Mr Malcolm Desland - Psychologist – Professional Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct

9 February 2022

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Mr Malcolm Desland, a registered psychologist, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It was alleged that the practitioner’s care and treatment of Patient A was inappropriate and of a poor standard, in that he:

  • Failed to adequately manage Patient A’s mental health condition.
  • Failed to maintain proper professional boundaries, including by corresponding and seeing Patient A outside of formal consultations.
  • Made inappropriate comments and disclosures and on occasion lost his composure and swore at Patient A.
  • Entered into a contract with Patient A with terms including providing his psychological services without payment and paying her a weekly sum to be re-paid at a later date when she had gained full-time employment.

On 7 February 2022, the Tribunal found the majority of the complaint proven and found the practitioner guilty of professional misconduct ( and unsatisfactory professional conduct). The Tribunal ordered that the practitioner be reprimanded and that his registration be subject to a number of strict protective conditions, including regular supervision ( with supervision reports to be provided to the Psychology Council) and an audit of his practice.

The full decision can be found here: NSW Caselaw.

Further information

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 02 9219 7444 or send an email to

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply.  For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at

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