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The scope of practice of the profession of psychology

 
This regulation, which has been in effect since 2008, defines the actions that are reserved for the profession of psychology. These actions are commonly referred to as "psychological acts".
 
 
It is a criminal offence for persons who are not registered with the HPCSA as psychology practitioners, to perform any of these actions.
 
What makes a test psychological?
 
When a test is submitted for classification, the reviewers need to decide whether the use this test will result in a psychological act.
 
It is clear from this regulation that assessment activities are emphasised as being reserved for the profession of psychology.
 
Which constructs are included?
 
The types of constructs that result in a psychological act if they are assessed, include:
 
    • Behaviour
    • Mental Processes
    • Personality adjustments
    • Personality dynamics
    • Personality make-up
    • Personality functioning
    • Emotional functions
    • Temperament
    • Adjustments of individuals 
    • Adjustments of groups of persons
    • Intellectual abilities
    • Aptitude
    • Interests
    • Neuropsychological disorders
    • Mental functioning deficiencies
    • Psychophysiological functioning
    • Psychopathology
 
What is notable about this list is how comprehensive it is. 
 
It should also be noted that the assessments of individuals as well as groups of people is included.
 
 
What types of assessment methods are included?
 
The types of assessment methods that are controlled because they result in a psychological act include:
    • Tests
    • Questionnaires
    • Instruments
    • Apparatus
    • Devices
    • "Similar methods"
    • Projections
    • Other techniques
 
The range of assessment methods is very wide indeed.
 
Assessment for what purpose?
 
The scope of practice is written very comprehensively. Assessments that result in a psychological act include:
 
    • Assessment for diagnostic purposes.
    • Assessment aimed at aiding persons or groups of persons in adjustment of personality, emotional or behavioural problems.
    • Assessment aimed at the promotion of positive personality change, growth and development.
    • Assessment for personnel career selection.
 
Thus, the fact that assessments may be done to assist growth and development does not make any difference.
Occupational assessments are not exempt.
 
 
If a test is psychological, what are the implications? 
 
Only registered psychology practitioners may exercise control over psychological tests - including doing research and development on them.
This is why we at Psytech require you to give your HPCSA registration number when you order test materials or the credits to score them.
We also check the online register to verify that your registration is still active.