Pursuant to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and as per the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registration standards, all psychologists who are registered to practice in Australia (including those with provisional registration) must have professional indemnity insurance (PII). This may be covered individually or through an employer, union or education provider’s insurance arrangement, or a combination of these. It is the registered psychologist’s responsibility to ensure that their PII arrangements meet the registration standard, as set out by AHPRA. PII seeks to ensure protection for both the public and the practitioner. If a psychologist becomes non-practising or is moving into the public sector from private practice (or other self-employment arrangement), it is recommended that they contact their insurer to explore options for run-off/retroactive cover for previous practice. If the psychologist is registered in Australia but based overseas and providing psychological services to clients in Australia (for example, via Skype), they must still hold active PII.
When seeking registration or renewing one’s registration, the applicant is required to declare that they are covered by PII arrangements, in accordance with the regulation standard. AHPRA conducts random audits to ensure compliance. If audited, the registered psychologist is required to provide evidence of PII registration, for the time period specified by the Psychology Board of Australia.
The Board has produced standards and guidelines outlining the requirements for individual and group based PII arrangements. Psychologists are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the registration standards to ensure ongoing compliance.