Veterans Health Administration - Department of Veterans Affairs
Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) at the time the program was completed. The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, the term “specialty area” refers to the specific specialty areas recognized by the accrediting body and not to specific job duties that might require special skills. Currently, APA accredits doctoral programs in the specialty areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or combinations of two or more of those areas. PCSAS accredits doctoral programs in psychological clinical science. CPA accredits doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and school psychology. There are no job assignments in VHA that require the skills of a school psychologist; therefore, an applicant with a degree in the specialty area of school psychology is not eligible for appointment. Strictly for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment as a psychologist in VHA, there is no distinction between the specialty areas (with the exception of school psychology). OR (2) Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a respecialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the respecialization program) meeting both of the following conditions: (a)The re-specialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and (b) the specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. NOTE: The applicant must provide an official transcript and/or certificate documenting the completion of the re-specialization program, which includes completion of an APA or CPA internship. [Psychologists who have successfully completed a re-specialization program as described above and who were employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs prior to the implementation of this standard are considered to have fully met the educational requirements of these qualification standards.] [OR (3) Have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature.] AND (4) Internships (a) Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that was accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. OR (b) 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 Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern; OR (c) VHA facilities that offered full-time, one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre-1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement; OR (d) Applicants who completed an internship that was not accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed may be considered eligible for hire only if they are currently board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. (NOTE: Once board certified, the employee is required to maintain board certification.) [OR (e) Applicants who have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature may fulfill this internship requirement by having the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience in a site specifically acceptable to the candidate’s doctoral program. If the internship experience is not noted on the applicant’s official transcript, the applicant must provide a statement from the doctoral program verifying that the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience was completed in a site acceptable to the doctoral program. NOTE: Psychologists who meet the requirements of this revision and who were employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs prior to the implementation of this standard are considered to have fully met the requirements of this qualification standard.] May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). [NOTE: If psychologists who are grandfathered under this provision leave the occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation.] Grade Determinations: At the GS-12: Experience: At least one year of experience as a professional psychologist equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-11). Psychologists who are not licensed must practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist but with less intense supervision than at the GS-11 grade level At the GS-13: Experience. At least two years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one year equivalent to the GS-12 grade level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments 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. References: VA Handbook 5005, Appendix, G18 Physical Requirements: The work is primarily performed while sitting though some work may required periods of standing. Must pass pre-employment examination.(See VA Directive and Handbook 5019)
The Pain Psychologist is a member of the Psychology Service and functions as the primary mental health provider within the interdisciplinary Pain Management Team. The Pain Psychologist provides psychological assessment, intervention, and professional consultation services.