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FAQs Related to COVID-19

April 27, 2022

This is an interim guidance on inquiries received by the Board relating to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Board will update this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

Continuing Education

My renewal is due between October 1, 2021 and October 31, 2021, and I have not met the Continuing Education requirement. What should I do?

The Board of Psychology would like to ensure its licensees are aware of their options regarding continuing education. Currently the Board requires 25% (9 hours) of the 36 hours of continuing education requirement for renewal, to be live or live-interactive. Live-interactive courses are completed via webinars.

If you have a license that expires between October 1, 2021 and October 31, 2021, you will have until March 28, 2022, to complete all renewal related continuing education requirements (36 hours with 9 live or live interactive). This additional time is provided as part of DCA Waiver DCA-21-194 Order Waiving License Renewal Requirements, which allows for six months from the issuance date of the Waiver to complete the Continuing Education requirement. For more information on the DCA continuing education waiver, go to https://www.dca.ca.gov/licensees/dca_21_194.pdf

Supervision

Can the required face-to-face, direct, individual supervision with the primary supervisor be conducted via HIPAA-compliant video? California Code of Regulations (CCR) Sections 1387 and 1391.5)

Yes, by the authority granted in the Governor’s Declared Emergency (from March, 4, 2020), the Board has provided a grace period to allow the required one hour face-to-face, direct, individual supervision to be conducted via HIPAA-compliant video. This grace period has been extended through September 30, 2022, or until declared emergency is lifted, whichever occurs first.

Mode of Psychological Services Delivery

Can trainees provide psychological services and accrue supervised professional experience (SPE) via telehealth?

Yes, trainees can provide psychological services via telehealth as long as they are properly supervised in doing so and the supervisor is adequately trained and experienced in providing services via telehealth. SPE can be accrued if they meet the requirements set forth in title 16 CCR section 1387.

Crisis

Does the primary supervisor need to be physically present at the work site if it is closed due to COVID-19?

Pursuant to title 16 CCR section 1387(b)(6): “ The primary supervisor shall be employed by the same work setting as the trainee and be available to the trainee 100% of the time the trainee is accruing SPE. This availability may be in-person, by telephone, by pager or by other appropriate technology.” Additionally, pursuant to title 16 CCR section 1387(b)(7): “Primary supervisors shall ensure that a plan is in place to protect the patient/client in the event a patient/client crisis or emergency occurs during any time the supervisor is not physically present at the established site at which the trainee is working. The primary supervisor shall ensure that the trainee thoroughly understands the plan in the event of a crisis/emergency.”

Continuity of Care for your Clients

What if I am in an impacted area and I cannot see clients?

The American Psychological Association has published guidance on how to prepare their practice for continuity of care including telepsychology guidance. For more information, go to COVID-19 and Psychology Services.

Please stay informed by visiting the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and CDPH website. Both websites are updated daily with the latest information and advice for the public.

What is the best way for licensees to comply with Business and Professions Code, section 2936-Consumers and Professional Education In Matters Relevant To Ethical Practice; Standards of Ethical Practice; Notice, when providing telehealth services?

The Board encourages that all licensees comply with laws as best they can while providing telehealth services. It is good practice to post the Notice to California Consumers and information regarding telehealth services in the most accessible form, such as through email or an attached link on the written assessment report.