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Recertification and Audit
Inaugural psychotherapist recertification plan audit update and amendments to recertification plan template and recertification auditor checklist template


Under Section 41 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA) the Board is required to set or recognise a recertification programme. The recertification programme is a mechanism to ensure that psychotherapists are maintaining their competence to practise within their registered scope.

In 2014 after consultation with the profession the Board implemented the recertification programme. Participation in the Board's recertification programme is mandatory and applies to all psychotherapists holding a current Annual Practising Certificate (APC). A Recertification Plan requires engagement in Continued Professional Development (CPD). Psychotherapists are required to identify areas for professional development relevant to their current practice. The appropriateness of activity undertaken is up to each psychotherapist in consultation with their supervisor.

Recertification Plans are audited, which enables the Board to measure engagement in CPD. Psychotherapists can expect to be audited at least once every 5 years, and any psychotherapist who currently holds an APC may be selected to participate in a recertification audit.

The Board regards the recertification plan document as a living document which may be changed in response to new understanding.

The purpose of this paper is to:

1. Advise psychotherapists that the Board has now completed the 2014/2015 recertification audit; and

2. Provide improved templates which will make the Recertification Plan easier to complete and audit.

Recertification Audit

The Board would like to thank psychotherapists involved in the inaugural audit (2014/2015), and advise all psychotherapists that the Board has been pleased with the overall standard of engagement. The audit process is intended to be supportive and provide feedback to assist psychotherapists in using their Recertification Plan as an effective professional development tool.


The inaugural audit highlighted improvements that could be made to the Board's templates.

The Board asks that all psychotherapists use the Recertification Plan template below. The Board believes that the improved templates will make the recertification process clearer and quicker for both practitioners and auditors.

If you have any questions regarding these templates or the information on this page please contact the Board's Registrar or Registration Officer on registrar@pbanz.org.nz or 04 918 4727.

Appendix 1: Recertification plan
Click here to download the document.

Appendix 2: Recertification auditor checklist
Click here to download the document.

Recertification Programme Flow chart

This flow chart clearly outlines the recertification process Click here

Recertification Process

Engagement in the Board's Recertification Programme requires 2 steps:

1. A Recertification Plan (a working document outlining continued professional development). Click here to download the document.
Please note that completion of the Board's template is mandatory, but any additional material is optional.

2. Supervisor Attestation (this is part of the APC renewal form).

Practitioner Recertification Plan
All practitioners holding a current APC are expected to engage in continued professional development, and self-reflection of their current level of competency. Self-reflection should be aimed at identifying areas of growth, development, and improvement.

Practitioners are required to complete the template provided, relating to the core clinical competencies, cultural competencies, and ethical and legal practice, as noted on the left-hand column of the template.

The template should be completed in such a way as to indicate that the core clinical competencies, cultural competencies, and ethical and legal practice issues have been reviewed and considered. However, it is expected that particular emphasis will be given to those areas seen as most focal to the practitioner's continuing professional development needs. The reasons for the choice of focal issues should be indicated.

Practitioners should record these areas of development, their intended developmental plan, and review their progress throughout the year. The Board regards the recertification plan document as a living document which may be changed in response to new understandings.

Continuing professional development activities, such as attendance at a course of study, attendance and presentations at conferences, attendance at workshops, reading material or other media, additional supervision, peer group discussion, clinical presentations to peers or colleagues, or personal psychotherapy, may be incorporated into the self-reflection as appropriate. In such cases there should be adequate specificity; for example authors, titles, dates, etc.

Some practitioners may feel that the template does not allow for an adequate representation of their style of professional development. They are invited to supplement the completed template with additional notes or other illustrative means relevant to their self-reflection. For example, describing the process they have undertaken to gain insight, or describing what helped them become aware of the areas of continuing professional development that needed attending to, or how their insight is being integrated into practice.

Please note that completion of the Board's template is mandatory, but any additional material to support your plan is optional. It is up to practitioners how they manage any additional material.

Supervisor Attestation
The Board understands clinical supervision to be a central component of psychotherapists' professional development. It is acknowledged that practitioners may choose to use peers or additional supervisors to assist in their self-reflection.

The practitioner's primary clinical supervisor is asked to sign an attestation which confirms that:
* They have sighted and discussed their supervisee's areas for growth, development and/or improvement (the Recertification plan);
* They are satisfied to the best of their knowledge, that the continuing professional development activities outlined are appropriate for maintaining competence in their scope, practice area, and level of experience;
* They confirm that their supervisee has attended and participated in regular supervision and that to the best of their knowledge the supervisee understands and adheres to the Board's Core Clinical Competencies, Cultural Competencies and Standards of Ethical Conduct.

This attestation is signed as part of the APC renewal process.

Audit process

While recertification is the primary means by which the Board promotes the on-going competence of practitioners, an audit is seen as the most effective way the Board can ensure that practitioners are actively involved in meaningful self-reflection of their clinical practice, and identifying issues for further professional development.

Selection of practitioners for audit will be random.

Practitioners will only need to supply the Board with their Recertification Plan (and any supporting documentation they wish) if they are selected for audit. The Registrar will contact practitioners selected for audit.

Please note that recertification will not include auditing of client files.

Practitioner Recertification Audit Individual Summary

Please refer to the checklist below as this shows the criteria used to audit individual practitioners' recertification plans.

Click here to download the document.

Useful Information

All psychotherapists holding an APC must engage in the Board's Recertification Programme. This means:

  • filling out the Recertification Plan template (this is a working document)
  • discussing their on-going professional development with their supervisor
  • keeping the Recertification Plan form and supporting evidence if relevant, in case an audit is requested.

    Psychotherapists Standards of Cultural Competence
    Click here to download the file.

    Psychotherapist Core Clinical Competencies
    Click here to download the document.

    Standards of Ethical Conduct
    Click here to download the file.

    Policies relating to Recertification/Audit requirements
    Click here to download the document.

  • General recertification audit tips

    The following are generalised recertification audit tips for all practitioners.

  • Typed information is preferable to meet the Board's 'legible' requirement.
  • Recertification plans should highlight how identified areas for further development have been attended to in addition to discussing or addressing it in supervision.
  • Ensure that the date that the writer's supervisor last sited the recertification plan is included and correct.
  • That recertification plans should be checked for typos, grammar and spelling. Errors can misrepresent the writer's intention.
  • That cultural competence is wider than bicultural competence and can include:
     Age;
     Disability;
     Distinctive groups and organisations;
     Ethnicity;
     Gender;
     Migrant experience;
     Occupation;
     Political beliefs;
     Religion and/or spiritual beliefs;
     Sexual orientation;
     Social economic status etc.