PSYPACT is the Psychology Interjuristictional Compact. It involves the formal approval of a “model act” developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) to allow approved psychologists from a PSYPACT state to legally practice telepsychology over state lines and to provide temporary in-person services in another PSYPACT state – without having to be licensed in the second state.
States seeking to join the PSYPACT must formally accept the ASPPB model act into state law. According to ASPPB President Dr. Gerald O’Brien, “PSYPACT will promote further cooperation and standardization of requirements among psychology licensing boards, and consequently will improve access to psychological services while serving to protect consumers.” PSYPACT requires participation by 8 states in order to be operational, and the 8th state recently passed legislation. Illinois also has passed legislation to participate, but the legislation does not go int effect until 2020. 5 other states have pending PSYPACT legislation. The psychology boards of 4 states, including Wisconsin, have endorsed PSYPACT.
There are several potential benefits of PSYPACT:
- It certifies that psychologists who meet the PSYPACT certification criteria (see below) have met acceptable standards of practice for telehealth and interjuristictional practice.
- It increases patient/client access to care, including increasing access to under-served populations.
- It enables continuity of care when patients/clients move, travel for business or pleasure, or are otherwise located in another state.
- Facilitates cooperative between PSYPACT states in the areas of licensure and regulation.
- Standardizes time allowances for temporary practice of psychology for in-person services in another state, when the patient is located in the other state but the psychologist is not licensed in that state.
- Finally, and probably most importantly it increases consumer protections for services provided across state lines.
Now that the 8th state has endorsed PSYPACT, the organization must formalize criteria for two certificates:
- PSYPACT E.Passport Certificate, for telepsychology services across state lines
- PSYPACT Interjuristictional Practice Certificate, for providing temporary in-person services in a second state without having to obtain a license in that state.
As is always the case, the devil will be in the details. Currently, the provisional criteria require, for both certificates, that the psychologist have a doctoral degree with training in “substantive areas” (I could not locate specific info about this). Also, the psychologist must have a history of no discipline by their licensing board.
For more info – lots of info- see the ASPPB PSYPACT website.
The MN Board of Psychology is evaluating whether to endorse PSYPACT. This would be an important step that would have potentially significant benefits for psychologists providing telehealth services. .Dr. Alex Siegel, from ASPPB, will present to the Board on PSYPACT on May 17th at 9:30am. Psychologists who support PSYPACT will be able to attend this meeting, and hopefully will be able express their support. Attending will at least show interest in PSYPACT.