Inherent requirements for Bachelor of Psychology

The University of Newcastle (UON) support the rights of all people who wish to pursue a psychology program.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a program or course that demonstrate the abilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the program or course, while preserving the academic integrity of UON’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. The inherent requirements are the abilities, knowledge and skills needed to complete the program that must be met by all students.

Students with a disability or chronic health condition may be able to have reasonable adjustments made to assist them to meet the inherent requirements of a program. Reasonable adjustments cannot fundamentally change the nature of an inherent requirement.

In undertaking a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons), students will be required to undertake activities which reflect the Australian psychology professional practice context which may include mixed gender, religious and culturally diverse environments. For further information, contact your Program Coordinator.

To support potential and current students' decision-making, a series of inherent requirement statements have been developed. These statements specify the program requirements of the Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) for student admission and progression. The statements are clustered under eight domains consisting of ethical behaviour, behavioural stability, legal, communication, cognition, relational skills, reflective skills and sustainable performance.

How to read the inherent requirements statements:

If you are intending to enrol in the Bachelor of Psychology (Hons), you should review these inherent requirement statements and carefully consider whether you can meet these requirements. If you think you may experience challenges for any reason, including a disability or chronic health condition,  you should discuss your concerns with a Student Support Advisor- Accessibility . These staff can work collaboratively with you to determine whether reasonable adjustments can be made to assist you to meet the inherent requirements. Where it is determined that a student cannot meet the inherent requirements of a program even with reasonable adjustments, the University staff can provide guidance regarding other study options.

Each inherent requirement is made up of the following five levels:

  • Level 1 - introduction to the inherent requirement
  • Level 2 - description of what the inherent requirement is
  • Level 3 - explanation of why this is an inherent requirement of the program
  • Level 4 - the nature of any adjustments that may be made to allow you to meet the inherent requirement
  • Level 5 - examples of things you must be able to do to show you've met the inherent requirement

There are eight domains of inherent requirements in the Bachelor of Psychology. Some domains have a number of sub-domains.

  1. Ethical Behaviour
  2. Behavioural Stability
  3. Legal
  4. Communication
  5. Knowledge and Cognition
  6. Relational skills
  7. Reflective skills
  8. Sustainable performance

Inherent Requirement statements:


1. Ethical Behaviour

Introduction

Psychology is a profession governed by the codes, guidelines and policies of the Psychology Board of Australia where psychologists are deemed accountable and responsible for ensuring professional behaviour in all contexts. Psychologists must adhere to these codes and should demonstrate knowledge and engage in ethical behaviour in practice.

Description

Student demonstrates knowledge of, and engages in ethical behaviour in practice.

Justification

Compliance with the codes, guidelines and policies facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and/or the people they engage with. This supports the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of all.

Adjustments

Must not compromise codes, guidelines and policies of the Psychology Board of Australia or engage in unethical behaviour.

Exemplars

Complying with conduct required to maintain provisional registration as a psychologist

Understanding and practising appropriate professional boundaries including confidentiality and duty of care in work with clients whilst on placement.

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2. Behavioural Stability

Introduction

Behavioural stability is required to function and adapt effectively and sensitively in this role.

Description

Student demonstrates behavioural stability to work constructively in diverse and changing academic and professional experience environment, which may at times be challenging and unpredictable.

Justification

Behavioural stability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Students will be exposed to situations which are challenging and unpredictable, and will be required to have the behavioural stability to manage these objectively and professionally.

Adjustments

Must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in both academic and professional experience settings.

Exemplars

Being receptive and responding appropriately to constructive feedback.

Managing own emotional state in order to develop and maintain appropriate relationships with a diverse range of clients, professional colleagues and supervisors, academic staff and peers.

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3. Legal

Introduction

Professional psychology practice is mandated by legislation to enable the safe delivery of support.

Description

Student demonstrates knowledge and compliance with relevant laws and professional regulations.

Justification

Knowledge, understanding of, and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary pre-requisites to placements in order to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.

Compliance with these professional regulations and laws ensures that students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.

Adjustments

Must be consistent with legal and regulatory requirements.

Exemplars

Complying with legal requirements regarding all aspects of practice.

Complying with the requirements for provisional registration with the Australian Health Professional Registration Board (AHPRA).

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4a. Communication (verbal)

Introduction

Effective and efficient verbal communication, in English, is an essential requirement to provide the safe and effective delivery of psychology information and support.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • Sensitivity to individual and/or cultural differences
  • The ability to understand and respond to verbal communication accurately, appropriately and in a timely manner.
  • The ability to provide clear instructions in the context of the situation.
  • Timely clear feedback and reporting.

Justification

Communicating in a way that displays respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships is essential to psychological practice.

The practice of psychology requires a wide range of communication skills including effective verbal communication with clients and members of the professional team.

Speed and interactivity of communication may be critical for individual safety and/or assessment.

Timely, accurate and effective communication is necessary to provide safe and professional support.

Adjustments

Must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues to ensure safe and appropriate care.

Exemplars

Participating in tutorials, presentations, simulations and applied practice discussions.

Responding appropriately to a professional or client care request in the professional experience environment.

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4b. Communication (non-verbal)

Introduction

Effective non-verbal communication is fundamental to the psychology profession and therefore significant to this program and needs to be respectful, clear, attentive, empathic and non-judgmental.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • The capacity to recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues.
  • Consistent and appropriate awareness of own behaviour.
  • Sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.

Justification

The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues assists with building rapport with people and gaining their trust and respect in academic and professional relationships.

Displaying consistent and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, being mindful of space, time boundaries and body movements and gestures promotes trust in academic and professional relationships.

Being sensitive to individual and/or cultural differences demonstrates respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships that are essential for effective professional support.

The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues is essential for effective observation of clients' reactions to facilitate the assessment and to provide professional support.

Adjustments

Must enable the recognition, assessment and initiation of an appropriate response to non-verbal cues as well as initiation of effective non-verbal communication in a timely and appropriate manner.

Exemplars

Recognising and responding appropriately to non-verbal cues in the teaching and professional experience environment.

Recognising and responding appropriately to non-verbal cues in classroom situations.

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4c. Communication (Written)

Introduction

Effective written communication, in English, is a fundamental psychology student responsibility with professional and legal ramifications.

Description

Student demonstrates capacity to construct coherent written communication, in English, appropriate to the circumstances.

Justification

Construction of written text based assessment tasks to reflect the required academic standards are necessary to convey knowledge and understanding of relevant subject matter for professional practice standards.

Accurate written communication for a range of purposes and audiences is vital to provide consistent and accurate assessments and professional support in the professional experience context.

Adjustments

Must not compromise the necessary standards of clarity, accuracy and accessibility to ensure effective recording and transmission of information in both academic and professional experience settings.

Exemplars

Constructing an assessment report to required academic standards.

Preparing psychological reports in a timely manner and that meet professional standards.

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5a.  Knowledge and cognitive skills

Introduction

Consistent knowledge and effective cognitive skills must be demonstrated to provide professional and competent psychology practice.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • The capacity to locate appropriate and relevant information.
  • The ability to process information relevant to practice.
  • The ability to remember and recall appropriate and relevant information
  • The ability to integrate and implement knowledge in practice

Justification

Effective psychology practice is based on knowledge that must be sourced, understood and applied appropriately.

Adjustments

Must ensure that a clear demonstrate of knowledge and cognitive skills is not compromised or impeded.

Exemplars

Ability to learn, recall, conceptualise, and use appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items and professional experience requirements.

Apply knowledge of policy and procedures in professional experience setting.

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5b. Literacy (language)

Introduction

Competent literacy skills are essential to provide safe and effective professional support.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • The ability to accurately acquire information and accurately convey appropriate, effective messages.
  • The ability to read and comprehend a range of literature and information.
  • The capacity to understand and implement academic and practice conventions to construct written text in an appropriate manner for the intended audience.

Justification

The ability to acquire information and to accurately convey messages is fundamental to ensure safe and effective assessment, treatment and professional support.

The ability to read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for safe and effective support in the field placement context.

Adjustments

Must demonstrate a capacity to effectively acquire, comprehend, apply and communicate accurate information.

Exemplars

Conveying a spoken message accurately and effectively in professional experience settings.

Paraphrasing, summarising and referencing in accordance with appropriate academic and/or professional practice conventions.

Producing accurate, concise and clear case notes which meet legal and professional requirements.

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5c. Numeracy

Introduction

Competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential to research skills and to effective psychological practice.

Description

Students demonstrate the ability to interpret and correctly apply numerical data, measurement and numerical criteria.

Justification

Competent application of numeracy skills is essential in psychology to facilitate accurate effective delivery of results when collecting and interpreting numerical data.

Adjustments

Must demonstrate a capacity to manage and interpret numerical data accurately and effectively.

Exemplars

Accurately scoring and interpreting psychological test data while on professional experience.

Accurately gathering and interpreting data using specialist software, e.g. SPSS.

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6. Relational skills

Introduction

Professional psychology practice requires the ability to use highly developed interpersonal skills plus establish and maintain strong relationships with people.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • The ability to establish and maintain rapport with clients, academic staff, supervisors and peers.
  • The ability to engage in effective and empathic psychology practice and group work.
  • The ability to engage and relate appropriately in individual and group applied psychology and experiential learning groups.

Justification

Highly developed relational skills are a cornerstone of effective workplace and therapeutic relationships that permit effective engagement, assessment, intervention and closure.

Adjustments

Must enable the student to demonstrate effective relational skills.

Exemplars

Rapidly building rapport with a client in order to engage them in the therapeutic session while on professional experience.

Effectively using relational and interpersonal skills to manage professional and therapeutic relationships on professional experience.

Relating effectively, openly and sensitively to academic staff, supervisors and peers.

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7. Reflective skills

Introduction

Psychology practice requires self-awareness and a capacity for reflection and reflexivity in order to consider the effect of one's own issues, actions, values and behaviours.

Description

The ability to accurately reflect on their professional performance.

Awareness of own responses to hearing or viewing distressing client communications.

Justification

Working with clients while on professional experience and understanding and responding to them requires the ability to notice, understand and effectively manage one's own reactions to situations that may arise.

Professional psychology training requires well developed understanding of oneself in order to appropriately engage with clinical supervision of and feedback on work with clients.

Adjustments

Must enable the student to demonstrate an acceptable level of capacity in this area.

Exemplars

Identifying when a professional issue is outside one's scope or expertise.

Reflecting in clinical supervision on how one's own responses may impede or enhance work with particular clients on professional experience.

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8. Sustainable performance

Introduction

Professional psychology practice requires both physiological and mental performance at a consistent and sustained level to meet individual and group needs.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • Consistent and sustained level of physical energy to complete a specific task in a timely manner and over time.
  • The ability to perform repetitive activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately.
  • The capacity to maintain consistency and quality of performance throughout the designated period of time.

Justification

Sufficient efficient energy and mental endurance is an essential requirement for effective therapeutic practice which requires concentration on the activity during an assigned period to provide effective support.

Adjustments

Must demonstrate that performance can be consistent and sustained over a given period.

Exemplars

Participating in educational settings, e.g. tutorials.

Consistent involvement in professional experience practice over a negotiated time frame.

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