Basic Similarities and Differences in Licensing Laws

by Legal and Regulatory Affairs Staff

April 26, 2005 — Licensing laws are similar to one another in certain respects. For example, the vast majority require a doctoral degree for independent practice. And nearly all states in the U.S. and Canadian provinces require applicants to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which is administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

Despite some similarity among licensing laws, there are significant differences that underscore the need to know particular licensing law requirements:

  • Though it is becoming more the norm to require licensees to hold a degree from an APA-accredited program, the definitions of “approved training programs” differ from one jurisdiction to another. A prospective practitioner needs to find out what the applicable state licensing board considers acceptable.

  • Appropriate supervised experience generally is required, though there is variability in the extent to which the supervised experience must be postdoctoral.

  • Beyond the EPPP, applicants for licensure need to explore what additional examinations if any, such as a state’s own licensure exam and/or a “jurisprudence exam” that demonstrates knowledge of applicable laws, are required.