Psychology License Mobility


By: Dr. Evelyn Jagpat

On The Road Again…

 

 

To move or not to move?  In reality, while you may envision yourself happily in the state you are in, your future may turn out quite differently than planned.  Of course, here come the magic questions…  “What do you envision for your future?  What are your dreams?  What path should you follow to get to where you want to be?”  Given, the future is not certain, it makes good sense for every career professional to consider the mobility question, “What is required for me to be able to practice psychology in another state or region?”  Another question to consider is, “How can I best facilitate moving and being able to practice psychology somewhere else?”

As you may have already discovered, requirements for psychology licensure vary widely from state to state and region to region, often limiting professional mobility.  In my opinion, this problem naturally calls for one national standard, which grandfathers in those who are already in the “system”.  Not only will this set one standard for practice but it will also permit freedom of movement among professionals.  As a result, there will invariably be the added benefit of a free interchange of talent and ideas, thus making for less insularity and stagnation within the profession.  In the absence of this solution, some states have agreed to reciprocity with other states.  For example, Texas has reciprocity at the doctorate level with five states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma) and two Canadian provinces (Manitoba and Ontario).

One option that has been presented in the movement of attempting to facilitate licensure mobility is banking your credentials so that they can become readily available when you need proof or verification of your qualifications and supporting documents.  In some instances it has been used to evaluate whether a professional from overseas or who was educated in a foreign country satisfies local state board requirements.

Credential Banking Options

So just what is credential banking?

This process involves filing your transcripts, syllabi, course catalogs, internship and postdoc documents (e.g. supervision info, hours, etc.), EPPP scores, Jurisprudence & Oral Exam results, licensure information, work experience, specialized areas of training and any other relevant career information with a credentials verification and storage program.  This information is stored electronically and then made readily available when applying for licensure, certification,  or a job.  It can also be used for insurance verifications.  Of course, it is always a great idea to inquire whether an agency or board uses a particular credential banking service for credentials verification in expediting the application process.

How else might this be useful?  For example, a credentialing bank may be able to verify that each credential meets US and Canadian national standards.   While this is a useful service for those educated and licensed in the US/Canada, it may also prove useful in helping international psychologists become licensed in the US and Canada.  Further, this service saves you the time, leg work and headache involved in  having to gather documentation, request multiple transmissions of information from different agencies and track down supervisors and program directors, who may no longer even be in the same state you now live in.

It is strongly encouraged that graduate students and post-docs consider banking their credentials as early as possible.  In some instances this service may be free or offered at a significantly reduced rate.  There are also opportunities for a free trial, for example, if you fill out a survey, etc.

There are 2 major credential banking options available to those wanting to bank their credentials.  It is important to note that final decisions to accept credentials rest with the board or agency you are applying to.  Further, your application is not guaranteed to be approved because you used a credentialing bank.

The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards

Currently, graduate students, post-doctoral trainees and unlicensed applicants do not have to pay the application fee to bank their credentials with ASPPB.  However, there are fees associated with transferring records.   Additionally, there is a $200 application fee to participate in the Psychology Licensure Universal System or PLUS online system.  This system allows applicants to apply for licensure, certification or registration in states and provinces participating in the PLUS program.  PLUS facilitates the process by forwarding all required information and in getting information verified.  Currently, Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists participates in the PLUS program.  See the complete list here.  The PLUS program also enables concurrent application for the ASPPB Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ).  The CPQ  verifies that you have met specific requirements in licensure, education, examination and training.  It also indicates that you have never had formal disciplinary actions taken against your license.  To be eligible you must have been licensed for at least 5 years in either the US or Canada.  To date, 42 states and provinces accept the CPQ for licensure.

 

This organization grants the Health Service Psychologist credential once your credentials are verified and approved.  There is no waiting period.  The Application and credential verification process costs a minimum of $375 for licensed psychologists.  For students and postdocs the fees are reduced.

Students/Trainees/Postdocs (pre-licensure) – Applying to the National Psychologist Trainee Register (NPTR)

$50
Part 1 Credential Review Fee – Internship
$50
Part 2 Credential Review Fee – Doctoral Degree *There is an additional fee of $100 for applicants who received their doctoral degree in psychology outside of the US and Canada.
$50
Part 3 Credential Review Fee – Postdoctoral Supervision
$150
Registration Fee† – This fee activates your National Register Health Service Psychologist credential and should not be remitted until all three (3) parts of your application have been approved and you obtain licensure. You will be notified upon approval.

Additionally, the National Register also offers a space to advertise and spotlight your practice and services.  Further, they have group discount rates with partner organizations (e.g. for professional liability insurance) and offer free CE courses.

So back to the original question: “To move or not to move?”  It appears that while inroads are being made in addressing the problem of true professional mobility, the issue still remains unresolved.  Perhaps it will remain so unless psychologists advocate and lobby for their own professional rights.  Your voice is never too small to be heard.

 


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