1. Who are Educational Psychologists?
Educational psychologists are psychology graduates with postgraduate training and supervised practice in applying psychological principles to educational and community settings concerned with child developments.
2. Where do Educational Psychologists Work?
The vast majority of educational psychologists work in a school setting. They also provide services in a variety of other settings, including:
- Government and Aided Schools
- Private Schools
- Kindergartens and Preschools
- Vocational Training Institutions
- Higher Education Institutions
- Statutory Bodies
- Government Agencies and Government Departments
- Community Mental Health Centres and Non-Government Organizations
- Independent Private Practice
3. Body of Knowledge
The essential knowledge that educational psychologists possess is based on two major foundations: Psychological and Educational theory and practice.
The Psychological foundation includes knowledge of the biological bases of behaviour, cognitive psychology and human learning, the social and cultural bases of behaviour, child and adolescent development, and differences among individuals.
The Educational foundation includes knowledge of assessment procedures, intervention and consultation theories, statistics and research methodologies, professional educational psychology, the history of educational psychology, and professional ethics and standards.
4. Scope of Practice of Educational Psychologists
The work educational psychologists perform can be remedial, preventive or developmental, as summarised below:
- Assessment – gathering and integration of data for the purpose of identifying critical factors and evaluating their importance with respect to answering referral questions.
- Direct intervention – evidence-based intervention designed to enhance the client’s mental health, behaviour, personality, social competency, and/or academic or educational performance.
- Consultation – meetings with client or stakeholders with a view to finding the underlying reasons for an identified problem, and discussing, planning and/or deciding upon selecting an approach to intervention(s).
- Training – providing the requisite skills for conducting enhancement activities.
- Research and Project Development – conducting, systematic investigations aimed at establishing the facts essential to designing, planning and evaluating educational programmes.
5. Code of Conduct
6. Procedures in Handling Complaints against members of HKAEP
The Hong Kong Association of Educational Psychologists is accredited by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Department of Health to deal with complaints against its accredited members of educational psychologists touching on matters of professional ethics and practices.
Complaints against its registered members are handled by The Hong Kong Association of Educational Psychologists. The steps involved are outlined in the ensuing paragraphs.
Receipt of complaint
Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Secretary will refer it to the Chairperson of the Preliminary Investigation Committee (PIC) for consideration. If the PIC Chairperson is or will be unable temporarily to exercise his/her functions, another Professional Council Member may be appointed as the acting PIC Chairperson.
Consideration by the PIC Chairperson
Having regard to the information available, the Chairperson will then fix a date for a PIC meeting to consider whether a complaint should be referred to the Council for inquiry.
Meeting of the PIC
The PIC comprises a member from the Council, two members of the Association and one lay person.
At the meeting, the PIC will consider the complaint and any other relevant information which is available, and decide whether: (a) to dismiss the complaint, (b) to refer the complaint for further investigation.
Inquiry of the Discipline Board
The inquiry is conducted in accordance with a set of disciplinary procedures. At the conclusion to the hearing, the Discipline Board may recommend the Council to: (a) dismiss the complaint if the complainee is not guilty of the offence charged; or (b) make an order against the complainee if s/he is found guilty of the offence charged.
Upon the Council making a finding of guilt, the complainee may be punished by way of a disciplinary order. The complainee may appeal if s/he is aggrieved by the decision of the Council.
Notification of results
Depending on the complexity of each case, it will generally take less than 6 months before a case can be concluded.