Somebody is misusing the title of "psychologist" by using this title or related titles without:
- holding the mandatory degree in psychology (in general this is a Master's degree, although the law makes some exceptions);
- AND being registered by the Commission of Psychologists which maintains the official list of Belgian psychologists.
Even holders of a Master's degree in psychology who are not registered but who call themselves a psychologist are guilty of misusing the title.
The full criteria for title misuse
Title misuse can be divided into four criteria: who, what, where and when
A person, irrespective of whether he/she holds a Master's degree in psychology, is not registered as a psychologist.
And makes use of, or allows him/herself to be referred to by one of the following titles:
- the title of apsychologista
- similar titles:
- compound titles in which the term "psychologist" appears, such as clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, labour psychologist, student psychologist, etc.
- translations of the title of "psychologist" and of compound titles, such as psycholoog, psychologue or psychologue clinicien
- misleading abbreviations: psycho, psy, psychol, etc.
- an invalid or lapsed registration number, or a number that creates the impression of being a registration number.
On all possible printed or electronic media. A few frequently-encountered examples:
- in a report;
- on a name plate, e.g. on the wall or door;
- on the person's own or another website, including URLs, search functions and LinkedIn;
- in the function name;
- in the specific e-mail address or in the e-mail signature;
- on a visiting card;
- in the media (written press or broadcast media)
- on other documents or electronic media such as brochures and articles;
Registration as a psychologist must be renewed each calendar year. Someone is therefore guilty of title misuse if he/she has not renewed his/her registration and continues to use the title.