Psychology Training for Rural Tasmania: Process, Progress and Potential!
Bridgman, H and Stephens, MJ and Dean, T, Psychology Training for Rural Tasmania: Process, Progress and Potential!, Allied Health Professionals Symposium, 20 November, 2015, Launceston, Tasmania (2015) [Conference Extract]
There have been recent changes to training pathways for the psychology profession in Australia.
Traditional training pathways have involved a four year undergraduate degree plus either a two year
industry training program ('4+2’ pathway) or a two year post graduate program (Clinical Masters).
Recent administration requirement changes, however, with the Australian Health Practitioners
Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have seen a decline in 4+2 pathway opportunities and an increase in
demand for postgraduate training positions. Despite the overall growth in the psychology workforce,
workforce shortages are still prevalent in rural and remote Australia, where the need is greatest.
State wide collaboration involving Psychology, Rural Health and Rural Clinical School at the
University of Tasmania, in conjunction with government, non-government and private sector
psychology has seen an increase in capacity to offer rural-based psychology placements for Clinical
Masters students. This increased capacity has resulted in new graduates successfully gaining
employment in North and North West Tasmania. In 2015 UTAS commenced a new training pathway
called the '5+1'. The 5+1 pathway involves graduates undertaking a fifth year of study then engaging
in a one year supervised internship in an organisation to meet requirements to become a registered
psychologist. The 5+1 pathway represents an appealing alternative for organisations particularly
based in rural Tasmania to recruit and support new psychology graduates. This presentation will
report on two aspects of Tasmanian psychology workforce training. First, we will present an
overview of the UTAS post graduate psychology training program and how rural placement
opportunities have impacted on rural psychology workforce outcomes over the past three years.
Second, we will present an overview of the new 5+1 pathway and how this pathway presents an
exciting opportunity for Tasmanian organisations to grow the psychology workforce state wide.