Changes to I/O Licensing in CaliforniaPosted: February 2, 2006 | Author: Jamie Madigan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
The other day I got an e-mail from Leaetta Hough, the current President of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP). It was, in fact, an e-mail sent to all SIOP members addressing some changes to the California licensure requirements for I/O Psychologists. Also included was a copy of the letter Dr. Hough had sent to Jacqueline Horn, President of the California Board of Psychology. Essentially, Dr. Hough was raising complaints about changes to the licensure requirements that were unfair to I/O psychologists.
Here, here’s a few chunks from the letter:
Our review of California’s new written test for licensure indicates that it focuses narrowly on clinical skills, and thereby raises barriers that adversely impact I/O psychologists and other non-Health Service Provider candidates. We are concerned that the new California exam will fail to assess adequately I/O candidates’ education and training in specialties relevant to their practice, yet require them and other non-health service providers (non-HSPs) to demonstrate competence in areas outside of their training, expertise, and intended area of practice. This will impose an unfair burden on them in their efforts to obtain licensure and does not ensure the competent practice of psychology in non-clinical areas.
In the past, the California Board of Psychology has recognized that the practice of psychology includes others in addition to clinicians. It has provided alternate supervision structures by having a separate, specialty-relevant oral exam (when that was required), and, following licensure, by exempting non-HSPs from specific CE courses that are not relevant to their area of practice. The recent actions of the Board with regard to the restructuring of the licensing examination depart from that tradition and have created a licensing procedure that unfairly discriminates against non-HSPs. In its current form the examination process raises serious professional, ethical, and legal concerns.
Now, I won’t claim to completely understand the dilemmas relevant to this. This is mainly because it’s a non-issue for me –I can do all the work I want to do without going through some arduous licensing process that’s practically impossible for non-clinicians anyway. I just can’t call myself “Jamie Madigan, Super Psychologist” and be legal/ethical about it.
Sure, by the letter of the law I (and everyone else practicing I/O psychology outside of one or two states) should be licensed even for the work we do engage in, but that law seems to be treated like jaywalking or speeding. Everybody breaks it but it’s not a big deal until somebody gets hurt, which isn’t often. And it’s not like our work involves making recommendations that will cause physical or mental damage to our clients. So why do we need to be licensed any more than other people involved in academics or business?
So in effect, what Hough is complaining about is a bad situation getting slightly worse. Or, if you prefer, replace “bad” and “worse” with “irrelevant” and “more irrelevant.” I’d get much more value out of becoming “Professional in HR Certified” from an organization like SHRM than I would getting licensed as a psychologist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad she and the rest of the SIOP Executive Committee are playing the watchdog here lest things get progressively worse. And I agree that I/O psychology is substantively different from clinical psychology and that the licensure requirements should reflect these differences. But I just can’t get that fired up about it because it just doesn’t seem to matter.
But like I said, I don’t pretend to possess a full knowledge of the issues at stake. Perhaps someone with a more complete and/or bigger picture can chime in. The SIOP website also has a pretty nice resource on licensure, too.