Psychologists' collection and management of clients' information: An ethico-legal perspective
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Taylor & Francis
School of Arts and Humanities
Psychologists need clients’ information to provide a service to them and must do it within the parameters of the normative framework that regulates the collection and management (i.e., storing, accessing, amending, using, and disposing) of client information. Presiding officers’ comments in the course of tribunal hearings and research findings, however, suggest that many psychologists do not fully understand this framework and/or its practical implications. In this article we aim to provide information to psychologists that will allow them to keep records in a ethico-legal defensible manner and to the optimal benefit of their clients and society. We do this by exploring the Australian normative framework, paying special attention to the relevant legal provisions, case law, ethical principles and standards, and the aims of record-keeping. We then use this normative framework to examine the practical aspects of the collection and management of client information.