(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.
b. Grade Determinations. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:
(a) Experience. None beyond the basic requirements.
(b) Assignment. Staff psychologists at this level 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. They practice under the close supervision of a licensed psychologist.
(a) Experience. In addition to the basic requirements at the GS-11 level, at least 1 year of experience as a professional psychologist equivalent to the next lower grade level. Individuals assigned
as GS-12 psychologists may be in the process of obtaining licensure at the independent practice level. If unlicensed, the individual must be supervised by a licensed psychologist and the experience and
supervision must meet the standards for psychology licensure. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
1. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, a wide range of professional psychological theories and assessment methods to a variety of patient populations.
2. Ability to develop coherent treatment strategies.
3. Ability to incorporate new clinical procedures.
(c) Assignment. At the GS-12 level, unlicensed psychologists practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, but with less need for consultation than at the GS-11 grade level. They may be assigned to any program area.
(a) 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.
(b) Experience. In addition to the experience requirements at the GS-12 level, at least 1 additional year of experience as a psychologist equivalent to the next lower grade level. In addition the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
(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.
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.