When is there a case of title abuse?

This webpage was last updated on 5/04/2019.


Somebody is misusing the title of "psychologist" by using this title or related titles without:

  • holding the mandatory degree in psychology (in general this is a Master's degree, although the law makes some exceptions);
  • AND being registered by the Commission of Psychologists which maintains the official list of Belgian psychologists.

Even holders of a Master's degree in psychology who are not registered but who call themselves a psychologist are guilty of misusing the title.


The full criteria for title misuse

Title misuse can be divided into four criteria: who, what, where and when


A person, irrespective of whether he/she holds a Master's degree in psychology, is not registered as a psychologist.


And makes use of, or allows him/herself to be referred to by one of the following titles:

  • the title of apsychologista
  • similar titles:
    • compound titles in which the term "psychologist" appears, such as clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, labour psychologist, student psychologist, etc.
    • translations of the title of "psychologist" and of compound titles, such as psycholoog, psychologue or psychologue clinicien
    • misleading abbreviations: psycho, psy, psychol, etc.
  • an invalid or lapsed registration number, or a number that creates the impression of being a registration number.


On all possible printed or electronic media. A few frequently-encountered examples:

  • in a report;
  • on a name plate, e.g. on the wall or door;
  • on the person's own or another website, including URLs, search functions and LinkedIn;
  • in the function name;
  • in the specific e-mail address or in the e-mail signature;
  • on a visiting card;
  • in the media (written press or broadcast media)
  • on other documents or electronic media such as brochures and articles;


Registration as a psychologist must be renewed each calendar year. Someone is therefore guilty of title misuse if he/she has not renewed his/her registration and continues to use the title.

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