Legal Status

Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens de Paris

The Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens de L’Institut Catholique de Paris was founded in 1951. It is a private institution of higher education outside of the university system.

Decree n°90-225_22_02_1990 (read here) recognises the “Psychologist Diploma” awarded by Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens de L’Institut Catholique de Paris. Holding this diploma allows you to bear the protected title of Psychologist regulated by law n°85-775_25_07_1985 (read here).

The excellent reputation of this school among health professionals is due to the theoretical and practical training offered.

During the training Psychologists acquire multidisciplinary knowledge in areas such as:

  • Neuropsychophysiology
  • Psychology and Psychopathology of the child, the adolescent and the adult
  • Psychiatry
  • Freudian Jungian and Lacanian Psychoanalysis
  • Mourning, Trauma, Stress Pathology
  • Psychological consequences of Exile
  • Drug Addiction
  • Psychometrics (assessment)
  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and group therapy

After five years of training, professionals who graduate from this school have passed around 150 examinations and completed a research paper. Theory is also combined with practice. At the end of the training, Psychologists already have thousands of hours of practical training over several years and across multiple professional disciplines. They are experienced practitioners.

Legal Protection of the Title of Psychologist


In France law protects the title of Psychologist. Law n°85-775_25_07_1985 (read here) regulates it.

In order to be allowed to hold the title of Psychologist in France some conditions must be met:

  • A postgraduate degree or preferably a master’s degree in Psychology
  • Or any other qualifications established by decree n°90-225_22_02_1990 (read here)

The Psychologist is a qualified professional. Without qualifications, no professional can claim the title of Psychologist. People who misuse the title are liable to prosecution under criminal law.

The legislator wants to better protect patients by limiting conditions. The law prevents people without the required diploma, and therefore without the necessary professional competence, from simply calling themselves Psychologists.

The title of Psychologist emphasises the expertise as well as the ethical commitment. This serves to benefit the trust in our discipline and contributes to the continuous professionalisation of the field.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, as in France, at least a master’s degree in psychology with practical training provides access to the title of Psychologist. Two universities offer this course, Hong Kong University and Chinese University.

However, Hong Kong law does not protect the title of Psychologist. A person assuming the title of Psychologist is therefore not constrained by any legal obligations.

Since 1999, The Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS) had been advocating the introduction of new legislation concerning the licensing of Clinical Psychologists to protect the rights of the public and warrant the quality of Clinical Psychologists services in Hong Kong.

Code of Ethics of Psychologists


Every holder of the Psychologist title must respect the Code of Ethics of Psychologists (read here). The code was adopted on March 25, 1996, by the Association des Enseignants de Psychologie des Universités (AEPU), the Association Nationale des Organisations Professionnelles (ANOP) and the Société Française de Psychologie (SFP).

Hong Kong

The Code of Professional Conduct of Psychologists (read here) was adopted in 2012 by the Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS). Members agree to abide by it.

The main Associations of Psychologists


The Société Française de Psychologie (SFP) ( is more than a hundred years old. It was founded in 1901 as the Société de Psychologie and became SFP in 1941. It is the world’s second largest learned society of Psychology after the American Psychological Association created in 1892.

The SFP aims to make French Psychology nationally and internationally more visible.

  • It is a member of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS)
  • It represents France in the International Congress of Psychology (ICP), the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) and the International Test Commission (ITC)
  • It is part of the French National Comity of Scientific Psychology (CNFPs) and collaborates with the Academy of Sciences

SFP and its nine partner organisations represent around 5,000 researchers, research/teachers and psychologists.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS) (, created in 1968, is the eldest and largest corporation of Psychologists in Hong Kong. It is both a learned society and an association of professionals. It represents all the Psychology Specialities in Hong Kong. It has four divisions including the Division of Clinical Psychology founded in 1982.