Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)
Activity Report 2016
Submitted by Don Crowder, PhD, ASPPB President
ASPPB represents all the psychology regulatory bodies throughout North America, and has as its primary objective the promotion of excellence in psychology regulation and public protection. ASPPB also has individual members who are former members or staff of licensing boards or other psychology credentialing organizations. ASPPB meets the needs of its member organizations through its provision of services such as the EPPP, model legislation language, consultation and advocacy with regard to regulatory issues, board/college member training and mobility programs. ASPPB seeks to continue its communication and collaboration with other professional psychology organizations that share the goal of promoting excellence in psychology and its regulation. In 2011, ASPPB celebrated 50 years of providing these essential services to licensing boards throughout the United States and Canada.
ASPPB 2016 Board of Directors: (Officers elected in October 2015 began serving January 1, 2016)
- President: Don Crowder, PhD, (WI)
- President-Elect: Don Meck, PhD, JD, ABPP (GA)
- Past-President: Martha Storie, (NC)
- Secretary-Treasurer: Karen Messer-Engel, MA, R. Psych (SK)
- Members-At-Large: Sharon Lightfoot, PhD (MO),
C. Gerald O’Brien, Jr., PhD (MS),
Sheila Young, PhD (NV)
Psychology Licensure Universal System (PLUS): The PLUS is a universal application system that is designed for use by all ASPPB member jurisdictions in their licensure processes. The PLUS provides automatic primary source verification of all application documents and electronic storage of applicant licensure related information. In utilizing the PLUS, applicants will no longer have to worry about issues such as having to track down their internship or post doc supervisors, or having to request a transcript after their first application for licensure. ASPPB is also working with APPIC to create a seamless system for transferring internship information directly to licensing boards, and is discussing with ABPP the possibility of creating a similar system for transferring specialty recognition applications. PLUS currently is being used in 14 jurisdictions, with another three (3) set to begin soon. When fully implemented, PLUS has the potential to dramatically change the way applicants for licensure obtain their first and all subsequent licenses to practice psychology and to resolve many of the professional mobility difficulties experienced by licensed psychologists.
Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT): A joint APA/ASPPB/APAIT Task Force produced the Telepsychology Guidelines that were approved by the APA Council and by the ASPPB Board of Directors in August 2013. ASPPB established a separate Telepsychology Task Force whose charge was to explore the issue of the regulation of telepsychology practice. The Task Force developed the concept of an “E-Passport” which would allow the provision of psychological services by qualified licensed Psychologists via electronic means across jurisdictional boundaries, without additional licensure in the jurisdiction in which the client was physically present when receiving those services. Their work was further expanded to include the exploration of an interstate compact - the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT). The compact provides a consistent structure for temporary in-person face-to-face practice (based on the IPC), as well as the practice of telepsychology. There is also a website dedicated to PSYPACT that can be found at www.psypact.org. It includes resource materials like a resource policy toolkit, handouts, a frequently asked questions section and a map to track the progress of PSYPACT in each state legislature. You can also follow us on Twitter @PSYPACT. Currently one state has introduced legislation regarding adoption of PSYPACT and several of ASPPB’s member psychology licensing boards have endorsed PSYPACT and are looking to introduce either this year or next year.
HRSA Grants: ASPPB has received several grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Three grants have been awarded to ASPPB- two through the Office for the Advancement of Telemedicine and provides about $1,250,000 over four years to continue the implementation of ASPPB’s universal application and credentials verification service called PLUS (see below for greater detail on this program), and to develop and implement the telepsychology compact called PSYPACT. The third HRSA grant funds the development of a Work Force Analysis (WFA) consisting of information regarding licensed psychologists in the U.S. who are providing direct client care. This WFA Survey project is an expansion of HRSA’s earlier efforts to develop rosters of medical practitioners in the U.S.; this expansion allows for the inclusion of behavioral health care providers. ASPPB has designed a survey instrument that captures the practice parameters and diversity within psychology. This project has the potential to help with the creation of a data base of all licensed psychologists in the U.S., and to inform attempts to conduct workforce analyses, track trends in student choices in academic training programs, and link current and future examination performance to other demographic and training data which has not to this point been possible.
Liaison Activities: The ASPPB Board of Directors believes in the importance of enhanced communication between training councils and ASPPB. Consistent with this belief, ASPPB has endeavored to work more closely with training councils and training programs through the creation of better on-line resources for faculty, attending training council meetings as liaisons when possible, and providing consultation and resources that will help faculty, supervisors, graduate students and interns to understand the regulatory process and the common problems that disrupt the sequence of training leading to licensure. Additionally, ASPPB has introduced a Board member “track” for Education and Training that will help ensure this priority. The ASPPB web site (www.asppb.net) continues to undergo renovation and improvement to provide better licensure information for all interested parties, including faculty, supervisors, and students. Faculty and supervisors can find resources to aid in preparing their students, interns, and trainees for the EPPP, and they can also view the licensure requirements for each ASPPB member jurisdiction.
Exam Program Initiatives:
Competency Assessment: The ASPPB Board of Directors has approved the development and implementation of a skills-based examination for use at entry-level licensure that will be designed to augment and complement the EPPP foundational knowledge exam. Together with the EPPP, the new exam will provide member boards with a comprehensive examination package by which to assess a licensure candidate’s competency to practice independently. The EPPP will be renamed the EPPP Step 1, and the new exam will be called the EPPP Step 2. This assessment package will assist member boards in meeting their mandate of public protection and in meeting the public’s expectations regarding a board’s assessment of competence of psychologists at the point of licensure. Our target date for implementation is January 2019.
SEPPP, FEPPP: A bilingual Spanish version of the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) has been developed for use in Puerto Rico and is now being offered for those candidates for licensure in Puerto Rico. The French translation of the EPPP is currently in use in Canada. Beginning this year, the FEPPP is now offered in French only, and includes pretest items as well, making the test-taking experience similar for all candidates, regardless of language.
EPPP Scores for Doctoral Programs: Historically, ASPPB has made available rolling, aggregated EPPP pass rates of doctoral programs that have been helpful in preparing self-studies and annual reports for accreditation. With these data, programs have been able to track the pass rates for their graduates in the most recent five-year period. These data have been provided to programs, potential students and the public free of charge at www.asppb.net. ASPPB is currently exploring ways to provide Exam data in additional formats that would allow programs and prospective students to evaluate the EPPP performance of individual programs on an annual or more targeted basis to track the impact of curricular changes or other program developments.
ASPPB Supervision Guidelines: The ASPPB Supervision Guidelines for Education and Training leading to Licensure as a Health Service Provider are available on our website. Currently underway are Supervision Guidelines for regulatory bodies to use with disciplinary cases. After these are completed, we will be working on Supervision Guidelines for General Applied Psychologists and for licensed non doctoral level providers and for non licensed persons providing psychological services (e.g. psychometrists).
Licensure of Consulting and Industrial /Organizational Psychologists (LCIOP) Task Force: The LCIOP Joint Task Force was established to examine the issue of licensure of Consulting Psychologists and Industrial / Organizational Psychologists, including examining the issues of definition of practice of psychology, mobility, accreditation of training programs, and barriers to licensure. Some jurisdictions license only health service providers. In addition there appears to be some belief among I/O psychologists that licensure is not necessary or possible for many practitioners in that specialty area. Established in 2014, the Task Force has worked with various groups to review current laws to determine if licensure was required and possible for non health service psychologists; to prepare feedback for the ASPPB Model Act and Regulations Committee regarding provisions for the licensure of I/O and Consulting psychologists; to survey program directors about the content of doctoral training programs as it relates to licensure and accreditation standards, to review the ASPPB Supervision Guidelines for relevance for this area of practice, and to explore development of a competency model for I/O and Consulting psychology. ASPPB maintains the view that if a psychologist is engaged in activities that fall within the definition of the practice of psychology and there is potential for harm to the public, that psychologist should be licensed.
Behavior Analysis Task Force: The charges for the Behavior Analysis Task Force were to develop educational documents on behavior analysis, including addressing the practice’s place within the profession of psychology. A white paper on Behavior Analysis was developed for ASPPB member boards. The Behavior Analysis Task Force has also created a similar paper for consumers, now available at http://www.asppb.net/?page=ABAGuidelines.
Mobility Program Initiatives: The Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) attests that the individual holding the certificate has met specific requirements in licensure, education, examination and training and has never had disciplinary actions taken against his or her license. The CPQ facilitates licensure into a new jurisdiction for those holding the credential. There are 44 jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. that accept the CPQ for licensure, 11 jurisdictions that waive at least one educational or experiential requirement for licensure for CPQ holders, and an additional two jurisdictions in the process of accepting the CPQ. The benefits of the CPQ include: expedited licensure application process, establishes a Credentials Bank record, free EPPP Score Transfer service, and promotes greater uniformity in credentialing standards. The Inter-jurisdictional Practice Certificate (IPC) facilitates temporary practice for psychologists involved in short-term practice (max 30 days/yr.), such as organizational or other consulting, forensic evaluations, or for disaster relief work. CPQ holders automatically receive an IPC. There are currently 6 jurisdictions that accept the IPC credential. The ASPPB Credentials Bank provides primary source verification and electronic storage of licensure-related documents, forms and materials. Banking one’s credentials is available free of charge now for everyone and is available to applicants for licensure, licensed psychologists, and CPQ and IPC holders. When one wishes to have their information transferred to facilitate application/licensure, a nominal fee is charged.
International Project on Competency in Psychology: ASPPB has been participating with other individuals from international organizations on a project that focuses on developing the International Declaration on Core Competence in Professional Psychology. This document was presented at the European Congress of Psychology in Milan in 2015 and the final draft will be presented at the International Congress of Psychology in Yokohama in 2016. ASPPB recognizes that the question of how to manage state/provincial differences in licensure has not yet been solved, but also notes that concurrently there are pressures to consider licensure of those who are internationally trained and practicing. In light of these pressures we need to work concurrently on mechanisms for licensure that would allow for the recognition of differing educational systems and licensure processes around the world.