APS College of Organisational Psychologists

About Us


What is an Organisational Psychologist?

Organisational psychology is the science of people at work. Organisational psychologists analyse organisations and their people, and devise strategies to recruit, motivate, develop, change and inspire.

All practising psychologists are legally required to be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia.  Organisational psychologists work with organisations, teams and individual employees to improve their performance and increase effectiveness and productivity in the workplace. They strive to enhance people’s wellbeing by improving their experience at work.

Organisational psychologists base their practice on science, drawing on psychological research and tested strategies to influence how people act, think and feel at work. This scientific approach provides confidence that methods produce measurable, replicable and often more cost-effective results.

In the workplace, organisational psychologists can play a number of critical roles generally associated with employee performance, including Organisational Development (OD), Manager, Human Resource (HR) Manager, HR Consultant, Personnel Director, Learning and Development Manager, Trainer, OD Consultant, and Researcher.

Organisational psychology covers a broad range of disciplines including industrial and organisational psychology (I/O psychology), work psychology, occupational psychology, personnel psychology, human resource management and development, ergonomics, human factors, vocational psychology, managerial psychology, coaching, and consumer psychology.

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Specific areas of practice

Organisational psychologists have expert skills and knowledge in the following areas.

Workforce planning and role definition

  • Identification and planning of workforce requirements
  • Structuring divisions, departments and teams to suit the organisation’s goals
  • Systematic identification of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for specific jobs

Recruitment and selection

  • Development of selection criteria for jobs and identification of the best assessment tools
  • Assessment of knowledge, skills and abilities, potential and personal fit for specific jobs using techniques such as assessment centres, psychological testing and behavioural interviewing

Learning and development

  • Analysis of training and development needs for individuals, teams and/or the whole organisation
  • Design and evaluation of skills and behavioural training programs
    Leadership and talent management
  • Provision of advice and support to organisational leaders in relation to how they lead, engage and motivate their people
  • Establishment of a talent management framework, including succession planning, to identify and better manage critical roles, critical people, strengths and gaps
  • Introduction of programs to develop and retain top performers and next generation leaders

Coaching, mentoring and career development

  • Provision of individual assistance, coaching and mentoring to improve work performance
  • Design and implementation of career development processes for an organisation, along with individual career planning and vocational assessment

Workplace advice and advocacy

  • Provision of advice to government, employers, employees and unions on social psychological aspects of issues such as industrial relations, human resources and occupational health and safety

Change management

  • Design, implementation and evaluation of people related change management
  • Development of programs to help leaders better manage change and drive performance improvement in their part of the organisation e.g., handling change fatigue, building resilience

Organisational development

  • Design, implementation and evaluation of programs to improve organisational performance and employee experiences
  • Design of organisational structures, processes and incentives to fuel organisational prosperity 

Measuring employee opinions and other workplace research

  • Development and analysis of surveys of employees or clients/customers
  • Research such as identifying which work behaviours predict future success

Performance management

  • Design, implementation and evaluation of performance management systems that link in with business strategies
    Development of employee incentive programs to drive desired behaviours and results

Wellbeing, stress and work-life balance

  • Development of programs to improve employee wellbeing, commitment and engagement
  • Development of policies and practices to enable better management of the work-home interface

Occupational health and safety

  • Development of policy and programs in employee assistance, rehabilitation, stress management and health promotion

Human resources program evaluation

  • Evaluation of an organisation’s people-related programs and practices to assess operational and strategic impact

Consumer behaviour and marketing

  • Application of customer behaviour insights to improve business processes and systems
  • Development of branding and communications to align an organisation’s processes, culture and values with the external brand message.

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Qualifications and Registration

Organisational psychologists have usually completed six years full-time university training. This includes, but is not restricted to, postgraduate study in a recognised organisational psychology training program, plus further supervised practice as an organisational psychologist. Accredited organisational psychology courses meeting the rigorous standards required to register as a psychologist are listed on the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council website (www.apac.psychology.org.au).

All practising psychologists are legally required to be registered with the Psychologists Registration Board in their State or Territory. This is to ensure they meet specified standards of competence and ethical practice.

In addition, psychologists follow strict guidelines for professional conduct that cover client privacy and confidentiality. Ethical codes are set and monitored by the APS and have been developed to safeguard the welfare of recipients of psychological services and the integrity of the psychology profession.

To use the title ‘Organisational Psychologist' in Australia you must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) and have an area of practice endorsement in organisational psychology.  It is against the law for anyone to use the title of  ‘Organisational Psychologist'  if they do not have endorsement in this area of practice, and such instances can be reported to PsyBA for their attention.

 

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Locating an Organisational Psychologist

  • Use the APS online referral service Find a Psychologist to locate an organisational psychologist by performing a search and selecting issues most commonly found in the ‘work/community’ category.
  • Look for the APS listing under ‘psychologists’ in the Yellow Pages.

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Accredited Organisational Psychology Courses

To find an accredited university course in Organisational Psychology, please refer to the Australian Psychological Accreditation Council's website

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What is the College of Organisational Psychologists?

The APS College of Organisational Psychologists (COP) is the professional association of psychologists who specialise in working with organisations, teams and individual employees to improve their motivation, effectiveness and productivity.

The College represents and promotes organisational psychology as a discipline. The College:

  • Represents the needs of organisational psychologists to the APS, Psychologist Registration Boards and Government in relation to the legislation, regulation and policies applicable to organisational psychologists
  • Promotes in the media and publications the many ways that organisational psychologists add value to businesses and their people
  • Provides professional development activities for keeping organisational psychologists up to date with the latest advances in science and practice
  • Provides access to research, information and tools which build the credibility and expertise of College members
  • Provides networking opportunities to organisational psychologists to help them accelerate their careers, enhance their practices, and build a more interconnected organisational psych community
  • Advances the scientific study of organisational psychology by encouraging research, and fostering closer relationships between academics and practitioners
  • Ensures members demonstrate high standards of professional ethics and practice
  • Maintains the standards and quality assurance process for organisational psychology qualifications and accreditations
  • Acts as a contact point for queries about the profession of organisational psychology

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Benefits of Membership

The College invites psychologists who practise, research, teach and/or simply have an interest in organisational psychology to join. Being a member of the College has numerous benefits. By joining the College, you will:

  • Enhance your professional profile; to be part of the College signifies professional standing, recognition of your specialist expertise and your commitment to ongoing professional development
  • Receive the members-only bi-monthly eNewsletter, REACH, provides timely College updates, keeping organisational psychologists up to date with the latest issues impacting the profession
  • Be given exclusive access to the College’s audio-visual library, which contains recordings of the recent professional development presentations (topics include employee surveys, feedback skills, accelerating leadership development, ACT as a coaching model, the skills of an organisational psychologist)
  • Receive discounted entry to any of the College’s professional development events to help you keep up to date, and deepen your specialist organisational psychology knowledge and practical skills
  • Be able to network with other psychology professionals at College events, and learn about opportunities for career development and professional support
  • Enhance your personal and professional development through volunteering for committee activities and team-based projects
  • Belong to a professional association that offers support in the education and training of future organisational psychologists, through provision of supervised placements, mentoring, conferences and publications
  • Belong to a professional association that facilitates professional standards in organisational psychology training, practice, promotion, and research throughout Australia
  • Be part of a coordinated approach to raising the profile of organisational psychology as a value-adding profession. With more members, the College has a stronger voice in the APS and greater visibility in the media

Click on the following link to find out how to join the College.

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Our Committee

The National COP Committee sets the overall strategic direction for the College and represents COP’s interests at a high level, particularly within the APS, with Government, and in the media.

State-based Sections in ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, VIC and WA organise professional development activities, host networking and social events, sign up new members and support early-career organisational psychologists through initiatives like Careers Fairs and professional supervision assistance.

If you wish to contact a committee member, please refer to the page for the relevant State Section or National Committee.

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Our Membership

Membership of COP is restricted to psychologists who have completed specialised training, have experience in organisational psychology and undertake regular professional development activities in the area of organisational psychology.

The breakdown of College membership is as follows:

By state and territory:

State or territory

# Members

Australian Capital Territory

25

New South Wales

240

Northern Territory

2

Queensland

148

South Australia

75

Tasmania

4

Victoria

212

Western Australia

72

Overseas

6

Total

784

 Membership Grade:

Membership Type # Members

Member

419

Associate Member

47

Affiliate Member

52

Student Subscriber

266

Total

784

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