Staff Psychologist

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S.

    Citizen to apply for this job

  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.

    Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.

  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel

Qualifications

Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

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.
  • English Language Proficiency Requirement
    – Per VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, Paragraph 3j: No person will be appointed under authority of 38 U.S.C., chapter 73 or 74, to serve in a direct patient-care capacity in VHA who is not proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Education Requirement
    – You must 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.

    OR, have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully completed a re-specialization 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 you were retrained is consistent with the assignment you are am applying for; OR, have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature.

  • Internship Requirement
    – You must 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, 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, 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, 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).  NOTE: 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 candidates doctoral program.

    If the internship experience is not noted on the applicants 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.

  • Licensure : Candidates must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia.  Exception: Non-licensed applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may be given a temporary appointment as a “graduate psychologist” at the GS-11 or GS-12 grade under the authority of 38 U.S.C.

    7405 (c)(2)(B) for a period not to exceed two years from the date of employment on the condition that such a psychologist provide care only under the supervision of a psychologist who is licensed.

    Failure to obtain licensure during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment.

Grade Requirement GS-11  None beyond basic requirements
Grade Requirement GS-12  In addition to meeting the basic requirements as stated above, you must have the following:

  • 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.

    In addition to this experience requirement, candidates must demonstrate all if the following KSAs:

    1. Knowledge of and ability to apply a wide range of professional psychological treatments or assessment methods to a variety of patient populations.
    2. Ability to design and implement effective treatment strategies.
    3. Ability to incorporate new clinical procedures.
    4. Ability to conduct research activities, such as designing and implementing clinical research projects (staff psychologists with specified research job duties).
    5. Ability to perform basic research tasks of scholarship and research execution within the context of an established research team, including research participant relations, research documentation, data acquisition, maintenance, and collaboration.

Grade Requirement GS-13In addition to meeting the basic requirements as stated above, you must have the following:

  • At least two (2) additional years of experience, with at least one year equivalent to the GS-12 level, as a professional psychologist that was obtained through employment as a psychologist or through participating in a supervised post-doctoral psychology training program that demonstrates 1) active professional practice that was paid/non-paid employment and/or 2) a full, current and unrestricted license.

    To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics associated with current psychology practice:

    1. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments to a 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.

*Experience is only creditable if it is post-doctoral degree experience as a professional psychologist directly related to the duties performed.

Reference : VA Regulations, specifically VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G18 Psychologist Qualification Standard.

This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

Physical Requirements: Work is mostly sedentary, although there is some walking throughout the facility to the wards/clinics, administrative and other areas; but in general, the work does not require unusual physical demands.

Due to the nature of the work and potential problems that can occur with patients, the employee may receive many interruptions during the workday in person, by telephone or written communication and must be able to prioritize work continuously.

The work is generally performed in an office or similar setting where a computer terminal is available.

The office is adequately lighted, ventilated and heated.

The environment requires normal safety precautions against everyday risks or discomforts.