Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Alfred Allan

Second Advisor

Dr Maria Allan

Abstract

Australia is moving towards the proposed National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for Health Professionals, which would entail a unified national registration system for various health professions including psychology. Under this scheme, the Council of Australian Governments has indicated that specialist title in psychology may exist at a national level for the first time. As specialist areas are likely to align with the Australian Psychological Society's (APS) Colleges, forensic psychology is likely to be recognised as a specialty. This raises the question of what model of forensic psychology will be adopted at a national level. Currently the model of forensic psychology adhered to in Australia is not clear, based on the criteria of the APS College of Forensic Psychologists and the Western Australia Board of Registration, which is the only Board to currently endorse forensic psychology with specialist title. The purpose of this paper is to examine the models of forensic psychology used, explicitly or implicitly, in other countries, in particular the United States of America, South Africa, The United Kingdom and Europe. The data collected will be used to make recommendations about possible models of forensic psychology that can be used in Australia. Under the proposed National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for Health Professionals, specialist title in psychology may exist at a national level for the first time. As specialist areas are likely to align with the Australian Psychological Society's (APS) Colleges, forensic psychology is likely to be recognised as a specialty. This raises the question of what model of forensic psychology should be adopted at a national level. Based on a review of forensic psychology in the United States of America, Europe, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia it is apparent that varied models of forensic psychology are in practice. The APS has indicated the model of forensic psychology provided by the College of Forensic Psychologists is likely to be followed; however this model is currently unclear. Additionally, no research has explored how the APS model of forensic psychology translates into actual practice. Thus, this research aimed to determine which model/s of forensic psychology members of the APS College of Forensic Psychologists practice under. A total of 112 members participated and provided information on their qualifications, work type and work setting via an electronic survey instrument. Results supported the hypothesis that several models of practice would be identified within this cohort. The suitability of each model for adoption as a national standard is discussed.

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