A. Structure of the Profession
The profession of psychologist exists in Portugal, and its practice is governed by specific regulations.
The profession is regulated within the meaning of Directive 89/48/EEC and is listed in the annex to Decree-Law No 289/91 of 10 August 1991 incorporating the Directive into national legislation.
The regulations governing the profession of psychologist in Portugal stipulate that specific activities may be pursued only by holders of a degree in psychology. In order to practise, a licence must first be obtained from the competent authority within the Ministry of Employment.
The profession of clinical psychologist, while not listed in the annex to Decree-Law No 289/91, is included among the health professions referred to in Decree-Law No 241/94 of 22 September 1994; it is a specialism in its own right, with a separate degree and career path alongside other public-service employees (see Annex I).
Psychologists are represented by the National Psychologists Board, within which the Portuguese Psychologists Association (APPORT) and the National Union of Psychology Professionals (SNPP) deal mainly with professional and ethical aspects, while the Portuguese Psychology Society and the Portuguese Psychology Association are responsible for scientific and training questions.
The competent authority for the profession of psychologist is the Institute for the Improvement and Inspection of Working Conditions, which forms part of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.
B. Structure of Education and Training
Students wishing to follow a degree course in psychology must satisfy the general requirements governing admission to higher education, i.e. they must have completed twelve years’ previous schooling and passed the national higher-education entrance examination.
Psychology degree courses normally last at least five years, with part of the final year being devoted to practical work experience.
The psychology degree syllabus taught in Portugal is enclosed at Annex II.