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 http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/IORs/GS0100/0180.htm ( or you may use the following generic citation) VA Handbook 5005 at http://www.va.gov/ohrm/joblistings/VAQualStds.doc (also available in the local Human Resources Office) and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/IORs/GS0100/0180.htm.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
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: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html. 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 http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetsinfo.asp.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
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.