Psychologist Registration in Singapore and Updates on the National Psychology Competency Framework

Do you wish to be a registered psychologist in Singapore?  
Do you know the requirements to become a registered psychologist in Singapore??
The key word here is "registered".

According to Singapore Register of Psychologist (SRP; under SPS), you will need:
  • Master’s or doctoral degrees in any area of applied psychology. 
    • The degree must include a supervised practicum component and modules in applied psychology (e.g. Counselling, psychological assessment).  The relevant accreditation bodies in the country or region in which the institution operates must accredit the degree earned. 
  • Full membership in SPS.
  • Completion of 1000 supervised practicum hours. 
This form of registration has always been a voluntary practice, which means that you register with SRP only if you want to.  You can still practice as a psychologist, but you just cannot say that you are registered with SRP.  This resulted in some practising psychologists out there who are not registered with SRP, as they may not see the need.

However, all these are changing.

Vice President Jennifer Teoh providing updates on the competency framework for psychologist in Singapore.
Image from http://singaporepsychologicalsociety.org/agm/sps-annual-general-meeting-2016/
The National Psychology Competency Framework was introduced by SPS Vice President Ms Jennifer Teoh during the SPS Annual General Meeting 2016 on 26 March 2016.  This project is currently being led by the SRP.  Below listed is the process of what is happening or already happened:
  1. Review and align core competencies of sub-disciplines of psychology across public and private sectors
  2. Create a list of practicing psychologists in Singapore and their specialisation
  3. Develop a national framework that sets the competency standards for practicing psychologists in Singapore
  4. Secure endorsement of the framework by key stakeholders
  5. Submit the framework to MOH for regulation of the profession
When this whole process is completed (endorsed by all the key stakeholders, including the main government ministries, and approved by MOH to proceed with a national regulation), all practising psychologists should be on the list.  As there will be a high likelihood that it will become a compulsory national regulation (like in U.K. and Australia) by then, it would be mandated by law that you must be registered with the national registration board (or whatever it will be called) before you can even practice or call yourself a "psychologist".  However, this process will not be completed soon in the next few years, but rather in the next 5 to 10 years.

#spsagm VP Jennifer Teoh addressing regarding the National Psychology Competency Framework.
Picture Link: pic.twitter.com/SWsFy1IVdv
This is an impending event in the psychological arena of Singapore and all of us (psychologists and students) will be affected in some way or another.  So students, do be prepared and here are some tips for you.

Advice for students:
  • Make sure the undergraduate and postgraduate degree/s that you are studying or planning to study is/are accredited by the respective psychology societies or accreditation council in those countries.  If you are doing your degree in a local university, i.e. NUS, NTU, SMU, UniSIM, you should be fine.  If you are doing your degree in a private educational institute, do check.
  • Make sure that your current and planned psychological training (education and internships) can qualify you to register according to SRP's criteria, as mentioned above.
  • If you do not wish to be affected in a major manner by the national regulation/registration (when it happens), try to get registered with SRP within the next 5 years or before this national event happens.  By being registered, (I believe) it should make your process for being nationally registered easier.  However, it would also mean that you will need to finish your postgraduate studies before then.  
If you have any more doubts about this National Psychology Competency Framework or the National Regulation/Registration, do contact SPS or SRP.  I will not have the definite answers for you, but will try to update whenever I have the latest news or updates.