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South Africa will be hosting the 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP 2012) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 22-27 July 2012. For the first time, this quadrennial flagship gathering of the global community of psychologists will be held on African soil. The Congress is organised under the auspices of the statutory National Research Foundation of South Africa, the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS, which is affiliated to the International Council for Science – ICSU), and the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA). ICP 2012 enjoys the support of the Psychological Associations of Namibian, Zimbabwe and the Mozambique, with the academic partnership of leading South African Universities, such as Cape Town, Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Witwatersrand and South Africa.
Organised around the theme Psychology Serving Humanity, ICP 2012 is committed to showcasing new frontiers of psychological science and practice as the means for improving, developing and enriching society. This theme emphasises the useful ways that psychology as a discipline can translate its science and practice into the knowledge, skills and tools that enable it to serve humanity. Apart from providing an interactive forum for the exchange of cutting-edge information and ideas, the ICP 2012 will also provide an important opportunity for the advances of psychological science and practice the world over to be showcased. An exciting Emerging Psychologists’ Programme (geared at young international scholars who will compete for participation) and at least three Advanced Research Training Seminars (ARTS, geared at scholars from the developing world) will be offered. ARTS, as you are aware, is jointly sponsored by the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology (IAACP) and IUPsyS, all of whom will hold their Executive business meetings during ICP 2012. Inter alia, the 21st International Conference of IACCP will be a pre-Congress satellite event and the International Conference on Psychology Education (ICOPE) will be subsumed in the Congress Scientific Programme
For more information about XXX ICP 2012 visit our website www.icp2012.com
Allied Health Professions Bill
- The Ministry of Health would like to invite public feedback on the Allied Health Professions Bill (“AHP Bill”). The purpose of the proposed Bill is to protect the health and safety of the public through the registration and regulation of allied health professionals, and prohibiting misrepresentation of these professions.
Who are the Allied Health Professionals?
- The Allied Health Professions comprise diverse groups of healthcare professionals providing a wide range of health services. They include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, speech-language therapists, optometrists, radiographers, podiatrists and many others. These professionals provide direct patient care services, and may treat patients without referral from doctors.
Regulating the Allied Health Professionals
- MOH has been increasing the supply of the allied health professionals through expanding local training capacity and foreign recruitment. However, the regulation of the allied health professions has been left to the professionals themselves through their professional associations and societies thus far, and many individuals remain outside these professional societies. As the allied health professionals move towards playing larger and more integral roles in providing healthcare, maintaining and improving standards through statutory regulation has become critical. This has been the experience in many other countries.
- In developing the Bill, the regulatory frameworks and practices in various countries (e.g. US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Hong Kong), and those governing healthcare professionals in Singapore (e.g. doctors, dentists, pharmacists) were studied. As opposed to many separate pieces of legislation and regulatory bodies governing each of the allied health professions, MOH is proposing a more efficient option: an umbrella Bill and a single regulatory body to allow for regulation of any allied health profession. This is also the approach taken in UK and Hong Kong.
Key Features of the Proposed Allied Health Professions Bill
- Therefore, MOH proposes an overarching legislation, the Allied Health Professions Bill, to regulate the allied health professionals’ conduct, and practice. The Bill will:
- Establish one regulatory body, the Allied Health Professions Council, to regulate the allied health professionals’ conduct and practice;
- Provide a framework for recognising appropriately trained and qualified professionals for practice in Singapore through a registration system;
- Prohibit misrepresentation of the allied health professionals by unregistered persons; and
- Provide a system for complaints management, inquiry and investigation for the Council to act against errant registrants.
These features are similar to the other health professional registration Acts under MOH regulating healthcare professions such as doctors, dentists, and pharmacists.
One Council regulating multiple Professions
- The Allied Health Professions Council will be set up to regulate the various Allied Health professions. As a start, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech-language therapists will be regulated. Other Allied Health professions could be regulated subsequently.
- The members of the Council will be appointed by the Minister for Health, and will include representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and professionals from each of the regulated Allied Health professions. In supporting self-regulation of the various Allied Health professions, it is intended that the Council is advised by committees made up of relevant Allied Health professionals for matters specific to a particular Allied Health profession. For example, a committee accrediting physiotherapy programmes will be made up of physiotherapists; a committee setting practice guidelines for occupational therapists will be made up of occupational therapists.
- The functions of the Council are to:
- Approve or reject applications for registration;
- Issue practising certificates to registered allied health professionals;
- Accredit programmes and providers for the training and assessment of the regulated allied health professionals;
- Accredit programmes and providers for the continuing professional development of registered allied health professionals;
- Determine and regulate the standards of practice, and conduct of registered allied health professionals;
- Keep and maintain registers of allied health professionals; and
- Coordinate and supervise the activities of committees and professional boards formed under the auspices of the Council.
- Through the registration framework, the public can be assured that the professionals with whom they seek services are suitably qualified and able to fulfil the professional duties expected for practice in Singapore. Upon implementation, the public would be able to identify registered professionals through the Registers available online, and the practising certificates issues to registered professionals.
- There will be four types of registration for each allied health profession.
- Full Registration
- Restricted Registration
- Conditional Registration
- Temporary Registration
The Council will determine the registration status of each applicant based on his training and qualifications, practice experience and other credentials (if any).
- Most new registrants will be registered under Conditional Registration where they will be required to work under supervision to enable a proper assessment of their ability to practice safely in the Singapore healthcare system. Temporary registration is applied in cases where a practitioner is temporarily in Singapore for teaching, training or research purposes, or to meet a critical area of need. Similar to those on conditional registration, supervision is also required for persons on temporary registration.
- Upon completion of the specified period of supervised practice (and meeting any other conditions that may be applicable), a practitioner will then be eligible for Full or Restricted Registration. Such practitioners will be able to practice their profession without need for supervision from fellow practitioners. The key difference between the two registration types is that in restricted registration, the registrant’s practice will be restricted to specified setting(s) (e.g. nursing homes) and/or scope of practice.
Implications of Registration for Allied Health Professionals in Singapore
- When regulation is implemented, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists who are practising in Singapore will have to be registered with the Council to continue practising. MOH recognizes the need to ensure that the livelihoods of current practitioners are not adversely affected, and services are not disrupted. Therefore, it is intended that all occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech therapists, with at least one year of professional practice experience in Singapore at the time of implementation will be eligible for Full or Restricted registration, with no disruption to their practice. Those with less than one year of professional practice experience in Singapore will be eligible for Conditional Registration, and will be required to work under supervision for a specified period. In the first year of implementation, these Allied Health professionals can continue practising as the Council processes their applications for registration.
Offences under the Bill
- The Bill also seeks to protect the public against misrepresentation of the regulated allied health professions by making it an offence for a person, who is not registered with the Council, to hold himself out to be a registered allied health professional either through the use of professional titles when providing services. It is also an offence if a person or employer knowingly allows an unqualified person to hold himself out to be a registered allied health professional.
- Other offences include fraudulent registration, practising while suspended, and use of titles and qualifications which are not approved. The penalty prescribed for these offences is a fine not exceeding $25,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months in the case of a first offence.
System for Complaints Management and Discipline
- The Bill also provides for the Council to take action against a registered allied health professional on conduct and fitness to practice issues. The Ministry of Health or any member of the public can lodge a complaint with the Council if it has reason to believe that a practitioner has been unprofessional or unfit to practice. The complaints management and disciplinary processes prescribed in the Bill is consistent with the regulatory framework of other healthcare professions. The committees and tribunals looking into the complaints will whenever possible comprise mainly of allied health professionals from the profession from which the registered allied health professional being complained against is from. For example, a complaints committee inquiring into a complaint against a speech therapist will be made up of two speech therapists and a lay person.
- Firstly, the Bill provides for a “voluntary insight” mechanism which facilitates negotiation and the taking of constructive remedial action. The mechanism can be invoked by the registered allied health professional or by the Council in situations when the allied health professional’s fitness to practice is impaired by a physical or mental illness, or if the quality of his services does not meet the standards required of him. With his consent, the Council could do the following: (i) remove the registrant’s name from the Register, (ii) suspend the registration for not more than 3 years, (iii) impose conditions on his registration and (v) suspend or cancel his practicing certificate. Such a mechanism will allow the Council and the registrant a more expeditious way to address performance or disciplinary issues without resorting to a time-consuming, resource-intensive, adversarial and formal disciplinary inquiry. However, this option is not open to a registrant if the complaint is serious.
- All complaints received by the Council will be routed to complaints committees for review and investigation. Upon completing the review and/or investigations, the complaints committee may:
- dismiss the complaint if it finds that the complaint is frivolous, vexatious, misconceived, or lacking in substance;
- Issue a letter of advice or warning to the registered allied health professional;
- refer the matter for mediation between the registered allied health professional and the complainant;
- order that the registered allied health professional seek and undergo medical or psychiatric treatment or counselling, and monitor his fitness of his physical or mental condition or on the status of his practice;
- order that the registered allied health professional undertake and complete specified further education or training within a specified period; or seek and take advice, in relation to the management of his practice;
- By agreement with the registered allied health professional, remove his name from the register, suspend him, suspend or cancel his practising certificate; or
- If a formal inquiry is needed, refer the case to a Disciplinary Tribunal, or a Health Committee if the matter relates to the physical or mental fitness of the registrant to practise.
- Where the Disciplinary Tribunal finds that the registrant have been convicted in Singapore or elsewhere of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty; or implying a defect in character which makes him unfit for his profession; guilty of such improper act or conduct which brings disrepute to his profession; guilty of professional misconduct; or failed to provide professional services of the quality which is reasonable to expect of him, the Tribunal may by order:
- remove the name of the registered Allied Health professional from the appropriate register;
- suspend the registration of the registered Allied Health professional in the appropriate register for a period of not less than 3 months and not more than 3 years;
- impose appropriate conditions or restrictions on his registration;
- impose a penalty not exceeding $50,000;
- censure the registered Allied Health professional; or
- require the registered Allied Health professional to give such undertaking as the Disciplinary Tribunal thinks fit to abstain in future from the conduct complained of.
If the Disciplinary Tribunal does not find the registrant guilty of any of the matters described in para 18, the Tribunal shall dismiss the complaint.
Health Committee and Interim Orders Committee
- The Bill also provides for a Health Committee to look into matters related to a practitioner’s fitness to practice by virtue of his physical or mental condition, and an Interim Orders Committee, who is empowered to suspend a practitioner’s registration, or impose conditions and/or restrictions on his practice when it is deemed necessary in the interest of the public to do so.
21. We welcome your feedback on the proposed Allied Health Professions Bill and all feedback should reach the Ministry by 7 October 2010. All feedback can be submitted via the online eConsultation at
You can also submit the hard copy of the Proposed Allied Health Professions Bill Feedback Form to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Ministry of Health (Customer RelationsBranch), College of Medicine Building, 16 College Road, Singapore 169854.