Organisational psychologist

As an Organisational Psychologist, your role in the RNZN is broad and varied. Although you serve mostly ashore, but may be required to go to sea as required and deploy to other land based missions – often overseas. Your role is demanding yet fulfilling and provides exposure to a number of areas within the disciplines of organisational and military psychology. Navy Psychologists are regularly involved in challenging professional tasks within the New Zealand Defence Force that require psychological knowledge and expertise.

You need to have a Masters Degree in Psychology before applying, and you may be funded to become a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society and an appropriate professional body of your choice to ensure your specialised skills remain current. There is also support to continue studying through education assistance that helps financially with fees for courses that are job related, and opportunities to continue to develop your knowledge through a variety of conferences and workshops. The process to becoming a registered Psychologist takes approximately 14 months.

If already registered, you will be introduced to the role of an RNZN psychologist through a series of projects relevant to the Defence Force. If unregistered, the Navy will finance and supervise you through your journey to become a NZ registered psychologist.

After completing Junior Officer Common Training you will join the Organisational Psychology Department, where you will undergo two weeks of induction training. This will involve meeting all the relevant personnel and introducing you to the variety of roles that are undertaken by psychologists.

Following the completion of your registration, you will continue consolidating your experience and skills learnt within the Organisational Psychology Department. During this time you will become eligible to go to sea or overseas, to provide deployment related support. You are also likely to get involved in more joint activities than other branches such as specialised selection boards.

After working as a registered Psychologist for a minimum of 2 years you will also have the opportunity to move into other roles within the wider Defence Force, including positions based in Wellington. Opportunities for psychologists exist within RNZN and Defence Force Headquarters and the Joint Forces New Zealand Headquarters.

Your initial remuneration will be based on previous experience and skill level. This is negotiated on a case by case basis. As your career continues, remuneration will increase on promotion and seniority.

  • Hold a Masters Degree in Psychology preferably with an I/O focus.
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.
  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Be free of any criminal convictions for the previous two years
  • Like all officers, you must also pass a two day final officer selection board
  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

Upon successful enlistment into the Navy  you’ll complete a five day induction course at Devonport Naval Base before you start the seven week Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) at RNZAF Base – Woodbourne. Once you march out of the JOIC you continue with the remaining 15 weeks of Junior Officer Common Training course (JOCT), which is back at the Devonport Naval Base. You will be exposed to various subjects and find out if you’ve got what it takes to be an officer in the Navy!

All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets and Midshipman are required to complete this course which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service Officer training courses. The course will give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, sea survival, battle-craft, seamanship, communications and an introduction to leadership.   It is during JOIC that you will be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZDF and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.

The following are just some of the subject areas covered on JOCT:

  • RNZN customs
  • Drill and parades
  • Military law
  • Weapons training
  • Basic mariner training
  • Defence and strategic studies
  • Communication skills
  • Command, leadership and management


All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets and Midshipman are required to complete this course which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service Officer training courses. The course will give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, sea survival, battle-craft, seamanship, communications and an introduction to leadership. It is during JOIC that you will be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZDF and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.


Upon successful completion of the JOIC, you will be posted to Officer Training School, Devonport to complete the JOCT Course. The JOCT course is 22 weeks in duration (which includes the 7 weeks JOIC) split over three phases:


PHASE ONE – NAVY INDUCTION

Trainees are instructed in basic service knowledge, discipline, parade and kit preparation. There is a focus on ‘followership’ and teamwork and on developing a high level of physical and mental fitness.

The aim of this phase is:

  • To ensure that trainees can perform as effective team members
  • To instil the Navy Core Values
  • To develop the competency behaviours required of a Junior Officer
  • To provide the basic skills and knowledge for service in the Navy

PHASE TWO – SEA QUALIFICATION AND ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT

Phase two is focused on fitness for sea and academic development. The training provides trainees with the minimum knowledge and skills necessary to safely post to sea on a Navy Ship. The Sea Qualification Deployment is designed to give trainees an insight into life at sea and for staff to assess trainees in the sea going environment.

The aim is to:

  • Cement and build upon communal living skills
  • Gain an appreciation of the roles at sea
  • Confirm the trainees commitment to life at sea

Phase two also focuses on academic development. Trainees are lectured in Defence Communication topics such as service writing and oral communication. Officers are expected to have an understanding of wider national and defence policies, international relations and maritime doctrine.


PHASE THREE – LEADERSHIP

The final phase of JOCT has a strong leadership focus covering both theoretical and practical aspects. The trainees are put through a number of assessments. The assessments are scenario driven and provide the trainees with the opportunity to display their individual and combined skills.