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Florida psychologists are licensed by the Florida Board of Psychology, under the banner of the Division of Medical Quality Assurance.
Licensure is dependent on pursuing doctoral level education, completing a year of post-doctoral supervised practice, and passing a national board examination and a state jurisprudence examination.
Florida requires prospective psychologists to complete doctoral programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The degree may be a PsyD, a PhD, or an EdD in psychology.
A two-hour course in the prevention of medical errors is also required for licensure. The class may be counted toward continuing education requirements.
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Florida requires 4,000 total experience hours. The Board notes that the pre-doctoral internship satisfies the first 2,000 hours. Florida does not mandate that the internship itself be APA-accredited so long as it is approved by the student’s APA-accredited doctoral program.
An additional 2,000 hours of supervised experience is completed at the post-doctoral level. This is done while working under a provisional license. The provisional license is good for two years and is not renewable.
The provisional psychologist must be under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. It is permissible to perform services at a different worksite than the board-approved supervisor if there is a psychologist who works on premise and the work does not constitute independent or private practice.
A psychologist candidate must take a national board examination, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), and a state jurisprudence examination. Both tests are available via computer on an ongoing basis, but Board permission is required. After applicants have been approved for the EPPP, they will apply to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). A $600 fee will be assessed. Candidates will be granted Authorization to Test. They will select a Prometric site at which to take the exam and will do the scheduling themselves.
Prometric will assess an additional small fee. Additional information about the examination process, as well as test content, can be found on the ASPPB site (http://www.asppb.net/).
The state-specific test is the Florida Laws and Rules Examination. Candidates will pay $85 to Florida and $48 to the testing vendor.
The exam is available in cities throughout the state. Candidates can find a study guide, links to rules and regulations, and information about the Prometric testing centers on the site of the Florida Board (http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/Exam/schedule-psy.htm). There is a short form application for candidates who need to retake either the EPPP or the laws and rules exam.
Applications can be downloaded from the Board site. Click here to download the application. The application may be processed more quickly if transcripts and supervision forms are included in the same package; in sealed envelopes. License verification, if required, must come straight from the licensing agency in question. There are two addresses in the application packet. One is for applications that include the required fees; the other is for any supporting documentation that is mailed separately.
A person applying as a psychologist candidate will pay a total of $590 to the Florida Board. This includes the initial licensing fee of $250 as well as a $250 nonrefundable application fee and the fee for the laws and rules examination.
Recent veterans may have most fees waived. Military spouses are eligible for temporary licensure at a reduced rate. (Such candidates do need to show that they meet the qualifications for standard licensure.)
The Florida Board reviews psychologist applications at regularly scheduled meetings. To ensure placement on the agenda, the application package must be received by the Board in its entirety 30 days before a meeting. A list of dates is available on the website (http://floridaspsychology.gov/meeting-information/). The Board notes that fees are processed first, and that applications do not arrive at the office for review until afterward.
The Florida Board typically informs the candidate of any deficiencies within 30 days of receiving the application. Candidates have the option of providing an email address to the Board for licensing communications.
All psychologists who provide services in Florida need Florida licenses unless they fall under an exemption category. Nonresident psychologists who hold licensing in their own state may practice up to five days in a month and fifteen total days in a year pursuant to statute 490.014.
Many psychologists who are licensed in other jurisdictions will be eligible for endorsement (license without examination). A licensee should submit copies of the license regulations that were in effect at the time he or she was licensed. These will be compared to the regulations that were in place in Florida at the time, and if they are on a par or higher, the licensee will be considered to meet Florida’s requirements. If Florida did not have licensing regulations in place at the time the applicant was licensed, current regulations will be used at the basis for comparison.
An exception is made for psychologists with doctoral degrees who have been licensed at least 20 years and have been practicing actively for at least 20 of the preceding 25. Active practice should be demonstrated by vita.
Diplomate status with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) is also accepted as the basis for licensure. The diplomate will note specialty, diploma number, and date on the application. Official verification must come from the ABPP.
Out-of-state psychologists who do not qualify by endorsement will need to apply by examination. Florida will, however, accept EPPP examination scores that were taken under the authority of another jurisdiction. This is referred to as “license by examination with waiver”.
A candidate who has completed educational requirements elsewhere but has not completed supervised practice requirements is referred to as a candidate for bifurcation.
Psychologists who were educated in countries other than the United States or Canada will need to have their credentials evaluated. They will need a letter which compares their education to that of APA-accredited programs.
Psychologists who have practiced in any U.S. jurisdiction for at least ten years and have retired or are about to do so may apply for limited licensure in Florida at a reduced rate of $30. Limited licensure allows retirees to work with indigent or under served populations. A retiring psychologist who will be providing services on a voluntary basis only (no remuneration) will have fees waived, save for $5. The Board requires limited licensees to complete a two-hour course in preventing medical errors.
If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, hold a bachelor's degree, or hold a master's degree check out suggested steps to take along the path to become a Psychologist in Florida.
Candidates may contact license support by telephone at (850) 488-0595 on weekdays between 8:00 and 6:00 Eastern time.
The Florida Psychological Association does not handle licensing matters, but serves as an additional professional resource (http://www.flapsych.com).