COVERAGE: The following are requirements for appointment as a psychologist in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Psychologists engage in professional and scientific work which relates to behavior, capacities, traits, interests, and emotions. These requirements apply to all VHA psychologists in the GS-180 series, including those assigned to VA medical centers, Community-based Outpatient Clinical (CBOCs), Vet Centers, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) offices, the VHA National Center for Organizational Development and VHA Central Office. This work may include any one or a combination of the following: providing professional clinical services, conducting research, carrying out education and training activities, clinical consultation, supervision, and administration.
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:
Citizenship: Be a citizen of the United States.
Education: 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 AND have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that has been accredited by APA.
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.
Physical Requirements: The candidate selected may need to successfully complete a pre-employment physical examination prior to appointment.
English Language Proficiency: Psychologists must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a.
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.
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.
Experience: Applicants must have two years of post-doctoral degree experience as a professional psychologist that is directly related to the duties of this position. One year of this experience must be equivalent to the next lower level.
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAs): In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following professional KSAs and demonstrate the potential to acquire the assignment specific KSAs designated by an asterisk (*):
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. Ability to provide supervision in areas related to behavioral health and social services provision in order to accomplish the organizational goals and objectives.
5. Ability to provide fair, principled and decisive leadership for a work environment that promotes shared accountability.
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.
Supervisory Psychologists: At this level supervisory psychologists typically have collateral supervisory duties primarily for non-professional staff, although a small number of professional staff may be supervised as well (i.e., less than three). Supervisory psychologists at this level may be assigned to any program area and may be involved in program evaluation and/or research activities. At this level, supervisory psychologists independently provide psychological services at all levels of complexity and consult with peers and supervisors as appropriate.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Reference: VA Handbook 5005/23, Part II, Appendix G-18: PSYCHOLOGIST QUALIFICATION STANDARD GS-180
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 (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Therefore, applicants must report only 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.