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:
Education: (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 and (2) Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that has been accredited by APA.
Qualifying Education: 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. ***
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.
(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) Part-time Experience: Part-time experience is creditable according to its relationship to a full-time workweek. For example, a psychologist employed 20 hours per week, or on a ½ time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.
(2) Post-Doctoral Degree Fellowships: Post-doctoral degree fellowships are training programs in an advanced area of clinical practice. Training as a fellow may substitute for creditable experience on a year-for-year basis.
Physical Standards: See VA Handbook 5005, Part III, Chapter 2, paragraph 7, and VA Handbook 5019, Occupational Health Services. All applicants must be physically and mentally able to perform efficiently the duties of the position.
Applicants for this position must pass a pre-employment medical examination.
English Language Proficiency: Appointed to direct patient care positions must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d). [No person will be appointed under authority of 38 U.S.C. Chapter 73 or 74, to serve in a direct patient-care capacity who is not proficient in written and spoken English].
Drug Testing Designated Positions: In accordance with Executive Order 12564, Federal employees hired in a drug testing designated position will be subject to random testing for illegal drug use during employment.
Background Investigation: New Appointees will be subject to a background investigation to determine suitability.
VetPro: Individuals selected for positions that have patient care responsibilities are subject to undergoing an electronic credentialing process called VetPro. As part of this process, it will be necessary for you to submit complete information concerning your professional education, training, experience, licensure and certifications using VetPro. The candidate selected will be provided with further information on how to use VetPro.
Selective Service Registration: Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify at the time of appointment that they have registered with the Selective Service system or are exempt for having to do so under Selective Service law.
For a complete listing of the basic requirements, please refer to reference: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix F3, Psychology Series and U.S. Office of Personnel Management Psychology Qualitication Standard.
Veterans Preference: When applying for Federal jobs, eligible veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of DD-214(s) showing all dates of service as well as character of service (honorable, general, etc.).
Veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more must also submit a SF15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference with the required VA letter dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying a service-connected disability of 10% or more or receipt of compensation for service-connected disability.
Veterans with service-connected disability of less than 10%, non service-connected disability, and Purple Heart recipients, as-well-as those claiming derived preference for a spouse, widow or widower, or natural mother, should refer to and submit a completed SF15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference," and required documentation with your application materials.
Note: Your DD-214 must be legible and must show character of service and all dates of service; more than one DD-214 may be needed to show all dates of service. Copies of your DD-214 may be requested by calling 800-827-1000 or TDD# 800-829-4833 or online at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/.
For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetsinfo.asp or http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.
We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications on the information provided in the Occupational Questionnaire which evaluates your relevant personal, educational, and work experiences.
NOTE: Performance Based Interviewing (PBI) will be used whenever interviews are conducted during the selection process. To find out more about PBI, visit www.va.gov/pbi
After the vacancy announcement closes, reviewed applications are evaluated against the questionnaire responses and placed in the appropriate quality group. Qualified veterans will be afforded preference by being placed at the top of the appropriate quality group. Qualifying Veterans with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be placed at the top of the best qualified group. The best qualified group is the first to be referred to the hiring facility for further consideration and possible interview. The remaining groups may be referred based on the number of applicants available.