What is a Provisional Psychologist? 

A provisional psychologist is someone that has been granted a provisional registration by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to practice psychology. While they hold provisional status, they conduct their psychological practice under the supervision of a fully registered psychologist. 

The provisional registration period serves as a kind of internship. It gives a chance to someone that has completed their tertiary education in psychology to acquire the skills necessary to be a psychologist in a practical setting. 

What is the difference between a psychologist and a provisional psychologist? 

The difference between a psychologist and a provisional psychologist is mainly that a provisional psychologist is undergoing hands-on training under the mentorship of a more seasoned psychologist in order to improve their skills. 

This means that they regularly engage in discussions with their supervisor about the work that they do. This supervisor is qualified by the AHPRA to give guidance and assess the techniques used by their mentees. 

Provisional psychologists must be able to demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes of their internship and pass the National Psychology Exam in order to apply for full registration as a practising psychologist. 

Provisional psychologists practice in the same way that a fully registered psychologist would. They serve clients that require mental healthcare in the same way. The main difference is that their supervisor is available to them for consultation and that they are given advice as well as evaluations on a regular basis. 

Provisional psychologists usually charge lower rates as they are not allowed to offer Medicare rebates. They also engage in further studies or other activities to improve themselves professionally. 

What can a provisional psychologist do?

A provisional psychologist is actually able to provide virtually all the services that their fully registered counterparts can. They have no limits on the number of sessions or the types of services they can provide as long as they fall under the umbrella of general psychological practice. 

Provisional psychologists are actually qualified to practice psychology and have the skills needed to provide the mental health services that you would go to a psychologist for. The one to two years of supervised internship are required to ensure they have all the competencies needed for general registration. 

In the same way, as other jobs that conduct on-the-job training, the period during which a psychologist holds a provisional registration serves as a chance to hone their skills under the guidance of a more experienced professional. However, they can do all the things required of a general psychological practitioner. 

Provisional psychologist cost 

The rate of a provisional psychologist is around $100 per session, with each session lasting around one hour. Generally, provisional psychologists charge less than fully registered psychologists, who can charge between $150 to $250 per session. 

Should I see a provisional psychologist? 

While provisional psychologists are still training, they are fully capable of caring for patients. They are expected to uphold the same standard of care as fully registered psychologists. 

Although some prefer to see more experienced psychologists, provisional psychologists are practitioners that regularly provide psychological services to those in need.