Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

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1 Skilled List (SOL) Tracking Code: N2AZ94 Name Individual * Sabine Hammond Organisation Australian Psychological Society What are the industry/industries and ANZSCO occupation/s that you or your organisation represents for the purposes of this submission? Industry Professional Education and Training Health Care and Social Assistance The three dropdowns below accord with the ABS ANZSCO classification of occupations. Selections are required at the Group 2-digit level and at the Unit (4-digit) level, but can also be made down to the (6-digit) level depending on the occupation/s to which your submission relates. Additional occupations can be selected by way of the Add item button. For each occupation selected, please indicate whether your advice is to Include, Exclude, or is Neutral (other) with respect to the SOL. The rest of the form can be used to provide evidence/reasons to support your recommendations. Attachments can also be added after clicking the 'Submit' button. Page 1 of 10

2 Item 1 Group * Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals Unit * Psychologists Psychologists nec Summary advice for SOL * Include Exclude Neutral Item 2 Group * Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals Unit * Psychologists Clinical Psychologist Summary advice for SOL * Include Exclude Neutral Item 3 Page 2 of 10

3 Group * Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals Unit * Psychologists Educational Psychologist Summary advice for SOL * Include Exclude Neutral Item 4 Group * Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals Unit * Psychologists Organisational Psychologist Summary advice for SOL * Include Exclude Neutral Item 5 Group * Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals Unit * Psychologists Psychotherapist Page 3 of 10

4 Summary advice for SOL * Include Exclude Neutral Are there any occupations that you represent where there is evidence of imbalances in the demand for and supply of skills in the medium-to-long term? * For psychology, there will be an imbalance in the demand for and supply of psychologists in the medium-to-long term. It is expected that there will be an imbalance with respect to the psychologists (nec ), educational psychologists (272312), organisational psychologists (272313), and possibly clinical psychologists (272311). Note that the terms psychotherapists (272314) does not refer to a registered profession and can include various training backgrounds. As stated in previous submissions, "psychotherapist" should be excluded from the ANZSCO Unit Group 2723: Psychologist. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 21,000 members (1). The membership includes approximately 60% of the total number of registered psychologists in Australia. The APS database provides evidence that psychologists work in all sectors of the workforce: public, private and non-government organisations. Psychologists also work in a variety of settings including hospitals, health centres, private clinics, community services, welfare organisations, schools, corrections facilities, higher education providers and research centres, and human resource organisations. Psychologists provide professional services to individuals ranging from young children through to the elderly, and to couples, families and organisations. The demand for psychologists thus varies depending on the sector and context in which a psychologist is engaged, as well as the geographical location. According to the Psychology Board of Australia, there were 26,219 fully registered and practicing psychologists in Australia (2) in June The major areas of demand for psychologists in the medium-to-long term include mental health and chronic disease. In 2003, mental health disorders represented the third highest burden of disease in Australia accounting for 13% of the total burden of disease across the nation (3). Almost half (45%) of Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime (4). The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number one health concern in both the developed and developing nations by 2030 (5). The evidence is clear that there will be an increasing demand for evidence-based interventions to address mental health disorders in the medium-to-long term in Australia. Psychologists are highly trained professionals skilled in the delivery of evidence-based psychological interventions for the management of mental health symptoms and disorders. The National Health Survey showed that just over 7 million people in Australia have at Page 4 of 10

5 least one chronic health condition (6). The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) indicate that chronic illnesses are one of the leading causes of mortality in Australia. Many chronic illnesses have substantial behavioural components and the AIHW recommend that behavioural risk factors (e.g., smoking, diet, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, drug and alcohol use) be the main focus of efforts in the area of health promotion and disease prevention. Psychologists are skilled in the delivery of psychological interventions to address the impact of behaviours on health, as well as the impact of illness on psychological wellbeing. Given the high incidence of chronic illness in Australia and the ageing population, the expected demand for psychologists to work with people with chronic illness and to provide training and support to other health professions is likely to increase in the medium-to-long term. While the demand for psychologists is likely to grow, current data indicates that the supply of psychologists is declining and likely to continue to do so. There are two routes to registration as a psychologist in Australia. One route involves four years of accredited study in psychology followed by further professional training at the postgraduate level. However, the number of professional postgraduate courses has been declining over the period such that there are more eligible candidates than postgraduate psychology training places (about 2.6 candidates apply for each place)(7). Only 7.8% of the total undergraduate psychology intake completed postgraduate study in 2008, 8.7% in 2009 and 8.4% in 2010(8). This situation is predicted to continue as the declining number of places is related to the funding structure for postgraduate psychology programs. Many higher education providers have discontinued to range of postgraduate programs in 8 of the 9 areas of practice in psychology, mostly for cost reasons, and are focussing principally on postgraduate training in clinical psychology. The alternative route to registration is through an accredited sequence of study (4-5 years) followed by an internship (1-2 years). This pathway has been significantly affected by changes to the requirements for completion of an internship that has made internships an unattractive option for the both the public and non-government sectors. Consultations undertaken by the APS with a range of organisations, students, and supervisors indicates that internships are no longer a viable a means to train psychologists within a reasonable timeframe and cost. In summary, there will be an imbalance in the demand for and supply of psychologists in the medium-to-long term. 1 Including both psychologists and non-psychologists Begg, S., Vos, T., Barker, B., Stevenson, C., Stanley, L. & Lopez, A. (2007). The burden of disease and injury in Australia, AIHW cat. no. PHE 82. Canberra: AIHW. 4 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, , ABS: Canberra. 5 World Health Organisation (2008). The global burden of disease: 2004 update Voudouris, N., & Mrowinski, V. (2010). Alarming drop in availability of postgraduate psychology training. InPsych, 32(2), Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [DIISRTE]. (2011). Page 5 of 10

6 Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics, Full Year Canberra: DIISRTE. Is there evidence of imbalances in the demand for and supply of skills in the medium-to-long term in non-metropolitan areas? If so, can you indicate in what part of Australia and the number in the occupation in over or undersupply. There is evidence of imbalances in demand pressures and supply blockers in regional, rural and remote Australia. These are likely to continue to escalate in the medium to long term. Evidence for demand: The AIHW states that people living in non-metropolitan areas, especially remote areas, experience higher death rates and poorer health outcomes than those living in metropolitan areas (1). There are multiple reasons for this discrepancy including higher rates of behavioural risk factors (e.g., smoking, diet, stress, drug and alcohol use, physically dangerous work, help seeking behaviours). There are also high levels of psychological distress and mental illness in rural areas, particularly for men (2). There is thus a growing demand for evidencebased psychological and behavioural interventions outside urban areas, especially in the more remote locations. Evidence for supply issues: The rural health workforce crisis is well documented, including the shortage of mental health professionals (3). Approximately one-third of Australians live outside major cities, with 20% in inner regional, 9% outer regional, 2% remote and 1% very remote (4). However, in 2012, approximately 82% of psychologists worked in major cities, 12% in inner regional areas, 5% in outer regional locations, and 2% in remote/very remote locations (5). The supply of psychologists in Australia thus ranges from 98.6 FTE per 100,000 population in major cities to 34.0 FTE per 100,000 population in remote/very remote regions (6). The blockages to the supply of psychologists outside metropolitan regions are similar to those described in our answer to the previous question. These blockages are magnified in non-urban regions because of the reliance on the internship pathway to produce the rural workforce and the lack of access to postgraduate training for people living in rural regions. Furthermore, the existing workforce shortage impacts on the capacity for student placements and internships to occur in non-urban regions (because they require supervision by a fully trained psychologist), in turn impacting on the future rural workforce pipeline AIHW (2008). Rural, Regional and Remote Health. Cat. no. PHE97. Canberra: AIHW. 3 Health Workforce Australia (2013). National Rural and Remote Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategy. Adelaide, SA: HWA. 4 AIHW (2013) Accessed from 5 AIHW (2012). Allied Health Workforce Cat. no. HWL 51. Canberra: AIHW. Page 6 of 10

7 6 ibid Are there any occupations which require formal licensing or registration arrangements in order to practice/perform in this occupation? For example: Midwives are required to register with the nurses board in their state or territory Panelbeaters are required to be registered or certified with the state Motor Vehicle Repair Industry Authority The psychology profession is subject to statutory regulation under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act ('the National Law') in all Australian states and territories. Under this National Law, the title psychologist and its derivatives are protected. All psychologists must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA). The following occupations require registration: Psychologist nec , Clinical Psychologist , Educational Psychologist (272312), and Organisational psychologist (272313). Psychotherapy and psychotherapists, unlike psychologists, are not subject to statutory regulation and their titles are not protected. Individuals who identify themselves as a "psychotherapist" may or may not have had the training required of a registered psychologist. The APS recommends to exclude "psychotherapist" from the ANZSCO Unit Group 2723 Psychologist. This is consistent with the aim of the National Law to ensure that only practitioners who have the skills and qualifications to provide safe care and psychological services are registered to practice in the psychology profession. The APS recommends to include as listed occupations the other 6 areas of practice, recognised by the PsyBA and also protected titles, that are not on the skilled occupations list: These are: (1) clinical neuropsychology, (2) community psychology, (3) counselling psychology, (4) forensic psychology, (5) health psychology, and (6) sport and exercise psychology. Is it expected that your employment sector will be impacted by any medium-to-long term trends which will impact upon demand and/or supply (excluding costs associated with training, labour hire, and international sponsorship)? Please provide evidence (e.g. data source, policy document) which substantiates these claims. Page 7 of 10

8 For example: New benchmarks for childcare centres mandate increased staff-to-child ratios and higher qualification standards for childcare workers. Demand: As stated above, demand for psychological services is expected to increase, reflecting predictions of increased burden of disease, especially related to mental health, chronic illness, and the needs of an ageing population. With government focus on evidence-based practice and demonstrated outcomes, the psychology profession is uniquely qualified to address these demands. Supply: - As stated above, the supply of psychologists is affected by the decline in availability of pathways to registration, especially the decrease in postgraduate training places both overall and in specific areas of practice both included and currently not included on the skilled occupations list (such as educational and developmental psychology or sports and exercise psychology). - It is difficult to anticipate to what the effects of the current proposed higher education reforms will be but there is the possibility that increased student fees will affect the number of students enrolling in postgraduate programmes in psychology. - Ageing psychology workforce: approximately 34% of the registered psychology workforce are aged 50 and above (1), including a small percentage (7.8%) of psychologists above age 65. Another 8.1% of this workforce will be of retirement age by 2020 and a further 9% by With the current available higher education places, the retiring workforce may not be replaced in sufficient numbers to maintain the current supply, let alone increase the number of psychologists. (1) Please provide any other information you consider relevant evidence to support your submission For example, you may know of some independent studies about your occupation that supports your advice to us. Would you like to make any additional comments on the SOL? Page 8 of 10

9 The APS has raised these issues in previous submissions. The APS is concerned that some of the material included in the Summary Sheet for Psychologists is incorrect and would like to take this opportunity to address these errors. 1. In the summary sheet it states that "4 years minimum study is generally required in university courses leading to the occupation". The APS recommends that Table 2b (the paragraph on Long Lead Time) be amended to read: A minimum six-year sequence of education and training in psychology is required for an individual to become eligible for general registration with the Psychology Board of Australia. Explanation: (a) Higher education providers other than universities are now offering accredited psychology programmes. (b) To become a registered psychologist in Australia requires 6 years of study and practice that can be obtained through multiple pathways: - A 3-year Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited sequence of study in psychology (e.g. a bachelor degree majoring in psychology); followed by: - An APAC accredited 4th year in psychology (e.g. honours, postgraduate diploma) (some programs combine 1 above and this year together into a four year program); followed by either: a 2-year APAC-accredited postgraduate psychology program (Masters level at least); or an APACaccredited fifth year psychology program (e.g. graduate diploma of professional psychology) followed by 1-year full-time Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) approved supervised practice as a provisionally registered psychologist; or iii. years full time PsyBA approved supervised practice as a provisionally registered psychologist. These pathways form the basis of the educational and training requirements against which overseas-trained psychologists are compared to determine their eligibility to obtain registration to practice as a psychologist in Australia. 2. Psychotherapy may be a method of therapy used by psychologists, but psychotherapists are not qualified to provide the whole range of skills in which psychologist is trained. The label psychotherapist is not recognised nor regulated by the Psychology Board of Australia (see response to Question 5 above). Therefore, the APS recommends the removal of :Psychotherapist from the ANZSCO Unit Group 2723: Psychologist. 3. The APS notes that the list of occupations under Psychologists for ANZSCO Unit Group 2723 is not consistent with the titles approved for use by psychologists under the National Law. The APS recommends that the list under 2723 Psychologists be amended to include these additional titles acceptable under the National Law for use in Australia: Clinical Neuropsychologist, Community Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, Health Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist, and Sports and Exercise Psychologist. Page 9 of 10

10 Please provide the name, position and contact details of a person within your organisation who is willing to be contacted if any further information or follow-up is required. Name * Dr Sabine Hammond Position * Executive Manager, Science, Education and Membership Contact details * P.O. Box 38 Flinders Lane, VIC 8009 (03) All information, including name and address details, contained in submissions will be made available to the public on the Department of Industry website unless you indicate that you would like all or part of your submission to remain in confidence. Automatically generated confidentiality statements in s do not suffice for this purpose. Respondents who would like all or part of their submission to remain in confidence should provide this information in an to gov.au. Legal requirements, such as those imposed by the Freedom of Information Act 1982, may affect the confidentiality of your submission. Page 10 of 10

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