|VPA - Professional Indemnity Insurance|
When the Psychology Board of Australia was established it issued a Professional Indemnity Insurance Arrangements Standard which was approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council on 31 March 2010. This was done without any consultation with stakeholders.
This Standard effectively excluded Union professional indemnity insurance policies, such as those which had been offered by the VPA Inc, from being able to meet the Board’s requirements, as these policies are group and not individual policies.
As a consequence the VPA Inc investigated a number of PII policies/providers on behalf of members. The IH Group, an insurance brokerage which offers PI insurance through Lloyds of London, offers competitive premiums for PI cover for psychologists, at various levels of cover. Note that the Board has not set any requirements as to the minimum amount of cover.
The IH Group warrants that the insurance it offers meets the requirements of the Psychology Board of Australia.
On this basis the VPA Inc recommends the IH Group PI policy to members.
Note that the VPA Inc does not receive any commission or other payments from the IH Group.
We remind members that both VPA membership and PI Insurance are tax deductible.
Because we are unable to offer PI insurance to VPA members, the annual VPA Inc subscription has been reduced. The VPA Inc continues to offer members the full range of industrial services and protections.
Am I covered by my Employer’s Professional Indemnity Policy?
While public and private health services generally hold professional indemnity policies to cover the actions of staff for which they are vicariously liable, we are of the view that employer policies do not meet all the requirements of the Professional Indemnity Insurance Arrangements Standard of the Psychology Board of Australia.
While representations may be made about coverage under an employer policy, we have not yet seen this in writing from any health service. We advise members employed in health services to take out their own PI cover, even where they are not also in private practice.
Where a health service defends a professional malpractice claim in relation to a psychologist, for example in the coroner’s court, it will not necessarily support the individual practitioner. Having your own insurance will ensure that you have your own representation.
Purchase online at
In December 2010 the Psychology Board of Australia issued a Discussion Paper on professional indemnity insurance.
The VPA Inc made a submission to the Board, and included in that submission is the proposition that Union group policies that otherwise satisfy the requirements of the Board should be recognised as satisfying the PI Standard.
The submission is available at
The Board has not responded to the submission nor has it amended or re-issued the 2010 Professional Indemnity Insurance Arrangements Registration Standard.