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A new reality: the role of simulated learning activities in postgraduate psychology training programs


Paparo, J and Beccaria, G and Canoy, D and Chur-Hansen, A and Conti, J and Correia, H and Dudley, A and Gooi, CH and Hammond, S and Kavanaugh, P and Monfries, M and Norris, K and Oxlad, M and Rooney, R and Sawyer, A and Sheen, J and Thielking, M and Xenos, S and Yap, K, Australian Postgraduate Psychology Simulation Education Working Group (APPESWG), A new reality: the role of simulated learning activities in postgraduate psychology training programs, Frontiers in Education, 6 Article 653269. ISSN 2504-284X (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2021. Australian Postgraduate Psychology Simulation Education Working Group (APPESWG). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

DOI: doi:10.3389/feduc.2021.653269


In training to become a registered psychologist in Australia, as with many other countries, there is a requirement for students to attend placements, where they work with clients in an apprenticeship model under the guidance of qualified supervisors. In the context of COVID-19, tertiary sector psychology educators responsible for facilitating these placements, which typically require face-to-face client work, have been challenged to arrange or maintain practica. During the pandemic, across Australia, most placements have been affected through cancellation, postponement, or modification (e.g., using telehealth, supported by the Australian Federal Government). In this paper we describe a collaborative initiative by members of the psychology profession across 15 providers of Australian postgraduate professional training programs. The initiative aimed to identify ways in which to develop and innovate psychological placement offerings, specifically using simulation-based learning. Although simulation-based learning in psychology training programs in Australia is a widely employed pedagogy for the scaffolding of theory into psychological practice, there is paucity of clear and comprehensive guidelines for the use of simulation to both optimize competency-based training and ensure public and student safety. The overarching aim of the group, and the focus of this paper, is to provide standardized guidelines for the inclusion of simulation-based learning in psychology training in Australia both during and post-COVID 19. Such guidelines may be equally valuable for psychology training programs globally.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:simulated learning, professional training, psychology, simulation-based learning, professional psychology, competency-based training, Australian psychologists, psychology training and education
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Clinical psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Norris, K (Professor Kimberley Norris)
ID Code:146956
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-10-05
Last Modified:2022-02-25
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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