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Job description

Psychologists provide specialist clinical assessment and treatment for offenders serving sentences in prison and in the community.

Their key focus is the assessment and treatment of offending behaviour.

Corrections Psychologists also:

  • provide specialist pre-sentence advice to courts and specialist risk assessment reports to the New Zealand Parole Board
  • monitor pre and post-sentence assessments
  • contribute to the quality of programmes through supervision and research
  • practice collaboratively with other Corrections staff to offer oversight of offenders
  • provide training, education and practice supervision for departmental staff.

Psychologists may undertake approved research projects.

In recent years psychologists have been involved in a number of treatment evaluations that demonstrate the effectiveness of psychological interventions at reducing re-offending.

Qualifications required

Ideally we employ psychologists who have a Post-graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology or Forensic Psychology.

In order to practice as a psychologist for the Department, psychologists must be registered with the New Zealand Psychologists  Board ( and hold an annual practicing certificate.

The Department has a Supervision to Registration programme for people with a Masters degree to obtain registration.

The programme is designed for Programme Facilitators who work in our Special Treatment Units.

Supervision to Registration is achieved through meeting programme requirements whilst performing programme facilitator duties.

The alternative option is to complete a Post-Graduate Diploma to obtain registration.

Training cost

Significant internal and external training is available and continuous learning is encouraged.

Some examples of development opportunities our psychologists have had include:

  • Seminars and workshops on the Violence Risk Scale, the HCR20, the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, Conduct Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, sex offender risk and acceptance of trauma, as well as training on personal safety and acting as an expert witness
  • Courses in project management, time management, strategic business planning, professional supervision, information law, bi-cultural practice and the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Attendance at the ANZATSA, NZCCP and NZPS conferences
  • Completion of Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy



Career path

Psychologists can progress to the roles of Senior Psychologist and a Principal Psychologist. 

There are also a number of roles in National Office for Psychologists.

Salary range

$45,233 to $95,432

The initial salary is determined by the candidate's level of competency at time of appointment.

Progression to the next step of the salary scale will occur as the psychologist is assessed as being fully competent at that level.

Other places to source information about this job

Click here for The Department of Corrections website 

Other relevant points

Find out who our staff are, their backgrounds and experience, what they do, and why they enjoy being a Psychologist with Corrections - the challenges and rewards.

Click here for staff profiles
A full driver licence is required for this role. We will consider applications from candidates with a restricted driver licence, however all job offers will be conditional on the candidate obtaining their full driver licence.