Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations

Chapter 36. Psychology.

§ 54.1-3600. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Applied psychologist" means an individual licensed to practice applied psychology.

"Board" means the Board of Psychology.

"Certified sex offender treatment provider" means a person who is certified to provide treatment to sex offenders and who provides such services in accordance with the provisions of §§ 54.1-2924.1, 54.1-3005, 54.1-3505, 54.1-3611, and 54.1-3705 and the regulations promulgated pursuant to these provisions.

"Clinical psychologist" means an individual licensed to practice clinical psychology.

"Practice of applied psychology" means application of the principles and methods of psychology to improvement of organizational function, personnel selection and evaluation, program planning and implementation, individual motivation, development and behavioral adjustment, as well as consultation on teaching and research.

"Practice of clinical psychology" includes, but is not limited to:

1. "Testing and measuring" which consists of the psychological evaluation or assessment of personal characteristics such as intelligence, abilities, interests, aptitudes, achievements, motives, personality dynamics, psychoeducational processes, neuropsychological functioning, or other psychological attributes of individuals or groups.

2. "Diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders" which consists of the appropriate diagnosis of mental disorders according to standards of the profession and the ordering or providing of treatments according to need. Treatment includes providing counseling, psychotherapy, marital/family therapy, group therapy, behavior therapy, psychoanalysis, hypnosis, biofeedback, and other psychological interventions with the objective of modification of perception, adjustment, attitudes, feelings, values, self-concept, personality or personal goals, the treatment of alcoholism and substance abuse, disorders of habit or conduct, as well as of the psychological aspects of physical illness, pain, injury or disability.

3. "Psychological consulting" which consists of interpreting or reporting on scientific theory or research in psychology, rendering expert psychological or clinical psychological opinion, evaluation, or engaging in applied psychological research, program or organizational development, administration, supervision or evaluation of psychological services.

"Practice of psychology" means the practice of applied psychology, clinical psychology or school psychology.

The "practice of school psychology" means:

1. "Testing and measuring" which consists of psychological assessment, evaluation and diagnosis relative to the assessment of intellectual ability, aptitudes, achievement, adjustment, motivation, personality or any other psychological attribute of persons as individuals or in groups that directly relates to learning or behavioral problems that impact education.

2. "Counseling" which consists of professional advisement and interpretive services with children or adults for amelioration or prevention of problems that impact education.

Counseling services relative to the practice of school psychology include but are not limited to the procedures of verbal interaction, interviewing, behavior modification, environmental manipulation and group processes.

3. "Consultation" which consists of educational or vocational consultation or direct educational services to schools, agencies, organizations or individuals. Psychological consulting as herein defined is directly related to learning problems and related adjustments.

4. Development of programs such as designing more efficient and psychologically sound classroom situations and acting as a catalyst for teacher involvement in adaptations and innovations.

"Psychologist" means a person licensed to practice school, applied or clinical psychology.

"School psychologist" means a person licensed by the Board of Psychology to practice school psychology.

1976, c. 608, § 54-936; 1987, cc. 522, 543; 1988, c. 765; 1994, c. 778; 1996, cc. 937, 980; 2004, c. 11.

§ 54.1-3601. Exemption from requirements of licensure.

The requirements for licensure provided for in this chapter shall not be applicable to:

1. Persons who render services that are like or similar to those falling within the scope of the classifications or categories in this chapter, so long as the recipients or beneficiaries of such services are not subject to any charge or fee, or any financial requirement, actual or implied, and the person rendering such service is not held out, by himself or otherwise, as a licensed practitioner or a provider of clinical or school psychology services.

2. The activities or services of a student pursuing a course of study in psychology in an institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board or under the supervision of a practitioner licensed or certified under this chapter, if such activities or services constitute a part of his course of study and are adequately supervised.

3. The activities of rabbis, priests, ministers or clergymen of any religious denomination or sect when such activities are within the scope of the performance of their regular or specialized ministerial duties, and no separate charge is made or when such activities are performed, whether with or without charge, for or under the auspices or sponsorship, individually or in conjunction with others, of an established and legally cognizable church, denomination or sect, and the person rendering service remains accountable to its established authority.

4. Persons employed as salaried employees or volunteers of the federal government, the Commonwealth, a locality, or any agency established or funded, in whole or part, by any such governmental entity or of a private, nonprofit organization or agency sponsored or funded, in whole or part, by a community-based citizen group or organization, except that any such person who renders psychological services, as defined in this chapter, shall be (i) supervised by a licensed psychologist or clinical psychologist; (ii) licensed by the Department of Education as a school psychologist; or (iii) employed by a school for students with disabilities which is certified by the Board of Education. Any person who, in addition to the above enumerated employment, engages in an independent private practice shall not be exempt from the licensure requirements.

5. Persons regularly employed by private business firms as personnel managers, deputies or assistants so long as their counseling activities relate only to employees of their employer and in respect to their employment.

6. Any psychologist holding a license or certificate in another state, the District of Columbia, or a United States territory or foreign jurisdiction consulting with licensed psychologists in this Commonwealth.

7. Any psychologist holding a license or certificate in another state, the District of Columbia, or a United States territory or foreign jurisdiction when in Virginia temporarily and such psychologist has been issued a temporary license by the Board to participate in continuing education programs or rendering psychological services without compensation to any patient of any clinic which is organized in whole or in part for the delivery of health care services without charge as provided in § 54.1-106.

8. The performance of the duties of any commissioned or contract clinical psychologist in active service in the army, navy, coast guard, marine corps, air force, or public health service of the United States while such individual is so commissioned or serving.

9. Any person performing services in the lawful conduct of his particular profession or business under state law.

10. Any person duly licensed as a psychologist in another state or the District of Columbia who testifies as a treating psychologist or who is employed as an expert for the purpose of possibly testifying as an expert witness.

1976, c. 608, § 54-944; 1986, c. 581; 1988, c. 765; 1996, cc. 937, 980; 2000, c. 462.

§ 54.1-3602. Administration or prescription of drugs not permitted.

This chapter shall not be construed as permitting the administration or prescribing of drugs or in any way infringing upon the practice of medicine as defined in Chapter 29 (§ 54.1-2900 et seq.) of this title.

1976, c. 608, § 54-945; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3603. Board of Psychology; membership.

The Board of Psychology shall regulate the practice of psychology. The membership of the Board shall be representative of the practices of psychology and shall consist of nine members as follows: five persons who are licensed as clinical psychologists, one person licensed as a school psychologist, one person licensed in any category of psychology, and two citizen members. At least one of the seven psychologist members of the Board shall be a member of the faculty at an accredited institution of higher education in the Commonwealth actively engaged in teaching psychology. The terms of the members of the Board shall be four years.

1976, c. 608, § 54-937; 1981, c. 447; 1982, c. 165; 1985, c. 159; 1986, cc. 464, 510; 1988, cc. 42, 765; 1996, cc. 937, 980; 2019, c. 169.

§ 54.1-3604. Nominations.

Nominations for professional members may be made from a list of at least three names for each vacancy submitted to the Governor by the Virginia Psychological Association, the Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists, the Virginia Applied Psychology Academy and the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists. The Governor may notify such organizations of any professional vacancy other than by expiration. In no case shall the Governor be bound to make any appointment from among the nominees.

1986, c. 464, § 54-937.1; 1988, c. 765; 1996, cc. 937, 980.

§ 54.1-3605. Powers and duties of the Board.

In addition to the powers granted in other provisions of this title, the Board shall have the following specific powers and duties:

1. To cooperate with and maintain a close liaison with other professional boards and the community to ensure that regulatory systems stay abreast of community and professional needs.

2. To conduct inspections to ensure that licensees conduct their practices in a competent manner and in conformance with the relevant regulations.

3. To designate specialties within the profession.

4. To issue a temporary license for such periods as the Board may prescribe to practice psychology to persons who are engaged in a residency or pursuant to subdivision 7 of § 54.1-3601.

5. To promulgate regulations for the voluntary certification of licensees as sex offender treatment providers.

6. To administer the mandatory certification of sex offender treatment providers for those professionals who are otherwise exempt from licensure under subdivision 4 of §§ 54.1-3501, 54.1-3601 or § 54.1-3701 and to promulgate regulations governing such mandatory certification. The regulations shall include provisions for fees for application processing, certification qualifications, certification issuance and renewal and disciplinary action.

7. To promulgate regulations establishing the requirements for licensure of clinical psychologists that shall include appropriate emphasis in the diagnosis and treatment of persons with moderate and severe mental disorders.

1976, c. 608, §§ 54-929, 54-931; 1983, c. 115; 1986, cc. 64, 100, 464; 1988, c. 765; 1993, c. 767; 1994, c. 778; 1996, cc. 937, 980; 1997, c. 556; 1999, c. 630; 2001, cc. 186, 198; 2004, c. 11.

§ 54.1-3606. License required.

A. In order to engage in the practice of applied psychology, school psychology, or clinical psychology, it shall be necessary to hold a license.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 4 of § 54.1-3601 or any Board regulation, the Board of Psychology shall license, as school psychologists-limited, persons licensed by the Board of Education with an endorsement in psychology and a master's degree in psychology. The Board of Psychology shall issue licenses to such persons without examination, upon review of credentials and payment of an application fee in accordance with regulations of the Board for school psychologists-limited.

Persons holding such licenses as school psychologists-limited shall practice solely in public school divisions; holding a license as a school psychologist-limited pursuant to this subsection shall not authorize such persons to practice outside the school setting or in any setting other than the public schools of the Commonwealth, unless such individuals are licensed by the Board of Psychology to offer to the public the services defined in § 54.1-3600.

The Board shall issue persons, holding licenses from the Board of Education with an endorsement in psychology and a license as a school psychologist-limited from the Board of Psychology, a license which notes the limitations on practice set forth in this section.

Persons who hold licenses as psychologists issued by the Board of Psychology without these limitations shall be exempt from the requirements of this section.

1979, c. 408, § 54-939.1; 1988, c. 765; 1996, cc. 937, 980; 1999, cc. 967, 1005.

§ 54.1-3606.1. Continuing education.

A. The Board shall promulgate regulations governing continuing education requirements for psychologists licensed by the Board. Such regulations shall require the completion of the equivalent of 14 hours annually in Board-approved continuing education courses for any license renewal or reinstatement after the effective date.

B. The Board shall include in its regulations governing continuing education requirements for licensees a provision allowing a licensee who completes continuing education hours in excess of the hours required by subsection A to carry up to seven hours of continuing education credit forward to meet the requirements of subsection A for the next annual renewal cycle.

C. The Board shall approve criteria for continuing education courses that are directly related to the respective license and scope of practice of school psychology, applied psychology and clinical psychology. Approved continuing education courses for clinical psychologists shall emphasize, but not be limited to, the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with moderate and severe mental disorders. Any licensed hospital, accredited institution of higher education, or national, state or local health, medical, psychological or mental health association or organization may submit applications to the Board for approval as a provider of continuing education courses satisfying the requirements of the Board's regulations. Approved course providers may be required to register continuing education courses with the Board pursuant to Board regulations. Only courses meeting criteria approved by the Board and offered by a Board-approved provider of continuing education courses may be designated by the Board as qualifying for continuing education course credit.

D. All course providers shall furnish written certification to licensed psychologists attending and completing respective courses, indicating the satisfactory completion of an approved continuing education course. Each course provider shall retain records of all persons attending and those persons satisfactorily completing such continuing education courses for a period of four years following each course. Applicants for renewal or reinstatement of licenses issued pursuant to this article shall retain for a period of four years the written certification issued by any course provider. The Board may require course providers or licensees to submit copies of such records or certification, as it deems necessary to ensure compliance with continuing education requirements.

E. The Board shall have the authority to grant exemptions or waivers or to reduce the number of continuing education hours required in cases of certified illness or undue hardship.

2000, c. 83; 2015, c. 359.

§ 54.1-3607. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, cc. 937 and 980.

§ 54.1-3608. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2001, cc. 186 and 198.

§ 54.1-3609. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2004, c. 11.

§ 54.1-3611. Restriction of practice; use of titles.

No person, including licensees of the Boards of Counseling; Medicine; Nursing; Psychology; or Social Work, shall claim to be a certified sex offender treatment provider unless he has been so certified. No person who is exempt from licensure under subdivision 4 of §§ 54.1-3501, 54.1-3601 or § 54.1-3701 shall hold himself out as a provider of sex offender treatment services unless he is certified as a sex offender treatment provider by the Board of Psychology.

1994, c. 778; 1999, c. 630; 2000, c. 473.

§ 54.1-3612. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, c. 698.

§ 54.1-3613. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2004, cc. 40 and 68.

§ 54.1-3614. Delegation to unlicensed persons.

Any licensed psychologist may delegate to unlicensed personnel supervised by him such activities or functions as are nondiscretionary and do not require the exercise of professional judgment for their performance and which are usually or customarily delegated to such persons by psychologists, if such activities or functions are authorized by and performed for such psychologist and responsibility for such activities or functions is assumed by such psychologist.

1996, cc. 937, 980.

§ 54.1-3615. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2004, c. 64.

§ 54.1-3616. Use of title "Doctor.".

No person regulated under this chapter shall use the title "Doctor" or the abbreviation "Dr." in writing or in advertising in connection with his practice unless he simultaneously uses a clarifying title, initials, abbreviation or designation or language that identifies the type of practice for which he is licensed.

1996, cc. 937, 980.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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