After several changes
Bill on Professional Associations approved
The House of Representatives recently approved the Bill on Professional Associations, accepting several changes to the initial proposal that mirror the stances upheld by Professional Associations, among them the Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses.
Telmo Mourinho Baptista, President of the Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses, underlines that this bill “will not change substantially the principles on which the Ordem dos Psicólogos was lead but it introduces some specificities that must be translated into law and that each professional association has to present really soon”. The mandatory presentation of a new bill proposal for each of the professional associations in such a short time – 30 days were granted – prevents the suitable consultation of the internal structures of those associations, thus creating some difficulties, even if the Boards have been mandated by law to perform the necessary changes.
Inicial proposal rectified
One of the points that was more the subject of criticism by the Professional Associations Nacional Council (PANC), namely, the fact that public professional associations could not take action or allow regulations to restrict the access and the practise of a profession, was removed from the bill. According to the inicial proposal the Prosecutors would have the power to launch disciplinary procedures against the members of the professional associations, a possibility that was imediately vetoed by the presidentes, since it was clearly an intrusion to their autonomy and a jurisdition of the ethics commités.
The President also stated that “ we must do the adaptations within the given time, taking the chance to introduce improvements to the regulations of the Ordem dos Psicólogos, which insure a more agile operation of our association, so often “tangled in excessive procedures” and that assure a better defence of the professionals interests and those of the psychology services' users.