BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1374


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          1374 (Levine)


          As Amended  July 14, 2015


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  | 77-0 | (April 30,    |SENATE: | 40-0 | (August 24,     |
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          Original Committee Reference:  B. & P.


          SUMMARY:  Revises the submission process for Verification of  
          Experience (VOE) forms and permits applicants for a psychology  
          license to submit VOE directly to the Board of Psychology (BOP);  
          deletes the requirement that a licensed psychologist may only  
          practice psychology for a fee; revises terms relative to the  
          practice of psychology; and, makes other technical and  
          clarifying amendments.  Specifically, this bill:


          1)Deletes the requirement that psychological services be  
            provided for a fee.


          2)Revises the application of psychological principals and  
            methods to instead include assessment and intervention in  
            order to increase effective functioning of individuals,  
            groups, and organizations.









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          3)Replaces the term "maladjustive" with "maladaptive."


          4)Deletes the definition of "fee."


          5)Removes the ability for an applicant to submit the VOE to the  
            BOP directly if the supervising psychologist fails to provide  
            verification to the BOP.


          6)Requires a supervising psychologist to submit VOE to the  
            trainee in the manner prescribed by the BOP.


          7)States that if a supervising psychologist fails to provide VOE  
            to the trainee in a timely manner, the BOP may establish  
            alternative procedures for obtaining the necessary  
            documentation.  


          8)States that, absent good cause, the failure of a supervising  
            psychologist to provide VOE to the BOP upon request shall  
            constitute unprofessional conduct.


          9)Deletes the requirement for an applicant to file a proof of  
            service under penalty of perjury, as specified, and the  
            supervisor rebuttal procedures.  


          10)Strikes reference to the BOP reviewing and approving  
            applicants for a supervising psychologist on a case-by-case  
            basis.


          11)Provides that no reimbursement is required by this bill  
            pursuant to California Constitution Article XIIB, Section 6  
            because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency  
            or school district will be incurred because this act creates a  
            new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or  








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            changes the penalty for a crime or infraction.


          12)Makes other technical and clarifying changes.


          The Senate amendments delete provisions which are in conflict  
          with AB 705, revise the requirements for submitting verification  
          of experience hours for supervisors, and make other technical  
          and clarifying amendments.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.  
           


          COMMENTS:  


          Purpose.  This bill is sponsored by the BOP.  According to the  
          author, "[This bill] saves [BOP] resources by allowing an  
          applicant to be [the] sole [provider] of a complete application  
          for licensure.  [This] bill also seeks to remove any apparent  
          limitation on psychologists providing volunteer service is  
          contrary to the public good [which] could limit qualified  
          licensees providing such services."


          Background.  This bill attempts to address three separate  
          issues:  1) how VOE forms may be submitted to the BOP; 2)  
          allowing psychological services to be performed without  
          collecting a fee; and, 3) revises terms relative to the practice  
          of psychology.   


          Psychologists and Fees for Services.  The practice of psychology  
          is defined as rendering or offering to render, for a fee, any  
          psychological services.  Licensed psychologists may practice  
          independently in any private or public setting using  
          psychological methods to diagnose, treat, prevent, and  
          ameliorate emotional and mental disorders of individuals and  








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          groups.  There are currently 20,000 licensed psychologists in  
          California.  According to the BOP, requiring that psychological  
          services can only be provided for a fee potentially limits a  
          licensed psychologist's ability to provide voluntary or pro bono  
          psychology services.  By removing the reference to a fee in the  
          definition of the practice of psychology it will allow  
          individuals to provide free services of a psychological nature  
          while under the jurisdiction of the BOP.  Settings where free  
          services may be provided could include non-profits, health  
          clinics or suicide prevention hotlines.  


          Licensure Requirements and the Application Process.  Licensed  
          psychologists are required to obtain a doctoral degree from an  
          accredited institution in psychology, educational psychology, or  
          in a field specializing in counseling psychology or educational  
          psychology.  Psychologists are required to complete 3,000 hours  
          (minimum two years) of supervised experience, of which 1,500  
          hours must be completed after obtaining a doctoral degree.  Many  
          post-doctoral psychologists gain supervision experience  
          requirements while employed at schools, colleges or universities  
          and government entities, which provide opportunities to gain the  
          required supervisory hours needed for licensure.  


          There are numerous steps in the application process for  
          licensure.  Applicants are required to submit verification of  
          the completion of education, passage of required examination(s),  
          along with the proof of the required supervised experience.   
          While an applicant is generally responsible for submitting the  
          majority of the required documentation, applicants typically do  
          not submit the VOE form themselves.  Current law requires the  
          licensed supervisor to submit the documentation directly to the  
          BOP within 30 days of an applicant's request and provides a  
          remedy for the applicant if the supervisor does not follow  
          through.  If the VOE is not submitted within the 30 days, an  
          applicant, under penalty of perjury, can submit the VOE directly  
          to the BOP and the supervisor will then have 20 days to submit a  
          rebuttal.  According to the BOP, VOE forms are often sent to the  
          BOP separately from an individual's application by every primary  
          supervisor verifying a portion of the required hours of  
          experience meaning that multiple VOE forms could be submitted at  








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          different times for each applicant separately from the rest of  
          the licensure application.


          According to the BOP, in an effort to eliminate the lengthy  
          application process and to ensure that VOE forms are submitted  
          more consistently with applications for licensure, this bill  
          will revise the existing process and permit applicants to submit  
          VOE forms directly to the BOP and remove the requirement that a  
          supervisor must submit the form.  This potentially results in  
          the BOP saving storage space and possibly reducing processing  
          times for BOP staff to combine the various components of an  
          individual's application. 


          Analysis Prepared by:                     Elissa Silva / B. & P.  
          / (916) 319-3301                            FN: 0001299