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Business Psychologist Competency Framework

PsyAsia International has produced a competency framework for a Business Psychologist. We provide it here for clients and psychologists alike to set expectations of working with us.

Business Psychologist Competency Framework

PsyAsia International uses world-class psychological solutions with a focus on Asia. We apply the field of what is called either Industrial-Organisational, Occupational Psychology or Business Psychology. Within this field, as with all areas of regulated psychological practice, there are a number of professional and ethical standards that must be met and adhered to. In view of this, we have provided below a Competency Model for Business Psychologists. The purpose of this model is to provide our Business Psychologists and those interested in working with us with a model of our expectations, as well as to provide our clients and potential clients with information on what they may expect from PsyAsia International.

Impact & Influence

Ability to persuade and influence the client through interpersonal skills and understanding.

  • Designs and communicates a course of action so that buy-in exists at all levels and resistance is managed effectively.
  • Works to carry out the contract beyond trial efforts and to embed it into the daily activities of the organisation, team and individual.
  • Is able to develop and initiate appropriate interventions that are meaningful and useful to the client.
  • Is able to facilitate groups & individuals to recognise the need for change.
  • Is able to gain commitment to review and evaluate outcomes.

Client Service Orientation

A desire to identify and meet the needs of the client that represents value for money. Focusing on meeting the needs of the client beyond those initially expressed.

  • Is able to work with the client to identify discrepancies between current and future desired states.
  • Is able to develop a contract with the client in order to establish goals and outcomes and identifies criteria for achievement.
  • Is able to conduct an assessment to determine the client’s values, visions, challenges and sensitivities to change and clarifies all roles and responsibilities.
  • Presents data clearly, simply and in a ‘user-friendly’ manner to the client.
  • Ensures the solution is aligned with the organisation’s goals and objectives.

Analytical & Conceptual Thinking

Understanding a situation by breaking it apart into its constituents and tracing the implications of a situation in a step-by-step manner. Analytical thinking is used in logical planning, problem solving, prioritization, comparing data and identifying causal relationships.

  • Is able to apply theoretical models and analyze data from different sources to develop a solution or conclusion.
  • Is able to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information and cuts through to key issues.
  • Generates new approaches and methodologies to reach a solution.
  • Probes hidden cause to gain a thorough understanding of the issues and does not accept data at face value.
  • Is able to apply new research findings to develop a solution.

Relationship Building & Professional Integrity

Building strong working relationships with the client & maintaining professional conduct.

  • Adheres to the Code of Conduct as determined by the Psychological Societies of which the psychologist is a full member, e.g., The Hong Kong Psychological Society, The Singapore Psychological Society, The Australian Psychological Society, The American Psychological Association, The British Psychological Society.
  • Is able to determine who the client is and build rapport with them.
  • Is able to develop an understanding of the language of the client and to pitch their communication so as to build relationships.
  • Offers a service which is value for money to the client.
  • Maintains the interests of the individual.

Business/Organisation Focus

Generating solutions or conclusions that meet the goals and objectives of the business without compromising the needs and objectives of the individual.

  • Is able to prioritise issues in terms of expected impact and ease of implementation to the organisation and individual.
  • Is able to evaluate interventions in terms of the value-added to the organization.
  • Considers both the needs of the individual and the organization in interventions.
  • Can identify issues and presents alternatives utilising business/organisational principles.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of different business/organization environments.

Knowledge & Expertise in Business Psychology & Local Culture

A knowledge and expertise of  Business Psychology in the 8 areas defined by the British Psychological Society.

  • Selection & Assessment
  • Training
  • Organisational Development
  • Design of Environments and of Work
  • Human-Machine Interaction
  • Performance Appraisal & Counselling
  • Employee Relations & Motivation
  • Career Development

In addition, the PsyAsia’s Business Psychologists must be able to apply this knowledge and expertise with local sensitivity based on an in-depth understanding of the various Asian cultures and business organisations within which we work.

Continuous Professional Development of the Business Psychologist

In addition to the competencies in the competency model, PsyAsia International’s Business Psychologists are expected to be fully up-to-date with developments in Business Psychology to ensure that we are training, consulting and practicing cutting-edge, reliable and valid processes. This is a factor which often distinguishes us from our competitors.

To this end, our Business Psychologists must undertake at least 50 hours of CPD per year – this includes attending relevant top-up training, reading of recent journal articles, attending conferences, reviewing conference paper submissions, supervising trainee Psychologists and supervision, coaching and feedback from peers.

Competence in Asia & the use of the title “Psychologist”

Business Psychology is still a growing discipline and practice in Asia. Whilst the Hong Kong Psychological Society has tried to protect the title “Psychologist” so that it can only legally be used by those with the true credentials, expertise and experience to do so, thus far, things remain unregulated. As a result, we see people with an undergraduate degree in Psychology refer to themselves as Psychologists. Things are often worse than this though. We also see those who have no educational background in psychology referring to themselves as Psychologists because they simply think they are! For example, somebody who  has experience in training and sales, thinks he knows all about the Psychology behind sales and so refers to himself as a Sales Psychologist.

Professional Psychologists see this as erroneous on so many levels. The public (our clients) have a right to expect a strong educational background, followed by extensive supervised experience and then monitoring and continuous development of those calling themselves Psychologists.

Registered Business Psychologist

As a result of the above, PsyAsia International only works with Business Psychologists who are officially registered with international statutory bodies that require both at least a Masters level of education in the discipline, in addition to extensive supervised experience. Examples of such bodies include the Psychology Board of Australia, the New Zealand Psychologists Board, the UK Health & Care Professions Council (Registered Psychologists) and the majority of the United States State Licensing Boards (Licensed Psychologists). Furthermore, we do not work with individuals who gained their advanced psychology degree by way of distance learning unless that individual can prove they undertook significant supervised (by a registered psychologist) team consulting work during their training that was equal to or more than that available in Consultancy Skills modules of face-to-face Masters degrees in Organisational/Business Psychology.