PA 17-128—HB 7169

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PSYCHOLOGY TECHNICIANS

SUMMARY: This act makes various changes to the law that allows psychology technicians with specified qualifications to provide psychological testing services under a psychologist's supervision. The act:

1. establishes certain requirements for the supervising psychologist, such as verifying the technician's credentials and remaining on-site while the technician is providing services;

2. specifically adds psychometrics to the qualifying fields for a technician's college degree;

3. modifies exemptions from this law, such as exempting psychology doctoral students under certain conditions; and

4. makes minor and technical changes, including clarifying that the scope of a technician's allowable activities include obtaining and documenting a patient's test responses according to predetermined and manualized administrative procedures ( 1(b)).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

PSYCHOLOGY TECHNICIANS

Supervising Psychologist

Existing law allows psychology technicians to provide objective psychological or neuropsychological testing services under the supervision and direction of a psychologist. The act requires the supervising psychologist to remain in the facility where the technician is providing such services and be available to the technician during that time. It allows a psychologist to supervise a maximum of three technicians providing services at the same time.

The act also requires supervising psychologists to:

1. verify that technicians meet the qualifications under existing law and the act before agreeing to supervise them;

2. maintain documentation of this verification, including the dates when the technicians completed the required educational and supervised work experience requirements; and

3. make this documentation available to the Department of Public Health upon request.

Degree Requirement

Existing law requires a psychology technician to have a bachelor's or graduate degree in psychology or another mental health field. The act specifies that a degree in psychometrics (the science of measuring mental capacities and thought processes, such as through testing) satisfies this requirement.

By law, unchanged by the act, a psychology technician also must complete at least 80 hours of specified training conducted by a licensed psychologist.

Exemptions

Under prior law, individuals enrolled in a psychology technician educational program acceptable to the American Psychological Association were exempt from the psychology technician law if their activities and services were incidental to the course of study. The act eliminates this exemption.

Instead, it exempts individuals enrolled in a psychology doctorate program approved by the state Board of Examiners of Psychologists if providing psychological testing under a psychologist's supervision and the activities are incidental to the degree program.

The act also exempts school psychologists and school psychological examiners certified as such by the State Board of Education. Existing law prohibits psychology technicians from administering tests in educational institutions.