CHAPTER 383*
PSYCHOLOGISTS

*Cited. 207 C. 674, 677. Cited. 242 C. 1.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-186. Board of examiners.
Sec. 20-186a. Duties of board of examiners.
Sec. 20-187. Report. Secretary. Conduct of investigations.
Sec. 20-187a. License required. Practice defined.
Sec. 20-188. Examination; qualifications.
Sec. 20-189. Graduation from approved education program required.
Sec. 20-190. License without examination of out-of-state licensees and practitioners, holders of diploma from national board.
Sec. 20-191. Certification without examination of applicants with three years' experience.
Sec. 20-191a. Renewal of license.
Sec. 20-191b. Fees for lost license and verifying licensure.
Sec. 20-192. Disciplinary action; grounds; appeals.
Sec. 20-193. False representation. Penalties.
Sec. 20-194. Right to practice medicine not granted.
Sec. 20-194a. Hospital or health care facility staff privileges allowed.
Sec. 20-195. Exempted activities and employment.


Sec. 20-186. Board of examiners. (a) The Board of Examiners of Psychologists shall consist of five members appointed by the Governor, three of whom shall be practicing psychologists in good professional standing and licensed according to the provisions of this chapter and two of whom shall be public members. Each such member shall be a resident of this state. No member of said board shall be an elected or appointed officer of any professional association of psychologists or have been such an officer during the year immediately preceding his appointment. The Governor shall designate one member as chairman of said board and shall fill any vacancy therein by appointment for the unexpired portion of the term. No member shall serve for more than two full consecutive terms commencing after July 1, 1980. Members shall not be compensated for their services.
(b) Said board shall meet at least once during each calendar quarter and at such other times as the chairman deems necessary. Special meetings shall be held on the request of a majority of the board after notice in accordance with the provisions of section 1-225. A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum. Any member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or who fails to attend fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from office. Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded by the board. No member shall participate in the affairs of the board during the pendency of any disciplinary proceedings by the board against such member.
(1949 Rev., S. 4632; 1957, P.A. 269, S. 2; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 1; P.A. 77-614, S. 427, 610; P.A. 80-484, S. 68, 176; P.A. 81-471, S. 39, 71; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-12, S. 23, 55; P.A. 98-143, S. 12, 24.)
History: 1969 act substituted "licensed" for "certified"; P.A. 77-614 clarified appointment provisions generally, deleted provision setting terms at five years beginning on July first and reduced psychologist members from five to three, adding two public members, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-484 replaced requirement that psychologist members have practiced for five years with requirement that they be currently practicing and in good professional standing, prohibited professional members from being elected officials of professional associations within one year of their appointment, required all members to be state residents rather than "electors", deleted provisions re removal for incompetence etc. and re three-member quorum, limited terms of service to two after July 1, 1984, provided for reimbursement for expenses and added Subsec. (b) re meetings, members' attendance, etc.; P.A. 81-471 changed "elected official" to "elected or appointed officer" as of July 1, 1981; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-12 eliminated expense reimbursement for board members; P.A. 98-143 added quorum provision in Subsec. (b), effective July 1, 1998.
See title 2c re termination under "Sunset Law".
See Sec. 4-9a for definition of "public member".
See Sec. 4-40a re compensation and expenses of licensing boards and commissions.
See Secs. 19a-8 to 19a-12, inclusive, re powers and duties of boards and commissions within Public Health Department.

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Sec. 20-186a. Duties of board of examiners. The Board of Examiners of Psychologists shall (1) hear and decide matters concerning suspension or revocation of licensure, (2) adjudicate complaints filed against practitioners licensed under this chapter and (3) impose sanctions where appropriate.
(P.A. 80-484, S. 69, 176.)

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Sec. 20-187. Report. Secretary. Conduct of investigations. Section 20-187 is repealed.
(1949 Rev., S. 4633; 1957, P.A. 269, S. 3; September, 1957, P.A. 11, S. 13; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 2; P.A. 77-614, S. 609, 610.)

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Sec. 20-187a. License required. Practice defined. No person shall practice psychology unless he has obtained a license as provided in section 20-188. The practice of psychology means the rendering of professional services under any title or description of services incorporating the words psychologist, psychological or psychology, to the public or to any public or private organization for a fee or other remuneration. Professional psychological services means the application, by persons trained in psychology, of established principles of learning, motivation, perception, thinking and emotional relationships to the assessment, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and amelioration of psychological problems or emotional or mental disorders of individuals or groups, including but not limited to counseling, guidance, psychotherapy, behavior modification and personnel evaluation, with persons or groups in the areas of work, family, school, marriage and personal relationships; measuring and testing of personality, intelligence, aptitudes, emotions, public opinion, attitudes and skills; and research relating to human behavior.
(1969, P.A. 597, S. 3; P.A. 86-42.)
History: P.A. 86-42 changed the definition of professional psychological services to include "the assessment, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and amelioration of psychological problems or emotional or mental disorders of individuals or groups".

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Sec. 20-188. Examination; qualifications. Before granting a license to a psychologist, the department shall, except as provided in section 20-190, require any applicant therefor to pass an examination in psychology to be given at such time and place as the department prescribes. Examinations shall be prescribed by the department, with the advice and consent of the board, and shall be administered to applicants by the Department of Public Health under the supervision of the board. Each applicant shall pay a fee of four hundred fifty dollars, and shall satisfy the department that he (1) has received the doctoral degree based on a program of studies whose content was primarily psychological from an educational institution registered as provided in section 20-189; and (2) has had at least one year's postdoctoral experience of a type satisfactory to the board. Such applicant shall further verify that he intends in good faith to practice psychology in this state. The department shall establish a passing score with the consent of the board. The Department of Public Health shall grade the examinations returned by the candidates. Any unsuccessful candidate may, upon written request to the department, see his graded paper. Any certificate granted by the board of examiners prior to June 24, 1969, shall be deemed a valid license permitting continuance of profession subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(1949 Rev., S. 4635; 1957, P.A. 269, S. 4; 1959, P.A. 616, S. 57; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 4; June, 1971, P.A. 8, S. 64; 1972, P.A. 127, S. 42; P.A. 77-614, S. 428, 610; P.A. 80-484, S. 70, 174, 176; P.A. 81-471, S. 40, 71; P.A. 89-251, S. 101, 203; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-125, S. 1, 6; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
History: 1959 act increased application fee from fifteen to fifty dollars, deleting stipulation that fee be nonreturnable and eliminated ten-dollar examination fee; 1969 act substituted "license" for "certificate", deleted reference to repealed Sec. 20-191, required in Subdiv. (c) that doctoral degree be in area of psychology in which applicant intends to practice and in Subdiv. (d) that experience be postdoctoral and in the area in which applicant intends to practice, rephrased provision re verification of residency, added requirement for verification of area of psychology and revised validation of previously issued licenses, changing date from May 15, 1957, to June 24, 1969, and adding "permitting continuance of profession subject to the provisions of this chapter"; 1971 act raised application fee from fifty to one hundred fifty dollars; 1972 act required applicant to be at least eighteen rather than twenty-one, reflecting changed age of majority; P.A. 77-614 required consent of health services commissioner for examinations and specified that actual administering and grading of examinations be by health services department rather than by board, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-484 essentially transferred remaining duties of board to health services department, retaining board in an advisory capacity, added provision for establishment of passing scores and revised applicant's qualifications provisions to delete minimum age and residency requirement and requirements that applicant be of good moral character and not have failed examination within previous six months; P.A. 81-471 reduced fee for applicants for licensure without examination to one hundred dollars from former level of one hundred fifty dollars and eliminated requirement that doctoral degree and/or postdoctoral experience be in the area of psychology which applicant intends to practice; P.A. 89-251 increased the application fee from one hundred fifty dollars to four hundred fifty dollars, except applicants' fee for licensure under Sec. 20-190 increased from one hundred dollars to one hundred twenty dollars; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-125 deleted reference to the fee for a license under Sec. 20-190, effective June 7, 1995; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995.

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Sec. 20-189. Graduation from approved education program required. Applicants shall graduate from an education program approved by the board with the consent of the Commissioner of Public Health.
(1949 Rev., S. 4634; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 5; P.A. 77-614, S. 302, 610; P.A. 81-471, S. 41, 71; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
History: 1969 act substituted "license" for "certificate"; P.A. 77-614 replaced secretary of the state board of education with commissioner of education, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 81-471 eliminated registration of educational institutions and added new provision requiring that applicants graduate from approved education programs; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995.

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Sec. 20-190. License without examination of out-of-state licensees and practitioners, holders of diploma from national board. The Department of Public Health may grant a license without examination to any applicant who is a currently practicing, competent practitioner and who at the time of application is licensed or certified by a similar board of another state whose standards, in the opinion of the department, are substantially similar to, or higher than, those of this state, provided the department is satisfied that the applicant understands Connecticut laws and regulations relating to the practice of psychology. The department may waive the examination for any person holding a diploma from a nationally recognized board or agency approved by the department, with the consent of the board of examiners, provided the department is satisfied that the person understands Connecticut laws and regulations relating to the practice of psychology. The fee for such license shall be four hundred fifty dollars. No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint. The department shall inform the board annually of the number of applications it receives for licensure under this section.
(1949 Rev., S. 4636; 1957, P.A. 269, S. 5; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 6; June, 1971, P.A. 8, S. 65; P.A. 80-484, S. 71, 176; P.A. 81-471, S. 42, 71; P.A. 88-357, S. 9; P.A. 89-91, S. 1, 3; 89-251, S. 102, 203; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-125, S. 2, 6; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
History: 1969 act substituted "license" for "certificate", deleted provision allowing waiver of examination for person who has been practicing in another state for at least three years and who convinces board that granting him a license would be in the public interest and added proviso re verification of area of psychology in which applicant intends to practice; 1971 act imposed license fee of one hundred dollars; P.A. 80-484 transferred licensing power from board to health services department, allowed waiver of examination only for "currently practicing competent" practitioners, rephrased provision re standards of other states and added provisions prohibiting licensure of person involved in disciplinary action or unresolved complaint and requiring notification of board of number of applications received; P.A. 81-471 eliminated requirement that applicants verify the area of psychology in which they intend to practice; P.A. 88-357 added requirement that the department be satisfied that the applicant or person understands Connecticut laws and regulations relating to the practice of psychology; P.A. 89-91 changed "shall" to "may" regarding the waiving of the examination for persons holding a diploma from a nationally recognized board or agency and changed approved by the "board of examiners" to "department, with the consent of the board of examiners"; P.A. 89-251 raised license fee from one hundred to three hundred dollars; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-125 changed the license fee from three hundred to four hundred fifty dollars, effective June 7, 1995; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995.

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Sec. 20-191. Certification without examination of applicants with three years' experience. Section 20-191 is repealed.
(1957, P.A. 269, S. 10; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 14.)

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Sec. 20-191a. Renewal of license. Each license issued under this chapter shall be renewed annually in accordance with the provisions of section 19a-88. Thirty days prior to the expiration date of each license under said section 19a-88, the department shall mail to the last-known address of each licensed psychologist an application for renewal in such form as said department determines. Each such application, on or before such expiration date, shall be returned to said department, together with a fee of the professional services fee for class I, as defined in section 33-182l, and the department shall thereupon issue a renewal license. In the event of failure of a psychologist to apply for such renewal license by such expiration date, he may so apply subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of said section 19a-88.
(1959, P.A. 654, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 7; June, 1971, P.A. 8, S. 66; 1972, P.A. 223, S. 10; P.A. 80-484, S. 72, 176; P.A. 81-471, S. 43, 71; P.A. 89-251, S. 103, 203; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-16, S. 47, 89.)
History: 1969 act replaced "certificate" and "certified" with "license" and "licensed", required that applications for renewal contain provision for verification of psychologists' areas of practice and required that published roster contain indication of psychologists' areas of practice; 1971 act increased renewal fee from five to fifty dollars, increased additional charge for late renewals up to December first from one to five dollars per month and increased penalty charged for renewals after December first from one to ten dollars for each month of delay, deleting obsolete maximum penalty charge of five dollars; 1972 act revised provisions to reflect change from biennial to annual renewal and halved the renewal fee; P.A. 80-484 required that renewals accord with provisions of Sec. 19-45 as of January 1, 1981, deleting references to October first renewal dates, to penalties and charges for late renewals and to publication of roster of psychologists and transferred license renewal powers from board to department of health services; P.A. 81-471 eliminated requirement that application include provision for verification of area of psychology in which applicant is practicing and deleted reference to July first as date by which department is to send out applications for renewal; P.A. 89-251 increased the application fee from twenty- five dollars to seventy-five dollars; May Sp. Sess. 92-16 replaced license renewal fee of seventy-five dollars with fee equaling professional service fee class I established pursuant to Sec. 33-182l.

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Sec. 20-191b. Fees for lost license and verifying licensure. Section 20-191b is repealed, effective June 7, 1995.
(1959, P.A. 654, S. 2; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 8; P.A. 95-125, S. 5, 6.)

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Sec. 20-192. Disciplinary action; grounds; appeals. The board may take any action set forth in section 19a-17, if the license holder: Has been convicted of a felony; has been found by the board to have employed fraud or deceit in obtaining his license or in the course of any professional activity, to have violated any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted hereunder or to have acted negligently, incompetently or wrongfully in the conduct of his profession; practiced in an area of psychology for which he is not qualified; is suffering from physical or mental illness, emotional disorder or loss of motor skill, including but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process or is suffering from the abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals. The Commissioner of Public Health may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. Said commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17. Notice of any contemplated action under said section, of the cause therefor and the date of hearing thereon shall be given and an opportunity for hearing afforded as provided in the regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Public Health. The Attorney General shall, upon request, furnish legal assistance to the board. Any person aggrieved by any action of the board may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183, except such appeal shall be made returnable to the judicial district where he resides. Such appeal shall have precedence over nonprivileged cases in respect to order of trial.
(1949 Rev., S. 4637; 1957, P.A. 269, S. 6; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 9; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 62; P.A. 76-436, S. 426, 681; P.A. 77-603, S. 72, 125; 77-614, S. 429, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 43, 44, 127; P.A. 80-484, S. 73, 176; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-220, S. 4−6; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-47, S. 9.)
History: 1969 act substituted "license" for "certificate", raised maximum suspension period from one to three years and allowed suspension or revocation of license of psychologist for practice in an area of psychology for which he is not qualified; 1971 act replaced superior court with court of common pleas, effective September 1,1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless pending matters deemed transferable; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and added reference to judicial districts, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-603 replaced previous appeal provisions with statement that appeals shall be in accordance with Sec. 4-183, retaining provision granting appeals precedence in order of trial and specifying venue in county of residence; P.A. 77-614 allowed suspension or revocation of license for violation of chapter or related regulations, replaced detailed provisions re hearing procedure with reference to hearing procedure in regulations adopted by health services commissioner and deleted provisions concerning venue and precedence in order of trial for appeals, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-280 restored venue and precedence in order of trial provisions; P.A. 80-484 expanded disciplinary actions to include those in Sec. 19-4s, revised grounds to include fraud or deceit "in the course of any professional activity" and acting "incompetently", added grounds re physical or mental illness, emotional disorder etc. and drug or alcohol abuse etc., added provisions re mental or physical examination and re petitions to court for enforcement of orders or actions and deleted provision re procedure for reinstatement of license following three-year revocation; P.A. 88-230 replaced "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" with "judicial district of Hartford", effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-47 made no substantive change (Revisor's note: The word "or" was added editorially after "hereunder" in the phrase "... or any regulation adopted hereunder or to have acted negligently, ...").

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Sec. 20-193. False representation. Penalties. Any person not licensed as provided in this chapter who, except as provided in section 20-195, represents himself as a psychologist or, having had his license suspended or revoked continues to represent himself as a psychologist, or carries on the practice of psychology as defined in sections 20-187a and 20-188, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both, and each instance of patient contact or consultation which is in violation of this section shall be deemed a separate offense. Failure to renew a license in a timely manner shall not constitute a violation for the purposes of this section. Any such person shall be enjoined from such practice by the Superior Court upon application by the board. The Department of Public Health may, on its own initiative or at the request of the board, investigate any alleged violation of the provisions of this chapter or any regulations adopted hereunder.
(1949 Rev., S. 4638; 1957, P.A. 269, S. 1, 8; 624, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 10; P.A. 77-614, S. 430, 610; P.A. 84-526, S. 13; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
History: 1969 act substituted "licensed" and "license" for "certified" and "certificate", made provisions applicable on or after January 1, 1970, forbade carrying on the practice of psychology rather than rendering "service for remuneration ... under any title or description of services incorporating the words `psychologist', `psychological' or `psychology'" and added provision re enjoining psychologist from practice by superior court on board's application; P.A. 77-614 transferred investigation power from board to health services department acting on its initiative or at board's request and added reference to violation of regulations, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 84-526 amended section by changing penalty for violation of any provision of chapter to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment of not more than five years, and added provisions that each instance of patient contact or consultation shall constitute a separate offense and failure to renew license in timely manner is not a violation for purposes of section; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995.

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Sec. 20-194. Right to practice medicine not granted. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to grant to licensed psychologists the right to practice medicine as defined in section 20-9.
(1957, P.A. 269, S. 7; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 11.)
History: 1969 act substituted "licensed" for "certified".

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Sec. 20-194a. Hospital or health care facility staff privileges allowed. Any hospital or health care facility may allow a psychologist, licensed pursuant to this chapter, full staff privileges in accordance with the standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations if the criteria that has been set forth by the hospital or health care facility is met.
(P.A. 95-271, S. 36.)

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Sec. 20-195. Exempted activities and employment. (a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the activities and services of a graduate student, intern or resident in psychology, pursuing a course of study in an educational institution registered under the provisions of section 20-189, if such activities constitute a part of a supervised course of study. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any person in the salaried employ of any person, firm, corporation, educational institution or governmental agency when acting within the person's own organization. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the giving of accurate information concerning education and experience by any person in any application for employment. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent physicians, optometrists, chiropractors, members of the clergy, attorneys-at-law or social workers from doing work of a psychological nature consistent with accepted standards in their respective professions.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent any person holding a certificate as school psychologist or school psychological examiner, granted by the State Board of Education, from using such title to describe his activities within an elementary or secondary school. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent any person who holds a standard or professional educator certificate, granted by said board, as school psychologist or school psychological examiner from using such title to describe his activities within the private sector. Such activities within the private sector shall be limited to: (1) Evaluation, diagnosis, or test interpretation limited to assessment of intellectual ability, learning patterns, achievement, motivation, or personality factors directly related to learning problems in an educational setting; (2) short-term professional advisement and interpretive services with children or adults for amelioration or prevention of educationally-related problems; (3) educational or vocational consultation or direct educational services to schools, agencies, organizations or individuals, said consultation being directly related to learning problems; and (4) development of educational programs such as designing more efficient and psychologically sound classroom situations and acting as a catalyst for teacher involvement in adaptations and innovations. Section 10-145b and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education concerning revocation of a standard or professional educator certificate shall apply to a school psychologist or school psychological examiner who uses such title to describe activities within the private sector.
(c) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent any person employed by the state prior to July 1, 1985, with a title in the psychology series of the classified service from using a title in such series to describe his or her duties in the course of his or her employment with the state. The provisions of section 20-187a shall not apply to any person employed in such psychology series prior to July 1, 1985.
(1957, P.A. 269, S. 1, 9; 624, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 597, S. 12; P.A. 81-198; P.A. 85-613, S. 138, 154; P.A. 98-252, S. 36, 80; P.A. 99-102, S. 30.)
History: 1969 act deleted exemption to chapter's provisions previously allowed to nonresident psychologists temporarily employed in state under certain conditions, extended exemption to include persons employed by educational institutions, referred to "elementary or secondary" schools rather than "public" schools, deleted provision protecting firm's or corporation's right to use titles in Sec. 20-193 if certified by nationally recognized board or agency approved by board of examiners and added provision protecting right of physicians, osteopaths, etc. from "doing work of a psychological nature" consistent with accepted standards in their respective professions; P.A. 81-198 placed provisions re use of titles by school psychologists and school psychological examiners in new Subsec. (b) and added provisions re use of titles in connection with activities in the private sector; P.A. 85-613 added Subsec. (c) re employment by state prior to July 1, 1985, of persons in psychology series of classified service and nonapplicability of Sec. 20-187a to such persons; P.A. 98-252 amended Subsec. (b) to add references to professional educator certificates and to make a technical change, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 99-102 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting obsolete reference to osteopaths and making technical changes.

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