Sunday, July 7, 2013

Some Reflections on RA 10029 and its IRR


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With RA 10029 or Philippine Psychology Act of 2009, the law now provides a legal definition and distinction of a psychologist from a psychometrician. Also, the law allowed several people to be exempted  from taking the exam through its grandfather clause. So they are now licensed Psychologist and Psychometrician without undergoing the licensure exam.

I hope that a provision should also be provided that licensed psychometricians without having to take their MA in Psychology but through their experience and units taken from continuing education could pass for an equivalency so they may be allowed to take the licensure exam for Psychology. And if ever they failed only then that they should take units in Psychology to be allowed  to retake the exam.

The law identified the particular subjects that will covered in the licensure exam. Some universities are now scrambling with the upcoming exam since they did not offer Industrial Psychology. Perhaps if there are areas of specialization in the exam then some examinees won't have to worry subjects they were not able to cover in college.

In my observation of the law,  psychometrician plays a secondary role to the psychologist.  When giving psychological assessment a psychometrician should be supervised by a psychologist. The  greater responsibility is relegated to that of the psychologist who should review very well the output of the psychometrician. Any blunder by the psychometrician will be blamed to the psychologist who serves as signatory a psychometrician's report.

I believe that the new law created a better work opportunity for Psych graduates. Unless  otherwise they have other plans with their course, now they can aim and pursue becoming a full pledge and  licensed Psychologist. Just additional 2 year for an MA in Psychology and with the required  number of hours of practice  they can be entitled to take the board exam for Psychologist instead of Psychometrician. Authority-wise, the Psychologist have more authority that that of Psychometrician.  But if ever they flunk they could always try and take the Psychometrician board en-route to another examination and level-up to get licensed as a Psychologist.

I am just wondering what the would be the implication of this new law to schools and organizations that have been administering tests with their in-house guidance counselors and psychometricians. With the new law their practice of not having licensed Psychometrician and Psychologist could be penalized.

With regards to the licensure exam of psychometrician, the law states "...excluding projective tests and other higher level forms of psychological tests;"  I hope that such test will not be appearing in the licensure exam for psychometrician since they are now excluded in administering projective tests  although it was part of their course and training to be exposed in those kind of tests.

So with the licensure exam for psychometrician and psychologist, school curriculum should also be overhauled and aligned with the intent of the new law to give better advantage to graduates of psychology.

Perhaps with the license given to psychometrician they could also be given opportunity to work as teacher covering the subjects of their licensure exam. Perhaps in the revision of school curriculum more subjects in education/teaching and counselling could be offered as a possible track for psychology graduates.

And it should also be the same for those who would take on the track of  Industrial and Organizational Psychology. There should be a provision for students to take more units in Management or Business Administration should they want to pursue a career in an organizational set-up.

But definitely continuing education should always be encouraged for all licensed psychometrician and psychologist as well as to those who are not yet licensed.

To have a better distinction of the exam between Psychologist and Psychometrician, below is my proposition of subject coverage: 

a) Psychometrician - subject includes General Psychology, Psychological Assessment,  Social Psychology, Child/Developmental Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology,  Guidance and Counselling, Educational/Learning Psychology

b) Psychology - subject includes Theories of Personalities, Abnormal Psychology, Psychotherapy, Projective Techniques, Guidance and Counselling, Psychological Research, Psychological Assessment

Below are some comparison of terms/definitions and  responsibilities of a psychologist from that of a psychometrician. Note that the IRR expounded  on the section on the practice of Psychology.


Republic Act  10029
Implementing Rules and Regulations 
of  RA 10029
(a) "Psychology" is the scientific study of human behavior. It involves the application of scientific methods to inquire into the biological, cognitive, affective, developmental, personality, social, cultural and individual difference dimensions of human behavior.

(a) "Psychology" is the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. It involves the application of scientific methods to inquire into the biological, cognitive, affective, developmental, personality, social, cultural and individual difference dimensions of human behavior.
(b) "Practice of Psychology" consists of the delivery of psychological services that involve application of psychological principles and procedures for the purpose of describing, understanding, predicting and influencing the behavior of individuals or groups, in order to assist in the attainment of optimal human growth and functioning. The delivery of psychological services includes, but is not limited to:



(1) psychological interventions: psychological counseling, psychotherapy, psychosocial support, coaching, psychological debriefing, group processes and all other psychological interventions that involve the application of psychological principles to improve psychological functioning of individuals, families, groups and organizations;



(2) psychological assessment: gathering and integration of psychology-related data for the purpose of making a psychological evaluation, accomplished through a variety of tools, including individual tests, projective tests, clinical interview and other psychological assessment tools, for the purpose of assessing diverse psychological functions including cognitive abilities, aptitudes, personality characteristics, attitudes, values, interests, emotions and motivations, among others, in support of psychological counseling, psychotherapy and other psychological interventions; and





(3) psychological programs: development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of psychological treatment for individuals and/or groups.


(b) "Practice of Psychology" consists of the delivery of psychological services that involve application of psychological principles and procedures for the purpose of describing, understanding, predicting and influencing the behavior of individuals or groups, in order to assist in the attainment of optimal human growth and functioning.

The delivery of psychological services includes, but is not limited to:

(1) psychological interventions: psychological counseling, psychotherapy, psychosocial support, coaching, psychological debriefing, group processes and all other psychological interventions that involve the application of psychological principles to improve psychological functioning of individuals, families, groups and organizations;

(2) psychological assessment: gathering and integration of psychology-related data for the purpose of:

a) making a psychological evaluation, accomplished through a variety of tools, including individual tests, projective tests, clinical interview and other psychological assessment tools, or

b) assessing diverse psychological functions including cognitive abilities, aptitudes, personality characteristics, attitudes, values, interests, emotions and motivations, among others, in support of psychological counseling, psychotherapy and other psychological interventions; and

(3) psychological programs: development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of psychological treatment for individuals and/or groups.

The term "other psychological interventions" shall be deemed to include:

a) preventive and therapeutic measures like play and expressive arts therapy, music therapy and trauma healing; as well as correctional, rehabilitative and behavioral modificaion measures;

b) consultation, that is, providing extensive knowledge, specialized technical assistance and expertise in an advisory capacity to consultees in regard to mental and behavioral concerns, emotional distress, personality disorders and other neuropsychological dysfuntions.

"Psychological evaluation" shall include the making of diagnostic intepretations, reports, and recommendations  a) as part of a case study; or b) in support of diagnostic screening, placement, management decisions, psychiatric evaluation, legal action, psychological counseling, psychotherapy or change intervention. 

"Assessing diverse psychological functions" shall include the development, standardization, and publication of psychological tests which measure adjustment and psychopathology; and/or the creation of assessment tools primarily for psycho-diagnostic purposes.

        The term "other psychological intervention programs" shall include:

a) addiction rehabilitation and treatment programs, behavioral management and intervention programs in correctional facilities, psychological training programs which involve inner processing, and mental health programs in disaster and emergency situations, either for individuals and/or communities;

b) clinical  supervision: the direction, guidance, mentoring, and cliniquing of psychology practitioners and interns, psychometricians, and other trainees for psychology-related work to meet the standards of quality and excellence in professional practice.


(c) "Psychologist" means a natural person who is duly registered and holds a valid certificate of registration and a valid professional identification card as professional psychologist, issued by the Professional Regulatory Board of Psychology and the Professional Regulation Commission pursuant to this Act for the purpose of delivering the different psychological services defined in this Act.

(c) "Psychologist" a natural person who is duly registered and holds a valid Certificate of Registration and a valid Professional Identification Card as Professional Psychologist, issued by the Professional Regulatory Board  and the  Commission pursuant to Section 3(c) of R.A. 10029  for the purpose of delivering the different psychological services defined under this IRR.


(d) "Psychometrician" means a natural person who holds a valid certificate of registration and a valid professional identification card as psychometrician issued by the Professional Regulatory Board of Psychology and the Professional Regulation Commission pursuant to this Act. As such, he/she shall be authorized to do any of the following: Provided, That such shall at all times be conducted under the supervision of a licensed professional psychologist:

(1) administering and scoring of objective personality tests, structured personality tests, excluding projective tests and other higher level forms of psychological tests;

(2) interpreting results of the same and preparing a written report on these results; and

(3) conducting preparatory intake interviews of clients for psychological invention sessions.


(d) "Psychometrician" a natural person who has been registered and issued a valid Certificate of Registration and a valid Professional Identification Card as psychometrician by the Board  and the Commission in accordance with Sec. 3(d), Article III of R.A. 10029 and is authorized to do any of the following activities: 

(1) administering and scoring of objective personality tests, structured personality tests, excluding projective tests and other higher level forms of psychological tests; 

(2) interpreting results of the same and preparing a written report on these results; and 

(3) conducting preparatory intake interviews of clients for psychological invention sessions.

Provided, that these activities shall at all times be conducted under the supervision of a licensed professional psychologist. All the assessment reports prepared and done by the psychometrician shall always bear the signature of the supervising psychologist who shall take full responsibility for the integrity of the report.