The Ghana Psychological Council (GPC) has announced that starting from next year, persons aspiring to become certified counsellors will have to pass a licensure examination before they will be granted the licence to practise.
The decision, it said, formed part of the effort to asses the competency of individuals yearning to be given the mandate to practise as professionals.
The Registrar of the GPC, Dr Dinah Baah-Odoom, who made the disclosure, said the examination would be held in June and November every year.
She was speaking at the second induction ceremony for licensed professionals, para-professionals and lay practitioners in Accra.
She said the move would enhance the council’s agenda of ensuring the training of qualified counsellors to provide effective service for the public.
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Dr Baah-Odoom said the GPC had taken stringent measures in an attempt to weed out recalcitrant persons who, under the guise of being counsellors, preyed on the ignorance of unsuspecting individuals.
She warned that people who portrayed themselves as counsellors without certification by the council would face sanctions.
“If you are found practising without a licence, you can be imprisoned for up to 10 years, and that is according to the law,” she pointed out.
The induction ceremony saw 345 individuals receive licences in clinical psychology, educational psychology and social psychology.
Others received licences in industrial psychology, counselling psychology, para-professionals and lay counsellors.
Speaking on the theme: “Securing the profession, protecting the people”, the Chairperson of the GPC, Professor Angela Ofori-Atta, challenged the newly licensed practitioners to exhibit a high level of professionalism in the performance of their duties.
She said as trained professionals, their performance would speak volumes about their level of training and they must, therefore, act as good ambassadors of the council.
The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, in an address delivered on his behalf, announced that the government had acquired a new office complex for the council in order to boost its activities, going forward.
He added that funding to facilitate the working of the council had been budgeted for in the 2019 budget.
He lauded the GPC for its immense contribution to the advancement of health and the well-being of the public and pledged the ministry’s support to its endeavours.