The Transition Committee met for its third meeting of 2016 on 17 August to continue its oversight of the transition of the NSW Institute of Psychiatry (NSWIOP) to the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI). The NSWIOP Executive Director, Rhonda Loftus, apprised the meeting of the continued work towards the transition and of the development of the higher education courses for delivery in 2017.
Since the last update there has been significant development of both the proposed Frameworks in Psychiatric Medicine and Applied Mental Health Studies. The course outlines were provided to the Commonwealth regulator the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) in March 2016 but the courses all need to be fully functional for delivery in February 2017 (subject to TEQSA approval). The Committee was advised that the education team is excited by how the courses are coming together but that there is still much work to be done.
There was also discussion of the site visit that was conducted by TEQSA on 20 July 2016. This visit is an essential part of the TEQSA process where the assessors can directly interrogate aspects of the applications. The feedback from the TEQSA team was that it was a well conducted session that supported the applications submitted earlier.
The Committee acknowledged that as part of the transition plan the NSWIOP has been through an extensive renewal in organisational practice and educational delivery to ensure that the content and delivery of courses meet contemporary education standards.
The last step in the transition, subject to HETI receiving accreditation, is the repeal of the NSW Institute of Psychiatry Act 1964 in the spring session of the NSW Parliament. The Committee noted that this step is in keeping with the 2013 review recommendations which were accepted by Government for a staged transition of the NSWIOP into HETI over two to three years. The Committee also noted that the repeal legislation will be timed to commence after HETI receives accreditation and NSWIOP completes the 2016 academic year.