You worked hard to earn your license. It felt good to receive it from the state licensing board and if you’re working in an office, that’s all you need. But if you’re providing services online, haven’t you wished you could work across state lines? State licensing boards, and other legal red tape interfere and complicate that process, but soon, thanks to PSYPACT this may be a relic of the past.
What is PSYPACT?
The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) has created the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) to reduce regulatory barriers hindering the practice of psychology across jurisdictional boundaries. In other words, psychologists who join the PSYPACT can perform psychology services for clients who are within the boundaries of PSYPACT without having to be licensed in each specific state. The PSYPACT Commission consists of one representative from each state partnered in the PSYPACT and is responsible for the rules and bylaws of PSYPACT. Psychologists can also provide “temporary in-person, face-to-face practice” across state lines. The one caveat to this, is a maximum of 30 days within a single calendar year. Beyond this amount, you must still obtain a license to practice in that state. More details: PSYPACT FAQ’s
PSYPACT is currently active in 9 states – Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois*, Oklahoma*, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, and Utah, with 5 more including Washington D.C. pending legislation.
*Legislation has passed – but does not become active until Nov 1 2019 for Oklahoma and Jan 1 2020 for Illinois.
Ok so, why is this such a big deal?
First, a much wider clientbase. The total population of the PSYPACT regions as of the writing of this article is almost 54 million people. Compare that with the population within your state boundaries. If the legislation passes in the current states pending legislation, the coverage will literally double.
Currently, telepsychology has a lot of grey areas. For instance – a client of yours needs help in a crisis, but are currently traveling out of state. Unless you are licensed in the state they are traveling in, you may not be able to help. There are some exceptions – according to the Tori Deanglis writing for the APA – “many states have guest licensure provisions that allow out-of-state-licensed psychologists to provide services for a short period of time—ranging from 10 to 30 days in a calendar year—under specified conditions” (via APA.org).
The catch here is again, “many states”. Some states allow you to provide your services remotely, and some won’t. With the rules and regulations that vary from state to state, it’s difficult to keep up and ensure you are in compliance. With the introduction of PSYPACT you will only need one or two certifications for inter-state therapy services.
According to PersonCenteredTech – “At the time of writing, PSYPACT is officially active. But, the actual implementation of it still awaits the drafting of bylaws and rules by the PSYPACT commission. It appears that psychologists in PSYPACT states won’t be able to start applying for that magical E.Passport until that part is done. The good news, however, is that the wheels are now turning.”
Interested Licensed Psychologists will be able to apply for certification known as the E.Passport, enabling them to practice psychology via the internet. More information on the E.Passport can be found at: https://www.asppb.net/page/EPassport.
The Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate (IPC) will allow them to conduct temporary “in-person” sessions in within the PSYPACT area. To apply, you must be licensed, with no disciplinary action listed on any psychology license. Additional educational requirements that must meet ASPPB standards. More specific details can be found here.
More details can be found on the ASPPB PSYPACT Microsite.