Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 125. Board of Psychology
Chapter 20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Psychology

18VAC125-20-54. Education requirements for clinical psychologists.

A. Beginning June 23, 2028, an applicant shall hold a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology from a professional psychology program in a regionally accredited university that was accredited at the time the applicant graduated from the program by the APA, CPA, or an accrediting body acceptable to the board. Graduates of programs that are not within the United States or Canada shall provide documentation from an acceptable credential evaluation service that provides information verifying that the program is substantially equivalent to an APA-accredited program.

B. Prior to June 23, 2028, an applicant shall either hold a doctorate from an accredited program, as specified in subsection A of this section, or shall hold a doctorate from a professional psychology program that documents that the program offers education and training that prepares individuals for the practice of clinical psychology as defined in § 54.1-3600 of the Code of Virginia and meets the following criteria:

1. The program is within an institution of higher education accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or publicly recognized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada as a member in good standing. Graduates of programs that are not within the United States or Canada must provide documentation from an acceptable credential evaluation service that provides information that allows the board to determine if the program meets the requirements set forth in this chapter.

2. The program shall be recognizable as an organized entity within the institution.

3. The program shall be an integrated, organized sequence of study with an identifiable psychology faculty and a psychologist directly responsible for the program and shall have an identifiable body of students who are matriculated in that program for a degree. The faculty shall be accessible to students and provide them with guidance and supervision. The faculty shall provide appropriate professional role models and engage in actions that promote the student's acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with the program's training goals.

4. The program shall encompass a minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate study or the equivalent thereof.

5. The program shall include a general core curriculum containing a minimum of three or more graduate semester hours or five or more graduate quarter hours in each of the following substantive content areas:

a. Biological bases of behavior (e.g., physiological psychology, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, sensation and perception, health psychology, pharmacology, neuroanatomy).

b. Cognitive-affective bases of behavior (e.g., learning theory, cognition, motivation, emotion).

c. Social bases of behavior (e.g., social psychology, group processes, organizational and systems theory, community and preventive psychology, multicultural issues).

d. Psychological measurement.

e. Research methodology.

f. Techniques of data analysis.

g. Professional standards and ethics.

6. The program shall include a minimum of at least three or more graduate semester credit hours or five or more graduate quarter hours in each of the following clinical psychology content areas:

a. Individual differences in behavior (e.g., personality theory, cultural difference and diversity).

b. Human development (e.g., child, adolescent, geriatric psychology).

c. Dysfunctional behavior, abnormal behavior, or psychopathology.

d. Theories and methods of intellectual assessment and diagnosis.

e. Theories and methods of personality assessment and diagnosis including its practical application.

f. Effective interventions and evaluating the efficacy of interventions.

C. Applicants shall submit documentation of having successfully completed practicum experiences involving assessment, diagnosis, and psychological interventions. The practicum experiences shall include a minimum of nine graduate semester hours or 15 or more graduate quarter hours or equivalent in appropriate settings to ensure a wide range of supervised training and educational experiences.

D. An applicant shall graduate from an educational program in clinical psychology that includes an appropriate emphasis on and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of persons with moderate to severe mental disorders.

E. Candidates for clinical psychologist licensure shall have successfully completed an internship in a program that is either accredited by APA or CPA, or is a member of APPIC, or the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register of Health Service Psychologists, or one that meets equivalent standards. If the internship was obtained in an educational program outside of the United States or Canada, a credentialing service approved by the board shall verify equivalency to an internship in an APA-accredited program.

F. An applicant for a clinical license may fulfill the residency requirement of 1,500 hours, or some part thereof, as required for licensure in 18VAC125-20-65, in the doctoral practicum supervised experience, which occurs prior to the internship, and that meets the following standards:

1. The supervised professional experience shall be part of an organized sequence of training within the applicant's doctoral program that meets the criteria specified in this section.

2. The supervised experience shall include face-to-face direct client services, service-related activities, and supporting activities.

a. "Face-to-face direct client services" means treatment or intervention, assessment, and interviewing of clients.

b. "Service-related activities" means scoring, reporting or treatment note writing, and consultation related to face-to-face direct services.

c. "Supporting activities" means time spent under supervision of face-to-face direct services and service-related activities provided onsite or in the trainee's academic department, as well as didactic experiences, such as laboratories or seminars, directly related to such services or activities.

3. In order for pre-doctoral practicum hours to fulfill all or part of the residency requirement, the following shall apply:

a. Not less than one-quarter of the hours shall be spent in providing face-to-face direct client services;

b. Not less than one-half of the hours shall be in a combination of face-to-face direct service hours and hours spent in service-related activities; and

c. The remainder of the hours may be spent in a combination of face-to-face direct services, service-related activities, and supporting activities.

4. A minimum of one hour of individual face-to-face supervision shall be provided for every eight hours of supervised professional experience spent in direct client contact and service-related activities.

5. Two hours of group supervision with up to five practicum students may be substituted for one hour of individual supervision. In no case shall the hours of individual supervision be less than one-half of the total hours of supervision.

6. The hours of pre-doctoral supervised experience reported by an applicant shall be certified by the program's director of clinical training on a form provided by the board.

7. If the supervised experience hours completed in a series of practicum experiences do not total 1,500 hours or if a candidate is deficient in any of the categories of hours, a candidate shall fulfill the remainder of the hours by meeting requirements specified in 18VAC125-20-65.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3605 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 2, eff. November 10, 1999; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 19, eff. June 20, 2012; Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. September 26, 2013; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

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