Amended in Senate June 11, 2015

Amended in Senate June 1, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 6, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1374


Introduced by Assembly Member Levine

February 27, 2015


An act to amend Sections 2903, 2909, 2910, 2913, and 2914 of the Business and Professions Code, and to amend Section 1010 of the Evidence Code, relating to psychologists.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1374, as amended, Levine. Psychologists: licensure.

The Psychology Licensing Law provides for the licensure and regulation of psychologists by the Board of Psychology. The law defines the practice of psychology as rendering or offering to render, for a fee, psychological services involving the application of psychological principles and methods, including the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of psychological problems and emotional and mental disorders. The law prohibits unlicensed persons from practicing psychology,begin delete andend deletebegin insert butend insert authorizes unlicensed persons, including credentialed psychometrists, who meet certain requirements and do not provide psychological servicesbegin insert to the publicend insert for abegin delete feeend deletebegin insert fee,end insert to perform limited psychological functions or activities of a psychological nature, as specified. The law requires applicants for licensure to, among other things, engage in at least 2 years of supervised professional experience under the direction of a licensed psychologist and authorizes an applicant who obtains this experience in the United States to send verification of the experience directly to the board if the supervisingbegin insert licensedend insert psychologist fails to submit the verification within 30 days of receiving a request from the applicant, as specified. The law requires the board to establish qualifications by regulation for supervisingbegin insert licensedend insert psychologists and to review and approve applicants on a case-by-case basis. The law provides that a violation of any of its provisions is a misdemeanor.

This bill wouldbegin delete expand the definition of the practice of psychology, and narrowend deletebegin insert remove the reference to fees for services from the definition of the practice of psychology, thereby expanding that definition. The bill would further modify that definition to specify that the application of psychological principles and methods includes assessment, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and intervention to increase effective functioning of individuals, groups, and organizations. The bill would reviseend insert the above-describedbegin delete authorizationend deletebegin insert authorizationsend insert for specified unlicensed persons tobegin delete provide psychological services, by removing references to a fee.end deletebegin insert perform limited psychological functions or activities of a psychological nature to prohibit services to the public, except as specified, without reference to a fee.end insert The bill would eliminate that authorization for credentialed psychometrists.begin delete The bill would specify that the application of psychological principles and methods instead includes assessment, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and intervention in order to increase effective functioning.end delete The bill would instead requirebegin delete the supervisorend deletebegin insert a supervising licensed psychologistend insert to submit verification of the experience to the trainee in a manner prescribed by the board, and would authorize the board to establish alternative procedures for obtaining the necessary documentation if thebegin delete supervisorend deletebegin insert supervising licensed psychologistend insert fails to provide that verification. The bill would make that failure, absent good cause, unprofessional conduct. The bill would eliminate the requirement that the board review and approve applicants on a case-by-case basis. The bill would also make technical and conforming changes. By expanding the scope of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P3    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 2903 of the Business and Professions
2Code
is amended to read:

3

2903.  

No person may engage in the practice of psychology, or
4represent himself or herself to be a psychologist, without a license
5granted under this chapter, except as otherwise provided in this
6chapter. The practice of psychology is defined as rendering or
7offering to render to individuals, groups, organizations, or the
8public any psychological service involving the application of
9psychological principles, methods, and procedures of
10understanding, predicting, and influencing behavior, such as the
11principles pertaining to learning, perception, motivation, emotions,
12and interpersonal relationships; and the methods and procedures
13of interviewing, counseling, psychotherapy, behavior modification,
14and hypnosis; and of constructing, administering, and interpreting
15tests of mental abilities, aptitudes, interests, attitudes, personality
16characteristics, emotions, and motivations.

17The application of these principles and methods includes, but is
18not restricted to: assessment, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and
19interventionbegin delete in orderend delete to increase effective functioning of
20individuals, groups, and organizations.

21Psychotherapy within the meaning of this chapter means the use
22of psychological methods in a professional relationship to assist
23a person or persons to acquire greater human effectiveness or to
24modify feelings, conditions, attitudes, and behaviors which are
25emotionally, intellectually, or socially ineffectual or maladaptive.

26

SEC. 2.  

Section 2909 of the Business and Professions Code is
27amended to read:

28

2909.  

This chapter shall not be construed as restricting or
29preventing activities of a psychological nature or the use of the
30official title of the position for which they were employed on the
31part of the following persons, provided those persons are
32performing those activities as part of the duties for which they
33were employed, are performing those activities solely within the
34confines of or under the jurisdiction of the organization in which
35they are employed, and do not offer to render or render
36 psychological services as defined in Section 2903 to the public:

37(a) Persons who hold a valid and current credential as a school
38psychologist issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

P4    1(b) Persons who are employed in positions as psychologists or
2psychological assistants, or in a student counseling service, by
3accredited or approved colleges, community colleges, or
4universities; federal, state, county, or municipal governmental
5organizations that are not primarily involved in the provision of
6direct health or mental health services. However, those persons
7may, without obtaining a license under this act, consult or
8disseminate their research findings and scientific information to
9other such accredited or approved academic institutions or
10governmental agencies. They may also offer lectures to the public
11without being licensed under this chapter.

12(c) Persons who meet the educational requirements of
13subdivision (b) of Section 2914 and who have one year or more
14of the supervised professional experience referenced in subdivision
15(c) of Section 2914, if they are employed by nonprofit community
16agencies that receive a minimum of 25 percent of their financial
17support from any federal, state, county, or municipal governmental
18organizations for the purpose of training and providing services.
19Those persons shall be registered by the agency with the board at
20the time of employment and shall be identified in the setting as a
21“registered psychologist.” Those persons shall be exempt from
22this chapter for a maximum period of 30 months from the date of
23registration.

24

SEC. 3.  

Section 2910 of the Business and Professions Code is
25amended to read:

26

2910.  

This chapter shall not be construed to restrict or prevent
27activities of a psychological nature on the part of persons who are
28salaried employees of accredited or approved academic institutions,
29public schools, or governmental agencies, provided:

30(a) Such employees are performing such psychological activities
31as part of the duties for which they were hired.

32(b) Such employees are performing those activities solely within
33the jurisdiction or confines of such organizations.

34(c) Such persons do not hold themselves out to the public by
35any title or description of activities incorporating the words
36“psychology,” “psychological,” begin delete “psychologist,” “psychometry,”
37 “psychometrics,” or “psychometrist.”end delete
begin insert or “psychologist.”end insert

38(d) Such persons do not provide direct health or mental health
39 services.

P5    1

SEC. 4.  

Section 2913 of the Business and Professions Code is
2amended to read:

3

2913.  

A person other than a licensed psychologist may be
4employed by a licensed psychologist, by a licensed physician and
5surgeon who is board certified in psychiatry by the American Board
6of Psychiatry and Neurology, by a clinic that provides mental
7health services under contract pursuant to Section 5614 of the
8Welfare and Institutions Code, by a psychological corporation, by
9a licensed psychology clinic as defined in Section 1204.1 of the
10Health and Safety Code, or by a medical corporation to perform
11limited psychological functions provided that all of the following
12apply:

13(a) The person is termed a “psychological assistant.”

14(b) The person (1) has completed a master’s degree in
15psychology or education with the field of specialization in
16psychology or counseling psychology, or (2) has been admitted to
17candidacy for a doctoral degree in psychology or education with
18the field of specialization in psychology or counseling psychology,
19after having satisfactorily completed three or more years of
20postgraduate education in psychology and having passed
21preliminary doctoral examinations, or (3) has completed a doctoral
22degree that qualifies for licensure under Section 2914, in an
23accredited or approved university, college, or professional school
24located in the United States or Canada.

25(c) The person is at all times under the immediate supervision,
26as defined in regulations adopted by the board, of a licensed
27psychologist, or board certified psychiatrist, who shall be
28responsible for insuring that the extent, kind, and quality of the
29psychological services he or she performs are consistent with his
30or her training and experience and be responsible for his or her
31compliance with this chapter and regulations duly adopted
32hereunder, including those provisions set forth in Section 2960.

33(d) The licensed psychologist, board certified psychiatrist,
34contract clinic, psychological corporation, or medical corporation,
35has registered the psychological assistant with the board. The
36registration shall be renewed annually in accordance with
37regulations adopted by the board.

38No licensed psychologist may register, employ, or supervise
39more than three psychological assistants at any given time unless
40specifically authorized to do so by the board. No board certified
P6    1psychiatrist may register, employ, or supervise more than one
2psychological assistant at any given time. No contract clinic,
3psychological corporation, or medical corporation may employ
4more than 10 assistants at any one time. No contract clinic may
5register, employ, or provide supervision for more than one
6psychological assistant for each designated full-time staff
7psychiatrist who is qualified and supervises the psychological
8assistants. No psychological assistant may provide psychological
9services to the public except as an employee of a licensed
10psychologist, licensed physician, contract clinic, psychological
11corporation, or medical corporation.

12(e) The psychological assistant shall comply with regulations
13that the board may, from time to time, duly adopt relating to the
14fulfillment of requirements in continuing education.

15(f) No person shall practice as a psychological assistant who is
16found by the board to be in violation of Section 2960 and the rules
17and regulations duly adopted thereunder.

18

SEC. 5.  

Section 2914 of the Business and Professions Code is
19amended to read:

20

2914.  

Each applicant for licensure shall comply with all of the
21following requirements:

22(a) Is not subject to denial of licensure under Division 1.5
23(commencing with Section 475).

24(b) Possess an earned doctorate degree (1) in psychology, (2)
25in educational psychology, or (3) in education with the field of
26specialization in counseling psychology or educational psychology.
27Except as provided in subdivision (g), this degree or training shall
28be obtained from an accredited university, college, or professional
29school. The board shall make the final determination as to whether
30a degree meets the requirements of this section.

31No educational institution shall be denied recognition as an
32accredited academic institution solely because its program is not
33accredited by any professional organization of psychologists, and
34nothing in this chapter or in the administration of this chapter shall
35require the registration with the board by educational institutions
36of their departments of psychology or their doctoral programs in
37psychology.

38An applicant for licensure trained in an educational institution
39outside the United States or Canada shall demonstrate to the
40satisfaction of the board that he or she possesses a doctorate degree
P7    1in psychology that is equivalent to a degree earned from a
2regionally accredited university in the United States or Canada.
3These applicants shall provide the board with a comprehensive
4evaluation of the degree performed by a foreign credential
5evaluation service that is a member of the National Association
6of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and any other
7documentation the board deems necessary.

8(c) Have engaged for at least two years in supervised
9professional experience under the direction of a licensed
10psychologist, the specific requirements of which shall be defined
11by the board in its regulations, or under suitable alternative
12supervision as determined by the board in regulations duly adopted
13under this chapter, at least one year of which shall be after being
14awarded the doctorate in psychology. The supervisor shall submit
15verification of the experience required by this subdivision to the
16 trainee in a manner prescribed by the board. If the supervising
17licensed psychologist fails to provide verification to the trainee in
18a timely manner, the board may establish alternative procedures
19for obtaining the necessary documentation. Absent good cause,
20the failure of a supervising licensed psychologist to provide the
21verification to the board upon request shall constitute
22unprofessional conduct.

23The board shall establish qualifications by regulation for
24supervising psychologists.

25(d) Take and pass the examination required by Section 2941
26unless otherwise exempted by the board under this chapter.

27(e) Show by evidence satisfactory to the board that he or she
28has completed training in the detection and treatment of alcohol
29and other chemical substance dependency. This requirement applies
30only to applicants who matriculate on or after September 1, 1985.

31(f) (1) Show by evidence satisfactory to the board that he or
32she has completed coursework in spousal or partner abuse
33assessment, detection, and intervention. This requirement applies
34to applicants who began graduate training during the period
35commencing on January 1, 1995, and ending on December 31,
36 2003.

37(2) An applicant who began graduate training on or after January
381, 2004, shall show by evidence satisfactory to the board that he
39or she has completed a minimum of 15 contact hours of coursework
40in spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, and intervention
P8    1strategies, including knowledge of community resources, cultural
2factors, and same gender abuse dynamics. An applicant may request
3an exemption from this requirement if he or she intends to practice
4in an area that does not include the direct provision of mental health
5services.

6(3) Coursework required under this subdivision may be
7satisfactory if taken either in fulfillment of other educational
8requirements for licensure or in a separate course. This requirement
9for coursework shall be satisfied by, and the board shall accept in
10satisfaction of the requirement, a certification from the chief
11academic officer of the educational institution from which the
12applicant graduated that the required coursework is included within
13the institution’s required curriculum for graduation.

14(g) An applicant holding a doctoral degree in psychology from
15an approved institution is deemed to meet the requirements of this
16section if all of the following are true:

17(1) The approved institution offered a doctoral degree in
18psychology designed to prepare students for a license to practice
19psychology and was approved by the Bureau for Private
20Postsecondary and Vocational Education on or before July 1, 1999.

21(2) The approved institution has not, since July 1, 1999, had a
22new location, as described in Section 94721 of the Education Code.

23(3) The approved institution is not a franchise institution, as
24defined in Section 94729.3 of the Education Code.

25

SEC. 6.  

Section 1010 of the Evidence Code is amended to read:

26

1010.  

As used in this article, “psychotherapist” means a person
27who is, or is reasonably believed by the patient to be:

28(a) A person authorized to practice medicine in any state or
29nation who devotes, or is reasonably believed by the patient to
30devote, a substantial portion of his or her time to the practice of
31psychiatry.

32(b) A person licensed as a psychologist under Chapter 6.6
33(commencing with Section 2900) of Division 2 of the Business
34and Professions Code.

35(c) A person licensed as a clinical social worker under Article
364 (commencing with Section 4996) of Chapter 14 of Division 2
37of the Business and Professions Code, when he or she is engaged
38in applied psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature.

39(d) A person who is serving as a school psychologist and holds
40a credential authorizing that service issued by the state.

P9    1(e) A person licensed as a marriage and family therapist under
2Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 4980) of Division 2 of the
3Business and Professions Code.

4(f) A person registered as a psychological assistant who is under
5the supervision of a licensed psychologist or board certified
6psychiatrist as required by Section 2913 of the Business and
7Professions Code, or a person registered as a marriage and family
8therapist intern who is under the supervision of a licensed marriage
9and family therapist, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed
10psychologist, or a licensed physician and surgeon certified in
11psychiatry, as specified in Section 4980.44 of the Business and
12Professions Code.

13(g) A person registered as an associate clinical social worker
14who is under supervision as specified in Section 4996.23 of the
15Business and Professions Code.

16(h) A person exempt from the Psychology Licensing Law
17pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 2909 of the Business and
18Professions Code who is under the supervision of a licensed
19psychologist or board certified psychiatrist.

20(i) A psychological intern as defined in Section 2911 of the
21Business and Professions Code who is under the supervision of a
22licensed psychologist or board certified psychiatrist.

23(j) A trainee, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 4980.03
24of the Business and Professions Code, who is fulfilling his or her
25supervised practicum required by subparagraph (B) of paragraph
26(1) of subdivision (d) of Section 4980.36 of, or subdivision (c) of
27Section 4980.37 of, the Business and Professions Code and is
28supervised by a licensed psychologist, a board certified psychiatrist,
29a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed marriage and family
30therapist, or a licensed professional clinical counselor.

31(k) A person licensed as a registered nurse pursuant to Chapter
326 (commencing with Section 2700) of Division 2 of the Business
33and Professions Code, who possesses a master’s degree in
34psychiatric-mental health nursing and is listed as a
35psychiatric-mental health nurse by the Board of Registered
36Nursing.

37(l) An advanced practice registered nurse who is certified as a
38clinical nurse specialist pursuant to Article 9 (commencing with
39Section 2838) of Chapter 6 of Division 2 of the Business and
P10   1Professions Code and who participates in expert clinical practice
2in the specialty of psychiatric-mental health nursing.

3(m) A person rendering mental health treatment or counseling
4services as authorized pursuant to Section 6924 of the Family
5Code.

6(n) A person licensed as a professional clinical counselor under
7Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 4999.10) of Division 2 of
8the Business and Professions Code.

9(o) A person registered as a clinical counselor intern who is
10under the supervision of a licensed professional clinical counselor,
11a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed clinical social
12worker, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed physician and
13surgeon certified in psychiatry, as specified in Sections 4999.42
14to 4999.46, inclusive, of the Business and Professions Code.

15(p) A clinical counselor trainee, as defined in subdivision (g)
16of Section 4999.12 of the Business and Professions Code, who is
17fulfilling his or her supervised practicum required by paragraph
18(3) of subdivision (c) of Section 4999.32 of, or paragraph (3) of
19subdivision (c) of Section 4999.33 of, the Business and Professions
20Code, and is supervised by a licensed psychologist, a
21board-certified psychiatrist, a licensed clinical social worker, a
22licensed marriage and family therapist, or a licensed professional
23clinical counselor.

24

SEC. 7.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
25Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
26the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
27district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
28infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
29for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
30the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
31the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
32Constitution.



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