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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Psychologist - Substance Use Disorders
Department:  Department Of Veterans Affairs
Agency:  Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Job Announcement Number:  BH-14-203-SV-1159345

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$57,982.00 to $107,434.00 / Per Year
Thursday, July 3, 2014 to Monday, August 4, 2014
Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Fort Meade, SD View Map
US Citizens and Status Candidates


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1159345

Salary: To be determined by Professional Standard Board of your peers and based on your education, experience, and professional accomplishments.

You could be part of an important initiative to provide mental health care for our nations Veterans!

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be adding approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians – to include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce.    

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs mental health professionals who possess the energy, compassion, and commitment to serve those who serve our Country.  Whatever the job title, every position in VA will give you a chance to make a meaningful and personal contribution to the lives of truly special and deserving people - our Veterans.

Working for VA is one of the most emotionally satisfying and professionally rewarding ways to dedicate the best within you to your country's service.

If you are transitioning from the military or a Veteran already, we invite you to explore the benefits of continuing your career at the VA.   The VA is committed to hiring Veterans.

The VA is much more than just another employer.  It is an honorable, open and welcoming community of those who care.  Gratitude is our motivation and service is our mission.   The VA has adopted Core Values and Characteristics that apply universally across the Department.  The five Core Values define "who we are," our culture, and how we care for Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries.  The Values are Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence ("I CARE").

America's Veterans need you!

To find out more, go to


Note: The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-11 to GS-13. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate. 


You may be eligible to apply for the Education Debt Reduction Program. Please contact Human Resources at this medical center and speak with the Education Debt Reduction Program Coordinator for additional information.


  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel to alternate sites may be required


  • No


  • US citizenship
  • English language proficiency
  • Background/suitability investigation
  • Physical standards - Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Probationary period may be required


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This position is a staff psychologist appointment located within the Mental Health Service of the Black Hills Healthcare System (BHHCS).   The incumbent is assigned to the PTSD Clinical Team (PCT) and is a designated psychological specialist on substance use disorder problems in PTSD patients.

This incumbent will provide group and individual treatments in accordance with the Uniform Mental Health Services Policy and Handbook (VA 1160.01) which specifies evidence-based therapies to be provided to patients with PTSD, as well as substance use disorders.

Thus, the incumbent should have specialized training and competencies in PTSD and Substance Use Disorders including familiarity and skill with evidence based treatments such as Cognitive Processing Therapy or Prolonged Exposure Therapy; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing/Enhancement Therapy.  

Location: Mental Health Service Line, Fort Meade, SD

Work Schedule:Full time, 80 hours per pay period



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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.)

b. 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.


(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.

Exception. For Grades 11 and 12: The Secretary may waive the requirement of licensure for an individual psychologist for a period not to exceed 2 years from the date of employment on the condition that such a psychologist provide care only under the supervision of a psychologist who is so licensed. Non-licensed psychologists who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate psychologist under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405 (a) (1) (D). Failure to obtain licensure during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment. This may result in termination of employment.


(1) Creditable Experience

(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.

Grade Determinations. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:


Experience. None beyond the basic requirements.

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.


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: 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.

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.

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.

References: Applicable reference and links. VA Handbook 5005/15, Part II, Appendix G18, PSYCHOLOGIST QUALIFICATION STANDARD , dated March 17, 2006, and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at ( or you may use the following generic citation) VA Handbook 5005 at (also available in the local Human Resources Office) and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at


NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the United States Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards your qualifications for this position. You can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency. 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 of the psychologist is largely office based and in a sedentary setting.   No manual labor is required above ordinary situations.  Incumbent must be capable of participating in emergency drills and evacuations. Incumbent must be capable of using a computer given that all clinical charting is electronic. Current, valid drivers license is required.

Veteran's 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.). Additionally, veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more must also submit a copy of their official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying their service-connected disability and/or their receipt of compensation for service-connected disability. If the military member is within 120 days of separation and does not yet have a DD214, the member may instead submit any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed.

Veterans with service-connected disability of less than 10%, nonservice-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 SF 15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference," and required documentation with your application materials.

For more information on Veterans' Preference, go to


Complete application packages will be reviewed to determine if the basic qualifications for this position have been met. A listing of candidates who meet the basic qualification requirements will be forwarded to the hiring facility where the credentialing and privileging screening process is completed.


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VA offers a comprehensive benefits package.  This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:


This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

You may be required to serve a probationary period.


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All applicants are encouraged to apply online.

The below link provides a short video on applying for Federal Jobs using USAJobs

To apply for this position, you must complete the View Occupational Questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.
The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Monday, August 04, 2014 to receive consideration.
1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package. 
NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. 
To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.



To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. Occupational Questionnaire 
  2. CV or Resume 
  3. VA Form 10- 2850c - Application For Associated Health Occupations -  Available at **Must be current, signed and dated
  4. For GS 13; Proof of current certification, licensure or registration 
  5. Copy of Internship (APA)
  6. Unofficial transcript(s) - official college transcript(s) will be required before being hired
  7. OF-306 - Declaration for Federal Employment - Available at  **Must be signed and dated.
  8. Veterans should submit appropriate documentation as described previously in this vacancy announcement.
  9. If currently employed by the federal government, include a copy of your latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.


Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:
You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application. If you are unable to apply online or unable to upload your supporting documents to your online application, follow the directions located at the following site:
Fax Options. The Vacancy ID of the job opportunity announcement is 1159345.

NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203-FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.


Stacie A. Vansickle
Phone: (605)720-7090
Agency Information:
VHA Black Hills HCS
113 Comanche Road
Fort Meade, SD


You will receive e-mail notification as to whether or not you were included on the list of referred candidates. If you do not provide an e-mail address, your notification will be sent via U.S. Postal Service within 2-4 weeks. Important note: Applicants have the burden of producing all needed information prior to the closing of the announcement Monday, August 04, 2014.

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