Laws and Regulations
This is the laws and regulations book that governs the profession of psychology. It also includes ethical guidelines and code of conduct from the American Psychological Association. The electronic version of the book is available at no charge, and can be found below. If you would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, please visit this website.
A statute is a written law approved by the California Legislature and signed by the Governor. To create a new, or change an existing statute, a bill must first be created by a member of the California Legislature. The bill will contain the original language for the statute, or the language that is intended to be modified. These bills are oftentimes sponsored by an outside party, such as The Board of Psychology (Board), a professional association or another stakeholder interested in making the change. Once the bill is created, it must pass through multiple committees and the floor of both the California Senate and Assembly. After both houses agree, the bill is then sent to the Governor’s desk, to be signed into law or vetoed.
A regulation is a rule adopted by the Board which implements, interprets or makes specific the statutes in the Board’s Practice Act. A statute sets forth a general legal requirement, whereas a regulation makes the requirement more specific. For example, a statute can legally allow the Board to charge an application fee, but the regulation will set the amount of the fee. If there is a conflict between a statute and a regulation, the statute prevails.
Regulations are created through the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) through the Rulemaking process rather than the Legislature. Once proposed language has been developed by the Board, the Board must file a Notice of Proposed Changes with OAL and publicly notice the language for a hearing, allowing written comments to be submitted prior to the hearing and oral testimony to be provided at the hearing. Once all public comments are addressed and the language has been adopted by the Board, the Rulemaking File must be approved by multiple entities within the Department of Consumer Affairs, as well as by the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. If there is a fiscal or economic impact, the file must also be submitted to the Department of Finance for approval. Finally, the Rulemaking File is submitted to OAL for review. Once OAL approves the Rulemaking File, the new regulations are filed with the Secretary of State and become effective either January 1st or July 1st, whichever first occurs after the filing with the Secretary of State.