At the moment, the only way that you can qualify to practice in the field of neuropsychology is to first do a Master’s degree in psychology and then to do further self-study in the field of neuropsychology. You will, though, still have to practice within your scope of practice, as published by the HPCSA in 2011.
If you are already registered as a psychologist but would like to work in the field of neuropsychology, it is recommended that you do the following:
Study extensively the subjects related to neuropsychology, such as neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, neuropathology and neuropsychological tests, then write the knowledge exam of the South African Clinical Neuropsychological Association (SACNA) to check that your knowledge is on par with the standards expected in this field. (Go to www.sacna.co.za for more information about the SACNA exam.)
Once you have passed the SACNA exam, you would need to gain experience in the field of neuropsychology under supervision. Once you have gained sufficient experience, you should submit reports to SACNA of unsupervised neuropsychological assessments that you have done. If the SACNA credentialing committee is satisfied with your ability to apply your knowledge, you will become a Full SACNA member, in which case you can consider yourself recognised as an expert in neuropsychology among your peers.
Please note: this does not mean that you will be able to register as a Neuropsychologist. The Minister of Health needs to sign the training requirements as proposed by the HPCSA before a grandfathering process can be embarked. However, considering that neuropsychology falls within the scopes of practice of certain categories of psychologists, you may still work in the field of psychology if you are registered in one of those categories.
In order to become and remain up-to-date in this field, it is also recommended that you attend as many relevant training opportunities as possible, you become a subscriber to the NeuropsychologySA website, which will give you access to information of relevance in this field.
• Traumatic brain injury (e.g. concussion, coma and open head wounds);
• Memory difficulties with unknown cause;
• Brain tumours;
• Dementing conditions (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease);
• Neuropsychiatric disorders;
• Seizure disorders (epilepsy);
• Effects of toxic chemicals or chronic substance abuse;
• Movements disorders and
• Forensic cases (e.g. if a person needs a curator)
• Confirm or clarify a diagnosis;
• Quantify cognitive and behavioural strengths and weaknesses to guide rehabilitation and vocational or educational needs;
• Track changes in functioning and
• Help guide the person to others that can help with treatment.