Statement from the EPASSA Advocacy Committee

The EPASSA Advocacy subcommittee welcomes the Professional Board for Psychology’s letter dated 4 November 2021 that was sent to practitioners. Following constructive and fruitful discussions held between EPASSA and the Board, the Board undertook to clarify the policy framework regulating the professional acts of persons registered under the ambit of the Professional Board for Psychology. EPASSA had requested such clarification from the newly constituted Board because of pervasive discrimination that occurs against educational psychologists. We are aware that some other registration categories also experience discrimination.

The Board’s letter, which can be accessed on the HPCSA website, clarifies various points that EPASSA has long contended. Amongst these are the following:

– Medical schemes have no legislative authority or mandate to adjudicate on the scope of practice for psychologists.
– An outdated document called the Practice Framework for Psychologists, Psychometrists, Registered Counsellors and Mental Health Assistants dated 12 December 2008 cannot be used to define the scope.
– The 2011 regulations that purported to define scope have fallen away.
– Minimum standards documents for the education and training of psychologists do not determine the scope of the different categories of Psychologists.
– The 2008 Scope of Profession regulation (not to be confused with the outdated document dated 12 December 2008) protects the psychological acts that only appropriately trained and registered psychology practitioners may perform.

Some medical schemes and certain psychologists have previously insisted that the minimum standards document and/or the outdated December 2008 document had implications for scope issues. This recent letter from the Professional Board affirms our stance that they do not.

The new Professional Board for Psychology has outlined how it strives to protect the public and to guide and uphold the integrity of the profession. EPASSA welcomes the Board’s most recent communication as doing just that.