25 November 2016

Certification and consumer protection

Another controversy regarding health practitioner identity is evident in statements regarding David Kaye (aka Ali Davut Sarikaya).

The NSW Health Commission states
Mr Kaye represented himself to Client A, the Commission and others as holding university qualifications in psychology and counselling. Specifically Mr Kaye represented himself as holding a Bachelor of Arts with honours, a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology. Mr Kaye also used the title doctor and the post-nominal PhD. Mr Kaye made these representations through his use of his CV, letters, reports, business cards, emails and through verbal advice to Client A and others.
Further, the evidence regarding Mr Kaye’s PhD indicates that it is in theology and not related to his practice in counselling or psychology. The evidence also showed that it was obtained from an American, online, non-accredited institution called “The American College of Metaphysical Theology” (ACMT). The ACMT website has been decommissioned but prior to this the website stated that “ACMT programs are not designed to meet any particular local, state of national licensing or credentialing laws. Mr Kaye was warned against using the title doctor and post-nominal PhD in his work as a counsellor as it is unethical and likely to mislead clients into believing he held an accredited doctorate which related to his practise as a counsellor. Despite this advice Mr Kaye continued to use the title doctor and post-nominal ‘PhD’ in his practise as a counsellor.
An article in the Baltimore Sun irreverently commented several years ago
Get your red-hot doctoral degree while supplies last! Only $179! No attending of classes required! Full credit for life experience! And due to popular demand, we now offer two additional degrees at rock-bottom prices: $139.75 for a master's, $99.75 for a bachelor's.
This is the gist of the 18-page catalog of the American College of Metaphysical Theology, a Minnesota-based school specializing in the "study of the basic advanced principles of metaphysical or spiritual truth." You can find the college on the Internet at www.americancollege.com.
The college is not accredited -- that is, approved by a regional organization for its faculty qualifications, library holdings and the like. It is proud that it isn't accredited.
Accreditation "is of minor importance," the school says. On that same page, it reminds enrollees that sending in a check entitles them to claim on their resumes that a doctorate is "expected."
"This sounds to me like Kentucky-fried metaphysics," said Stephen Vicchio, a College of Notre Dame philosophy professor who earned his doctorate at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
The Health Commission goes on to state that its
investigation found that Mr Kaye has no formal qualifications in psychology or counselling. He does not have a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology and he does not have a Graduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology. Mr Kaye has misled clients and others persistently over a number of years in to believing that he has the relevant credentials required to deliver counselling services when this was simply not the case. He has been deliberately deceptive in his conduct.
The Commission’s investigation has found that Mr Kaye provided counselling services to Client A when he did not hold any qualifications in counselling.
On the basis of the above evidence the Commission found that Mr Kaye breached the following clauses the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Practitioners in that he:
  • Failed to provide a health service in a safe and ethical manner 
  • Provided counselling services to a client in circumstances where he did not hold the appropriate qualifications 
  • Misrepresented himself as holding university qualifications in psychology and counselling
Through his actions, Mr Kaye has deprived both client A and countless other clients over the years the opportunity to receive the care and treatment that they required from an appropriately qualified practitioner. During the Commission’s investigation Mr Kaye failed to acknowledge this, or the fact that he has no formal qualifications in Counselling. However, prior to the finalisation of the investigation Mr Kaye, in his final submissions, acknowledged that the claims he made about his qualifications were misleading to the client and the public generally.
Kaye had been active in NSW and Victoria over several years, on occasion appearing in law reports as a person of authority.

The Commission notes that Kaye is
prohibited from providing any counselling of any description and any other mental health services in a paid or voluntary capacity to any clients for a period of six months. At the expiry of this six month period, Mr Kaye must not provide any counselling of any description and any other mental health services until he satisfies the Commission that he has successfully completed the required qualifications.
David Kaye was also prohibited from representing to any person or organisation that he holds university qualifications in mental health, including psychology or counselling, until evidence is provided to the Commission that satisfies it that he has attained such qualifications.