State Leadership Conference

For psychologists in a growing number of states, the process is easier than it used to be, thanks to several mechanisms that increase psychologists' professional mobility. These efforts to help psychologists cross geographic boundaries were outlined in a session at the APA Practice Organization's State Leadership Conference, March 10­13, in Washington, D.C., by Thomas Vaughn, PhD, Judith Hall, PhD, John Robinson, EdD, and Joseph Rallo, PhD:

  • Agreement of Reciprocity. States and provinces that sign onto this agreement, which was developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), agree to streamline the relicensure process for psychologists by accepting each other's licenses without an individual review of the psychologists' credentials. Both the jurisdiction where the psychologist is already licensed and the one in which he or she seeks licensure must be members of the agreement.

"It is by far the preferred way to accomplish mobility," explained Vaughn, who chairs the ASPPB Mobility Com- mittee. However, Vaughn also noted that reciprocity among all states is difficult--if not impossible--to achieve because several jurisdictions have laws that do not meet the agreement's requirements.

  • Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ). When psychologists hold a CPQ credential, it does not matter what state or province they come from, only that the jurisdiction where they seek licensure accepts the CPQ. The CPQ also was developed by ASPPB and is not a license to practice. Rather, by recognizing the CPQ, psychology boards accept CPQ holders' educational preparation, supervised experience and examination performance for licensure.

  • National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NRHSPP). The National Register verifies and stores the education, training and experience of about 14,000 licensed psychologists. Any psychologist or psychology student can store their qualifications with the register until they are ready to apply for licensure. The service is free to registrants and recognized by Georgia, Virginia, Missouri, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Alberta, Canada, as a mechanism to facilitate licensure by endorsement. Twenty other state and provincial psychology boards are considering or implementing recognition of the National Register to promote mobility.

  • American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). ABPP awards specialty diplomas in eleven areas. Possessing a specialty diploma can serve as a waiver to examination requirements.

"Most states accept the ABPP either in law or in rules and regulations and 34 states have it written into law," explained John D. Robinson, EdD, president-elect of ABPP's American Board of Clinical Psychology.

  • Agreement on International Trade (AIT). This 1995 Canadian law mandates that provinces eliminate barriers to worker mobility. In response, the Council of Provincial Associations of Psychologists and other organizations have been working to create uniform licensing laws.

Further Reading

Visit to learn more about the CPQ credential and the reciprocity agreement or for the NRHSPP credential.