Although there are many professional areas in which psychologists can work, perhaps it is in the area of healthcare where the regulations applied to this profession are most advanced. The seventh regulatory provision of the 33/2011 General Law of Public Health, 4th October, regulates the situation of psychology in the field of healthcare, establishing in point 3.a that: a Degree in Psychology itself does not capacitate one to act as a psychologist in the healthcare sector, although it is a requisite to be able to enter onto the Master’s course of General Clinical Psychology.
The main points contained in this law are:
Graduates holding a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology who act professionally as employees or freelance agents in the healthcare sector will be considered regular healthcare professionals, with the denomination of General Clinical Psychologist, as long as they hold a Master’s degree in General ClinicalPsychology as well as the aforementioned Bachelor’s degree.
Through article 12.9 of the RD 1393/2007, 29th October, the Government will establish the conditions for the study programme to obtain an official General ClinicalPsychology Master’s degree.
The General Clinical Psychologist is responsible for carrying out psychological studies, evaluations and interventions in relation to behavioural issues and an individual’s activities, any of which influence the promotion and improvement of their general state of health.
Psychologists that are active in centres, establishments and services within the National Health System, or concerted to them, must be in possession of the official title of Specialist Psychologist in Clinical Psychology referred to in section 3 of annex I of the Real Decree 183/2008, 8th February, which determines and classifies the speciality as Health Sciences, and establishes the areas in which specialist healthcare personnel must be trained.
To inscribe the psychology units/departments in the corresponding general Register of healthcare centres, services and establishments, the Healthcare Administrations of the distinct Autonomic Communities demand that the interested parties must count on personnel who have obtained a Master in Clinical Psychology or the title of Specialist Psychologist in Clinical Psychology.
In addition to the provisions in the aforementioned paragraph, the transitory procedure laid out in the second clause of the sixth additional provision of the Social Economics Law 5/2011, 29th March, applies during a period of three years from the date that the aforementioned law enters into force.
The “unregulated” professions, which cover wide and diverse areas, can be carried out by holders of a Bachelor’s or Masters degree in Psychology. This title does not itself indicate that the profession is regulated, nor is it clinically recognized, yet it does permit the holder to work in distinct non-clinical professional areas in which the capacities acquired in the degree (or postgraduate) course are appropriate, as determined by market forces.
Alternatively, the Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Psychology paves the way to two official professionalizing Master’s titles that are required for two regulated professions:
The Official University Master’s in "Secondary Education, Vocational training and Foreign Language Teacher Training", for which the Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Psychology is one of the possible titles that gives access to some specialist Master’s (e.g. Educational Orientation).
The Official University Master’s degree in "Occupational Risk Prevention" that opens the way to enter the regulated profession of Senior Technician in Occupational Risk Prevention.