Psychologist Licensure and Certification
Become a Psychologist
Psychology is a licensed profession in all states. Each municipality has its own board, but together they form an alliance, the Association of State and Provencal Licensing Boards. Each municipality has a rigorous process for assessing professional competence. You can expect to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) — it is used throughout the nation. In some cases, you will take a state-administered competency exam as well. You can also expect a character and ethics screening. Your state board is one resource for state-specific licensing information; the ASPLB is another. You may request a handbook through their website.
National board certification is a separate process from state licensing. It is a further testament to your skill and gives you another very desirable credential. Specialty certification in clinical psychology is available through the American Academy of Clinical Psychology or the American Board of Professional Psychology. You will need to submit videotaped samples of your work. You will also need to pass an oral examination.
For a psychologist, education is a lifelong process. Each renewal cycle you can expect to do some continuing education through an approved sponsor. Look on the site of your state board for policies, including what percentage of the educational requirement can be met through correspondence courses and other self-study.
One good thing about inter-state cooperation is that, while there will be some additional steps to complete now and then, your license is relatively portable. CPQ and other ASPLB programs make it easier for a competent and experienced psychologist to obtain a new license in a new jurisdiction.