Psychology Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

Temporary Permit/Telehealth/Licensed in Another State/Reciprocity

Am I eligible to apply for the psychology temporary permit? How do I apply? Is there a fee?

Per RCW 18.83.082 a psychologist who wishes to practice under RCW 18.83, for a period not to exceed 90 days within a calendar year, must submit a temporary permit application. Per WAC 246-924-480, applicants must be currently licensed, and in good standing in another state or jurisdiction that has been deemed substantially equivalent by the board. To determine if your jurisdiction is equivalent see our equivalent states/countries web page. If DOH can't verify online that the out-of-state license is in good standing, then the state or jurisdiction must send verification of that license to DOH.

Psychologists may qualify who are diplomates in good standing with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Verification must come directly from the ABPP to the Department of Health.

No fee shall be charged for a temporary permit.

May I apply for endorsement?

Per WAC 246-924-100, psychologists who have had an active license in another state or country for at least two years that has been deemed substantially equivalent by the board may apply by endorsement. To determine if your jurisdiction is equivalent see our equivalent states/countries webpage. If DOH can't verify online that the out-of-state license is in good standing, then the state or jurisdiction must send verification of that license to DOH.

Psychologists may also qualify if they provide documentation of current standing as specified practitioners recognized by the below professional organizations:

  1. Health service psychologist credentialed by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists;
  2. Diplomate from the American Board of Professional Psychology;
  3. Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards; or
  4. Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology.

Verification must come directly from the professional organization to the Department of Health.

How do I apply for reciprocity as a Psychologist from another state?

Washington state recognizes substantial equivalency, of psychologists from other states, based on scope of practice. If the state where you are currently or have held a license in the past twelve months, has been determined by the department as substantially equivalent, you can apply for a temporary probationary license to work as a Washington state psychologist through the reciprocity program. The applicant must not have a disciplinary history or disqualifying criminal history to apply for reciprocity and can only work within approved agencies.

How do I determine if my state is equivalent for reciprocity?

The Department maintains a list of approved states that are eligible to apply for a probationary license. This list can be found on the Licensing Information webpage under Licensing Requirements.

What is the probationary license and how does it work?

The probationary license is a temporary credential issued to an individual who is licensed in another state and applies for reciprocity in Washington. The license is issued for one year and can be renewed one time for another year. The purpose of the probationary license is to allow the holder to seek and accept employment opportunities while the department assess the gap in license requirements. Within the time limits provided by the probationary license, applicants will need to meet the full licensure requirements, as a psychologist or consider other available licensure options.

Additionally, anyone who is working under a probationary license can only practice as a Psychologist in a licensed or certified service provider as defined in RCW 71.24.025:

(25) "Licensed or certified service provider" means an entity licensed or certified according to this chapter or chapter 71.05 RCW or an entity deemed to meet state minimum standards as a result of accreditation by a recognized behavioral health accrediting body recognized and having a current agreement with the department, or tribal attestation that meets state minimum standards, or persons licensed under chapter 18.57, 18.57A, 18.71, 18.71A, 18.83, or 18.79 RCW, as it applies to registered nurses and advanced registered nurse practitioners.

Should I apply for the probationary license, licensure by endorsement, or the full Psychology credential?

Applicants are encouraged to look closely at the licensure requirements, assess professional goals, and determine the best option. The probationary license will typically be the best option if you do not meet all education requirements, post-graduation supervised experience requirements, or if the professional goal is to work within an approved agency (a licensed or certified service provider as defined in RCW 71.24.025).

Initial Licensure

How many hours of supervised experience are needed to be licensed in Washington State?

In order to qualify for licensure, an applicant must meet the requirements in WAC 246-924-043, to include completion of a minimum of 3,300 hours of supervised experience. Three hundred (300) practicum hours (with 100 in direct supervision), a minimum of 1,500 internship hours, and the remaining 1,500 hours may be any combination of pre-internship and post-doctoral experience.

Are post-doctoral hours a requirement?

Post-doctoral hours are not a requirement for licensure in Washington. If 3,300 hours of supervised experience haven't been completed at the end of the doctoral degree program, then up to 1,500 hours of supervised post-doctoral experience can be used to satisfy the total requirement as long as it meets the requirements of WAC 246-924-059.

Can I sign off on my post-doctoral hours?

Per WAC 246-924-059 an applicant may not sign off as supervising their own post-doctoral hours.

How do I get approved to take the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) exam? What is the passing score in Washington?

Once applicants have met education and supervised experience requirements, they will be approved for the EPPP exam. The passing score is 500 or higher.

How do I get approved for the online jurisprudence (JP) exam? What is the passing score?

Per WAC 246-924-070, all psychologist applicants must take and pass the jurisprudence (JP) exam, except those applying for the 90 day temporary permit. A passing grade requires 23 correct answers to twenty-five questions (92%). Approval to take the exam is emailed out once all other application requirements have been met.

Are there any example questions or study guides for the jurisprudence (JP) exam?

There are no example questions for the exam. The JP exam has 25 multiple-choice questions. The exam is open book; you may refer to statutes and regulations in answering the examination questions. You should know and understand each applicable statute and rule (Chapter 246-924 WAC and Chapter 18.83 RCW), and how they relate to the practice of psychology in Washington State. You may print the exam materials.

Do I need to submit official transcripts for all my postgraduate education?

Per WAC 246-924-100, you must have your granting university submit an official transcript, in a sealed envelope, with degree and date conferred, to verify your completion of your doctoral program. If any master's level coursework was approved by your granting university as meeting doctoral level coursework, official transcripts of the master's coursework must be received as well.

Does supervising other staff/volunteers count as direct client contact for a practicum?

Per WAC 246-924-049, practicum hours must include at least 300 hours of direct experience providing psychological services. If the practicum does not include direct experience, the hours would not meet the requirements and therefore not count towards licensure.

Can the practicum be completed after the doctoral degree is conferred?

WAC 246-924-049 Practicum requires the doctoral degree program to include a practicum.

What is the difference between practicum “supervised hours” and “direct experience”?

Supervised hours are your face-to-face hours with your supervisor. Please refer to WAC 246-924-049 for what supervision must include.

Direct experience is all other hours in the practicum. A practicum is at least two semesters or three quarters and at least 300 practicum hours of direct experience, 100 hours of which must be supervised.

For my internship, columns A, B, and C on the application are less than my total internship hours. How do I account for my total internship hours?

WAC 246-924-056 details what qualifies as supervision (column A), other learning activities (column B), and direct client contact (column C) for an internship; hours spent on activities outside of those three columns do not qualify as internship hours and therefore do not count towards the supervised experience requirement.

If I did not complete an APA/APPIC-approved internship, what should I include with my application?

Please include documentation of how the program met all requirements listed in WAC 246-924-056(2)(c).

The APPIC application for doctoral internship allowed hours earned in a master's internship to be counted toward total clinical hours reported. May those master's level internship hours count towards the 1500 internship hours?

WAC 246-924-056 Internship requires the internship to be part of the doctoral degree. Master's level internship hours do not count towards supervised experience required for licensure as a psychologist in Washington state.

Can an internship be completed after the doctoral degree is conferred?

WAC 246-924-056 Internship requires applicants to successfully complete an organized internship as part of their doctoral degree. Hours completed after the doctoral degree is conferred may count towards supervised experience requirements if they meet the criteria for post-doctoral supervised experience in WAC 246-924-059.

What is the difference between post-doctoral “supervised experience” and “individual services supervised”?

Supervised experience and individual services supervised are substantially equivalents. Per WAC 246-924-059 there must be at least one hour of individual supervision (individual services supervised) for every 20 hours of psychological work completed by the supervisee under supervision.

The preferred mode of supervision is face-to-face discussion between the supervisor and the supervisee, documented by a written agreement of supervision, including what “supervised experience” or professional activity will be completed, plus records of associated discussions, chart reviews or other components of supervised professional activity. Supervised experience must be appropriate to the area(s) of professional activity the person intends to practice.

Where do I list supervised experience gained after completion of the internship and before conferral of the doctoral degree?

To count towards licensure requirements, supervised experience must meet the requirements of: WAC 246-924-049 Practicum, WAC 246-924-053 Pre-Internship, WAC 246-924-056 Internship, or WAC 246-924-059 Post-doctoral supervised experience. Hours that do not meet the requirements for one of those four categories do not count towards licensure requirements.

If I completed an APA-approved doctoral program, do I need to complete section six (documentation of non-APA education) of the application?

No, only applicants who completed a doctoral educational program that was non-APA- or non-CPA-approved are required to complete section seven of the application packet.

If I did not graduate from an APA-accredited doctoral program, what should I include with my application?

Please include syllabi for all classes listed on your application under Section 6. Documentation of Non-APA Approved Educational Requirements.

Can I submit additional documentation (i.e. resume, curriculum vitae, dissertation, published articles, etc.) with my application to demonstrate my qualifications?

WAC 246-924-043 details what is required for licensure. Additional documents, such as a resume, dissertation, etc., do not establish whether or not licensure requirements are met and therefore will not reviewed in lieu of or in addition to the application.

Online Doctoral Degree Programs

What is a residency? Does it have to be completed in Washington

The residency requirements per WAC 246-924-046(54) indicate the doctoral degree program must involve either: 1) at least one continuous year of full-time, in-person study at the brick and mortar institution that grants the degree; or 2) a minimum of 750 hours of student-faculty contact involving in-person, face-to-face individual or group educational meetings. The residency does not need to be completed in Washington state. Classes utilizing technology, to include but not limited to webinars, conference calls, etc.… to facilitate communication between individuals who are not meeting face-to-face, do not meet or count towards the residency requirement.

Do online doctoral programs qualify for licensure in Washington state?

Online programs must meet the residency requirement in WAC 246-924-046(5). If you graduated from an online program, please include with your application documentation of either completing one continuous year of either full-time, in-person study at the doctoral degree-granting institution or 750 hours that meet the requirements in WAC 246-924-046(5)(b).

What documentation should I submit to verify the residency requirement is met?

For all events/activities that are not a quarter- or semester-long entirely in-person, face-to-face class, please provide documentation that includes:

  • Activity title
  • Date
  • Hours
  • Instructor name(s), including their role within the doctoral program (i.e. professor, assistant, adjunct, guest lecturer)
  • If a multi-day event such as a conference or intensive weekend, also provide the agenda that clearly shows for each activity: the start and stop times, title, academic credit (if applicable), and instructor name(s), including their role within the doctoral program.

All documentation must come directly from the doctoral program to the department on official letterhead and include the title and signature of the verifying individual. Further, it is each applicant's responsibility to provide documentation showing all requirements of WAC 246-924-046(5) are met.

My doctoral degree program offers online and/or hybrid residencies. Does that meet the residency requirement?

Only the board, not a doctoral program, determines whether the residency requirement is met. Applicants from online or hybrid programs must provide the documentation detailed above to verify the residency requirement is met.

My online doctoral degree program has an Academic Year in Residence. Do I still have to provide documentation of residency?

All graduates from online (or hybrid) doctoral degree programs must submit documentation of fulfilling the residency requirement in WAC 246-924-046(5).

My online doctoral degree program said they meet Washington state licensure requirements. Do I still need to submit proof of residency?

All graduates from online doctoral degree programs must submit documentation of fulfilling the residency requirement in WAC 246-924-046(5). Only the board, not a doctoral program, determines whether or not the residency requirement is met.

If I did not graduate from an APA-accredited doctoral program, what should I include with my application?

Please include syllabi for all classes listed on your application under Section 6, Documentation of Non-APA Approved Educational Requirements.

Can I submit additional documentation (i.e. resume, curriculum vitae, dissertation, published articles, etc.) with my application to demonstrate my qualifications?

WAC 246-924-043 details what is required for licensure. Additional documents, such as a resume, dissertation, etc., do not establish whether or not licensure requirements are met and therefore will not reviewed in lieu of or in addition to the application.

Continuing Education

How many hours of continuing education must a psychologist complete?

Psychologists must complete 60 hours of continuing education (CE) every three years. Four hours must be in ethics.

Every six years psychologists must complete six hours of training in suicide assessment, treatment and management.

Does the board grant any extensions or waivers?

The board may grant an extension or waiver of the CE requirements for extenuating circumstances. You may write the board and explain your circumstances.

How do I get an indefinite waiver of the CE requirements?

The Examining Board of Psychology (board) may waive or extend the time for the continuing education (CE) requirements required for license renewal. When seeking an extension of time to meet CE requirements or when seeking a temporary or indefinite waiver, the requesting psychologist must provide the board with enough information to evaluate the request. WAC 246-924-330 provides examples of relevant information and describes the requirements for a request.

When a psychologist requests a CE waiver for an indefinite period for reasons such as “retirement or illness,” the request must include “an affidavit … indicating the psychologist is not providing psychological services to consumers.” Any notary public may provide assistance with the required form of an affidavit. A declaration is a statement signed and dated by the person making the statement containing the following declaration at the end of the statement:

“I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that the foregoing is true and correct.”

If you're seeking an indefinite extension from having to meet CE requirements, you must describe why you're seeking the extension and must provide the affidavit (or declaration) that you're “not providing psychological services to consumers.” This affidavit-declaration may be from you or from another person with first-hand knowledge. The services that a psychologist provides include services listed in the definition of the “practice of psychology,” RCW 18.83.010(1). To qualify for a CE waiver, the psychologist must not be providing any services included in the definition of the practice of psychology.

I've been audited for the latest CE period. What do I do?

You must provide documentation of the CE that you completed. The documentation must clearly show that it was taken within the audit period. You must show completion of 60 hours of CE, four of which must be ethics.

I'm licensed in another state. How do I know if the board will accept the CE in my state to count toward Washington requirements?

You must submit a written request to the board, asking the board to accept the CE from the state in which you're currently credentialed. You must also supply a copy of the current regulations from the state in which you would like the board to accept your CE.

Does the board accept courses the American Psychological Association hasn't approved?

WAC 246-924-240 allows the board to accept courses (including correspondence courses), seminars, workshops and post-doctoral institutes sponsored by the American Psychological Association, regional or state psychological associations or their subchapters, psychology internship training centers, other professionally or scientifically recognized behavioral science organizations and the board.

As with all of the CE psychologists take, the burden is on psychologists to show what they have completed meets the requirements listed in rule. In the event that you're audited, you would be asked to show the verification of your CE and demonstrate how it met the requirements set forth in rule.

Do I need to send certificates or documentation of my continuing education activities along with my renewal?

Yes. You aren't required to send continuing education documentation along with your renewal. The board will audit a percentage of renewing licensees each month. You'll be notified if your renewal is selected for an audit.

If I'm selected for a continuing education audit, may I still practice while the audit is ongoing?

Yes, if your continuing education activities are under review by the board, you may continue to practice until the review is complete.

How long do I need to keep my original continuing education documentation?

You're required to retain original documentation of attendance and completion of continuing education activities for four years after your renewal date.

Is there a different calculation for credits if I do an online continuing education activity, or does the board count the number of credits listed on my certificate?

The board considers online activities as sponsored activities and allows the number of credits listed on the certificate.

May I take all of my continuing education activities online?

Yes, you may complete all 60 continuing education activities online.

May a psychologist earn CE for teaching?

A psychologist may earn one credit hour CE for each 60 minutes of teaching or participating in a continuing education course panel discussion. The total may not exceed 30 hours every three years. A psychologist may earn CE for teaching the same continuing education course on more than one occasion, only if the psychologist has spent an equal or greater amount of preparation time updating the subject matter to be taught on a later occasion.

How many hours of training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management are required?

Psychologists must complete six hours hour training in suicide assessment, treatment and management every six years.