Educational Psychologists do a minimum of 6 years university education and practical training. They help anyone, from childhood to adults, [and their families], who have concerns with their learning, academic performance, behaviours, social and emotional development, or needing Special Assessment Conditions for exams.
Educational Psychologists use a full range of psychological and educational assessments most of which are licensed for use only by registered psychologists. They provide a comprehensive written report with recommendations and a plan for the individual concerned, their family, and school, university or work place. They can also provide follow up or on site feedback if required and referrals to other professionals or organisations if required.
It can be very confusing for parents and individuals to decide who is the best person to seek advice from. It is important that you understand what is offered.
For instance teachers are trained to teach and are not usually expected to be able to determine whether a child or teenager has a learning disability such as dyslexia or dyspraxia without specialist advice. Equally a Level C assessor can not access the range of assessments a psychologist can use and do not have the training in interpretation of the tests used beyond that provided by the organisation they belong to. This also means that they may not be able to use this information to assist with any other difficulty than the area in which they have training, for instance a SPELD tutor is trained to look for dyslexia, but not necessarily for levels of anxiety, attentional difficulties, ASD, or to work with those who are also gifted.
Only a psychologist is able to use most Wechsler tests e.g. WISC cognitive assessment, which is considered the gold standard for assessments. They can access a full range of testing required to fully assess a person’s capabilities and weaker areas before making any determining about cause [s].
Lastly, tutorial services or assessors may also not be bound by professional practice conditions and are not registered to any professional body. Whereas psychologists must be registered. You can find them on the Register of Psychologists. It is illegal for any person to use the title Psychologist, if not registered as a psychologist (HPCA Act 2003).
If you chose to see a psychologist, check that your psychologist holds a current Practising Certificate.