved Accreditation Standards; In cooperation with the PsyBA, assessing accrediting and examining authorities in other countries to determine if graduates of the authorities examinations or accredited programs of study have the knowledge, skills and professional attributes necessary to practise the profession in Australia; Supporting higher education providers in developing and maintaining high quality programs of education and training in psychology, and Advising and consulting to the PsyBA, governments and other bodies on matters of education and training relevant to the psychology profession and discipline. IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CONSULTATION DRAFT At the request of the PsyBA, APAC is currently undertaking a major review of accreditation standards for the psychology profession in Australia (the Review). As part of the Review, APAC has re drafted the current Accreditation Standards for Psychology Courses (the main standards for undergraduate and postgraduate programs of study in psychology in Australia), which have been in place since June The proposed new Draft Accreditation Standards for Programs of Study in Psychology (the Draft Standards) are contained in this document. APAC now seeks feedback from stakeholders on these Draft Standards as part of a wide ranging consultation process as required under Section 46(2) of the National Law. Submissions regarding this Consultation Draft will be accepted until the 8th December APAC encourages all stakeholders to participate in this important review of standards for the education and training of psychologists in Australia. A second set of draft standards, concerned with the specialised components of professional postgraduate programs intended to qualify graduates for entry to an Area of Practice Endorsement 1 As enacted in each State and Territory of Australia. i

3 Registrar program, will be released for public consultation late in Those standards are referred to in this document as the APAC Standards for Programs of Study Supporting the Development of an Area of Practice Endorsement. APAC will make announcements (including on its website and via Twitter) when a consultation version of those standards is available for comment. Stakeholders should note carefully that the Draft Standards in this document are intended to be accompanied by an Evidence Guide, which will provide examples of the types of evidence required to satisfy APAC that a particular Standard has been met. It is also important to note that APAC uses a threshold standards accreditation system, where APAC specifies minimum or floor standards which must be achieved and maintained. This means that education providers are always free to set additional or higher level requirements over and above what the APAC standards require. APAC will consider in detail all submissions made as part of this public consultation and greatly values the input of all stakeholders to the process of developing the Standards. Individuals as well as organisations can make submissions which will assist APAC in finalising the Draft Standards before they are presented to the PsyBA for approval. Stakeholders are reminded that APAC s main responsibility under the National Law as the accrediting body for the profession is to protect the public, and the final content of the Standards must reflect the fact that this is APAC s mandate. More information about the development and review of accreditation standards under the National Law is available in a reference document entitled Accreditation under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act, which can be downloaded from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency website at: and Publications/AHPRA Publications.aspx. INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING A SUBMISSION Submissions should clearly indicate whether they are made on behalf of an individual or on behalf of an organisation. Submissions must reach APAC no later than 5pm on 08/12/2012 in either one of the following two formats: 1. Electronic format An uncompressed document file in pdf or Word format sent by to with the words Standards Consultation in the subject line. NB: APAC will not accept any responsibility for a failure of the transmission process or an inability to read a document where a submission is sent by electronic means. Additionally, if sending a submission by , the sender is advised to request an acknowledgement of receipt either automatically using his/her software, or by including a request in the body of the . OR 2. Paper copy Mail a hard copy of the submission, printed clearly on A4 paper, to the following address: Attention: APAC Standards Consultation The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council GPO Box 2860 Melbourne VIC ii

4 Please note APAC reserves the right not to publish submissions. Submissions which: do not comply with the requirements listed in this document; contain offensive or defamatory comments, or which are outside the scope of reference, will not be considered, and will not be posted on the APAC website. APAC is unable to provide a copy of this Consultation Draft in Word format, and cannot provide printed (paper) copies. The only format in which the Draft Standards (this document) will be available is this electronic pdf file, transmitted by . All submissions will be posted on the APAC website where they can be viewed by other stakeholders unless accompanied by a request to keep the submission confidential, detailing the reasons why confidentiality is necessary. IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONTEXT FOR THIS REVIEW The development of the Standards proposed in this Consultation Draft have been informed by a host of factors. The following summary briefly describes the main influences on the re design of the Standards and is included to provide stakeholders with an understanding of the context within which the Review is taking place. Objectives and guiding principles of the National Law This is the first review of Accreditation Standards to occur since the introduction of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) and the National Law underpinning it. All bodies exercising functions under the National Law, including APAC, must operate with regard to the objectives and guiding principles of the Law (see the Agency Management Committee s Procedure for the Development of Accreditation Standards, set down under Section 25 of the National Law). Chief among these are protecting the public, facilitating high quality education and training, and enabling innovation. PsyBA Registration Standards Accreditation standards for the psychology profession under the NRAS must support the registration standards, guidelines and codes put in place by the PsyBA for the psychology profession. In accordance with Section 47 of the National Law, APAC is required to submit proposed new standards to the PsyBA for approval at the conclusion of its consultation and re drafting processes. APAC anticipates this will occur early in Critical issues identified by key stakeholders Between June and August 2012, APAC conducted a series of targeted discussions with a range of invited key stakeholders with the goal of identifying critical issues relevant to the review and redrafting of the Standards. These discussions included facilitated fora held in capital cities around Australia which were well attended, and meetings with a range of bodies including education providers, government bodies, employers, professional bodies and TEQSA. These consultations have informed the drafting of the proposed Standards. iii

5 AQF Requirements In July 2011 the Commonwealth Government introduced a revised Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). All existing qualifications offered by education providers in Australia must comply with the AQF by 01 Jan 2015, and any new qualification must comply immediately. Major changes to the qualification levels and type descriptors in the AQF represent a very strong set of constraints which must be accommodated in these proposed APAC Standards. International Standards for Education and Training in Psychology Part 3 of the Procedures for the development of Accreditation Standards released in June 2011 by the Agency Management Committee of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), contains requirements to be met by accreditation authorities developing accreditation standards under the NRAS. These requirements include taking account of relevant international standards and statements relating to education and training in the profession, as well as of accreditation standards applied in countries with comparable education and practice standards for the profession. APAC has substantially aligned the key elements of the proposed Standards to the European Certificate in Psychology (EuroPsy), a set of standards and benchmarks for the education and training of psychologists encompassing more than 30 countries and including the European Register of EuroPsy Psychologists. This is the largest comparable standard for the training of psychologists in the world and has been gaining significant international momentum for several years. Published Literature and Increased Focus on Competencies There is a growing emphasis among regulators and teachers of psychology around the world on learning outcomes and in particular on methods for the assessment and assurance of competence in the education and training of psychology practitioners (for example see Nelson, 2007; Roberts et al, 2005; American Psychological Association, 2006). This emphasis is reflected in the growth of published evidence concerning psychology practitioner competence and competency driven models of psychology education (Kaslow and colleagues, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009; Leigh et al, 2007; Rodolfa et al, 2005). APAC believes that the much stronger focus on competencies and assurance of learning outcomes in the proposed Standards is supported by this literature and serves the public s interest in assuring that registered psychologists are well equipped to safely practice in Australia. TEQSA With the introduction of the Tertiary Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and its national accreditation systems in 2011, APAC has carefully considered the new regulatory environment now operating in higher education, including the role of TEQSA, in drafting these Standards. COAG principles of Best Practice Regulation Part 4 of the Agency Management Committee s Procedures for the development of Accreditation Standards directs APAC to take into account the Council of Australian Governments Principles for Best Practice Regulation, including consideration of potential unnecessary restrictions and the balancing of cost impacts with likely benefits to the public of the new standards. APAC has fully considered these matters in its design of the proposed Standards. The COAG Principles for Best Practice Regulation are available to stakeholders at: guidance.html. iv

6 SUMMARY OF KEY FEATURES Since the Draft Standards are very different to previous versions, a summary of key features/changes is provided in this section of the document. This list is not a comprehensive list of changes, but is intended as an orientation to the main features that will support further analysis. A diagram showing the qualification types at each AQF level is also provided in Appendix E. Domain 1: Education Provider Standards A much stronger emphasis on assessing learning outcomes and competencies is adopted, with freeing up of some specification of inputs. A stronger focus on demonstration of quality improvement and quality assurance processes, as well as a requirement for greater engagement and communication with employers and others in the community who have a stake in the educational outcomes of graduates. Freeing up of nomenclature restrictions. Strongly retains evidence driven, scientist practitioner approach. The amount of education and training, competencies to be demonstrated and phases in the pathways allow for alignment with the EuroPsy regulations. Domain 2: Standards for Programs of Study at AQF Level 7 The three year undergraduate program is retained, and the goal of broad scientific education in the psychology discipline as preparation for further learning is retained in the first phase of the education pathway. A greater proportion of psychology content is required and programs at this level now include foundational counselling and interviewing skills components, as well as coverage of the core principles of the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce. Revised Graduate Attributes of the Undergraduate Psychology Program are retained as learning outcomes. Domain 3: Standards for Programs of Study at AQF Level 8 Programs can be structured as a Bachelor Honours program (ie with optional addition of a 4 th year) or as a stand alone 4 th year Graduate Diploma. A rigorous training in research is retained, including the requirement for a research project. Coverage of other pre professional education is retained. Domain 4: Standards for Programs of Study at AQF Level 9 Masters Coursework The APAC 4 th year can be combined with one year of professional training in general practice which is proposed to qualify graduates for entry to a one year PsyBA internship program. Entry following an APAC level 7 qualification is possible. Students with an APAC accredited 4 th year (such as Bachelor Hons or Grad Dip) can enter the degree at 5 th yr with advanced standing for the APAC 4 th yr. A 4 th year exit point to Grad Dip is included. No second thesis. v

7 Foundation Competencies for Psychology Interns defined as outcomes strong requirements for evidence of attainment of competencies. Domain 5: Standards for Programs of Study at AQF Level 9 Masters Extended Three year program in full time mode Master of Psychology (Coursework) combining the APAC fourth year course with fifth and sixth years of professional training, and which qualifies graduates for entry to a two year PsyBA Area of Endorsement Registrar program. Entry following an APAC level 7 qualification is possible. Students with an APAC accredited 4 th year (such as Bachelor Hons or Grad Dip) can enter the degree at 5 th yr with advanced standing for the APAC 4 th yr. A 4 th year exit point to Grad Dip is included. Second research project replaced with a capstone project. Core Competencies of the Entry Level Psychology Practitioner defined as one set of outcomes strong requirements for evidence of attainment of competencies. Graduates also achieve competencies in a specialised area of practice which is proposed to qualify graduates for entry into a two year PsyBA Area of Endorsement Registrar program. Domain 6: Standards for Programs of study at AQF Level 10 Doctoral degrees with professional coursework Four or five year program in full time mode Doctor of Psychology (or PhD with coursework) level 10 requiring 4th yr H2A for entry. Four years of professional training which is proposed to qualify graduates for entry to a one year PsyBA Area of Endorsement Registrar program. Two year full time research project as required by AQF. Strong requirements for evidence of attainment of competencies. Domain 7: Standards for Conversion Programs of Study (AQF 7) A core undergraduate sequence in psychology for graduates who already have a Bachelor degree (or higher) in another discipline. Must lead to a level 7 Bachelor qualification under the AQF Domain 8: Standards for Master Of Advanced Practice ( specialised area ) Programs of Study (AQF 9) One year program in full time mode Masters at Level 9 Professional training program for registered psychologists seeking to obtain a qualification suitable for entry to a PsyBA Area of Endorsement Registrar program. Accredited Level 9 qualification required for entry. vi

8 TABLE OF CONTENTS Definitions... 1 Domain 1: Education Provider Standards... 5 Domain 2: Programs of Study at AQF Level Domain 3: Standards for Programs of Study at AQF Domain 4: Standards for Programs of Study at AQF 9 Masters Coursework Domain 5: Standards for Programs of Study at AQF 9 Masters Extended Domain 6: Standards for Programs of study at AQF 10 Doctoral degrees with professional coursework Domain 7: Standards for Conversion Programs of Study (AQF 7) Domain 8: Standards for Master Of Advanced Practice ( specialised area ) Programs of Study (AQF 9) Appendix A Graduate Attributes for the Australian undergraduate Psychology program Appendix B Foundation Competencies for Psychology Interns Appendix C Core Competencies of the Entry Level Psychology Practitioner Appendix D References Appendix E Diagram showing qualification types vii

9 DEFINITIONS Academic Organisational Unit (AOU) means a school, department or other separately identifiable academic unit of an Education Provider offering Programs of Study in psychology. Academic Staff means: (a) staff employed by the Education Provider; (b) who have teaching responsibilities pertaining to the Programs of Study for which accreditation is sought or has been obtained; and (c) including continuing, contract and casual teaching staff. Accreditation Standard(s) means these Standards, as Approved by the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) and published on the PsyBA s website as an Approved Accreditation Standard under Section 47 of the National Law. Accreditation Period means the period of time for which an Education Provider or Program of Study is accredited as meeting all the Standards. The Accreditation Period is usually five (5) years commencing on 1 January of the year following the accreditation process and ending on 31 December four years later. Accreditation Revoked means the removal of accreditation from a Program of Study and/or the removal of accreditation of an Education Provider consistent with Section 50 of the National Law. Accredited with Conditions means that APAC has determined that a Program of Study, and the Education Provider that provides the Program of Study, substantially meet the relevant Standards and the imposition of conditions on Accreditation will ensure the Program of Study meets the Standards within a reasonable time consistent with Section 48 of the National Law. Accredited without Conditions means that an Education Provider and/or its Programs of Study have been assessed as meeting all Standards, consistent with Section 48 of the National Law. AHPRA means the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. APA format means the rules for the publication of manuscripts and other documents described in the current Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). APAC means the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council Limited. APAC Credit Points means a credit point metric in which a full time student load is considered to be 48 credit points per year, and a full time student load for one complete semester is 24 credit points. Therefore, 48 APAC Credit Points is equivalent to 60 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) points, or hours of study. Education Providers can use this metric to calculate the required quantum of points in their own credit point system. APAC website means the web pages the web pages accessed through or such other website as published by APAC from time to time. AQF means the current edition of the Australian Qualifications Framework. AQF level means level of Qualification Type as set out in the current edition of the Australian Qualifications Framework. Applicant means the organisation making an application for assessment for accreditation of an Education Provider and the Programs of Study offered by that Education Provider. Application Fee means all of the monies required to be paid to APAC in consideration of any APAC accreditation assessment as published by APAC from time to time. Application Form means the appropriate application form published by APAC from time to time. 1

10 Assessment Team means the person or people appointed by APAC to assess the Education Provider and its Programs of Study, listed in the Application Form or otherwise nominated by APAC as requiring assessment. AWC means the APAC Accreditation Working Committee, a committee of certified accreditation assessors who review assessments of applications for accreditation and provide expert advice to the APAC Board. Board means the Board of Directors of APAC. Client means a person, group of persons, organization or community to whom psychological services are provided. Client contact means direct contact with a client, clients or other associated parties while performing specific tasks of psychological assessment, diagnosis, intervention, prevention, treatment, consultation, coaching, the provision of advice and strategies, undertaken as part of the supervised practicum requirements of the Program of Study. Client related activities means activities which do not involve interaction with the client or clients but are considered necessary to provide a high standard of psychological service to clients and to support the achievement of the practice competencies addressed by the Program of Study. These activities may include: scoring and interpretation of completed assessment protocols and analysis of other assessment data/observations (including diagnostic information); writing and reviewing Client related reports, case notes and letters; consulting and corresponding with other professionals about a Client; participating in supervision sessions concerning the provision of services to a Client, designing and reviewing intervention protocols and management plans, and peer consultation concerning the provision of services to a Client. Constitution means the Constitution of APAC. Core topics means content areas which are part of the compulsory components of a Program of Study. Education Provider means: (a) a university; or; or (b) a tertiary education institution; or (c) another institution or organisation that provides vocational training; or (d) a specialist medical college or other health profession college; consistent with Section 5 of the National Law. Electives means units or subjects or other separately identifiable components of a Program of Study which are optional but may include a specific component that, while not itself required, may be one of a group of components from which some number must be chosen and completed as part of the Program of Study. EuroPsy means the European Certificate in Psychology, a set of standards and benchmarks for the education and training of psychologists encompassing more than 30 countries and including the European Register of EuroPsy Psychologists. Extended Period has the meaning set out in clause 2.14 of the APAC Accreditation Rules Head means the Head of the AOU which is responsible for the Programs of Study. Internal Review Committee means the committee appointed by APAC pursuant to Section 8 of the APAC Rules. National Health Practitioner Ombudsman means the office established to receive complaints and help people who believe they may have been treated unfairly in administrative processes by the agencies operating under the National Law. National Law means the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (2009) as enacted in each state and territory of Australia. 2

11 National Registration Board means the Psychology Board of Australia, a national health practitioner board established pursuant to Section 31 of the National Law, and including its regional boards. One of the functions of the National Board is the registration of psychologists. NRAS means the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the Health Professions. Offshore means not physically located in Australian territory. OSCE means observed structured clinical examination. Overseas Country means a country other than Australia. Overseas Education Provider means a tertiary academic institution recognised by one or more of The World of Learning published by Europa Publications Ltd, the Country Education Profiles published by Australian Education International, Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE), or Local Regional Accreditation bodies, offering a Program of Study leading to a diploma or degree equivalent to those defined in Levels 5 10 of the Qualification Types in the current edition of the Australian Qualifications Framework. Practica means learning activities which focus on the achievement of skills in the practice of psychology, including supervised placement, role playing and other simulated learning tasks, skills practice, observation of the practice experienced practitioners, case analysis and similar practical exercises. Principal Supervisor means the identified main supervisor who is responsible for the work of a student and for the majority of supervision of his/her professional pratica, undertaken in the particular activity, unit, placement, course or Program of Study in question, and who has been approved by the Psychology Board of Australia to supervise psychologists. Note this is a separate role from the role of Research Supervisor. Program means a Program of Study as defined in this document. Program of Study means a program of study in psychology provided by an Education Provider consistent with Section 5 of the National Law and includes all of the requirements formally approved by the Education Provider, the successful completion of which results in the award of a qualification Accredited by TEQSA (or where TEQSA has granted the Provider self accrediting authority, accredited by the Provider), and for which an application for accreditation to APAC has been made, or accreditation has been granted. Provisional Psychologist means a person registered with the Psychology Board of Australia as a provisional psychologist under Section 62 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law PsyBA means the Psychology Board of Australia. Psychologist means a person who holds general registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia under Section 52 of the National Law, or where referring to an Program of Study conducted offshore, to a psychologist who holds a current licence to practice psychology and/or the necessary qualifications and recognition of those authorities with the responsibility for regulation of the practice of psychology in the country where the Offshore Program is being delivered. Psychology intern means a person registered with the Psychology Board of Australia as a provisional psychologist under Section 62 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law 2009 and who is undertaking a program of supervised practice approved by that Board. Research Supervisor means the main supervisor of any research project conducted by a student enrolled in the Program of Study. RPL means recognised prior learning. Rules means the rules set down for the Accreditation of Education Providers and their Programs of Study as prescribed by APAC and amended from time to time. Sequence means a recognised set of units of study in psychology and the rules governing their completion including the order in which they must be undertaken. 3

12 Site Visit means the attendance by an APAC assessor or assessors to a campus of the Education Provider or to another relevant location, undertaken as part of the process of assessment, to determine the extent to which the Programs of Study and/or the Education Provider comply with the APAC Standards. Standard(s) means these Standards, as approved by the Psychology Board of Australia and published on the Board s website pursuant to Sections 47 and 48 of the National Law. Supervision means an interactive process, in real time, between a student enrolled in the Program of Study and a supervisor, which is by its nature is a special type of mentoring relationship and which includes clear recognition of the supervisor s responsibility for the quality of the student s practice. TEQSA means the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency established pursuant to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth). Unit means a separate and identifiable component of a Program of Study, usually with its own assessment elements and usually with an identified member of the Academic Staff responsible for its coordination, as defined in Schedule 1 of the Higher Education Support Act Year, in the context of Programs of Study, for example a four year Program of Study means full time study which involves two semesters or three terms/trimesters of full time student work. Thus a four year Program of Study will involve eight semesters of full time study. In addition, when reference is made to a specific year level, for example third year, this should be read as the third full time year of study in the Program of Study. 4

13 DOMAIN 1 EDUCATION PROVIDER STANDARDS 1.1 Education Provider The Education Provider maintains current registration as a higher education provider with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) All Programs of Study for which Accreditation is sought are currently accredited by TEQSA, or where a registered higher Education Provider is authorised by or under the TEQSA Act to selfaccredit a Program of Study, the Program of Study is self accredited by the Education Provider All Programs of Study for which Accreditation is sought fully meet the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) in addition to meeting the APAC Standards set out in this document for the relevant AQF Qualification Learning Type Level (7 10) which is awarded. Where the APAC Standards exceed the requirements specified in the AQF, the APAC Standards always take precedence The Education Provider maintains an Academic Organisational Unit (AOU) with an identifiable core of psychologists and a recognised Head and this AOU is responsible for the planning, design, delivery, quality and monitoring of the Programs of Study The Education Provider has: the necessary and appropriate level of staffing and other resources and facilities, and (ii) sufficient academic, financial and administrative control, to ensure the provision of high quality education and training in psychology in each and every Program of Study for which it is seeks or has obtained APAC Accreditation The Education Provider employs a senior, experienced and recognised educator who: has postgraduate qualifications in psychology and has publications in peer reviewed scientific journals; (ii) has attained appointment as an academic at level C or equivalent or higher rank, and (iii) is responsible for the Programs of Study for which accreditation is sought or has been obtained The Education Provider maintains at least one Full Time Level E appointment in the discipline of psychology for which the relevant position description: satisfies the APAC benchmarking criteria for a Level E academic position, and (ii) assigns a senior role to the incumbent in directing and advising how the Programs of Study in psychology are designed, delivered and monitored Members of staff of the Education Provider comply with all applicable codes of ethical conduct, including the code of ethics currently adopted by the PsyBA and any staff code of conduct which the Education Provider has in place All Programs of Study use grading systems which are criterion based, and grading systems in which any student s grade is dependent on the calculation of a median, aggregation or averaging of the marks of multiple students are not used in any of the Programs of Study No student can graduate from a Program of Study if the student has: received a grade of less than 50% in a required psychology or other compulsory unit, without first repeating the unit and achieving a minimum grade of 50%, or 5

14 (ii) failed to successfully complete all of the units which are compulsory parts of the Program of Study The Education Provider has in place a process of regular quality review and improvement which includes: a regular and systematic program of monitoring learning outcomes in the Programs of Study; (ii) consideration of the suitability of the qualifications, performance and ongoing education of the staff who teach into each of the Programs of Study; (iii) a documented process of benchmarking of learning outcomes, teaching quality and learning outcomes against comparable Accredited Programs of Study offered by at least two other similar Accredited Education Providers, at least once per accreditation cycle; (iv) a quality review body, to which a number of stakeholder representatives external to the Education Provider are appointed and which demonstrates documented evidence of: activities aimed at auditing and improving the quality of the teaching, learning, supervision and training in the Programs of Study offered; the regular collection of feedback, at least twice per Accreditation cycle, on the perceived standards of training being achieved, from representatives of a range of field supervisors and employers of graduates; review of the competencies of graduates on employment, and actions taken by the Education Provider as a result of the quality review body s work to improve learning outcomes in the Programs of Study, and (v) a program liaison committee at which staff representatives from the AOU responsible for the Program(s) of Study meet with student representatives (from each year level of the Program of Study) to discuss effective operation of the Program(s) of Study and the constant improvement of teaching quality The Education Provider ensures that students enrolled in the Programs of Study have access to clearly documented grievance processes The Education Provider at all times keeps the public, prospective and current students accurately informed as to the current APAC Accreditation status of its Programs of Study and of its other courses and units. 1.2 Multiple Campuses Regardless from which campus they are offered, all Programs of Study for which Accreditation is sought or has been obtained: meet the Standards; (ii) have sufficient staffing and other resources to ensure the delivery of high quality education, and (iii) provide all students undertaking them with equivalent opportunities for access to the relevant resources, advice, support, materials and facilities Where another organisation (a third party) is engaged to deliver part or all of the Education Provider s Programs of Study, or delivers a Program of Study in partnership with the Education Provider, the Education Provider making the accreditation application takes responsibility for ensuring that: all parts of the Programs of Study delivered by the third party meet and maintain the Standards; 6

15 (ii) all parts of the Programs of Study delivered by the third party are delivered as agreed between the Education Provider and APAC, and (iii) the third party does not make false claims as to the accreditation status or other aspects of the Programs of Study. 1.3 Qualification Nomenclature The title of the qualification awarded following successful completion of any Program of Study: complies with the requirements for qualification titles set down in the current version of the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy; (ii) accurately represents the nature of the majority of its compulsory content; (iii) is appropriate to the level and nature of the learning outcomes and/or competencies, including any area of specialisation, achieved by students on graduating from it, and (iv) does not contain terms which could bring graduates or the discipline of psychology into disrepute, or could misinform the public as to the capabilities of its graduates Where the title of the qualification awarded following successful completion of any Program of Study is identical to the title of any non Accredited qualification currently offered by the Education Provider, the Provider has in place a means by which regulators and the public can clearly distinguish the accredited from the non accredited Program. 1.4 Academic Staffing The EFT staff complement teaching into each Program of Study in psychology is sufficient to achieve: a high quality educational experience, and (ii) consistently high quality learning outcomes which are documented The student:academic staff ratio calculated across all Programs of Study using the specified APAC calculation method is never greater than 22: The staff members teaching into the Programs of Study possess adequate qualifications, expertise and experience to: competently teach the content in the Programs; (ii) competently mentor and supervise students enrolled in the Programs, and (iii) deliver high quality learning outcomes appropriate to the purposes of those Programs. 1.5 Test Library The Education Provider maintains a test library which: holds sufficient up to date copies of those psychological tests, inventories and related testing and assessment materials required to meet the teaching needs and learning outcomes of the Programs of Study offered; (ii) includes an effective means of ensuring rapid and secure delivery of tests, including related testing materials and documents, between any relevant campuses; (iii) has procedures in place to restrict access to psychological test materials to qualified psychologists and students enrolled in assessment and testing units, or on placement, and (iv) ensures that the use by students of any psychological tests, inventories and related testing and assessment materials is closely supervised by a suitably qualified staff member. 7

16 1.6 Credit, advanced standing and RPL The Education Provider requires that where credit, advanced standing or RPL is sought for any Program of Study (or part thereof) based on studies undertaken at another Australian Education Provider, credit for psychology units is granted only where the previous studies on the basis of which credit is sought: were undertaken at an Education Provider which was an APAC accredited provider at the time of completion; (ii) were part of an APAC accredited Program of Study at the time of completion; (iii) were completed within the past 10 years; (iv) have been carefully assessed as comparable to those for which credit is to be given; and requires records to be maintained containing sufficiently detailed to justify credit decisions should APAC conduct an audit of the Education Provider s transfer/credit practices The Education Provider ensures that where an application for credit is made based on studies undertaken at a non Australian educational institution: the studies have been assessed by an assessing authority recognised by APAC as comparable to those for which credit is sought, and (ii) records containing sufficient detail are maintained to justify credit decisions should APAC conduct an audit of the provider s transfer/credit practices. 1.7 Evidence based approach All Programs of Study offered: teach psychology as a science based discipline drawing on an evidence based approach; (ii) are based on the Scientist Practitioner model; (iii) employ approaches to teaching and learning which are informed by the most recent relevant published evidence, and (iv) support all elements of the Program with up to date publications from high quality peerreviewed scientific journals of international standing. 8

17 DOMAIN 2 STANDARDS FOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY AT AQF LEVEL Purpose and learning outcomes The stated purpose of the Program of Study is to provide a broad education in the scientific discipline of psychology The stated learning outcomes of the Program of Study: are derived from each of the Graduate Attributes listed in Appendix A; (ii) include the achievement of a high level of psychological literacy; (iii) include acquiring of foundational knowledge and skills in interviewing; (iv) include acquiring foundational knowledge and skills in basic counselling, and (v) include acquiring knowledge of the guiding principles of the current version of the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce (2002, Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing). 2.2 Minimum credit point quanta The Program of Study leads to an AQF Level 7 qualification and requires completion of a total of no less than 144 APAC Credit Points 2 (180 ECTS) even when undertaken in any accelerated mode The Program of Study requires completion of no less than 84 APAC Credit Points (105 ECTS) in psychology. 2.3 Required elements The Program of Study requires foundational learning in each of the content areas listed and/or underpinning the Graduate Attributes in Appendix A The Program of Study requires completion of a sequence of core topics contained in a series of compulsory psychology units which are designed in such a way that units build on and extend previous learning Each of the guiding principles of the current version of the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce is integrated into the core curriculum and its assessments. 2.4 Assessment The Program of Study requires the successful completion of a range of formative and of summative assessments which, at a minimum, focus on: the achievement of the Graduate Attributes set out in Appendix A; (ii) the achievement of foundational knowledge and skills in basic counselling; (iii) the achievement of foundational knowledge and skills in interviewing, and (iv) knowledge of each of the guiding principles of the current version of the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce (Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing). 2 See APAC Credit Points in Definitions Section. 9

18 DOMAIN 3 STANDARDS FOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY AT AQF LEVEL Entry requirements Entry to the Program of Study requires successful completion of an APAC accredited AQF level 7 Program of Study (see Domain 2), or a qualification obtained in an Overseas Country which has been assessed as substantially comparable by an assessing authority recognised by APAC. 3.2 Purpose and learning outcomes The stated purposes of the Program of Study are to: build on the knowledge and skills achieved in the APAC Accredited Level 7 Program; (ii) undertake advanced training in the conduct and evaluation of scientific research, and (iii) undertake advanced level study in psychology preparatory to further learning and professional training The stated learning outcomes of the Program of Study include: acquiring advanced knowledge and skills in research methods in psychology; (ii) acquiring critical and creative thinking skills in psychology; (iii) acquiring advanced knowledge of values and ethics in psychology and the ability to apply ethical principles to psychological practice; (iv) acquiring advanced knowledge in the foundations of psychological testing, including the theoretical and empirical bases underpinning the construction, implementation, and interpretation of some of the more widely used cognitive and personality assessments, and foundational skills in the ethical use of psychological tests. 3.3 Minimum credit point quanta The Program of Study leads to an AQF Level 8 qualification and requires completion of a total of not less than 48 APAC Credit Points (60 ECTS) even when undertaken in any accelerated mode The Program of Study requires completion of no less than 48 APAC Credit Points (60 ECTS) in psychology, no less than half of which must be allocated to the study of research methods including designing, executing and reporting on a scientific psychology research project Where the Program of Study is imbedded into a Bachelor degree, the qualification: requires completion of no less than 192 APAC Credit Points (240 ECTS) even when undertaken in any accelerated mode, and (ii) meets all of the Standards set down in Domain 3 in addition to all of the Standards in Domain 2 of this document, and (iii) leads to the award of a Bachelor Honours Degree. 3.4 Required elements The Program of Study includes coverage at the advanced level of each of the content areas listed in A2.1 of Appendix A The Program of Study incorporates assessed work at the advanced level based on each of the guiding principles of the current version of the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce (Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing) The Program of Study includes advanced training in research methods. 10

19 3.4.4 The Program of Study includes advanced training in ethics and ethical psychological practice including the code of ethics currently adopted by the PsyBA and the current version of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research The Program of Study includes advanced training in the foundations of psychological testing and pre professional training in ethics in psychological practice The Program of Study includes a research project which: carries a final assessment weight reflecting at least 16 APAC Credit Points (20 ECTS); (ii) requires each student, under supervision, to address his or her own research question, conduct his or her own relevant intensive scientific literature review, conduct his or her own data analyses (but may involve shared data collection), reporting and interpretation of results and writing of a research report; (iii) requires that students participate in all of the steps involved in research including the formulation of research questions, the design of the study including selection of appropriate methodology, the collection and analysis of data (but may involve shared data collection), the interpretation of the findings and the writing up of the report; (iv) addresses a research question that is relevant to the discipline of psychology, and (v) requires submission of a written research report, either in APA format or formatted as a manuscript suitable for submission to a relevant peer reviewed journal. 3.5 Assessment The Program of Study requires the successful completion of formative and of summative assessments which focus on achievement of the Graduate Attributes concerning research methods in psychology as set out in A2.1 and A2.2 of Appendix A The Program of Study requires the examination of a research report, thesis (adhering to APA format) or scientific journal article, including a substantial review of the relevant published scientific literature: that must be assessed by at least two examiners; (ii) for which procedures must be in place to resolve any differences across examiners, and (iii) that must not be examined by any Research Supervisor of the student or any collaborator who participated in the research project being reported The Program of Study requires the successful completion of formative and summative assessments which focus on achievement, at the advanced level, of: the Graduate Attributes concerning critical and creative thinking skills in psychology as set out in each of A3.1 to A3.4 of Appendix A, and (ii) the Graduate Attributes concerning values and ethics in psychology as set out in each of A4.1 to A4.5 of Appendix A The Program of Study has rules which require every student to achieve no less than 50% on each and every unit undertaken as part of the Program of Study before the student is permitted to graduate. 11

20 DOMAIN 4 STANDARDS FOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY AT AQF LEVEL 9 MASTERS COURSEWORK DEGREES 4.1 Entry requirements Entry to the Program of Study requires completion of a minimum of an APAC accredited AQF level 7 Program of Study or a qualification obtained in an Overseas Country which has been assessed as substantially comparable by an assessing authority recognised by APAC. 4.2 Purpose and learning outcomes The stated purposes of the Program of Study are to: build on the knowledge and skills achieved in the APAC Accredited Level 7 Program; (ii) undertake advanced training in the conduct of scientific research and the ability to critically assess and apply it to inform professional practice; (iii) undertake advanced level study in psychology preparatory to further learning, and (iv) prepare graduates to undertake a PsyBA approved internship program The stated learning outcomes of the Program of Study include: acquiring advanced knowledge and skills in research methods in psychology; (ii) acquiring critical and creative thinking skills in psychology; (iii) acquiring advanced knowledge of values and ethics in psychology and knowledge of the application of ethics to psychological practice; (iv) acquiring advanced knowledge in the foundations of psychological testing, including the theoretical and empirical bases underpinning the construction, implementation, and interpretation of some of the more widely used cognitive and personality assessments, and skills in the ethical use of psychological tests, and (v) achieving competence in each of the Foundation Competencies for Psychology Interns listed in Appendix B. 4.3 Minimum credit point quanta The Program of Study leads to an AQF Level 9 Masters (Coursework) qualification and requires completion of a total of no less than 96 APAC Credit Points (120 ECTS) even when undertaken in any accelerated mode No less than 16 APAC Credit Points (20 ECTS) of the Program of Study must be allocated to research methods including designing, executing and reporting on a scientific psychology research project. 4.4 Credit and advanced standing Credit /advanced standing of up to 48 APAC Credit Points (60 ECTS) may be awarded where a candidate has successfully completed an APAC Accredited AQF level 8 Program of Study Advanced Standing or credit can only be granted for placement where the supervised practice which occurred in that placement: occurred within an APAC Accredited Program completed within the last two years, and (ii) was of a comparable nature to the placement for which credit is sought The total amount of Advanced Standing or credit for placement granted to any student of the Program is never more than 33% of the total practical placement required by the Program. 12

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