21 NCAC 54 .2104             CONTINUING EDUCATION

(a)  The purpose of continuing education is to provide for the continuing professional education of all psychologists licensed by the North Carolina Psychology Board consistent with the purpose of the Board which is to protect the public from the practice of psychology by unqualified persons and from unprofessional conduct by persons licensed to practice psychology.

(b)  Compliance with this Rule shall be a condition for license renewal.  A license shall be suspended automatically by operation of law in accordance with G.S. 90-270.15(f) if a licensee fails to meet continuing education requirements specified in this Rule.  This Rule shall apply to all individuals licensed by the North Carolina Psychology Board who choose to renew their licenses in North Carolina.  Licensees who would otherwise be exempt from licensure, e.g., not practicing psychology in North Carolina, may relinquish their licenses if they do not wish to comply with the requirements specified in this Rule.

(c)  A continuing education hour is defined as one hour of instructional or contact time.

(d)  Category A requirements shall be met through attendance at formally organized courses, seminars, workshops, symposiums, and postdoctoral institutes; or through completion of on-line or correspondence courses.  Programs shall relate to topics listed in Paragraph (g) of this Rule; be identified as offering continuing education for psychologists; and be sponsored or co-sponsored by the North Carolina Psychology Board, by the American Psychological Association, by American Psychological Association approved sponsors, or by North Carolina Area Health Education Centers.  Contact hours shall be specified by the sponsor.

(e)  Category B requirements shall be met through attendance at colloquia, presentations of invited speakers, grand rounds, and in-house seminars; attendance at programs offered at meetings of professional or scientific organizations which are not approved for Category A credit; participation in formally organized study groups or journal clubs; and self study (e.g., reading articles or books for professional growth or in preparation for publishing, teaching, or making a presentation).  One continuing education hour shall be credited for each hour of participation in Category B activities.

(f)  A licensee shall complete a minimum of 18 continuing education hours in each biennial renewal period which begins on the first day of October in each even numbered year.  Continuing education hours shall not carry over from one renewal period to the next.  At least nine continuing education hours shall be in Category A activities which shall include a minimum of three continuing education hours in the area of ethical and legal issues in the professional practice of psychology.

(g)  Topics for Category A and Category B requirements shall fall within the following areas:

(1)           ethical and legal issues in the professional practice of psychology, and

(2)           the maintenance and upgrading of professional skills and competencies within the psychologist's scope of practice.  This includes, but is not limited to, training in empirically supported treatments, the application of research to practice, and training in best practice standards and guidelines.

(h)  Continuing education hours shall not be allowed for the following activities:

(1)           business meetings or presentations, professional committee meetings, and meetings or presentations concerned with the management of a professional practice;

(2)           membership, office in, or participation on boards and committees of professional organizations;

(3)           research;

(4)           teaching, presentations, and publication, except as allowed as self study in preparation for these activities as provided under Paragraph (e) of this Rule; and

(5)           personal psychotherapy or personal growth experience.

(i)  An individual licensed on or before October 1, 2002, shall attest on the license renewal application for the 2004-2006 biennial renewal period, and on each subsequent biennial renewal application, to having met the mandatory continuing education requirements specified in this Rule during the two years preceding the October 1st renewal date.  An individual licensed after October 1, 2002, shall attest on the second license renewal application following licensure, and on each subsequent biennial renewal application, to having met the mandatory continuing education requirements specified in this Rule during the two years preceding the October 1st renewal date.

(j)  An applicant for reinstatement of licensure shall document that he or she has completed a minimum of 18 continuing education hours as specified in this Rule within the two years preceding the date of application for reinstatement of licensure and shall attest on each subsequent biennial renewal application to having met the mandatory continuing education requirements specified in this Rule.

(k)  For Category A, a licensee shall maintain certificates from Category A programs and written documentation of the following for a minimum of seven years:

(1)           date of program;

(2)           number of contact hours;

(3)           name of sponsor of program;

(4)           title of program; and

(5)           location of program.

(l)  For Category B, a licensee shall maintain applicable written documentation of the following for Category B activities consistent with this Rule for a minimum of seven years:

(1)           date of program or activity;

(2)           number of instructional or contact hours as defined in Paragraphs (d) and (e) of this Rule;

(3)           description of activity;

(4)           name of presenter, facilitator, or leader;

(5)           name of sponsor;

(6)           location;

(7)           full citation of article; and

(8)           summary of content.

The nature of the Category B activity determines the applicable documentation.  For example, name of presenter, facilitator, or leader; name of sponsor; and location are not required when a licensee documents reading a journal article.

(m)  A licensee shall provide certificates, documentation, and a signed attestation form designed by the Board within 30 days after receiving written notification from the Board that proof of completion of continuing education hours is required.  The Board may randomly verify the documentation of required continuing education hours for a percentage of licensees and may do so during the investigation of any complaints.  A licensee shall not submit documentation of continuing education obtained unless directed to do so by the Board.  The Board shall not serve as a depository for continuing education materials prior to its directing that documentation must be submitted.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 90-270.9; 90-270.14(a)(2);

Eff. August 1, 2002;

Amended Eff. July 1, 2003.