The Development of PSYPACT
ASPPB, the alliance of psychology licensing boards in the United States and Canada, was approached by its members to develop a mechanism to assist in the regulation of telepsychology. In doing so, ASPPB in partnership with the psychology licensing boards and other stakeholder organizations, developed PSYPACT via the following steps:
ASPPB Telepsychology Task Force: ASPPB created a Task Force to review various options for the regulation of telepsychology. The ASPPB Telepsychology Task Force met several times and originally focused on the possibility of creating a certificate to assist in the regulation of telepsychology. This option was presented to the membership, and the membership questioned what type of agreement could be created between jurisdictions to address this issue. An Advisory Group was formed to review options for agreements, including interstate compacts.
Advisory Group: Composed of more than 14 regional and national psychology organizations as well as state officials, the Advisory Group examined the challenges encountered by clients receiving telepsychological services. The group then reviewed the feasibility of drafting a compact as a way of regulating telepsychological services as well as meeting the request of the member boards to create an agreement between the states. The Advisory Group met once in 2014. Their work culminated in a set of broad recommendations as to what the final compact product should entail.
Drafting Team: The ASPPB Telepsychology Task Force reconvened and served as the drafting team for the new compact. The Drafting Team was tasked with implementing, via a draft compact, the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of the Advisory Group as well as incorporating the original work of the Task Force. The eight (8) member Drafting Team, composed of compact and issue area experts, crafted the recommendations, as well as provided their thoughts and expertise, into the draft compact. The document was then open for comment in September 2014 for both the stakeholders as well as public. After the public feedback period, the Drafting Team made modifications as needed based on the feedback. When presented to the ASPPB membership, the feedback was to include not only telepsychology in the compact but to also include a mechanism for temporary in-person face-to-face practice. The Drafting Team added that component to the draft compact language and the ASPPB Board of Directors voted to approve the final Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) in February 2015.
PSYPACT Advisory Workgroup: A workgroup comprised of ASPPB Board of Directors and staff, members and staff from state psychology licensing boards and representatives from the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Council of Executives of State, Provincial (and Territorial) Psychological Associations (CESPPA), convened in July 2015 to devise an implementation plan for PSYPACT and create resource materials about PSYPACT.