The basic requirement for employment as a VHA MFT are prescribed by statute in 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(1), as amended by section 201 of Public Law 109-461, enacted December 22, 2006. To qualify for appointment as an MFT in VHA, all applicants must:
- U.S. citizenship AND
EDUCATION: Hold a masters degree in marriage and family therapy from a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or have graduated from a nationally accredited program conferring a comparable mental health degree as specified in the qualification standards of those disciplines (Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, and Psychiatry). All additional course work taken to be accepted for MFT licensure must come from a nationally accredited program in one of the above areas. AND
LICENSURE: Persons hired or reassigned to MFT positions in the GS-101 series in VHA must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice marriage and family therapy in a State.
Exception: Non-licensed LPMHCs who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate LPMHC under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405(c)(2)(B). The appointing official may waive the requirement of licensure for a period not to exceed 2 years for a LPMHC that provides care under the supervision of a licensed LPMHC at or above the full performance level. This exception only applies at the entry level (GS-9). For grade levels at or above the full performance level, the candidate must be licensed.
SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE FOR GS-11 LEVEL: In addition to the basic requirements, the GS-11 full performance level requires completion of a minimum of 1 year of post-masters degree experience in the field of health care marriage and family therapy work (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure in a state at the independent practice level. In addition, the candidate must be licensed to practice at the independent practice level and must demonstrate the KSAs below. NOTE: To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with current professional marriage and family therapy practice. The experience must be post-masters degree or above. Experience satisfying this requirement must be active professional practice, which is paid/non-paid employment as a professional MFT, as defined by the appropriate state licensing board. Experience is only creditable if it is obtained following graduation with a masters degree in marriage and family therapy or comparable degree in mental health (Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, and Psychiatry) from an accredited training program and includes work as a professional MFT directly related to the position to be filled. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to marriage and family therapy experience at the next lower grade level. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.
SUBSTITUTING EDUCATION FOR EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-11 LEVEL: A doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or comparable degree in mental health from an accredited training program may be substituted for the required 1 year of professional marriage and family therapy experience in a clinical setting. In addition, the candidate must be licensed to practice at the independent practice level.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
References : Input applicable reference and links. For example: VA Handbook 5005/41, Part II, Appendix G44, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST QUALIFICATION STANDARD , dated September 28, 2010, and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/IORs/GS0100/0185.htm ( or you may use the following generic citation) VA Handbook 5005 at http://www.va.gov/ohrm/joblistings/VAQualStds.doc (also available in the local Human Resources Office) and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at 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.