S.B. NO.














relating to psychologists.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that it is essential for the practice of psychology to meet standards and guidelines that ensure competence in the field.  The American Psychological Association, recognized in Hawaii as providing guidance on licensure requirements, recognizes a doctorate degree as the minimum educational requirement to practice as a psychologist.

     In 2010, the American Psychological Association revised its Model Licensure Act to allow for greater flexibility in the amount and kind of experience required as a prerequisite to licensure.  The revised policies reflect developments in the professional training of psychologists while assuring that the required training still meets rigorous guidelines that ensure competent and ethical treatment.  The updated Model Licensure Act also supports efforts to improve psychologists' services to the public.

     The legislature further finds that Hawaii has long been recognized as having a significant shortage of mental health providers which impacts accessibility and the quality of patient outcomes.  Underserved communities in rural areas and the neighbor islands often experience long wait times and are unable to gain reasonable access to treatment.  Adopting the American Psychological Association's recommendations in the Model Licensure Act will allow prospective psychologists to enter the profession more rapidly while balancing the need for psychologists to have the rigorous education and training expected by the public.

     The purpose of this Act is to update the post-doctoral training requirement for licensure as a psychologist.

     SECTION 2.  Section 465-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

     "(a)  Every applicant for a license as a psychologist shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant meets the following requirements:

     (1)  The applicant for licensure shall possess a doctoral degree from:

         (A)  An American Psychological Association approved program in clinical psychology; or

         (B)  A professional psychology training program, awarded by an institution of higher education, or from a regionally accredited institution;

     (2)  The applicant for licensure shall demonstrate that the applicant has completed [one year of post doctoral supervised experience in health service in psychology,] no fewer than two years of supervised experience and three thousand hours of supervised experience at the end of the doctoral degree program; provided that if three thousand hours of supervised experience has not been completed at the end of the doctoral degree program, then up to one thousand five hundred hours of supervised post-doctoral experience can be used to satisfy the total hours requirement, and:

         (A)  An internship approved by the American Psychological Association; or

         (B)  One year of supervised experience in health service in psychology, in an internship or residency program in an organized health service training program; and

     (3)  The applicant for licensure has passed an examination as may be prescribed by the board."

     SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


















Report Title:

Psychologist; Licensure; Post Doctoral Training Requirement



Removes the requirement that applicants for a license in psychology complete one year of post doctoral training and replaces it with required hours of supervised experience during the doctoral degree program.




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