In Brief

Psychologists wishing to practice in another state should find the approval process easier than in years past. The reason? Two relatively new "endorsements" offered by two major credentialing organizations.

Though the most recent one comes from the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards--composed of all the licensing boards in the United States and Canada--jumpstarted mobility between states back in 1990. It began by forging "reciprocity" agreements--in which two or more states agree to accept one another's requirements for psychologist licensure. Soon after, the association further eased mobility by offering the Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ), which allows psychologists to streamline their licensure applications in places that accept it.

Then, about two years ago, the National Register joined the mobility movement by presenting its Health Service Provider in Psychology endorsement. Both the National Register endorsement and the CPQ verify licensure applicants' credentialing information--such as licensing test scores and transcripts. They also save applicants the trouble of hunting down such paperwork.

"The heart of this is it saves time, effort and money," says Andrew Boucher, licensure mobility coordinator at the National Register. "If you've already submitted your transcripts, internship and postdoc forms, you don't have to do it again."

With both endorsements, applicants also won't have to sit again for their licensing exams--something they're also exempt from if certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. The main difference between the two endorsements is that the CPQ requires that psychologists have a clean practice record of at least five years. The National Register's endorsement does not. Also, whereas 10 states and provinces currently accept the National Register endorsement, 15 currently accept the CPQ. Many more states are on track to accept both types of endorsements--either considering them or modifying their current regulations to accommodate them, having voted to accept them

For a breakdown of states accepting and on track to accept the National Register endorsement, see the map below. For the CPQ listing, go to http://www.asppb.org/states.htm.

Ultimately, both the National Register and the ASPPB hope to bring all states and provinces on board with their mobility endorsements, according to the National Register's Boucher and ASPPB's Thomas Vaughn, PhD, chair of the mobility program there.

"Individual mobility is happening at a fast pace," says Vaughn. "And I'm gratified to see that happening."

--B. MURRAY