Psychological Practitioners Act 1998

Link to law: http://www.bermudalaws.bm/Laws/Annual%20Laws/1998/Acts/Psychological%20Practitioners%20Act%201998.pdf

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Psychological Practitioners Act 1998
PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

1

BERMUDA
1998 : 26

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

[Date of Assent 8 July 1998]

[Operative Date 10 March 2003]

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1 Citation
2 Interpretation
3 Restriction on use of

professional names,
etc.

4 Bermuda Psychologists
Registration Council

5 Qualifications for
registration

6 The Register of
Psychologists

7 Annual gazetting of
particulars

8 Registration
9 Inactive and

provisional status
10 Certificate, period of

validity

11 Renewal of certificate
12 Lapse of certificate
13 Voluntary removal of

name from Register
14 Striking-off name from

Register
15 Conduct of registered

psychologists
16 Suspension or

restriction of certificate
17 Restoration of name

and termination of
suspension, etc.

18 Appeals to the Cabinet
19 False statements
20 Striking-off on

conviction under
section 19

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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21 Authorized visiting
practitioner

22 Regulations

23 Offences
24 Transitional
25 Commencement

WHEREAS it is expedient to establish a scheme of registration of
psychological practitioners and to provide for connected matters;

Be it enacted by The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and
with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Assembly of
Bermuda, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Citation
1 This Act may be cited as the "The Psychological Practitioners Act
1998".

Interpretation
2 In this Act—

"a Bermudian" means a person possessing Bermudian status
under the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956;

"certificate" means a certificate of registration issued under
section 8(4)(b);

"the Council" means the Bermuda Psychologists Registration
Council established by section 4;

"the Minister" means the Minister responsible for Health;

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations;

"professional misconduct" has the meaning assigned to it in
section 15(3);

"the Register" means the register provided for in section 6;

"registered psychologist" means a person registered under
section 6;

"regulations" means regulations made under section 22.

Restriction on use of professional names, etc.
3 (1) Subject to this Act, a person shall not in Bermuda—

(a) take or use, or practise or carry on business under, any
name, style, title or description which includes the word
"psychologist"; or

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(b) take or use any name, style, title or description
(including one consisting of initials) which states or
implies that he is a registered psychologist,

if he is not a registered psychologist or if he does not hold a valid
certificate of registration.

(2) A person shall not in Bermuda take or use or affix to any
premises used by him, any name, style, title or description (including one
consisting of initials) which states or implies that he possesses
qualifications in the discipline of psychology which he does not in fact
possess.

(3) Subsection (1) does not prevent a person who is registered
as a psychologist by a professional body outside Bermuda and is
engaged in Bermuda as a lecturer or researcher in psychology, but is not
a registered psychologist, from using the style or title of "psychologist".

Bermuda Psychologists Registration Council
4 (1) There shall be a body corporate called "the Bermuda
Psychologists Registration Council".

(2) The functions of the Council are—

(a) to safeguard the welfare of the public in relation to the
services of psychologists;

(b) to assess applications and decide if applicants qualify for
registration;

(c) to promote and maintain high standards of practice and
monitor adherence to ethical guidelines; and

(d) to exercise disciplinary control over registered
psychologists.

(3) The Council shall consist of a chairman and such other
members, not being fewer than four, as the Minister may determine.

(4) The provisions of the Schedule have effect in relation to the
constitution of, and other matters concerning, the Council.

Qualifications for registration
5 (1) Subject to this Act, an applicant is entitled to be registered
as a psychologist under this Act if he is a Bermudian or is ordinarily
resident in Bermuda and satisfies the Council that he meets the relevant
criteria.

(2) The relevant criteria are—

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(a) successful completion of a programme of academic
training in Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology,
School Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology
or any other applied field of psychology approved by the
Council at an institution of higher learning approved by
the Council;

(b) completion of at least 1,000 hours of relevant
experience, not less than 500 of which occurred after
completion of the academic training referred to in
paragraph (a), under the supervision of—

(i) a registered psychologist;

(ii) where the supervision occurred outside
Bermuda, a supervisor who, in the opinion of
the Council, would meet or have met the
requirements for registration under this Act
(except the residence requirement); or

(iii) where the supervision occurred prior to the
coming into operation of this Act, a supervisor
who, in the opinion of the Council, would have
met such requirements if this Act had then been
in operation;

(c) currency of professional knowledge and skills as
demonstrated by—

(i) provision of at least 100 hours of psychological
services per year in two of the three years
preceding the application; or

(ii) such evidence relating to refresher programmes
or professional development as may be accepted
by the Council as indicating currency;

(d) evidence of good character.

(3) The Council may waive the requirement under subsection
(2)(b) for post-qualification supervised experience if satisfied that the
applicant has sufficient practical experience.

The Register of Psychologists
6 (1) There shall be a register, called "the Register of
Psychologists", which the Registrar-General shall maintain at his office.

(2) The Register is an official record and shall set forth—

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(a) the names, addresses, status and qualifications of
registered psychologists; and

(b) such other particulars as the Registrar-General
considers to be necessary or expedient for identifying
registered psychologists or as may be prescribed.

(3) It is the Registrar-General's duty to keep the Register
correct in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the regulations,
to erase the names of persons who have died, and to make necessary
alterations in the registered particulars of registered psychologists.

Annual gazetting of particulars
7 (1) As soon as may be after 1st January in every year the
Registrar-General shall publish in the Gazette a notice, in such form as
he sees fit, setting forth the names and other particulars entered in the
Register on that date.

(2) A copy of the latest-gazetted such notice is prima facie
evidence in all courts that the persons whose names are included in the
notice are registered psychologists; and the absence of a person's name
from such a notice is prima facie evidence in all courts that he is not a
registered psychologist.

Registration
8 (1) A person who desires to be registered as a registered
psychologist shall make application to the Council through the Registrar-
General.

(2) The application shall be in the prescribed form and be
accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3) The Council shall consider the application and may either
approve or reject it.

(4) Where the Council approves the application, it shall direct
the Registrar-General to register the applicant, that is to say, to—

(a) enter the required particulars relating to him in the
Register; and

(b) issue to him a certificate of registration in the prescribed
form.

(5) Where the Council rejects the application, it shall record its
decision and the reasons for it in writing, and direct the Registrar-
General to inform the applicant.

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(6) An applicant who is aggrieved by a decision of the Council
under this section may appeal to the Cabinet against it under section 18.

Inactive and provisional status
9 (1) Where a registered psychologist intends—

(a) to be absent from Bermuda; or

(b) to practise outside Bermuda,

for a period of more than 12 months, he may apply to the Council to
have his registration designated as inactive and return his certificate to
the Registrar-General; and the Council shall direct the Registrar-General
to enter a notation on the Register indicating inactive status.

(2) When such registered psychologist seeks to return to
practise in Bermuda, he may apply to the Council for reissue of a
certificate and the Council shall—

(a) if satisfied that he continues to meet the qualifications
for registration set out in section 5(2), direct the
Registrar-General to reissue his certificate and remove
the notation of inactive status; or

(b) if not so satisfied, direct the Registrar-General—

(i) to enter a notation on the Register indicating
provisional status for such period as the Council
may direct and to require him to undergo a
programme of continuing education, supervision
or monitoring specified in writing by the Council;
and

(ii) on completion of the programme referred to in
subparagraph (i), to reissue his certificate and
remove the notation of provisional status.

Certificate, period of validity
10 Unless a shorter term has been imposed by the Council, a
certificate expires three years after the date on which it is expressed to
come into effect.

Renewal of certificate
11 The Council shall direct the Registrar-General to renew a
certificate if the registered psychologist—

(a) applies to the Council for the renewal of his certificate;

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(b) pays the prescribed renewal fee by the date on which his
certificate expires; and

(c) provides evidence of—

(i) having provided at least 100 hours of
psychological services per year in two of the
preceding three years; or

(ii) having met such requirements relating to
continuing education as may be prescribed.

Lapse of certificate
12 A registered psychologist who fails to apply for renewal of his
certificate before the expiry date ceases to be a registered psychologist;
and the Council shall direct the Registrar-General to delete his name
from the Register.

Voluntary removal of name from Register
13 A registered psychologist who desires to have his name removed
from the Register shall make application for the purpose to the Registrar-
General, surrendering his certificate; and the Registrar shall thereupon
make the necessary alterations to the Register.

Striking-off name from Register
14 (1) If the Council is satisfied—

(a) that a registered psychologist has been convicted,
whether in Bermuda or elsewhere, of an offence for
which he has been sentenced to imprisonment without
the option of a fine;

(b) that the name of a registered psychologist has been
struck off a register kept outside Bermuda by a
recognized professional body; or

(c) that a registered psychologist is guilty of professional
misconduct,

the Council shall, subject to this Act, decide whether the registered
psychologist's name should be struck off the Register.

(2) The expression "a recognized professional body" in
subsection (1)(b) means a body of psychologists established in a country
outside Bermuda, being a body which—

(a) has disciplinary powers over psychologists in that
country; and

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(b) is recognized by the Council for the purposes of this
section.

(3) In relation to any particular registered psychologist, a body
may be recognized by the Council under subsection (2)(b) for the
purposes of this section after he has been struck off by that body.

(4) It is the duty of every registered psychologist who is
convicted as mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or whose name is struck off a
register as mentioned in subsection (1)(b) to inform the Council forthwith
of that fact and the attendant circumstances.

(5) Before the Council decides to strike a registered
psychologist's name off the Register, it shall enquire into the matter; and
in respect of any such enquiry the Council—

(a) may take evidence on oath, and for that purpose, the
chairman of the Council may administer an oath;

(b) shall allow the registered psychologist—

(i) to appear before the Council;

(ii) to be represented by counsel;

(iii) to produce and cross-examine witnesses;

(iv) generally to make a full defence or explanation
in the matter.

(6) Where the Council decides to strike a registered
psychologist's name off the Register, it shall direct the Registrar-General
accordingly; but before such a decision or direction can take effect the
Council must inform the registered psychologist in writing of what the
Council intends so that he may exercise his rights under subsection (7) if
he wishes.

(7) A registered psychologist who receives a notice in writing as
mentioned in subsection (6) may appeal to the Cabinet against the
decision in question under section 18.

(8) Where a decision to strike a registered psychologist's name
off the Register has taken effect, the Registrar-General shall—

(a) inform him by notice in writing that his name has been
so struck off;

(b) by the same or another notice require him to return to
the Registrar-General his certificate of registration within
fourteen days of his receipt of the notice; and

(c) publish in the Gazette notice of the striking-off.

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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Conduct of registered psychologists
15 (1) The Council shall establish a Code of Conduct for registered
psychologists ("the Code").

(2) The Council shall publish in the Gazette—

(a) the Code as first established; and

(b) every amendment of the Code.

(3) The Code shall prescribe the meaning of the expression
"professional misconduct".

(4) The general standard of professional conduct required of
psychologists is that they practise only within the boundaries of their
competence based on their education, training, supervised experience
and professional experience.

(5) If an allegation of professional misconduct by a registered
psychologist is brought to the notice of the Council, the Council shall
enquire into the allegation; and the following provisions of this
subsection have effect in relation to any such enquiry—

(a) the Council shall allow him—

(i) to appear before the Council;

(ii) to be represented by counsel;

(iii) to produce and cross-examine witnesses;

(iv) generally to make a full defence or explanation
in the matter;

(b) the proceedings are deemed to be judicial proceedings
for the purposes of the provisions of the Criminal Code
relating to perjury;

(c) the Council shall exercise its powers under the Code and
inform the registered psychologist of its decision by
notice in writing;

(d) the registered psychologist may appeal to the Cabinet
under section 18.

(6) Without prejudice to subsection (5), the Council may on its
own motion investigate any allegation or evidence that appears to show
that a registered psychologist has failed to comply with any provision of
this Act, the regulations, the Code or any other professional or ethical
standards adopted by the Council.

(7) Where the Council is satisfied of such failure, after due
enquiry under subsection (5), the Council may exercise any powers

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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conferred by this Act to suspend or restrict a certificate or to require the
registered psychologist to undergo a programme of continuing education,
supervision or remediation.

Suspension or restriction of certificate
16 (1) Where it appears to the Council that a registered
psychologist—

(a) is inefficient or negligent in carrying out his professional
functions;

(b) has become incapable of properly carrying out his
professional functions by reason of old age; or

(c) is addicted to alcohol or drugs to an extent which makes
him unfit to carry out his professional functions;

the Council, after holding an enquiry into the matter, may if it finds the
matter proved decide—

(d) to suspend his certificate for such period as the Council
may direct; or

(e) restrict his certificate to practise under the supervision
of another registered psychologist until that other
registered psychologist certifies to the Council that the
supervised psychologist is mentally and physically fit to
continue to be registered.

(2) Where the certificate of a registered psychologist is
suspended or restricted under subsection (1), the Council shall direct the
Registrar-General to enter the notation "Suspended" or "Restricted", as
the case may be, in the registered particulars relating to that
psychologist.

(3) The provisions of section 14 relating to enquiries, notices,
appeals, return of certificates and actions by the Registrar-General
apply, with the necessary changes, to a decision to suspend or restrict a
certificate as they apply to a decision to strike a registered psychologist's
name off the Register.

Restoration of name and termination of suspension etc.
17 (1) A registered psychologist—

(a) whose name has been removed from the Register under
section 13;

(b) whose name has been struck off the Register under
section 14; or

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(c) whose certificate has been suspended or restricted
under section 16,

may, after the expiration of three months after the date of the removal,
striking-off, suspension or restriction, as the case may be, apply to the
Council for his name to be restored to the Register, or, as the case may
be, for the suspension or restriction on his certificate to be terminated.

(2) The application shall be in the prescribed form and be
accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3) Upon receipt of the application, the Council shall consider—

(a) the character and professional ability of the applicant;

(b) where his name was struck off the Register, the offence
for which his name was so struck off;

(c) his conduct after his name was removed from or struck
off the Register or the suspension or restriction of his
certificate was imposed; and any action taken for
remediation or rehabilitation;

(d) any relevant provision of the Code; and

(e) any other circumstance appearing to the Council to be
relevant,

and shall then in light of those considerations decide to restore the
applicant's name to the Register or not so to restore it, or to terminate
any suspension or restriction on his certificate or not to terminate it, as
the case may require.

(4) Where the Council has made a decision under subsection
(3), it shall give the Registrar-General the requisite directions for
implementing the decision including, in the case where the applicant's
name is to be restored to the Register, a direction to issue to him a fresh
certificate of registration, but before such a decision or direction can take
effect the Council must inform the applicant in writing of what the
Council intends so that he may exercise his rights under subsection (5) if
he so wishes.

(5) A person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Council
under this section may appeal to the Cabinet against it under section 18.

Appeals to the Cabinet
18 (1) A person who is aggrieved by a decision to which this
section applies may within fourteen days after the relevant date ("the
appeal period") appeal to the Cabinet against the decision by notice in
writing to the Secretary to the Cabinet setting out the grounds of his

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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appeal; and the Cabinet shall decide the appeal and make such order in
the appeal as seems just.

(2) Once the Cabinet has decided an appeal under subsection
(1), the Council and the Registrar-General shall implement the Cabinet's
decision and guide themselves accordingly.

(3) The decisions to which this section applies, and the relevant
date in relation to each such decision, are as set forth in the following
Table—

Decision Relevant date

(a) decision referred to
in section 8(5):

date on which the aggrieved
person received notice of the
decision;

(b) decision referred to
in section 14(6):

date on which the aggrieved
person received notice under
section 14(6);

(c) decision under
section 15(5)(c):

date on which the aggrieved
person received notice under
section 15(5)(c);

(d) decision under
section 16(1):

date on which the aggrieved
person received notice of the
decision;

(e) decision under
section 17(3);

date on which the aggrieved
person received notice under
section 17(4).

(4) A decision to which this section applies affecting a person
does not take effect in relation to him until the expiry of the appeal
period, or where he brings an appeal, until the appeal is decided or
abandoned.

False statements
19 Any person who, in connection with any application or other
matter falling to be performed under this Act—

(a) makes any statement knowing or having reason to
believe it to be false in a material particular; or

(b) produces any certificate, diploma or other document
knowing or having reason to believe the same to be false,

without prejudice to anything in the Criminal Code, commits an offence
against this Act and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or
to both, and on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding $10,000
or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to both.

Striking-off on conviction under section 19
20 Where any person is convicted of an offence under section 19, if
his name has already been entered in the Register, it may, at the
discretion of the Minister, be summarily struck off the Register.

Authorized visiting practitioner
21 (1) The Council may, for special reasons, authorize a person
who is registered as a psychologist by a professional body outside
Bermuda to practise psychology in Bermuda for a limited period and
subject to such conditions as the Council may impose.

(2) A person authorized under subsection (1) need not be
registered as a psychologist under this Act but shall, for the period
specified in the authorization, have the powers and privileges of a
registered psychologist.

(3) The following provisions have effect with respect to an
authorization under subsection (1)—

(a) the Council shall be satisfied that there is need for the
authorization and that, by virtue of his professional
qualifications and suitability, the visiting practitioner
would meet that need;

(b) the authorization shall have effect for a period not
exceeding three months, subject to a further extension of
six weeks;

(c) the authorization shall specify the nature of the practice
authorized;

(d) the Council shall specify in the authorization such
conditions or restrictions relating to the practice of
psychology as the Council may determine;

(e) notwithstanding paragraph (b), the Council may at any
time revoke an authorization or alter its period of
validity.

(4) Any person aggrieved by the refusal or revocation of an
authorization or by any condition imposed thereby may appeal against
that decision to the Cabinet and section 18 shall apply, with the
necessary changes.

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(5) A person authorized under subsection (1) shall not practise
psychology in Bermuda otherwise than in accordance with such
authorization.

Regulations
22 (1) The Minister may make regulations—

(a) prescribing forms, notices or other documents to be
used for the purposes of this Act;

(b) specifying the manner in which notices shall or may be
served;

(c) prescribing documents required to be forwarded with
applications under this Act;

(d) prescribing continuing education and other
requirements for the renewal of certificates;

(e) prescribing any other matter or thing which by or under
this Act may be or is to be prescribed.

(2) The Minister shall consult the Council before he makes any
regulations.

(3) Regulations are subject to the negative resolution
procedure.

Offences
23 A person who contravenes—

(a) section 3(1) or (2);

(b) section 14(4);

(c) a requirement lawfully made of him under section
14(8)(b); or

(d) section 21(5),

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not
exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12
months, or to both.

Transitional
24 Where a person—

(a) was a member of the Bermuda Psychological Association
on the day this Act comes into operation; but

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(b) does not meet the qualifications for registration under
section 5,

the Council may, on payment of the prescribed fee, confer on him
provisional registration status, issue a provisional certificate for a period
not exceeding 24 months, and require him within that period undergo a
programme of study or continuing education in order to meet those
qualifications.

Commencement
25 This Act comes into operation on such day as the Minister may
appoint for the purpose by notice published in the Gazette.

SCHEDULE (Section 4(4))

The Bermuda Psychologists Registration Council

1 The members of the Council shall be appointed by the Minister
for a term not exceeding six years.

2 (1) In appointing members to the Council, the Minister shall
ensure that at any time not fewer than four are registered psychologists
and that, on the initial formation of the Council, the appointments are
staggered to establish a rotation.

(2) For the purposes of the first constitution of the Council,
paragraph (1) has effect as if for the words "registered psychologists" the
words "persons who in the Minister's opinion are eligible for registration
under section 5" were substituted.

3 The chairman shall be appointed annually by the Minister from
among the members of the Council, but so that, if at any time a person
holding office as chairman ceases to hold office as such or ceases to be a
member of the Council, the Minister shall appoint another member to be
chairman in his stead.

4 A member whose term has expired may be re-appointed.

5 If the Minister is satisfied that a member is by reason of ill-
health or absence from Bermuda or other sufficient cause unable to
perform his duties as a member, the Minister may appoint a registered
psychologist to act for that member during the period of his incapacity.

6 A member may at any time resign his office by giving the
Minister a signed notice in writing of his resignation.

7 The Minister may at any time declare the office of a member
vacant if he is satisfied that the member—

PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTITIONERS ACT 1998

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(a) has failed without sufficient cause to attend three
consecutive meetings of the Council; or

(b) is incapacitated by physical or mental illness; or

(c) has otherwise become unable or unfit to perform his
duties as a member.

8 A person appointed to fill a vacancy left by a member who did
not complete his term of office may be appointed for the unexpired
portion of that member's term and no longer, but an appointment to
such a vacancy need not be made where the unexpired portion of the
term is less than three months.

9 Three members constitute a quorum at any meeting of the
Council.

10 If the chairman is absent from a meeting of the Council, the
members present shall elect one of their number to act as chairman at
that meeting.

11 Any question for decision by the Council shall be decided by a
majority of the members present and voting. Each member has one vote,
except that the person presiding has a second vote if there is a tie.

12 An act of the Council is not invalid by reason only of a vacancy
in the Council's membership or a defect in a member's appointment.

13 Subject to the above provisions, the Council may regulate its
proceedings as it sees fit.