The Impact of RA 10029 on the Practice of Industrial-Organizational Psychology (IOP)

The  Philippine  Psychology  Act  of  2009  (RA  10029)  aims  to  regulate  the  professional  practice  of psychology in the country. It protects the public from pseudo psychologists by licensing only those with adequate  training  and  experience  to  provide  excellent  service  to  clients—may  they  be  individuals, groups or organizations.  This is why the Psychological Association of the Philippines embraces its ideals and upholds its core principles.

 

In recent months, there have been a lot of concerns and misperceptions about the impact of such law on Industrial-Organizational psychologists. This is because there are areas of practice in IO that appear to be included in the law. Hence, there are questions about whether or not ALL IO psychologists need to be licensed. This statement seeks to clarify the stand of the IO Division of the PAP.

 

As an applied field, Industrial-Organizational or IO Psychology is concerned with how people think and behave in the world of work (Riggio, 2009). The  education of IO  Psychologists  that is  founded on  the scientist-practitioner  model  provides  training  in  social  scientific  research  and  practice  (Muchinsky,  2006).  Aside  from  the academe,  IO  psychologists  in  the  Philippines  have  mostly  practiced as  Human Resource (HR) professionals in organizations (Hechanova, 2005). However, HR practice is not exclusive to IO psychologists. In organizations across the globe, HR practitioners handling various human resource management  functions   such  as  recruitment  and  selection,  training  and  development,  performance management  and  employee  relations,  to  name  a  few,  may  have  varying  academic  background  and training  (Hechanova,  2005).  In  fact,  according  to  a  study  conducted  by  Lanuza  in  2005  (as  cited  in Hechanova, 2005) only about 50% of HR practitioners in the Philippines were trained in the behavioral sciences; others were educated in areas such as management and communications.

 

Given the diversity of practice in IO Psychology, our stand is that  licensure will be applicable to those involved  in  psychological  counseling  (such  as  industrial  and  career  counseling  as well  as  employee debriefing)  and  psychological  assessment  in  the  workplace  (such  as  in  leadership  assessment  and employee  selection).  Psychologists  engaged  in  psychological  assessment  need  to  take  “Examination Subjects  for  Psychometricians”  and  its  corresponding  required  subjects.  Psychologists  doing psychological counseling, on the other hand, need to take the “Examination Subjects for Psychologists” and  its  required  courses  such  as  Advanced  Abnormal  Psychology,  Advanced  Theories  of  Personality, Advanced Psychological Assessment and Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy.

 

The  Psychology  Act  also  covers  psychological  interventions  such  as  coaching  and  group  processes.

 

However,  the operative  term here  is  ‘psychological’ hence we  interpret  this  in terms of  life  coaching, group therapy and other clinical interventions. We do not believe the law covers workplace coaching (e.g.  performance  and  career  coaching  which  are  normal  functions  of  supervisors).  We also do not believe that the law covers workplace training and development and employee relations programs given their diverse and multidisciplinary nature.

 

We reiterate our support for PAP and its aim to achieve excellence in the practice of psychology. We likewise uphold and promote the core principles of RA 10029.  We are issuing this clarification in the hope that it will help the members of the Professional Regulatory Board of Psychology as they craft the Implementing Rules and Regulations.

 

 

 

References

 

Hechanova, M.R.M. (2005). State of Industrial/Organizational Psychology in the Philippines. Philippine Journal of Psychology (Special I-O Edition), 38, 1 - 32.

 

Muchinsky, P. (2006). Psychology applied to work (8thed.). CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

 

Riggio, R.E. (2009). Introduction to industrial /organizational psychology (5thed). NJ: Prentice Hall.

 

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