Statement On Commonwealth Prac Payment

Australian Psychological Society

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is deeply disappointed that provisional psychologists appear to be ineligible for Commonwealth Prac Payments and is strongly urging the Federal Government to reconsider.

Dr Catriona Davis-McCabe said the decision to leave provisional psychologists without support didn’t make sense for psychologists, patients or the wider community.

“Currently provisional psychologists undertaking compulsory placements as part of their journey to registration are not paid,” she said.

“Expecting provisional psychologists to undertake these placements for free puts psychology out of reach for so many students, which puts even more pressure on the psychology workforce, and ultimately does nothing but harm patients who need to access psychology care.

“This simply isn’t sustainable or acceptable in 2024.

“We have been advocating to the Federal Government and the Department of Health about the need to provide more support to provisional psychologists.

“The decision to leave provisional psychologists out of this program goes against the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy, Universities Accord and Women’s Economic Taskforce” Dr Davis-McCabe said.

Australians studying to be a teacher, a nurse, a midwife or a social worker will be eligible for this payment.

This new payment will provide around 68,000 eligible higher education students and over 5,000 VET students each year with $319.50 per week during their clinical and professional placement periods.

Benchmarked to the single Austudy per week rate, this payment will provide cost-of-living relief for many students. It will be means-tested and available from 1 July 2025 and will be in addition to any income support a student may also receive.

Psychology is one of the most feminized industries in Australia, with more than 80 per cent of psychologists being women.

The APS has contacted the Department of Health and the Federal Minister for Health.

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