PGDipPsychPrac - Introduction
For employers new to internships

Introduction

The Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice (PGDipPsychPrac) is a one-year internship programme preparing selected applicants, who already have at least a Masters degree in Psychology, for Registration under the Psychologist Scope of Practice.  An intern psychologist simultaneously works as a beginning practitioner and undertakes complementary academic instruction with attendant assessment.

Professional Registration and Scopes of Practice

Psychologists and Intern Psychologists in New Zealand are registered under the Health Practitioners Competency Act (HPCA), and may register under the Psychologist Scope, or under one of the specific vocational scopes (currently these are clinical, counseling or educational). The New Zealand Psychologists Board makes clear that although use of a particular title (such as Educational Psychologist) is restricted by Scope, practice is not restricted by scope; rather, all psychologists are ethically and legally bound to practice within the bounds of their competence and the supervision they are receiving.  Hence, the range of jobs undertaken by psychologists registered under the Psychologist Scope is quite broad.  A fuller statement of this clarification can be found at http://www.psychologistsboard.org.nz/scopes-of-practice2.

The nature of a psychology internship

In New Zealand, Psychology Internships are based in Universities; Psychology Traineeships exist wholly within an employing organisation which has the required accredited system in place.  Under the internship option, the university takes responsibility for maintaining a properly approved programme, delivering the academic instruction, ensuring that the practical learning opportunities and professional supervision offered to each intern meets legal and professional requirements.

The PGDipPsychPrac and the Psychology Workforce      

Previously, Psychology Masters graduates could become registered under the Psychologist Scope through a scheme called Supervision 2000.  The closure, in 2007, of Supervision 2000 severely constricted the options available, and hence negatively impacted the development of the Professional Psychologist workforce in New Zealand.  Massey University launched the PGDipPsychPrac in 2009 to address this gap. The PGDipPsychPrac is designed to simultaneously train psychology graduates to meet professional standards – and to respond to workforce development needs by training interns in any New Zealand location in psychology roles required by employers. 

More information

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