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Information for supervising psychologists

The PGDipPsychPrac prepares interns for registration under the Psychologist Scope. In addition to the Scientist-Practitioner framework, the curriculum also strongly emphasises the development of reflective practitioners. The integrated, outcomes-based curriculum is structured around the Core Competencies specified by the New Zealand Psychologists Board, and the principles and processes essential to the safe and competent practice of psychology.  In any given cohort, each intern is practicing in a unique setting; hence the programme does not provide group training in particular methods of intervention or therapeutic modalities, but rather each intern needs to undertake such professional development as is most appropriate. Interns are supported to develop an internship plan to particularise the curriculum to match their own development needs in relation to the work they are undertaking.  Hence, on completion of the PGDipPsychPrac internship, each intern will be practicing at the level expected of a beginning psychologist in the particular type of work in which they have trained and each intern will have a scholarly appreciation of the nature of each of the Core Competencies as they apply both to that particular work and to the work of psychologists in general.  As at February 2013, four cohorts have graduated and taken their place in the profession.

To be approved by the university as a field supervisor for an intern in the PGDipPsychPrac, it is essential to: be registered; hold a current APC and to be competent to supervise the intern in the particular work they will be undertaking.  The scope of practice under which the supervisor is registered is less important than expertise. In addition, Supervisors need to have a demonstrable interest in supervision, preferably have undertaken appropriate professional development and be able to articulate their approach to supervision.  Ideally, a field supervisor for the PGDipPsychPrac would also not only be experienced at supervision, but also specifically experienced in the supervision of interns.

Although it is usually preferable for an intern to be supervised by a senior psychologist who works for the same organisation as the intern, this is not always possible, nor indeed is it always the optimal arrangement. Supervisors who are external to either the section or organisation in which the intern is employed need to negotiate a suitable agreement with the organisation.  Interns are required to have at least one hour of dedicated supervision each week, and to be able to reach their supervisor between sessions should the need arise. 

Interns keep a reflective activity log capturing practice activities and hours, and a weekly critical reflection (approximately 500 words); supervisors are required to sign off this log. Supervisors do need, over the course of the year, to review samples of intern work, including by live observation and/or video review.  Supervisors are required to submit four reports on the intern’s progress over the course of the year; a structured form is provided by the university.  Supervisors are not required to attend the intern’s final oral examination.

Once the intern is enrolled, a detailed handbook is available to both intern and supervisor.  This handbook details the philosophy and expectations of the programme.  The University Supervisor will visit the intern on-site three times during the year to monitor all aspects of the internship; ideally this will also include a brief meeting with the Field Supervisor.  The University Supervisor is also available to provide additional support or assistance as required, and the Programme Coordinator is similarly available. 

Should you have additional questions, please contact the Programme Coordinator.

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