BASIC REQUIREMENTS. The basic requirements for employment as a VHA psychologist are prescribed by: Public Law 96-151 codified in Title 38, U.S.C. § 7402. To qualify for appointment, all applicants for the position of psychologist in VHA must meet the following:
a. Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.)
(1) Have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed.
(2) Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that has been accredited by APA. Exceptions: (1) new VHA psychology internship programs that are in the process of applying for APA accreditation are acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement, provided that such programs were sanctioned by the VHA Central Office Program Director for Psychology and the VHA Central Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern and (2) VHA facilities who offered full one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre-1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement.
(c) Licensure. Hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory, Commonwealth of the United States (e.g., Puerto Rico), or the District of Columbia.
Exception. The Secretary may waive the requirement of licensure for an individual psychologist for a period not to exceed 2 years from the date of employment on the condition that such a psychologist provide care only under the supervision of a psychologist who is so licensed. Non-licensed psychologists who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate psychologist under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405 (a) (1) (D). Failure to obtain licensure during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment. This may result in termination of employment.
(f) Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.
(g) English Language Proficiency: Psychologists must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a, this part.
(1) Creditable Experience
(a) Current Professional Psychology Practice. To be creditable, the experience must be post-doctoral degree and must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with current professional psychology practice. Creditable post-doctoral degree experience can be obtained through employment as a psychologist or through participating in a supervised post-doctoral psychology training program. This may be evidenced by one or both of the following:
1. Active professional practice. Active professional practice means paid/non-paid employment as a professional psychologist.
2. A full, current, and unrestricted license.
(b) Quality of Experience. Experience is only creditable if it is post-doctoral degree experience as a professional psychologist directly related to the duties to be performed. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to professional psychology experience at the next lower level.
(c) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
1. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, advanced professional psychological theories and techniques to the full range of patient populations.
2. Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional psychology and behavioral health.
3. Knowledge of clinical research literature.
4. For supervisory assignments
a. Ability to provide supervision in areas related to behavioral health and social services provision in order to accomplish the organizational goals and objectives.
b. Ability to provide fair, principled and decisive leadership for a work environment that promotes shared accountability.
d) Assignments. This is the full performance level for staff psychologists. At this level psychologists are licensed at the doctoral level to practice independently in the provision of psychological services consulting with peers and supervisors as appropriate. They are assigned to any VHA program and setting, including inpatient or outpatient medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, geriatrics, Vet Centers, and the VHA National Center for Organizational Development.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
References: Qualification Requirements Used: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G18. This standard is available for review in the local HR Office. For the full text, see the Handbook on file in Human Resources Management Service. http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/IORs/GS0100/0185.htm.
APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html. All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. *** If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. ***
When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment. You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.