What is a Provisional Psychologist?

At Arise Clinical Psychology, our clinicians have a vast array of experience and qualifications. Psychologists undergo extensive education, training and supervised practice before they can be recognised as having full registration by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Psychologists are required to complete a minimum of (at-least) 4 to 5 years of education, following which, they can begin practice as a Provisional Psychologist.

In some cases a Provisional Psychologist is a student who is currently enrolled in a Masters of Clinical Psychology and they are employed in “Addition to Placement” whilst they are completing their degree. Upon completion of this degree (6-years) they are automatically registered as a Generally Registered Psychologist, and if they wish to be recognised as Clinical Psychologists, they will still need to complete 2 further years of intensive Supervision.

Provisional Psychologists are able to practice as registered Psychologists would, with additional Mentoring and Supervision. Strict regulations ensure Provisional Psychologists work to meet eight core competencies of psychological practice through weekly-to-fortnightly meetings with a board-approved Supervisor (usually on-site), completion of case study reports, supervised observations and completion of the National Psychology Exam.

Supervision is where the Provisional Psychologist has confidential discussions with their nominated supervisor about the work they are doing with clients. It is a space for them to check in that they are applying appropriate evidence based interventions, developing core competencies, meeting APS Code of Ethics and meeting the requirements of formal processes of reporting to the board during the internship. It is also a space for the Supervisor to ensure that client’s needs are being met by the Provisional Psychologist.

Provisional Psychologists are not eligible to offer Medicare rebates, therefore we charge a lower rate than the other Psychologists in our practice.

They are not limited in the number of sessions they can provide. However the fee that we charge for our Provisional Psychologists includes the time that is required by their Supervisor/s to oversee their work.

When working with clients, Provisional Psychologists are still doing the exact same things a fully Registered Psychologist would be doing with clients. However they have a Psychologist on call that they can check in with to make sure they are effectively supporting clients.

They are also required to do extensive Professional Development each year which means they are regularly learning about different ways to help their clients.

What can they help me with?

Provisional Psychologists are qualified, knowledgeable and skilled in delivery of mental health assessments and interventions, and will typically transition to a fully Registered Psychologist after approximately 1-2 years of supervised practice.

Provisional Psychologists frequently have experience in other areas of mental health, including counselling and disability support, and are able to deliver evidence-based mental health treatment.