As a board-certified psychologist, you must meet several requirements to maintain your professional licensure. You have to complete a minimum requirement of contact hours, keep appropriate records of client contact hours and pursue continuing education (CE) in your field of study.
Still, it can be challenging to meet the demands of obtaining continuing education credits within the allotted time frame. Many psychologists are inundated with new client requests, and schedules can become so full that it can be tempting to procrastinate signing up for that 8-week course or weekend workshop. The reality is that if you do not comply with the continuing education requirements, your professional license may be revoked.
What are the continuing education requirements in PA?
The state of Pennsylvania requires that psychologists earn 30 CE credits every biennium. A biennium is a two-year period running from odd year to odd year. Within that two-year time frame, psychologists must satisfy CE requirements by participating in a course of study related to their profession. The credits are only valid if they come from a course meeting one of the following criteria:
- Approved by the American Psychological Association (APA)
- Approved by the American Medical Association (AMA)
- Held at an accredited college or university with semester hours
- Approved by the State Board of Psychology
In addition to eligible courses, you may receive some continuing education credits for professional writing or instructing. You will want to check with the State Board of Psychology to determine the necessary qualifications for these options. Once you complete an eligible course, you must report your certificate, transcript or other documentation showing completion of the contact hours to the State Board of Psychology.
If, for whatever reason, you do not obtain the needed CEs within a given biennium, your license will become lapsed or inactive. You might need a court hearing to request an extension in order to complete delinquent continuing education credits or to argue that what courses you took do meet the established professional licensure requirements for psychologists in Pennsylvania. Working with someone familiar with the court’s expectations as well as accommodations can assist you in protecting your professional license.