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Update on Supervised Experience Requirements for Licensure
Over the summer and into the fall of 2019, representatives from the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology had discussions as to the type of hours that would count towards the supervised experience requirement.
As a result of these discussions, the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology adopted the following statement. It is posted on its website under Board Announcements (https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/Psychology/Pages/Announcements.aspx#.VHStnVZOk5t):
"At its August 12, 2019 meeting, the Board voted to waive §41.32 of the Board’s regulations for applicants who began a doctoral program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) on or after September 2015. Therefore, graduates of APA accredited doctoral programs who began their doctoral program on or after September 2015, are not required to submit documentation of supervised experience because the Board has determined that APA accredited doctoral programs require successful completion of 2 years of supervised experience as part of the doctoral program.
Additional clarification from the Board’s October 7, 2019 meeting: Although the Board has waived §41.32 of the Board’s regulations for applicants who began an APA accredited doctoral program on or after September 2015, the Board must receive a letter from the doctoral program’s Director of Clinical Training which identifies the amount of practicum that was completed (number of months and number of hours for each practicum experience) to confirm that the applicant has completed at least 12 months and at least 1750 hours of practicum experience. An applicant that has NOT completed at least 12 months and at least 1750 hours of practicum experience would be required to complete additional supervised experience prior to the issuance of the license."
Understanding this Statement
PPA has received several questions from members seeking to better understand this statement and asking for clarification as what this statement means. As such, for applicants who began their program on or after September 2015, there are now three (3) ways that applicants can have their hours count towards the 1750 Hours Requirement: a) by completing 1750 hours of supervised experience**; b) by completing a practicum that meets the standards as set forth in APA Practicum document; or (c) a combination of (a) and (b)
**Please note the recent change from post-doctoral experience to supervised experience. This change now allows for both post-doctoral experience and any experience received after completion of internship hours.
Example: A student is taking a year to complete a dissertation. During this year, the student would like to accrue supervised hours. With the new change, these supervised hours received during the year that the student completed their dissertation, can accrue towards the supervised experience requirement.
Documentation required to submit practicum hours to the Board
For applicants that began their program on or after September 2015, the applicant’s Director of Training will need to write a letter that states the number of hours of practicum taken by the student applicant.
What if the applicant entered the graduate program prior to September 2015?
Applicants that do not qualify because they entered the graduate program prior to September 2015, may be reviewed by the Board on a case by case basis. The applicant must provide the Board with the following documentation: a letter from the applicant’s Director of Training that states the number of hours that the practicum student took, and a detailed narrative of the practicum hours received (dates that the student took the practicum, name of the supervisor, where the practicum took place, the type of experience completed at the practicum). Also, the supervisor should complete the post-doc form to the best of their ability. (The Board noted that there will be missing information on the form, but the supervisor should fill out as much as possible).
Reviewing Mobility and Jurisdiction Issues
Applicants who may be moving into another jurisdiction should look at the requirements of the state to which they are moving. Not all states allow practicum hours to be counted towards the experience requirement. If an applicant is moving to another state, the applicant may want to consider taking a traditional post-doctoral experience so that you will not have to complete another one due to the move to another state.