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: 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Staff Psychologists diagnose mental disorders, conduct psychological and/or neuropsychological assessments, treat mental disorders through a variety of modalities and provide adjunctive interventions for treatment of medical disorders. Among the modalities provided are individual, family, and group psychotherapies, and other interventions such as biofeedback, psychological hypnosis, and environmental interventions. They consult with medical center staff on a wide variety of patient care issues. Staff psychologists may be involved in program evaluation and/or research activities.
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.
Authority: 38 U.S.C. §§ 7402, 7403
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.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: The work is usually sedentary, but it requires periods of walking, standing, bending, or climbing and employee may carry light items such as books, instruments, lap tops and other similar materials. The candidate selected must successfully complete a pre-employment physical examination prior to appointment.
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 your DD214(s) and/or documentation related to your active duty service which shows dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or dates of impending separation.
Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veterans Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. For more information, please review the information for disabled Veterans in the application checklist or visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.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.