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How to achieve psychology accreditation in Australia

Monash University's comprehensive guide to becoming an accredited psychologist in Australia and seamlessly navigating the registration process.

Even though challenging at times, working as a psychologist is one of the most impactful and fulfilling careers. Through your education, training and job, you will gain the skills to make a beneficial difference in the lives of others. It is a selfless, well-respected career that will expose you to people from all walks of life and allow you to influence the mental well-being of the future.

According to a report by ACIL Allen, the federal government is meeting only 35% of its psychology workforce target. And, with one in five Australians experiencing a mental health disorder between 2020 and 2021, the demand for well-educated, registered psychologists is higher than ever. Now is your opportunity to pursue a career in psychology in Australia, with an increased likelihood of finding a job and being well-paid

Besides the minimum of six years of education and training, becoming a psychologist in Australia requires registering with the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA). This means you’ll need to find an accredited course to study and follow one of many training pathways to become registered. This process can seem complicated, but we’re here to help. Our comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and insights to seamlessly navigate the accreditation process, setting you on the path to a fulfilling career in psychology.

Make sure your psychology courses are APAC-accredited

Several universities throughout Australia offer psychology courses, but you must sign up for one that is Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited. APAC is an independent quality and standards organisation that has been appointed by PBA as the higher education accreditation authority for the psychology profession in Australia.

Monash has covered you with APAC-accredited courses, including our Graduate Diploma in Psychology and the Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced. Both graduate courses have been designed to help you on your journey toward psychology accreditation so you can proudly call yourself a registered psychologist.

How to become an accredited psychologist in Australia

Becoming a registered psychologist in Australia starts by completing an undergraduate degree. This process has two levels, which both need to be completed.

Level One Foundational Competencies

Equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in psychology or a Bachelor’s degree in a different discipline with psychology as a subject. Higher-level psychology qualifications, like Monash’s Graduate Diploma in Psychology, will be accepted as it is a great bridging program.

Have you already done a psychology undergraduate degree that APAC does NOT recognise? Don’t worry! You can do a three-year bridging program to make you eligible for entry into an APAC-accredited fourth-year program.  

Level Two Pre-Professional Competencies

Equivalent to an Honour’s degree that is offered as a stand-alone program or integrated into a lower or higher-level program. Alternatively, you can do a level two Graduate Diploma like Monash’s Graduate Diploma in Psychology Advanced.

After completing your fourth year, there are two pathways that you can follow that finally lead to registration as a psychologist. 

  1. 5+1 pathway (general registration)

The 5+1 pathway allows you to do postgraduate-level study at university and get job training through an internship. After you’ve completed your fifth year of studying, you can provisionally register as a psychologist. You will then need a one-year supervised practice internship and pass the National Psychology Exam

  1. Areas of Practice Endorsement pathway 

If you already know which specific area of psychology you want to pursue, choose the endorsement pathway. You can provisionally register as a psychologist in a professional postgraduate program like a Master’s, combined Master/PhD or Doctorate. Professional postgraduate programs have nine Areas of Practice Endorsement (AoPE), including the following:

  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Community Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Educational and Developmental Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

Once you’ve completed an AoPE, you must also complete PBA’s registrar program to be eligible for AoPE.

With the backing of Monash’s psychology courses and this guide, you’re well on your way to becoming an accredited psychologist in Australia. If you have any questions or concerns, contact our course consultant, who is ready to help you.