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Interest Group for Psycho-Legal

Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa

Interest Group Overview

The Psycho-legal Interest Group was established at the 2016 SIOPSA Conference in order to meet the needs of an expanding group of Industrial- and Organisational Psychologists (IOP’s) who are either practising in the medico-legal- / psycho-legal field, or who intend to enter the field. The impetus for the formation of the PLIG came from a request from the Professional Board of Psychology owing to an increasing concern about the calibre and professional behaviour  of IOP’s in the medico-legal- / psycho-legal field, and especially new entrants to the field.

As the employment landscape and field of IO-psychology continues to evolve, training and development in the medico-legal- / psycho-legal is in on-going demand. PLIG events focus on providing opportunities to facilitate knowledge sharing, insight into new developments and the implication on IOP psycho-legal reports, training and education for emerging IOP’s in the psycho-legal field, as well as for IOP’s requiring knowledge and / or training at a “refresher” and / or advanced level.

Which field of psychology does the interest group target?

To be provided

Vision and Purpose

The purpose of PLIG is to educate and facilitate competence as an expert witness by fostering specific professional behaviour and / or conduct for IOPs to promote a high level of professional practice in the psycho-legal field so as to protect the reputation and credibility of the field of industrial psychology and the profession itself.

Strategic Objective

Specific goals and objectives include:

  • The establishment of practice standards and basic requirements for IOPs working in this field;
  • The provision of standardised, relevant training in aspects of psycho-legal work;
  • The establishment of a formal point of reference for psycho-legal practice within SIOPSA and the Industrial and Organisational profession in South Africa; and
  • A move towards SIOPSA becoming the primary accreditor of IOPs in the psycho-legal space.

Committee Members


Recent Achievements

  • In a shifting employment landscape, IOP’s have to consider a number of factors which may impact on a claimant’s career; and on 4 March 2022, 21st Century shared valuable research insights as to  the effect of COVID-19 on employment practices, and how organisations have evolved with the impact of COVID-19. The webinar furthered understanding of key considerations and implications of the economic fall-out brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and moreover, the implications of the same when postulating the likely career and earnings of claimants.
  • Based on member feedback, and with improvement in the knowledge, skills, professional behaviour, and ethics of IOP’s involved in medico-legal- / psycho-legal work top of mind; IGPL developed a Series of Foundational Classes designed to familiarise an IOP entrant with Psycho-legal work and introduce them to Industry requirements. The series commenced on 29 March 2022, and the 6-part series focused on providing foundational knowledge and skills as it pertains to the IOP psycho-legal process, the assessment process, report structure and report writing, postulations, as well as joint minutes and expert testimony – all presented by seasoned and experienced IOP’s in the field. Throughout the classes, specific ethical considerations have been explored.
  • PLIG presented a practical case study of all the parties involved, their specific roles, and the process involved in the trial proceedings during the 24th Annual SIOPSA Conference. The session was well attended, and experienced legal representatives and IOP’s explored the undertaking of psycho-legal work with the highest ethical standards, presenting their opinions with confidence, maintaining professional integrity and independence as an expert witness – thereby providing and serving the Court with unbiased testimony to support a fair and informed adjudication.
  • October 2022 saw the launch of the SIOPSA Professional Practice Guidelines for Industrial Psycho-legal work. The guidelines – by IOPs and for IOP’s - provide a refresher for the established practitioner and a starting point for practitioners entering the field. Drawing on the collective experience and knowledge of IOP’s within the psycho-legal field with additional input from legal- and quantum experts; the guidelines provide considerable information on the commonly used terms in the field, ethical guidelines for psycho-legal work, considerations for assessment and evaluation, report writing and the role and requirements of an expert witness in guiding the Courts on medico-legal / psycho-legal matters. In addition, reference documents are provided as annexures.

Joining this Interest Group

Who can join this interest group?

Any member of SIOPSA as written in the constitution is welcome to join the interest group.

Why Join (Benefits and Opportunities)?

At the core of PLIG is the facilitating of competence and continued professional development amongst Industrial- and Organisational Psychologists (IOP’s) who are either practising in the psycho-legal field (or who intend to enter the field) by means of the provision of training at numerous levels and creating platforms for knowledge sharing to objectively and proficiently assist the Courts.

How to Join

All members of SIOPSA will receive marketing communications with upcoming events. Also be on the look-out for social media posts to be among the first to know about upcoming events.


Upcoming Events

SIOPSA PLG Member Resources

This information is only available to SIOPSA members with an active membership. Please consider registering as a SIOPSA member to access this information.
This content is for Affiliate Member, Associate Member, Emerging Psychologist Member, Foreign Affiliate Member, Fellow Member, and Honorary Member members only.
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Interest Group Resources

Earnings Assistant Library

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