This article is adapted from "Singapore National Tour" prepared by E. Nair,2097, which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1).
There is a strong research culture in the major universities in Singapore. The tertiary institutions with a tradition of psychology research are the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the National Institute of Education (NIE). Funds for research by academic staff are centrally coordinated by the Singapore Ministry of Education. Preponderant foci at NUS include brain and cognition, health, social, emotion, language processing, and developmental. NTU has a cross-cultural emphasis, while the NIE research is predominantly classroom education. Research activities at the newly established Singapore Management University (SMU) have an industrial/organizational focus.
The civil service in Singapore has on-the-job training provisions for new recruits. The Singapore Psychological Society plays a facilitory role in providing supervisory mentors for fresh graduates not in the civil service. On-the-job training is provided for fresh graduates at their place of work such as hospitals/clinics, armed forces, schools, corporate organizations, or private consultancies.
The Public Service Commission has guidelines for the appointment and supervision of psychologists in the civil service. It does not apply to psychologists appointed in private organizations, though many seek to match the civil service requirements and those of the Singapore Psychological Society for Full Membership.
The Singapore Psychological Society has a formal code of ethics that is applicable to its members http://www.singaporepsychologicalsociety.org/code.cfm.
Professionally qualified psychologists are
- those who have obtained a postgraduate qualification in a specialised field in psychology from a recognised academic institution, such course having included supervised practical training in a variety of settings. Academic qualifications alone are not a sufficient basis for recognition as a professional psychologist
- OR who are members of relevant division of a psychological body such as the British Psychological Society, the Australian Psychological Society or the American Psychological Association, being the national bodies responsible for the recognition for professional purposes of degrees in psychology
- OR who are chartered, licensed or registered with the appropriate national authority in their countries of training and are legally entitled to practise there.
The Singapore Psychological Society recognises such psychologists as entitled to designate themselves by an appropriate term describing their professional skills. Recognised designations are:
- Clinical psychologist
- Counseling psychologist
- Educational psychologist
- Occupational psychologist
- Industrial/organisational psychologist.
In order to establish and maintain internationally recognised standards in psychological practice, the Society does not recognise the use of these designations except where the criteria outlined above are met. Essentially the Society uses international criteria for recognition of applied expertise in psychology. The standards required by the following bodies are accordingly recognised for professional purposes:
- The American Psychological Association: Full members, in the relevant division, who hold or are eligible to hold a State license to practice.
- The Australian Psychological Society: Full members and/or registration as Psychologist in an Australian state.
- The British Psychological Society: Chartered psychologists who are in addition members or eligible for membership of one of the following divisions: Clinical Psychology; Educational and Child Psychology (including the Scottish Division); Occupational Psychology.
- The Hong Kong Psychological Association: Graduate members who are members of the relevant Division.
- And such other societies as the Council of the Society may from time to time recognise.
Additionally the Society recognises postgraduate research qualifications in applied or theoretical psychology from Universities or other Tertiary institutions, where these are also accepatable to the professional bodies listed above, or to the Public Service Commission, Singapore, or to the National University of Singapore (Department of Social Work and Psychology). Psychologists listed in the Directory of the Singapore Psychological Society on this basis have indicated the nature of their speciality interests and skills accordingly, but avoid the use of recognised practitioner designations.
Full members of the Society who may not meet the above criteria but who through a combination of academic qualifications and supervised experience may be deemed to have professional skills. This has been traditionally the case in Singapore. Such members are listed as Psychologists with an indication of their specialist interests/practice where appropriate, but without the designations used for recognised fields of professional practice in psychology.
Journals: Asian Psychologist (formerly the Singapore Psychologist and the Asian Journal of Psychology), 1979- , 2/year
Singapore Pediatric Journal
Singapore Journal of Education, 1978-
Singapore Police Journal, 1970-
Singapore Medical Journal, 1960-
Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work, 1994-
Updated November 2007