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Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards

July 2020 Report


The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) represents the psychology regulatory bodies throughout Canada and the United States.  ASPPB’s mission is:  Serving member jurisdictions by promoting excellence in regulation and advancing public protection in psychology.   Association membership is comprised of state, provincial, and territorial jurisdiction member boards as well as individual members who are former board members or staff of psychology regulatory bodies.  Any organization involved in the regulation of the practice of psychology outside the United States and Canada shall be entitled to apply for affiliate membership in the Association. ASPPB works to meet the needs of its members through the provision of services such as the EPPP, model legislation, mobility programs, consultation, and topics related to psychology regulation such as graduate training, supervised experience and continuing professional development. Further, ASPPB serves its member jurisdictions through collaboration with the training community and other professional psychology organizations, efforts to demystify the licensure process for applicants, promotion of common standards and processes for licensure, and development of model programs that promote public protection. During 2020, ASPPB will celebrate 60 years of providing these essential services to licensing boards throughout the United States and Canada.

ASPPB 2020 Board of Directors: President: Sheila Young, PhD (NV); President-Elect: Tomas Granados, PsyD (NM); Past-President: C. Gerald O’Brien, PhD (MS); Secretary-Treasurer: Cindy Olvey, PsyD (AZ); Members-At-Large: Alan Slusky, PhD (MB); Herbert Stewart, PhD (VA); and Michelle G. Paul, PhD (NV).

Chief Executive Officer: Mariann Burnetti-Atwell, PsyD

Workforce Data Efforts. ASPPB received grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support the development of a work force survey of licensed psychologists in the U.S. who are providing direct client care. This Minimum Data Set (MDS) Survey project is an expansion of HRSA’s earlier efforts to develop rosters of medical practitioners in the U.S. for inclusion of behavioral health care providers in the data set. ASPPB, in collaboration with APA’s Center for Workforce Studies, designed a survey instrument that captures not only a census of all licensed psychologists, but also information about training, practice settings and diversity. Initial data collection efforts have found that linking the survey to licensure application and renewal processes provides for a more robust return rate. ASPPB has the software in place to receive data in electronic form and is currently focusing on initiatives to engage member jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada.

Advocacy for Best Practices in Psychology Regulation. Member boards, with increasing frequency, have faced board consolidation, Sunset Review, and new legislative initiatives that present challenges to best practices in psychology regulation. ASPPB offers advocacy services to assist member boards as they respond to regulatory challenges. ASPPB is committed to increasing the regulatory literacy of key constituents as they make impactful decisions regarding the licensing of psychologists and investing in initiatives that advance best practices.

HRSA Grants Support ASPPB Programs and Services.  Since 2012, ASPPB has received $2 million in grant funding from HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telemedicine to support the implementation of ASPPB’s universal application and credentials verification service called PLUS as well as the development and implementation of the telepsychology compact called PSYPACT. In May 2019, ASPPB was notified that it had been awarded a new HRSA federal grant to address the regulatory research needs of the profession of psychology. The new grant will provide nearly $1.25 million over the next five years in federal funding for the establishment of a psychology licensure focused research center, The Centre for Data and Analysis on Psychology Licensure. The primary purpose of the Centre is to support psychology licensing boards in making informed licensure decisions through consistent data gathering, analysis and reporting. ASPPB was notified in early May that it had received an additional one-year HRSA grant for $2.5 million. This focus of the grant is to address COVID-19 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act.   Activities tied to this funding must work to prevent, prepare, and respond to COVID-19.  To prevent COVID-19, activities should promote the use of telehealth technologies. To prepare, activities should support initiatives to support licensure portability and assist with successful implementation to maximize their impact. To respond, activities must help to provide access to technologies to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Our activities will address the prevention and preparation components of the grant requirements.

Psychology Licensure Universal System (PLUS). The PLUS is a universal application system that is designed for use by member jurisdictions in their licensure processes. This system allows individuals applying for licensure to submit an application online to a jurisdiction through the PLUS portal. Information provided by the applicant is primary source verified by ASPPB and is maintained electronically for future use should the individual wish to apply for licensure in other jurisdictions. In utilizing the PLUS, applicants do not have to worry about issues such as re-obtaining signatures from their internship or post doc supervisors, documenting the content of special topic seminars or having to request a transcript after their first application for licensure. ASPPB is working with APPIC to create a seamless system for transferring practicum and internship information directly to licensing boards and is working with ABPP to create a similar system for transferring specialty recognition applications to the PLUS. The PLUS is currently utilized in 16 jurisdictions. As the PLUS program grows in implementation throughout North America, PLUS will dramatically change the way applicants for licensure obtain their first and all subsequent licenses to practice psychology and will ease the administrative burdens related to professional mobility by providing easy access to licensure-related information throughout a psychologist’s career.

Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT). The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) is an interstate compact designed to facilitate the practice of telepsychology and the temporary in-person, face-to-face practice of psychology across state boundaries. PSYPACT has been enacted in 14 states: Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Georgia, Delaware, Texas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Illinois, Pennsylvania (effective 7/8/2020) and Virginia (effective 1/1/2021). The first PSYPACT Commission meeting was held at the ASPPB Central Office on July 22-23, 2019, to address the implementation of PSYPACT including the drafting of Bylaws and Rules.  Commission has finalized the Bylaws and Rules that will govern PSYPACT.   Applications began to be accepted on July 1, 2020 allowing psychologists to begin to practice under the authority of PSYPACT. The most up-to-date information is available on the PSYPACT website (www.PSYPACT.org).


Examination Program Initiatives:

Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP): After years of exploration and discussion with ASPPB member boards and other psychology stakeholder groups, the ASPPB Board of Directors approved the development and implementation of new content and question types designed to assess foundational professional skills at entry-level licensure along with the foundational knowledge currently assessed by the EPPP. Adding the assessment of professional skills (Part 2-Skills) to the assessment of professional knowledge (Part 1-Knowledge), the EPPP will provide member boards with a comprehensive examination package by which to assess a licensure candidate’s competence to practice independently.

Beginning in November 2020, ASPPB will offer a “rolling adoption” for the two-part EPPP. Member boards will have two options for licensure examination. One option for licensing boards will be the continued use of the standardized assessment of knowledge, the EPPP (Part 1-Knowledge). A second option will also be available to use both the EPPP (Part 1-Knowledge) and the EPPP (Part 2-Skills). The Skills portion of the exam cannot be taken without passing the Knowledge portion of the exam and will not be offered as a stand-alone exam. To date, 8 jurisdictions have opted to include the skills-based portion of the examination for their licensure process. 

EPPP Scores for Doctoral Programs:  The ASPPB report of EPPP scores for accredited and designated doctoral programs is available on the ASPPB website (www.asppb.net).  The report contains rolling, aggregated EPPP pass rates of Doctoral programs to assist programs in preparing self-studies and annual reports for accreditation. The data also allow programs to track the pass rates for their graduates in the most recent five-year period.  This data is provided to programs, potential students, and the public free of charge. ASPPB is currently working with Pearson VUE to create additional formats for providing performance data 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.

Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists (PEP): In 2015, ASPPB agreed to take over responsibility for the development and maintenance of the PEP from the American Psychological Association. This exam is used in those jurisdictions that have enacted prescription privileges for psychologists and serves as the exam required for that credential. The PEP launched in January 2018, with 58 candidates who have taken the exam since then.

COVID-19 Update and Testing Implications:  Due to the concerns regarding the spread of the COVID-19, accessibility to testing at Person Centers was greatly reduced in March of 2020.   However, since that time Psychologists have been deemed “essential” personnel and most Pearson centers are presently operating at least half capacity for specific profession groups.  Some centers have opened operations for all professions.  The centers are utilizing increased sanitization schedules and maintaining appropriate distance between test takers.   Even with the essential candidate designation, it is expected that there will be some difficulties finding seating availability.  As centers move back into typical operations, Pearson has extended hours and days of operations to help meet the backlogged demand for testing.  ASPPB also eliminated the 90 day window for scheduling  and waived rescheduling fees to allow for greater flexibility of EPPP candidates. 

Liaison Activities. The ASPPB Board of Directors strongly believes in the importance of communication between ASPPB and other psychology organizations, councils of training directors, and regulatory federations from other professions. ASPPB has endeavored to promote these relationships by attending meetings as liaisons when possible and providing consultation and resources that will help other groups to understand the regulatory process and the common problems that disrupt initial licensure/registration, professional mobility, and regulation of professional conduct in psychology. 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.

ASPPB Supervision Guidelines. The ASPPB Supervision Guidelines for Education and Training Leading to Licensure as a Health Service Provider, Supervision Guidelines for Mandatory Supervision, Supervision Guidelines for Licensed Psychological Associates and Supervision Guidelines for General Applied Providers are now available on our website.

Mobility Program Initiatives. ASPPB offers several programs designed to facilitate professional mobility. The Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) attests that the individual holding the certificate meets specific requirements for licensure including acceptable graduate education, examination performance, supervised experience, and has never had disciplinary action taken against his or her license. The CPQ facilitates obtaining a license to practice psychology in another jurisdiction for those licensed psychologists meeting the requirements for the CPQ. There are 43 jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. that accept the CPQ; 11 other jurisdictions recognize the CPQ, but may have additional requirements, such as a transcript or oral exam; and an additional two jurisdictions are in the process of accepting the CPQ. The benefits of the CPQ include expedited licensure application process, establishment of an account with the ASPPB Credentials Bank to store professional records, free EPPP Score Transfer service, and promotion of greater uniformity in licensure standards.

The Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate (IPC) facilitates temporary practice for psychologists involved in short-term practice (maximum 30 days per year), such as I/O and consulting psychology, forensic evaluations, or for disaster relief work. CPQ holders automatically receive an IPC. There are currently six jurisdictions that accept the IPC credential. As there is also an IPC credential available under PSYPACT, and in order to avoid confusion across mobility tools, the Board of Directors has voted to sunset the standalone IPC, as of June 30, 2020. Applications for new IPC were accepted until June 30, 2019.  After June 30, 2020, current standalone IPC holders will have their IPC placed on hold until reactivated, if the holder begins to practice in a PSYPACT state.

ASPPB Credentials Bank.  The ASPPB Credentials Bank is complementary for students, trainees and licensed psychologists. Any graduate student, intern, post-doc, or licensed psychologist can open a Credentials Bank record without charge. With this option for individuals, ASPPB hopes to encourage the collection of workforce data and the creation of a comprehensive psychology licensee data base.

The ASPPB Credentials Bank provides primary source verification and electronic storage of licensure-related documents, forms and materials. The only fee associated with the Credentials Bank will be a nominal service fee charged to release or transmit information to another agency or organization.

International Project on Competencies in Psychology (IPCP). The IPCP arose out of the 5th International Congress on Licensure, Certification and Credentialing in Psychology. The Congress focused on issues of a coherent global identity for psychologists, international quality assurance, and mutual recognition promoting mobility and global practice for qualified and ethical practitioners. The IPCP was created following the Congress to explore the development of a set of internationally recognized and endorsed core competencies in professional psychology. The IPCP Work Group submitted a final document called the Declaration of International Competencies in Psychology to both the International Association of Applied Psychologists (IAAP) and the International Union of Psychological Sciences (IUPsyS) in the spring of 2016.  Both organizations have endorsed the Declaration as of July 2016. Members of the IPCP Working Group have agreed to continue working on refining the Competencies presented in the Declaration, prepare a scholarly paper that describes the development of the Declaration, its content and how it is helping countries around the globe to improve their process for credentialing and regulating psychology practitioners. 

 

 

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