School counselling service professional practice framework

Members of the school counselling service are required to be certified against the Professional Practice Framework and maintain this certification.

Changes since previous version

2022 Feb 10 - Update to policy statement - updated contact details.

2022 Feb 08 - Update to implementation documents: Professional Practice Framework, Guide to Established Certification, & Guide to Advanced Certification - updated language for clarity, updated leave of absence process and inclusion of leave of absence form, updated select capability descriptors, updated information regarding the structure of applications for advanced certification.

Document history

2021 Jan 27 - Policy maintenance, which may include but not limited to, updated contact details, business unit or position titles, typographical, text and style changes and repairing hyperlinks. Similar maintenance to the four implementation documents.

2021 Jan 01 - New policy. This new policy has been developed as part of the department implementing a standards-based remuneration structure under the Crown Employees (Teachers in Schools and Related Employees) Salaries and Conditions Award 2020. This includes the implementation of the Professional Practice Framework for members of the school counselling service.

  1. Policy statement
    1. The department is committed to ensuring that staff achieve and maintain professional excellence.
    2. The school counselling service includes staff working within schools as a school counsellor, school psychologist, senior psychologist education, district guidance officer, leader psychology practice and staff working in executive roles whose core business relates to the school counselling service. This also includes school counsellors in training and master of professional psychology scholarship recipients in their internship year.
    3. The school counselling service contributes to student wellbeing in NSW public schools by providing specialised psychological assessment, counselling and intervention services.
    4. The Professional Practice Framework describes the core capabilities required of the school counselling service to guide professional practice and growth within four domains of psychological practice. They include professional practice, relationships and collaboration, assessment and intervention.
    5. There are three capability stages within the framework, foundation, established and advanced that provide benchmarks of professional growth and development for psychological practice.
    6. All members of the school counselling service are required to work towards and maintain established certification. Advanced certification is voluntary.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all members of the school counselling service.
  3. Context
    1. This policy should be read in conjunction with the following documents.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Principals of the base school (or principal delegate) for school counselling staff:
      1. communicate with practice supervisors regarding Certification recommendations and co-sign supporting documentation
      2. support annual performance and development plans and maintenance cycles
      3. act as a referee for staff working towards Advanced Certification
      4. manage support programs with the support of the practice supervisor.
    2. Practice supervisors:
      1. work collaboratively to support school counselling staff members attain and maintain Established Certification
      2. work collaboratively to support school counselling staff members who choose to work towards attaining and maintaining Advanced Certification
      3. support annual performance and development procedures for school counselling staff in collaboration with the base school principal
    3. School counselling staff:
      1. understand and complete the Established Certification requirements.
      2. engage with the annual Professional Practice Framework maintenance cycle requirements at all times
      3. attain and maintain Psychology Board of Australia registration unless covered by a transitional arrangement
      4. may choose to apply to attain and maintain Advanced Certification.
      5. attain and maintain proficient teacher accreditation, as detailed in the Professional Practice Framework.
    4. Principal psychologist:
      1. works with the certification panel to make final decisions about awarding advanced certification
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Director, Child Protection, Health and Mental Wellbeing monitors the implementation of this policy and reviews its contents for relevance and accuracy every three years or as needed.
  6. Contact
    Leader, Psychology and Wellbeing Services
    02 7814 2356
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