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Frequently asked questions

#FAQ 1. How do I choose an Accredited Clinical Psychology Course?


It is important to note that there are several programs that call themselves Masters in Clinical Psychology but not all may provide the necessary training required to be registered as a clinical psychologist here in Malaysia. A masters or doctorate level program in clinical psychology require three important components: 1) Coursework 2) Clinical Practicum placement and 3) Research. To look into the accredited courses in Malaysia, you can go through the MQA website. To help you choose, please scrutinize their program structure. For a Master’s in Clinical Psychology program that would allow you to both practice and be registered in Malaysia, the programs would MINIMALLY need the following: 1. The program needs to be accredited by their regional body - (e.g Malaysia by MQA, Australia by APAC, UK by BPS, and US by APA). Please note that both US and UK clinical psychology programs are doctoral level training. This means you will need a doctorate degree to be able to practice as a Clinical Psychologist in those countries. As such, the one-year Masters courses provided in the US and UK is insufficient for you to practice as a clinical psychologist. You will be required to further your training to a doctoral level. That would also mean that you’ll not be able to practice in Malaysia with a one-year Masters program. 2. Courses need to cover biological basis of behavior, cognitive basis of behavior, abnormal psychology with thorough understanding of diagnostic criteria, psychological interventions, ethics, research methods and statistics. 3. The program must have courses on psychological testing and assessments for both adults and children. 4. The program must have several different Practical placements working with patient populations. 5. The practical placements would usually last for 1 year of full-time internship, working in a clinical setting supervised by clinical psychologists. A minimum of 1,500 hours of supervised training is required. The definition of clinical hours includes, but is not limited to psychotherapy, group therapy, administering psychological assessments, assessment report writing, and supervision. 6. It is important to keep a logbook of those hours and the activities, which will be required when you’re applying for membership or registration. This logbook must be endorsed by the university from which you obtained your postgraduate degree (Masters or Doctoral) from and is part of the requirement of the program. The logbook must also be signed off and endorsed by your clinical supervisor. 7. Usually most programs also require a research thesis as part of the degrees requirements for graduation.




#FAQ 2. What does it mean to be an accredited course in Malaysia?


For a course to be accredited, the program will need to be accredited by the country’s regional body. In Malaysia, the accrediting body is the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).




#FAQ 3. What is MQA?


The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (Agensi Kelayakan Malaysia) or MQA is a statutory body governed by the Ministry of Education.

The main role of the MQA is to carry out the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF) to ensure the quality of Malaysia’s higher education. The body does this by enforcing course accreditation to regulate the curriculum and operational standards of higher learning institutions.

Full Accreditation:

When a course is fully accredited by MQA, it means that the course meets the quality standards of MQA.

Partial Accreditation:

If the course is not listed in the Malaysian Qualifications Register, the course is possibly provisionally accredited/partially accredited.

Provisional accreditation is often for new courses, as a program can only be fully accredited when the first cohort of students are in their final year of study. If your course is provisionally accredited, it means that your college or university has taken the first step towards meeting the minimum accreditation requirements by MQA and that there is a good chance that your program will be fully accredited by the time you graduate, although this is not guaranteed.

Information retrieved from:

https://eduadvisor.my/articles/what-is-mqa-accreditation-do-you-need-it/




#FAQ 4. What are the local Clinical Psychology Courses available in Malaysia?


Status of current program as of 2019: 1. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia - Full Accreditation - Master of Clinical Psychology 2. HELP University - Full Accreditation - Master of Clinical Psychology 3. International Islamic University Malaysia - Full Accreditation - Master of Human Science (Clinical and Counseling Psychology) Currently still awaiting approval for change in course name 4. University of Cyberjaya - Full Accreditation - Master of Clinical Psychology 5. Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris – Universiti Sains Malaysia - Partial Accreditation - Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) 6. University College Sedaya International - Partial Accreditation - Master of Clinical Psychology




#FAQ 5. Why is the UK (or US) one year master’s course not accredited and why can’t I be a member?


In regards to the one-year Masters UK course, in the UK and also US, the clinical psychology programs are at doctoral level training. Thus, the one-year course provides a platform for graduates to further their studies in the respective field may it be at a doctorate level or completing postgraduate level training or certification in a certain type of psychotherapy. The one-year master’s degree in the UK or the US does not qualify their graduates to be registered as a clinical psychologist within the country. One way to look at the 1-year masters programs is to see it as bridging program between your undergraduate degree and doctoral degree.

Furthermore, to be a member of MSCP, an individual will have to meet the minimal requirement as per #FAQ1. MSCP only accepts graduates of legitimate masters or doctorate level program in clinical psychology.

The 1-year Masters in the UK or US does not fulfill these criteria.




#FAQ 6. I am a psychotherapist; can I be a member of MSCP? Can I work in Malaysia?


MSCP is a professional society for clinical psychologists and not practicing psychotherapists. Clinical Psychology is a very specific profession with specific clinical training. It requires supervised clinical training, diagnostic skills and assessments of mental disorders as well as various empirically based psychotherapy modalities as basic knowledge during training.

The Allied Health Professional Act will be implemented soon and this act will govern all clinical psychologists in the country. There is currently no governing body that regulates psychotherapists in the country.

This link further differentiates the role and qualification of psychotherapist and clinical psychologist:

https://www.bestcounselingdegrees.net/faq/what-is-the-difference-between-a-psychotherapist-and-a-clinical-psychologist/




#FAQ 7. Does MSCP offer any internship program?


MSCP is a professional society and not a centre that provides any type of services. It does not provide any attachment or internships program. We are also unable to provide any recommendations on any centres that provide internships.




#FAQ 8. For those who have not reached the required hours of training (i.e. 1500 hours & 700 direct hours) to qualify for MSCP membership, what can they do?


You can get continuing supervision from a qualified clinical psychologist within a clinical setting who can sign off on your hours post graduation. The final log would also need to be verified and approved by your university and supervisor.




#FAQ 9. Can I practice as a Clinical Psychologist in Malaysia?


The Allied Health Professional Act (AHP Act 774) will be implemented soon and this act will govern all clinical psychologist in the country. In order to practice as a clinical psychologist in Malaysia, an individual will be required to be registered.

Link to AHP ACT 774:

http://www.federalgazette.agc.gov.my/outputaktap/aktaBI_20160218_ACT776-BI.pdf

As stated in item 16(b). Qualifications for registration – Any person may apply to be registered as an allied health practitioner of (b) he holds any qualification as may be recognized by the council.

MSCP is the advisory body to the AHP council on qualifications and standard of clinical psychology in Malaysia. As such, MSCP membership would naturally meet criteria for registration with the AHP act.

To be a legitimate Master’s in Clinical Psychology program, they would MINIMALLY

need to fulfil the criteria as per #FAQ1




#FAQ10. How do I become a member of MSCP?


As stated in our website https://www.mscp.my/memberships-guidelines.

“Clinical psychologist” is a person who has received postgraduate training in the field of clinical psychology; which specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

Clinical Psychology is a very specific profession with specific clinical training. It requires supervised clinical training, diagnostic skills and assessments of mental disorders as well as various empirically based psychotherapy modalities as basic knowledge during training. Thus, to be a full member of MSCP, a person will require to show evidence of at least the specified minimum training requirements.

Minimum training requirements to be recognized as practicing Clinical Psychologist by MSCP includes:

  1. Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology that is accredited by a regional accreditation body.
  2. The Clinical Psychology program must include practicum component with the appropriate diagnostics, psychotherapeutic techniques, and psychological assessments.
  3. Fulfillment of a minimum of 1500 supervised hours, with at least 700 direct client contact hours (updated in 2016).




#FAQ11. Can I conduct online therapy?


MSCP advocates practice that is consistent with the ethical standards of the society. The ethical practice is the onus of the therapist. We are aware that online therapy platform has received increasing demand and has become a more acceptable form of practice. In conducting online therapy, the therapist needs to be responsible in ensuring privacy, confidentiality. The online platform should be a secure HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant site. Any practice outside a secure site will need to be informed and agreed upon, by both parties, client and therapist. We also encourage that the therapist go through some training in providing services on online therapy. There are special considerations when providing online psychotherapy. Also be aware of possible regulations from different countries or state regarding licensing etc.

All other usual considerations for ethical practice which includes, but is not limited to the storage of case notes, the preservation of the client’s right to confidentiality and adherence to established ethical guidelines.





© Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology

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