Examining Board of Psychology

The Examining Board of Psychology's mandate is to protect the public's health and safety and to promote the welfare of the state by regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers in Washington. The board accomplishes this through a variety of activities working with the Department of Health, Health Systems Quality Assurance division.

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Board Information

Description

The Examining Board of Psychology's mandate is to protect the public's health and safety and to promote the welfare of the state by regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers in Washington. The board accomplishes this through a variety of activities working with the Department of Health, Health Systems Quality Assurance division.

Board duties:

  • Establish qualifications for minimal competency to grant or deny licensure of psychologists.
  • Regulate the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers in Washington by establishing, monitoring and enforcing qualifications for licensure.
  • Establish and monitor compliance with continuing education requirements.
  • Ensure consistent standards of practice.
  • Develop continuing competency mechanisms.
  • Assess, investigate and make recommendations related to complaints against psychologists which may range from a Notice of Correction to a license revocation.
  • Serve as reviewing board members on disciplinary cases and serve on disciplinary hearing panels.
  • Serve as members of standing committees, when appointed.
  • Develop rules, policies and procedures that promote the delivery of quality healthcare to state residents.

Qualifications

The board is made up of two public members and seven psychologists.

Professional members:

  • Must be U.S citizens who have actively practiced psychology in the state of Washington for at least three years immediately preceding appointment.
  • Must be licensed as a psychologist in Washington State.

Public members:

  • Cannot be a psychologist or in training to be a psychologist.
  • May not have any household member who is a psychologist or is in training to be a psychologist.
  • May not participate or ever participated in a commercial or professional field related to psychology nor have a household member who has participated.
  • May not have had, within two years before appointment, a substantial financial interest in a person regulated by the board.

Board participation expectation guidelines

Expectation guidelines are intended to serve as a reference for current members and for prospective appointees of the board:

  • Attend regular board meetings, scheduled for one day during business hours on Friday. The board typically meets six times a year. The board sets its meeting schedule each fall for the following calendar year.
  • Attend the annual Department of Health one-day Board, Commission, Committee conference, as necessary.
  • Participate in the development of a strategic plan each biennium.
  • Actively participate in subcommittees.
  • Prepare for meetings by reading materials sent in advance of the scheduled meeting date. In addition, time may be spent reviewing complaint files prior to each meeting.
  • Participate on disciplinary panels that meet by telephone every other week. Sometimes panels meet with short advance notice in order to respond to emergent situations to protect the public.
  • Assist and mentor newly appointed board members.

Total annual time commitment

  • Meetings/conferences: Six to 10 days per year, plus travel time
  • Meeting preparation: One to three hours per meeting
  • Complaint file review: One to eight hours per complaint assigned
  • Case disposition/hearing panels: Five to 12 days per year

Performance guidelines for newly appointed board members

Attend initial orientation presented by Department of Health staff. This day-long training takes place at the Tumwater office.

Initial orientation outlines:

  • Legal authority of the board
  • Roles and responsibilities of board members
  • Ethics
  • Legal liability of board members and the Department of Health,
  • Organizational structure of the Department of Health
  • Roles and responsibilities of Department of Health staff
  • Roles and responsibilities of staff attorneys and Assistant Attorney General advisors (AAGs)
  • Disciplinary processes
  • Rule making and other issues

The board meets six times per year on Fridays. Meetings are primarily held in Tumwater, Kent or Seattle.

Become a Board, Commission or Committee Member.

Board Members

Name and term expiration date of members

Members Term Expires
Florence Katz Burstein, public member, chair January 6, 2026
Ruth Varkovitzky, Ph.D., ABPP, vice chair January 6, 2025
Leslie Cohn, Ph.D. January 6, 2024
Cedar O'Donnell, Ph.D. January 6, 2023
Michelle Brandon, Ph.D. January 6, 2023
Patience McGinnis, Psy.D. January 6, 2024
Phillip Hawley, Psy.D. January 6, 2025
Elena Lopez, Psy.D. January 16, 2026
Jan Bleakney, public member January 6, 2027
Board Meetings

All meetings begin at 9 a.m., unless otherwise noted.

Date and Location Activity Documents
July 22, 2022 at 9 a.m.
Virtual meeting
Business meeting Agenda (PDF)
September 30, 2022 at 9 a.m.
Virtual meeting
Business meeting  
November 18, 2022 at 9 a.m.
Virtual meeting
Business meeting  

*Location TBD when in-person meetings resume.

If you need further information, please contact:

Washington State Department of Health
Examining Board of Psychology
P.O. Box 47852 | Olympia, WA 98504-7852
Phone: 360-236-2905 | Fax: 360-236-2901

In accordance with the Open Public Meeting Act (chapter 42.30 RCW) and the Administrative Procedures Act (chapter 34.05 RCW), the following is the schedule of regular meetings for the Department of Health, Examining Board of Psychology for the year 2016. The Examining Board of Psychology meetings are open to the public and access for persons with disabilities may be arranged with advance notice; please contact the staff person below for more information.

Agendas for the meetings are available in advance, and can be accessed by selecting the green “Subscribe” button at the bottom of the page. Every attempt is made to ensure that the agenda is up-to-date. However, the Examining Board of Psychology reserves the right to change or amend agendas at the meeting.

Please be advised the Examining Board of Psychology is required to comply with the Public Disclosure Act, chapter 42.56 RCW. This act establishes a strong state mandate in favor of disclosure of public records. As such, the information you submit to the board, including personal information, may ultimately be subject to disclosure as a public record.

Meeting Minutes

2022

2021

Contact and connect

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