The New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission received complaints alleging that a counsellor, Mr David Citer, was falsely holding himself out to be a registered psychologist. Mr Citer had referred to himself as a “Specialist Child, Adolescent and Family Psychologist” in emails to a registered psychologist. However, Mr Citer had never been registered as a health practitioner or student under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law).
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) subsequently filed two charges against Mr Citer in the Local Court of New South Wales.
The first charge alleged that Mr Citer had breached the National Law by “knowingly or recklessly” using a title that indicated he was either authorised or qualified to practise as a psychologist.
A second charge was later filed which alleged that Mr Citer had given an AHPRA inspector a document containing known false or misleading information when he provided copies of emails that had been altered so that the word “psychologist” had been removed from his email signature.
Mr Citer was convicted on 9 May 2018 of both charges and fined $8,000 for the first charge and $1,500 for the second. He was also ordered to pay AHPRA’s legal costs of $5,000.