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:
a. 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.
(c) 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.
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:
GS-11: 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.
GS-12: Specialized 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.
GS-13 Specialized Experience:
You must have one year of experience equivalent to the GS-12 level in the Federal service, and 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. An example of 1 year of experience at the GS-12 level would be working as an unlicensed staff psychologist practicing under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, but with less need for consultation than at the GS-11 grade level and may be assigned to any program area.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. WHEN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR TITLE, DUTIES PERFORMED, AND DATES OF EMPLOYMENT (month/year).
References: VA Handbook 5005/15, Part II, Appendix G18, PSYCHOLOGIST QUALIFICATION STANDARD, dated March 17, 2006.
NOTE: Salary to be determined by Professional Standard Board of your peers and based on your education, experience, and professional accomplishments.
DESIGNATED DRUG-TESTING POSITION: Applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA. Applicants will not be appointed to the position if a verified positive drug test result is received.
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: Moderate Lifting (15-44 lbs.); Light Carrying (Under 15lbs.); Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Both hands required; Walking (6-8 hours); Standing (6-8 hours); Both legs required; Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; Near vision correctable at 13 to 16; Far vision correctable at 13" to 16"; Both eyes required; depth perception; Ability to distinguish basic colors; Hearing (aid permitted); Emotional stability.
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.