Psychology Profession Board – Frequently Asked Questions
Role of MPPB
1: What is the role of the MPPB?
The MPPB is the statutory regulatory body for psychologists in Malta according to the Psychology Profession Act (2004) and Act No. XX11 of 2020. It also sets the ethical standards for practice of all psychologists in Malta.
In order to practice as a psychologist, regardless of specialisation, one needs a warrant in psychology. The warrant is granted to applicants who have a MQF level 7 qualification in a degree recognised as equivalent to that offered by the University of Malta, together with a minimum of two years (3770 hrs) of supervised practice following completion of the degree.
The title of ‘psychologist’ is a protected title and no person may use that title without a warrant.
Updated – January 2022
Procedure for applying for Warranting
1: How do I become registered as a psychologist in Malta?
The title of ‘psychologist’ is protected under Maltese law. Only persons who are warranted by the Malta Psychology Profession Board (MPPB) may use the title of psychologist in Malta. If you are seeking a warrant you need to have completed a 1st Degree in Psychology. In the absence of such, the Malta Psychology Profession Board can consider a conversion Master’s degree in Psychology or a recognition of Prior Learning issued by the University of Malta. You then need to obtain at least a Master’s degree in Psychology of 90 or 120 ECTs or a Doctorate. Following completion of the master of doctorate, the psychology practitioner needs to complete three years or 5655 hours of supervised practice in the case of a 90 ECTS master degree or 3770 hours or two years of supervised practice in the case of a 120 ECTS master or 1 year or 1885 hours of supervised practice in the case of a practitioner’s doctoral degree. Please note that in the areas of Clinical, Educational and Counselling only Masters with 120 ECTS or Doctoral degrees are acceptable in the process for warranting.
Please note thatit is necessary to practice in the area of psychology in which you have obtained your qualification and hope to be warranted. This practice is to be carried out under the supervision of a psychologist who is registered with Malta Psychology Profession Board (MPPB) (unless supervision was obtained by a psychologist registered abroad). Applicants must show that they have carried out 135 hours of supervision if they completed a 90 ECTS Master’s course, 90 hours of supervision of they completed a 120 ECTS Master’s Course and 45 hours of supervision if they completed a practitioner’s doctorate. At least 50% of supervision must be from a supervisor warranted in the same area of specialisation in which one is hoping to be warranted
Following this, should all other criteria betisfied, a warrant will be issued.
For further guidance on how to apply for a warrant in Malta you are advised to regularly visit the Malta Psychology Profession Board website (https://www.mppb.gov.mt) where all information is provided in the documents available online.
2: How do I go about selecting a course that will make me eligible for warranting as a psychologist in Malta?
When selecting a course, you need to ensure that the degree you are selecting states clearly on the prospectus that the qualification would prepare you to practice as a psychologist in the country where the training is being obtained. Regardless of this however, you are to ensure that the selected course is equivalent to the Master’s courses in psychology on offer at the University of Malta. This is also in line with the Malta Psychology Act (Cap. 471.).
3: How would I know if the Master’s courses on offer abroad are equivalent to those on offer in Malta?
In order to assess equivalence, you will need to look at the course programme of the foreign universities and compare this to the programme of courses offered in psychology at the University of Malta. Equivalence is to be understood in terms of number of ECTS credits (90 ECTS – 120 ECTS as per the Bologna process), theoretical input and research component, as well as required supervised placement (ca 500 hrs of practice together with 80 hrs of supervision, half of which can be group supervision).
4: I am considering applying for a Master’s programme offered by a University in the UK that is only one year long (90 ECTS) and that prepares me for Stage 1 training in an area of psychology. Would this, together with relevant supervised work experience post qualification, make me eligible for warranting as a psychologist in Malta?
When Studying in the UK and the course you are interested in is considered by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as leading to Stage 1 training, you need to carry out an additional year of full time (1885 hours) supervised practice (or its equivalent in part time), over and above the required two years of full time (or its equivalent in part time) supervised practice that is needed prior to being considered for warranting, as is required by law. This will make up for the missing Stage 2 training.
In addition you have to complete an additional 45 hours of supervision, half of which need to be carried out with a warranted Psychologist in your area of specialization. This is clearly outlined in Question 1.
5: Are there any specific guidelines that I need to follow during this initial one year of supervised practice (compensating for Stage 2 training)?
During this initial one year of supervised practice post qualification, you will be required to keep a logbook of sessions held with clients, as well as an account of what was carried out during supervision and the learning that took place. In order to facilitate this process, the Malta Psychology Profession Board has prepared a logbook, for you and your supervisor to follow . This format will still be recognized by the Malta Psychology Profession Board till end 2022.
Please note that the Malta Psychology Profession Board (MPPB) has prepared new logbooks and these will become the only recognised log books as from January 2023. The areas are as follows: Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Organisational Psychology and Sports Psychology. This logbook must be submitted together with all the required documents when you submit your application for warranting. Please note that whoever is to start work towards warranting should now do so using the new format straightaway.
6: I am a psychologist established in another EU country and would like to come and work as a psychologist in Malta. What do I need to do in order to practice in Malta?
In the case of being established as a psychologist in another EU Member State, the regulations transposing Directive 2005/36/EC apply (vide S.L. 451.03, Laws of Malta).
7: If I have received recognition as a psychologist from another country, do I still need to apply for warranting in Malta?
Recognition as a psychologist form another country, even if that country is an EU country, does not automatically mean that one is warranted in Malta. You would still need to go through the process of applying for a warrant with the Malta Psychology Profession Board (MPPB) in order to be able to practice as a psychologist in Malta.
8: If a course is rated by Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Centre (MQRIC) as level 7, does that automatically imply equivalence?
Identifying the Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Centre (MQRIC) level rating by itself is not sufficient to establish equivalence and subsequent eligibility for warranting.
9: If I complete a three year professional / practitioner Doctorate degree in an area in psychology abroad that includes supervised practice, rather than the two year Master’s degree offered by the University of Malta, am I still obliged to do the full two years of supervised practice post qualification in order to obtain a warrant to practice in Malta?
The Board will take into account the additional year of training carried out during your professional / practitioner Doctorate degree by decreasing the number of hours of post qualification supervised practice by half. This applies to all professional / practitioner Doctorate degrees (i.e. not PhDs). This is also explained in Question 1.
10: If I were to continue my studies at the University of Malta, could you let me know when the next call for openings in Master’s Degree in Psychology (M.Psy) will be?
The Board advises you to address such queries directly with the University of Malta.
11: I am interested in following a postgraduate course in psychology abroad. Would you kindly give me a list of courses that would be accepted by the Board for the purpose of warranting in Malta?
Please refer to questions above for eligibility of courses.
Updated – June 2022
1: What do I need to do to confirm whether I am eligible for practitioner status?
Following the new sectorial agreement, persons who have a Masters degree or Doctorate in a practitioner area of psychology and who wish to confirm their eligibility for practitioner status must supply the Board with a copy of their transcript as well as their Diploma Supplement. This Diploma Supplement is meant to give information about the qualification received, i.e. the level of the qualification and the grading system; information regarding alternative marking schemes and their equivalent in ECTS; information on the National Higher Education System of the country where the degree was awarded; and such relevant information as the Diploma Supplement may include. Diploma Supplements are required by the Bologna Process.
Any person inquiring about practitioner status must also supply the Board with the following additional information:
- Information from the official websites and prospectuses about whether the degree qualifies the applicant to practice as a psychologist in the country where the qualification has been awarded
- Information from the official websites and prospectuses indicating the work one can do after qualifying with the degree
Those who have a Masters degree in a practitioner area of psychology from the University of Malta, as well as those with professional Doctorates from EU countries, need not submit an inquiry regarding their practitioner status. However, those with a Professional Doctorates from EU countries need to provide level and recognition level from Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA).
It is important to note that once practitioner status is confirmed this does not imply that a warrant has been given. All practitioners must follow the guidelines in preparation for their recommendation for warranting.
2: What are the areas that the Board will consider for warranting as a practitioner?
In view of the developments taking place in the field both locally and in Europe, and in order to guide prospective students in their choice of area of psychology that they wish to pursue their training in and eventually receive a warrant to practice, the Board has arrived at the following areas that will lead to warranting.
In the case of areas not listed here, the Board will assess what area the candidate’s training is most suited for and will recommend a warrant accordingly.
Updated – June 2022
Certification of Qualification
1: My qualifications and letters from supervisors are all in a foreign language. What is the procedure I need to follow when applying for warranting in Malta?
If your documents are not in English, these will have to be translated by a certified translator. All documents will need to be authenticated by a legal professional. For further guidance on how to submit an application, please visit our website (www.mppb.gov.mt).
2: I am not a resident of Malta. What kind of authentication of certificates does the MPPB require?
Authentication of documents is always to be done by a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths. If you are not a resident of Malta and the authorised professional is also not a resident in Malta, his/her signature is to be legalised through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country of issue.
3: Can you kindly tell me who can authenticate the documents to be presented with the psychologist warrant application please?
Authentication of documents is to be done by a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths.
Updated – January 2022
1: I would like to know if my current work experience is recognised towards warranting.
To work towards warranting you will need to carry out two years full time (or its equivalent part time) supervised work experience in the area for which you wish to be warranted in. So, if your area is Health Psychology, the work you will be doing needs to reflect this training. A health-related setting is the best setting within which to gain such experience.
2: If I were to follow a Masters course abroad can I come back to Malta and have supervised practice here or would I need to that abroad?
Once you obtain a Masters degree abroad that leads to professional accreditation as a psychologist, you can come back to Malta and carry out your two years, post qualification supervised practice in Malta.
3: Can I carry out my post qualification practice towards warranting abroad?
Of course, your experience can also be obtained abroad provided it is supervised by a Psychologist in the area for which you wish to be warranted. Attestation by your supervisor will need to be provided. Work experience carried out as part of a professional doctorate will also be considered.
4: Does the Board permit me to obtain my post qualification, two-year supervised practice in a private practice setting?
At present there is nothing stopping you from working under supervision in a private practice setting as long as your clients are advised about your situation. This arrangement is not ideal and changes in this regard are underway. The Board therefore strongly suggests that you look for work experience within an organization or an agency.
5: I am trying to look for work so that I can obtain my two years supervised practice in order to apply for warranting in Malta. Can you please let me know if there are any vacancies?
The Board is not in a position to advise on where you can acquire your two years of practice. However, you may wish to make contact with the Malta Chamber of Psychologists [email@example.com] who, from time to time, post vacancies.
Updated – January 2022
Supervision & CPD
1: I am a psychology practitioner working my two year period towards being warranted as a psychologist. Since the CPD document states that, “psychologists under supervision (pre-warrant)” should “preferably” receive supervision from a supervisor within “the same area of specialisation”, I would like to clarify whether the hours of in-house supervision that I am currently receiving from a psychologist warranted outside my area of specialisation, would still count towards my warrant.
The Board requires that at least half of the required supervision hours be received by a warranted psychologist, registered also as supervisor, in the area within which you wish to be warranted. You are therefore requested to seek supervision from a psychologist warranted in your area, who will act as your main supervisor. Then any additional in-house supervision with another psychologist familiar with your working context, will also be accepted, provided that the person offering the additional in-house supervision is himself or herself a warranted psychologist and has been accepted by the Board as supervisor.
2: I am a senior psychologist. Do I still need supervision?
It is part of good practice for a psychologist, including a senior psychologist, to continue to receive supervision. 50% of your intervision hours can be included as part of your supervision hours. Attestation to this will need to be provided. You are advised to avail yourself of the CPD log that is available online to assist you in keeping a log of all CPD activities (www.mppb.gov.mt).
3: I am looking for a supervisor to supervise my two years post qualification practice prior to applying for warranting. How do I go about this?
A list of supervisors is to be found on the MPPB website. You will find the different specializations for each supervisor under the page – registered psychologists. You will need to select a supervisor from your area of specialisation.
4: Are CPD activities done elsewhere within the European Union (EU) recognised?
For the purpose of CPD, activities carried out elsewhere within the EU are also accepted, provided that these activities are offered by reputable institutions and are relevant to your area of specialization. Certificates of attendance in English will need to be forwarded. You are advised to avail yourself of the CPD log that is available online to assist you in keeping a log of all CPD activities.
Updated – January 2022
Endorsement of Courses
I run CPD courses and would like to know whether the MPPB would endorse the training provided.
The Board will have the role to certify the number of hours of courses offered. As a guideline, courses of 2hrs-4hrs are equivalent to 5 CPD hours, courses between 5hrs-10hrs are equivalent to 10 CPD hours. Longer courses will be discussed by the Board.
Updated – January 2022
How do I go about reporting unethical behaviour by a psychologist? What will it involve? While I understand that I will be asked to give evidence, I would not like to experience public exposure.
It is within the remit of the Board to look into all complaints received against psychologists. In order for the Board to be able to investigate the case, you will be asked to write a formal letter to the Board, disclosing the name of the person in breach of ethics, and detailing accounts of what happened to constitute a cause for complaint. You will be asked to identify yourself to the Board in order for a full inquiry to take place. Inquiries by the Board are made in accordance with the Inquiries Act (CAP.273.) of the Laws of Malta.
Updated – January 2022
Bye-laws in terms of the general regulations for university postgraduate awards, for the degree of Master in Psychology under the auspices of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing at the University of Malta (S.L. 327.120)