APS retention strategy: news or schmooze

picture of long nosed marketer

Reports are coming in that the APS have hired highly articulate PR consultants to talk departing members into renewing their membership on May 31st.

We wondered if, rather than smooth talking the droves of disgusted and disenfranchised ex-members who have finally decided to abandon the organisation after 13 years, the APS might develop a membership retention strategy based on listening to their largest membership segment, advocating on research evidence rather than politics, and upholding the integrity of the profession to Government and in the community.

Unfortunately, that last may be a dream and you can expect your call any time now. Don’t be fooled by their oily words.

A RAPS founding member has shared with us the details of a call she recently received from a smooth talking man who said he’d been employed by the APS.

Clearly RAPS’s call-to-action last week seems to be taking effect!

RAPS called on members to:

  • Drop their membership altogether (we will keep you informed of APS matters)
  • Defer it for 2 years
  • Go onto monthly/quarterly payments so you can exit if things don’t improve

Our RAPS team member had replied to an APS renewal email with: “We just have to look at what the history tells us. Look at what APS has done for the past 13 years and will continue to do: Advocate for its clinical members only. The APS is lost to us.”

This led to the PR consultant calling to ask what members are unhappy about. Our RAPS member said: “The APS knows exactly what we are upset about. It’s my opinion that the APS doesn’t care about us.” The consultant confirmed that he had received similar complaints from others. “Thank God for that!,” the RAPS member exclaimed.

The PR consultant assured our RAPS member that the APS will address members’ concerns but not anytime soon – perhaps at some point 18 months from now. He tried to persuade her to not leave now. 

The RAPS team member pressed the point that, “Members don’t have [18 months to wait] because we are all losing work opportunities, referrals;  the White Paper is due out in June and members have not been given any reassurance that it will differ from the Green Paper .”

RAPS wants to know why it will take 18 months to address members’ concerns when all members seek is equality. This could be resolved easily by the APS advocating for equivalent Medicare rebates for all psychologists working in mental health.

The RAPS team member stated, “the APS should be advocating strongly the fact we all are professionals; that we are all fully qualified psychologists. It is outrageous that our peak body continues to denigrate its own members openly and publicly.”

RAPS also wants to know why the APS is saying that it is responding to members’ concerns when just a few weeks ago it submitted the Green Paper which states very clearly that a majority of APS members under Medicare will:

  • not be able to provide psychological therapy;
  • never be able to offer rebates to severe clients;
  • never be able to offer the same rebate to moderate clients that other members will.

The Green Paper is an insult to our intelligence and capabilities. It is even more outrageous that the APS now appears to be spending members’ money to boost its membership instead of rectifying the real issues and concerns that the majority of its members have voiced.

It seems this may be another instance of the APS saying the words but not following up with actions.