Did You Know? Use of Protected Titles

Did You Know? Use of Protected Titles

The Psychology Board of Australia and AHPRA enforce compliance with the title protection requirements in the National Law in the public interest. The accurate use of titles protect both the integrity of the psychology profession and the rights and safety of the public. 

Protected Titles

Provisional Registration

  • The title Provisional Psychologist must only be used for work completed through the 4+2 pathway or the accredited higher degree pathway (i.e. through practical placements).
  • The title may not be used for any work outside of approved supervised practice. That is, students cannot advertise that they are a Provisional Psychologist, with the exception of placements.
  • Should an individual be employed in a work role where they are engaged in approved supervised practice, they must seek permission from the Psychology Board of Australia to use the title.

General Registration

  • Psychologists with general registration can use the title Psychologist or Registered Psychologist.

Registration with Practice Endorsement

  • Psychologists with an area of practice endorsement in Organisational Psychology can use the title Organisational Psychologist. This also applies to other areas of practice endorsement.
  • Students who are provisionally registered may not use any of the endorsed psychology titles (e.g. Organisational Psychologist). Students may wish to differentiate themselves from other areas of psychology by using, “Masters Student of XXX degree” as an example of an appropriate title.
  • Psychologists enrolled in a Board registrar program leading to an endorsement may use the title Registrar along with the area of practice (e.g. Organisational Psychology Registrar).

Non-practicing Registration

  • Psychologists holding non-practicing registration may use the title Psychologist but must not practice the profession of psychology (for the definition of ‘practice’, see the Psychology Board of Australia’s non-practicing registration).

Lapse of Registration

  • Psychologists whose registration lapses, or is suspended or cancelled, must not use the title Psychologist. There are penalties and other consequences for false use of titles.

Concerns Regarding Appropriate Use of Titles

  • For those who are concerned a psychologist may be misrepresenting themselves, or incorrectly using a protected title, they may like to report it, or address it directly with the person by stating,

“I have checked out your website/profile, and I am concerned you may be breaching AHPRA standards in relation to calling yourself a ‘XXX Psychologist’. I know it can be confusing at times, and many Psychologists are unsure about their title and use of descriptive words, so I thought I would bring it to your attention. AHPRA provides helpful information on the use of protected titles and acceptable descriptives. I recommend you review AHPRA’s requirements and contact them if you are still unsure which title and descriptives are acceptable.”

Detailed information about the appropriate use of titles can be found on the Psychology Board of Australia’s website.

For more information or queries, please email us.