SGPsychStud: What we need NOW in Singapore psychological education and training system

Based on my updated list of psychology programs in Singapore, I have been getting emails from students (and some parents) asking whether the programs that they are planning to enroll  in are "recognised". My reply is:
Programs conducted in Singapore (in the above list) are recognised by CPE but the accreditation of the programs are done by respective accreditation councils of the various countries. There is no accreditation council in Singapore to verify whether the programs are of high quality training and will suffice for one to move up to the next levels of education and training.
Having an accreditation council to accredit psychology education and training is very important for students, as:
  1. Having a list of accredited programs will allow you to know which programs are accredited.
  2. If you have graduated from an accredited program, this will allow you to move on to the next levels of tertiary education and training (e.g. Masters, Phd, etc.).
  3. There will be no dispute of whether your degree is "recognised" or not, as long as the program is accredited by the accreditation council.  With the accreditation, it would mean that the program that you are doing will be able to equip you with the psychological knowledge and skills to proceed to your postgraduate studies.
  4. Those who complete accredited programs will be "sufficiently qualified and competent to meet the registration requirements" (APAC, 2012).  With the registration requirements met out, this accreditation standards could be in line with the registration requirements.  This would mean that the program that you are doing will be able to equip you with the psychological knowledge and skills you will need to become a psychologist.
Hence, it is important and essential that an accreditation council is existing in our local psychological system.  However, it has to be understood that building and developing this council is a a task of Himalayan proportions, and it cannot be completed by just only one person or volunteer.  It has to be completed by a team of professionals working on this large project, and has to be done hand-in-hand with the registration council. 

4 comments :

  1. Its a good idea. But what if, the government decides to set-up an accreditation board, however, only deems certain universities, most probably NTU SMU NUS as recognised? At best, they would only also accredit overseas on-campus psych degrees, just like what minlaw has done with recognised law graduates. Its a double-edged sword. One group of people will be extremely happy to be recognised, while another group, although they may feel that they are just as good, may not be recognised at all, leaving them with literally zero chances to be psychologists. For now, the system relies on employers, who are experts within the field themselves, to determine who gets employed on a person-by-person basis. So everyone has an equal chance per se. No one is strictly out of the game before even stepping into the interview room. NUS/NTU grads would still have to compete with SIMGE grads on the same playing field. Implementing an accreditation council might serve only to divide the wide spectrum of graduates that are available.

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    1. I agree that some will be happy and some will be not. But this is for the benefit of future psychology students. I believe no student will wish to study a program that cannot guarantee a smoother transition to their future postgraduate studies and/or career. Everyone will wish that they are trained in a competent manner, enabling them to be ready for their future jobs.
      If a program is not accredited (and this is dependent on the council's criteria), it is really up to the institution to up their game and improve on it. I believe that more institutions will benefit from this, rather than losing out in any way, as this may mean an increase in their student intakes and quality of education. All in all, this will also benefit all students, knowing that they will get a good quality of education and training, regardless of whichever institution they go to.
      This will also allow the employers to have lesser worries, as they will know that if they were to employ someone who graduated from a certain accredited program, this person will possess the required knowledge and skills as required. The criteria imposed by the accreditation council will ensure the quality of knowledge and training delivered by the institution, allowing lesser gaps between the different institutions.

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  2. From what I know, you yourself never took an on-campus degree, what if, your wish comes true and an accreditation council is set-up but your degree is left unrecognised?

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    1. For degrees not taken in Singapore or via distance learning, this will be really up to the council to determine the equivalency of the degree to a level of education and training in Singapore, allowing the person to work in here, such as your above comment regarding accreditation of overseas programs.

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