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Master of Professional Psychology

For detailed course information see the Master of Professional Psychology course page.

Behavioural stability

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Behavioural stability is required to function and adapt effectively and sensitively as a professional Psychologist across settings and over time.

2

Student demonstrates long-term behavioural stability to work constructively in diverse and changing academic and professional psychology settings.

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Behavioural stability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Psychology students will be exposed to highly complex human situations and world views different from their own. Consistent, regulated behaviour is essential to effectively manage these situations and support clients in a professional manner.
4

Adjustments must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in both academic and professional psychology practice environment settings.

5

Exemplars:

  • Being receptive and responding appropriately to constructive feedback.
  • Coping with uncomfortable emotions and others behaviour effectively when dealing with individuals in all settings.
  • Engaging in strategies to promote mental well-being and self-care as a psychology student.

Communication — verbal

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Verbal communication, in English, is fundamental to psychology and needs to be respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic and non-judgmental.

2

Student demonstrates the ability to:

  • Be sensitive to individual, social and cultural differences.
  • Understand and respond to verbal communication accurately, appropriately and in a timely manner.
  • Communicate clearly as appropriate to the context of the situation and audience.
  • Provide timely and clear feedback and reporting.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Communicating in a way that displays respect and empathy to others is required to develop trusting and professional psychology relationships.
  • Communication may be restricted to verbal because of physical limitations of the individual (e.g. injury, disease or congenital conditions, or environmental factors).
  • Pace and interactivity of communication may be critical for individual safety, accuracy of assessment results and outcomes.
  • Timely, accurate and effective delivery of information is necessary to provide safe professional psychological practices.
4

Adjustments must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues without compromising the appropriate and safe provision of professional psychology services.

5

Exemplars:

  • Participating in tutorial, workshop and placement supervisory-student discussions.
  • Responding appropriately in all clinical settings in the professional psychology placement environment.

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Communication — nonverbal

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Nonverbal communication is fundamental to professional psychological practice and needs to be respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic and non-judgmental.

2

Student demonstrates:

  • The capacity to recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues.
  • Consistent and appropriate awareness of own behaviours.
  • Sensitivity to individual, social and cultural differences.
  • Recognise that non-verbal communication has important implications for the therapeutic relationship and client outcomes.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Displaying consistent and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, being mindful of space, time boundaries and body movements and gestures promote trust and rapport building in academic and professional psychology practice relationships.
  • Being sensitive to individual, social and cultural differences displays respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships that are essential for effective professional psychological service delivery.
  • The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues is essential for effective observation of client reactions to facilitate assessment and to provide professional psychological services.
4

Adjustments must enable the recognition, assessment, initiation of or appropriate response to effective non-verbal communication in a timely, safe and appropriate manner.

5

Exemplars:

  • Recognising and responding appropriately in classroom situations.
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to cues in clinical and all other settings in the professional psychology environment.

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Communication — written

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Respectful written communication, in English, is a fundamental psychology student responsibility with professional and legal ramifications.

2

Student demonstrates the capacity to construct coherent written communication, as appropriate to the circumstances.

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Written communication must display respect and empathy in order to develop professional psychology work relationships.
  • Construction of written text-based assessment tasks to reflect the required academic standards are necessary to convey knowledge and understanding of relevant subject matter for professional practice standards.
  • Accurate written communication, including record- keeping, report writing, case notes, emails and other communications, is vital to provide consistent and accurate assessments and psychological services in the professional psychology placement context.
4

Adjustments must allow the students to meet necessary standards of clarity, accuracy and accessibility to ensure effective recording and transmission of information in both academic and practice settings.

5

Exemplars:

  • Constructing an essay to academic standards.
  • Constructing clinical report in a timely manner that meets professional standards.
  • Using emails in a way that is respectful of all parties.

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Knowledge and cognition

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Consistent knowledge and effective cognitive skills must be demonstrated to provide professional and competent professional psychological practice.

2

Student demonstrates the ability to:

  • Locate appropriate and relevant information.
  • Process information relevant to practice.
  • Integrate complex information from various sources and implement knowledge to inform diagnosis and practice.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Safe and effective psychological practice is based on knowledge that must be sourced, understood and applied appropriately.
  • A demonstrated defined range of knowledge and cognitive skills is a requirement for course accreditation and in the placement setting as provisionally registered psychologists
4

Adjustments must ensure that a clear demonstration of knowledge and cognitive skills is not compromised or impeded.

5

Exemplars:

  • Ability to conceptualise and use appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items.
  • Appropriately applying knowledge of policy and procedures in the professional psychological setting.

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Literacy

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Literacy skills are essential to provide safe and effective psychological services.

2

Student demonstrates the ability to:

  • Acquire information and accurately convey appropriate and effective messages.
  • Read and comprehend a range of literature and information.
  • Construct coherent written communication appropriate to the circumstances.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • The ability to acquire information and to accurately convey messages is fundamental to ensure safe and effective assessment, intervention and professional support.
  • The ability to read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for safe and effective psychological practice in the professional psychology context.
4

Adjustments must demonstrate a capacity to effectively acquire, comprehend, apply and communicate accurate information.

5

Exemplars:

  • Conveying a spoken message accurately and effectively in a professional psychology setting.
  • Paraphrasing, summarising and referencing in accordance with appropriate academic and/or professional conventions.
  • Producing accurate, concise and clear case notes and written reports which meet legal and professional practice requirements.

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Relational skills

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Professional psychology requires the ability to make and maintain purposeful professional relationships with a wide range of individuals, groups and stakeholders.

2

Student demonstrates the ability to:

  • Establish and maintain rapport with clients, academic staff, supervisors and peers.
  • Use interpersonal skills and empathy to maintain professional relationships.
  • Engage and relate appropriately in individual and group professional supervision and experiential learning groups.
  • Negotiate changes in circumstances, differences in views and conflict situations.
  • Understand power in therapeutic relationships and the potential for misuse of power (e.g. bullying).
  • Adhere to professional boundaries regarding relationships with supervisors and clients at all times.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Well developed relational skills are a cornerstone of effective therapeutic relationships in professional psychology.
4

Adjustments must not compromise the student's ability to demonstrate an acceptable level of effective relational skills.

5

Exemplars:

  • Rapidly building rapport with a client in order to engage in a therapeutic relationship on placement.
  • Effectively using relational and interpersonal skills to manage relationships with clients while on placement, as well as with university staff.
  • Ensuring that feedback is provided in the correct forum and in a way that sustains academic and professional relationships.

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Critical reflective skills

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Professional psychological requires self-awareness and a capacity for critical reflection in order to consider the effect of one’s own issues, actions, values and behaviours on psychological practice and client outcomes

2

Student demonstrates the ability to:

  • Accurately reflect on their professional performance.
  • Accept feedback on their professional practice and respond constructively.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Participation in professional supervision is a key teaching strategy in professional psychological training and requires a well-developed understanding of oneself and one’s impact on others.
  • Working with clients while on placement and understanding and responding to them requires well-developed understanding of oneself and the ability to effectively manage, and reflect on, one’s reactions to situations that may arise.
4

Adjustments must not compromise the student’s ability to demonstrate critical and personal reflection.

5

Exemplars:

  • Identifying when a practice issue is outside one’s scope or expertise or when one's practice may be negatively affected by personal experience and/or reactions.
  • Drawing on professional knowledge, rather than solely personal experience, to inform practice.
  • Using supervision to ensure the effective use of self.

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Sustainable performance

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Professional psychology requires cognitive, emotional and physical performance at a consistent and sustained level.

2

Student demonstrates:

  • Consistent and sustained level of cognitive, emotional and physical capacity to complete a specific task in a timely manner and over time.
  • The capacity to maintain consistency and quality of performance throughout the designated period of time.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Sufficient cognitive, emotional and physical resilience is needed to perform tasks in an assigned period to provide effective, safe and professional support in the social work practice context. Effective workload management, time management and self-reflection is required to ensure sustained performance.
4

Adjustments must ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period.

5

Exemplars:

  • Appropriately participating in tutorials, workshops, skills laboratories, and residentials.
  • Providing consistent psychological services in two professional psychological placements within specified time frames.
  • Managing workloads and not taking on too much might be a key exemplar?

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Numeracy

LevelInherent requirement statement
1

Numeracy skills and the interpretation of published research results are essential for professional psychology.

2

Student demonstrates:

  • the ability to interpret and correctly apply data, measurements and numerical criteria.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

  • Competent application of numeracy skills is essential for understanding, analysing and interpreting data. The ability to interpret and correctly apply data, measurements and numerical criteria are essential for professional psychological practice an adherence to the scientist-practitioner model.
4

Adjustments must demonstrate a capacity to interpret and apply concepts and processes appropriately and accurately.

5

Exemplars:

  • Performing accurate statistical analyses specific to psychology practice including the selection of appropriate normative data and comparison with normative data and client assessment results.
  • Critical analysis of relevant literature, including numeracy in statistics.