In their February minutes, posted on July 11, the state psychology board outlined major changes and updates they intend to make to the regulatory law governing psychologists.
Central to these changes is the new section of administrative Rules on registration of assistants to psychologists, including regulations on who may be an assistant, their credentials, how the board will investigate complaints, and how to regulate supervision of the assistants.
According to the minutes, board members discussed numerous changes and additions to the rules and regulations for psychologists. The following excerpts (Italicized) were included in the reporting.
Chapter 11: Assistants to Psychologists (registration) –
Define “Assistant to a Psychologist” (ATAP), “General Professional Supervision”, “Continuous Professional Supervision”, “Supervisor” or “Supervising Psychologist”
Establish minimum criteria for an ATAP to qualify for registration (age, high school diploma, Criminal Background Check).
Establish titles that may be used when identifying ATAP’s. Clarify the boundaries that establish the legal functional authority of the Supervising Psychologist, and the responsibility that the Supervising Psychologist has for their clients.
Establish clear criteria to ensure that the Supervising Psychologist is responsible for ALL activities (administratively, clinically, ethically, functionally and legally) of the ATAP including registration, renewal, directing the provision of psychological services, the outcome of work, the welfare of the client, general communication and disclosures to clients, services delivered by ATAP’s, and advertisement.
Define the minimum criteria of general professional supervision (direct, in person) to ensure the welfare of the client, and the ethical and legal protection of the assistant.
Clarify that a registration is not a property right of the ATAP; shall not be construed to allow the ATAP to independently engage in the practice of psychology; or render any diagnosis; or sign any evaluations or reports as the provider of record; or independently advertise psychological services; or assign or delegate psychological duties to others;
Define those activities an ATAP may perform with regard to psychological testing/scoring.
Outline the statutory authority of the board to conduct investigations in matters involving the ATAP and/or their Supervisor; […]
The minutes also included discussion and possible changes in numerous other chapters of the rules and regulations.
Chapter 3: Training Requirements –
Update language for identifying acceptable accrediting bodies for doctoral-level psychology programs. Update standards to ensure training equivalence in the nine profession-wide competencies equivalent to the current American Psychological Association (“APA”) Commission on Accreditation Implementing Regulations. The new APA training requirements include competence in supervision prior to graduation, which allow the board to eliminate the hurdle of additional experience post licensure prior to engaging in supervision.
Provide a clause in consideration of individuals trained prior to 2015, that they will be assessed under the training standards in place at the time of their graduation.
Classify specialty designations into “Health Service Psychology” and “General Applied Psychology”. Necessary to provide a fair and consistent review of individuals who are graduates of programs without APA Accreditation; necessary to provide an alternate route to licensure for individuals not trained in a Health Service area of psychology; and necessary to make clear that individuals who attend graduate programs without internship training do not meet the criteria for practice in a Health Service area of psychology.
Clarify current training requirements for the registration of a Clinical Neuropsychology specialty consistent with Houston Conference Guidelines; also clarifies those overlapping areas that do not require the registration of a Clinical Neuropsychology specialty.
Chapter 7: Supervision Requirements –
Provide a definition for “General Professional Supervision” to clarify that which is the direct, in person supervision required as part of training.
Provide a definition for “Continuing Professional Supervision” as ongoing supervision which establishes the legal and functional responsibility of the licensed psychologist for the client and the services provided to a client by a supervisee.
Clarify that the Supervisor owns or is an employee of the entity employing the supervisee to quantify legal functional responsibility of the licensed psychologist for the client and the services provided to a client by a supervisee.
Chapter NEW: Telepsychology and Telesupervision –
Facilitate the process for a Louisiana Licensed Psychologist to provide psychological services via telecommunications.
Chapter 8: Continuing Professional Development –
Add a requirement that (2) of the 40 hours that are currently required must be within the area of multiculturalism or diversity.
Remove the categorical requirement in consideration of the least restrictive requirements for license renewal.
Define activities that are “automatically approved” by the Board as Workshops, Conference Workshops/Training Activities that have Board approved sponsors.
Chapter 9: Licenses (Emeritus) –
Create a retired status for licensees: “Psychologist Emeritus: Retired”.
Create definitions, criteria and a procedure for requesting the status.
Create a procedure to return to practice.
Provide that “Psychologist Emeritus: Retired” are exempt from Continuing Education requirements.
Provide a procedure and requirements for renewal of a Psychologist Emeritus.
Chapter 15: Complaint Adjudication process – Draft changes were not ready for presentation.
Chapter 19: Public Information (petitions to the board) –
Dr. Gibson presented draft amendments to Chapter 19 which establish a procedure for any interested person to petition the LSBEP to request the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule according to Title 49. Section 953.C(1).
Chapter 40: LSSP CPD Requirements –
Ms. Monic presented previously approved changes to Chapter 40 which will reduce the number of continuing education hours required for the renewal of a license from 50 to 40 hours.
[Editor’s Note: Minutes are available at the board’s website which
include all notes on discussion of new rules.]