Brent George

Psychometrist: Independent Practice

Registered Counsellor: Independent Practice

Nat Dip: Datametrics (UNISA), BSc (UNISA); Hons BSc (UNISA), Nat Dip: HR Management (UNISA)

Round Table : Chair

Brent George, Vice Chair Psychometry, RCP Division.

Round Table Panel Members:

HPCSA Board of Psychology Representatives

T-AB Mashego (Chairperson of the HPCSA Education Committee)

Leslie Manganye (Registered Counsellor representative)

University of Johannesburg

Helen Dunbar-Krige: Department of Educational Psychology (HOD)

South African College of Applied Psychology

Diana de Sousa: Head of Teaching and Learning & Vice-Chair (Registered Counsellor): RCP Division

Cornerstone Institute

Geraldine Franciscus – Head of Department: Psychology (B Psych Equivalent Programme, Registered Counsellor)

Apologies:

Dr. D. de Sousa and Mr Leslie Manganye.

Discussion

The Round Table Panel discussion commenced with Brent George presenting a PowerPoint analysis on the results of research into the value of the Form 258 list of assessments, currently identified for the Registered Counsellors Scope of Practice (please refer to Form 258 and Scope of Practice dated 02 September 2011).

Eight Registered Counsellors in Independent Practice, completed the questionnaire prior to the 2016 PsySSA Congress. The responses were significant, although limited to only 8 respondents. The collated results indicated that the need is high for greater clarity and training in psychometric testing. The research responses indicated that minimal training was offered in psychometric measures during the Practicum period. Due to the limited nature of the Tests listed on Form 258, Registered Counsellors were trained in other related psychometric measures, not listed on Form 258.

The Panel Members unanimously agreed that Registered Counsellors need to be trained often and competently in psychometric testing. Due to various micro and macro environmental factors as well as the limited amount of psychologists registered and working with the borders of South Africa, the need arose for the implementation of the psychological practitioner category: Registered Counsellor. Registered Counsellors may work with individuals or large groups in the broader community, in various settings. They are expected (according to Form 258: Scope of Practice) to competently utilise psychometric testing for basic assessment, screening and referral purposes.

There was general agreement, by all panel participants, that Form 258 list of psychometric tests is not yet complete and that some further assessments should be added. The current Form 258 and the listed psychometric assessments currently limits the professional efficacy of the Scope of Practice of the Registered Counsellor.

The way forward

After a fruitful and engaging discussion with valuable questions and perspectives offered from the floor, Prof. Mashego stated that if a valid reason is given to the Education Committee of the HPCSA, why a Registered Counsellor should use a specific assessment, directly linked to the scope of practice (refer to Form 258 and Scope of Practice dated 02 September 2011) – there should be no valid reason why such a request to the HPCSA would be refused.

A suggestion from the floor was made that instead of simply adding tests to Form 258, the listed psychometric assessments should be construct based – as indeed, there are many psychometric assessments which measure the same or similar constructs but are not currently listed on Form 258.

In Summary

The Registered Counsellor needs to ensure that they are trained and proficient in psychometric measures that have been classified, by the test developer and approved by the Psychometrics Committee of the HPCSA, for their use.

The various educational institutions (as represented by the Panellists listed above) carry the proposals forward:

  1. to ensure that Registered Counsellors are empowered and competently trained in the various higher education institutions, with the correct administrative, analysis of data and reporting skills, to fulfil the purpose of the Scope of Practice
  2. that Registered Counsellors provide effective and professional psychological services to the greater population of South Africa, in various settings – which encompass, using assessment tests for screening purposes in the following listed constructs: intelligence, cognitive ability, aptitude, learning potential, developmental milestones, personality, career interest, study habits, developmental measures and basic scholastic needs.
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