ACP Pathway: Assessment Policy and Procedures

NZAP’s Advanced Clinical Practice qualification (known as the ACP) has been accredited by the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ) as a professional development pathway to registration as a psychotherapist.  The following is a description of how this qualification can be obtained and by whom. Details of the initial and final assessments are available in the ACP Handbook, and further details can be obtained by enquiries to the Executive Officer.

This pathway is intended to be suitable for people who are already qualified and experienced in therapeutic endeavours and who are already practising and thinking psychotherapeutically. The purpose and function of the professional development pathway of the ACP is to help the candidate to develop in professional competence and depth under the oversight of a Training Supervisor who will not only provide skilled teaching through supervision but also guide the candidate in their acquisition of further education through reading, seminars and concurrent trainings.

Although the actual training and development process is primarily guided by the needs of the individual candidate, there are two formal assessments – the Initial Panel which determines whether an applicant is suitable, and a Final Assessment, which comprises a written assessment and an assessment interview.

The Initial Panel is administered by the ACP Committee who, after consideration of the initial paper application, will offer this panel assessment to suitable applicants. The Panel Assessment is conducted in one of the four main centres, and is required to assess whether the applicant is likely to be able to reach the required standard of the ACP within a period of five years. Demonstration of clinical maturity and knowledge is through the playing of an excerpt of clinical work and the professional discussion which ensues.

Applicants need to be already experienced clinicians (minimum of 200 hours of supervised practice) with a qualification in psychotherapy or a related discipline. They need to have already been in personal psychotherapy (generally expected to be weekly for at least two years) and able to speak about their personal and professional journeys thus far.

They are likely to already be in supervision with an approved Training Supervisor who will have made the recommendation that they are ready to proceed onto this pathway. If not, they will need to enter into supervision with an approved Training Supervisor. The supervision is required to be weekly for the duration of the ACP pathway and progress is overseen by the ACP Committee through annual contracts.

If the Initial Panel approves the applicant, they are able to proceed to become Provisional Members of NZAP (PMACP) and from there to apply to the Psychotherapists Board to be granted interim registration as a psychotherapist. Both the Board and NZAP allow five years for a candidate to complete the process through to the successful achievement of the ACP, which would then entitle the candidate to achieve full membership of NZAP and full registration with the Board. Details of the Initial Panel assessment interview are found in the ACP Handbook.

Readiness to proceed to the Final Assessment is assessed by the Training Supervisor in conjunction with the local Training Supervisors’ Group.

Final Assessment comprises a written component of a Therapeutic Study and an Assessment Interview, and both elements are conducted twice a year under the oversight of the ACP Committee.

The standard of work expected is that which would ordinarily be demonstrated by a psychotherapy graduate with five years post qualification experience.   There is no restriction on what theory or modality candidates use in their practice, but it must involve the recognition of the place of the unconscious and an ability to work with it appropriately.   Details of each assessment are in the ACP Handbook.

The above is intended as a brief overview of the ACP process and more full details can be obtained in the first instance by contacting the Executive Officer of NZAP.

Schedule of Fees

Work Practice Description and Therapeutic Study

  • Marking fee: $200 A non refundable administration fee of $100 (half the marking fee) to be sent to the Executive Officer at the time notice is given of intention to present work, with the balance of the fee paid at the time of submission.
  • Resubmission (within one month): No fee
  • Subsequent resubmission (per piece of work): $100
  • Review: $200

Assessment Interviews

  • Fee: $300
  • Appeal: $300