The Board of Psychologist Examiners regulates the psychology profession. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§32-2061 through 32-2091.15.
Created in 1965, the Board of Psychologist Examiners regulates the psychology profession, licenses psychologists and behavior analysts, investigates complaints of unprofessional conduct, disciplines violators and provides consumer information to the public. The goals of the Board are to establish and maintain high standards of qualification and performance for persons who are certified as psychologists and to regulate the practice of psychologists for the protection of the public.
The Board consists of ten members appointed by the Governor to serve five year terms. Seven members must be licensed by the Board and three must be public members not eligible for licensure.
Laws 1965, Chapter 102 created the State Board of Psychologist Examiners, outlined its powers and duties, provided for certification of psychologists, and prescribed regulations and penalties. Certification was based on character, United States citizenship, education and credentials. The measure created the Board of Psychologist Examiners Fund and required ten percent of the monies collected by the Board to be deposited into the state General Fund and ninety percent to be deposited to the Fund for use by the Board to cover administrative expenses.
Laws 1978, Chapter 99 added two public members to the Board, increasing the number of members from five to seven; expanded the authority of the Board; authorized the Board to request an injunction from superior court; modified qualifications for certification; and increased fees to a maximum of $150.
Laws 1980, Chapter 102 made a number of changes relating to Board qualifications, powers and duties, and enforcement. The measure continued the Board for eight years; provided for biennial renewal of certificates; authorized the Board to conduct investigations; classified criminal offenses; provided for cease and desist orders; increased fees; and clarified that examinations determine the adequacy of education, training and experience of applicants for licensure.
Laws 1988, Chapter 273 provided an exception to restrictions related to privileged communication between a psychologist and client with regard to a family member or a guardian.
Laws 1990, Chapter 259 increased fees, modified options regarding disciplinary actions taken by the Board, and addressed penalties and judicial review.
Laws 1991, Chapter 119 repealed and rewrote statutory provisions regarding regulation of psychologists and required licensure, rather than certification. The purpose clause stated: “It is the purpose of this act to continue and improve the regulation of psychologists by providing for the licensure of psychologists in order to more adequately protect the public from unqualified and incompetent practitioners.” The measure provided for a nine-member Board, outlined Board duties and responsibilities, specified licensing requirements; established grounds for disciplinary actions and civil penalties; provided for appeals and injunctions, and addressed confidential communication. The measure also grandfathered psychologists who were certified as of the effective date of the act.
Laws 1992, Chapter 120 expanded the definition of “unprofessional conduct” and outlined basic requirements for granting a license.
Laws 1998, Chapter 57 established fees for delinquent compliance with continuing education requirements and for state and national examinations.
Laws 1999, Chapter 156 increased fees for certain licenses and established fees for specific administrative services.
Laws 2000, Chapter 55 modified Board membership, increasing the number of public members from two to three and decreasing the number of licensed psychologists from seven to six. The total number of members was not changed, remaining at nine. The measure also required the Board to recognize licenses issued by other states and Canada, if certain conditions were met.
Laws 2002, Chapter 32 modified educational requirements regarding specialization, modified licensure requirements relating to reciprocity and provided exemptions from the national examination.
Laws 2004, Chapter 155 required the Board to appoint a three-member Complaint Screening Committee, authorized to either dismiss a complaint or refer it to the Board for further review and action. Complaints dismissed by the Committee are not subject to public disclosure.
Laws 2006, Chapter 29 was an omnibus measure that required the Board to adopt a code of ethics, eliminated the fee for the national written examination, modified provisions related to education and training, and restructured certain examination requirements.
Laws 2007, Chapter 65 allowed the Board to issue a nondisciplinary order requiring a licensee to complete continuing education courses. This applied in cases where an investigation of an allegation was not serious enough to trigger a disciplinary action.
Laws 2008, Chapter 288 established Board oversight of behavior analysts and licensing requirements for the profession. The measure outlined educational requirements, fees, and disciplinary actions. The measure also required the Board to maintain separate accounts for monies received for psychologist licensing and for monies received for behavior analyst licensing. Legislation enacted the following year provided additional requirements for behavior analysts and included a conditional delayed repeal clause, related to repayment of start-up costs to the Board. Note: the condition was met on June 28, 2010. See Laws 2009, Chapter 161.
An omnibus measure relating to the Board was also enacted in 2009, which modified statutes pertaining to supervised work experience, grounds for disciplinary action and substance abuse rehabilitation. See Laws 2009, Chapter 160.
Laws 2015, Chapter 168 established a process for the Board to review complaints against a psychologist who provides court-ordered evaluations. Statute previously prohibited this type of action unless the court referred the complaint to the Board.
Laws 2016, Chapter 298 enacted the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact which authorized state psychology regulatory authorities in compact states to recognize psychologists who are licensed in other states. The compact outlines regulatory jurisdiction for telepsychology, which provides psychological services using telecommunication technologies by psychologists across state boundaries in the performance of psychological practice. It also regulates temporary, in-person, face to face practice of psychology by psychologists across state boundaries. The compact outlines licensure requirements, scope of practice, rulemaking, oversight and enforcement. The measure also established the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Commission, outlined its responsibilities, and required the Board to post information on its website describing Commission actions. The compact does not go into effect until at least seven states join the compact and enact the model legislation. Note: According to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, as of 2019, nine states have enacted the model legislation, it has been adopted pending an effective date in two states, and legislation is pending in other states. https://www.asppb.net/mpage/legislative(link is external)
Laws 2017, Chapter 273 increased the number of members on the Board to ten, adding a seventh licensed member. The measure established the Committee on Behavior Analysts, consisting of five members, to provide recommendations to the Board on all matters relating to licensing and regulation of behavior analysts and to recommend regulatory changes to the Board. The measure also eliminated the three-member Complaint Screening Committee, which had been created in 2004.
Laws 2019, Chapter 195 allowed the Board to authorize its executive director to issue licenses, certifications, registrations, preceptorships, reinstatements and waivers to eligible applicants who meet the requirements identified in the statute. The measure also addresses temporary licenses. Section 32-3124.I states: “This section applies to a health profession regulatory board to the extent that this section does not conflict with the board’s current statutory authority relating to temporary licensure.” https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/54Leg/1R/laws/0195.pdf The Board may adopt rules to carry out the new provisions.
A second enactment in 2019 requires the Board to regulate the unauthorized practice of the profession by investigating complaints and referring verified complaints to the county attorney or attorney general for prosecution. See Laws 2019, Chapter 227.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§32-2061 through 32-2091.15
- Arizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.) §§R4-26-101 et seq.
- Session Laws:
- Laws 1965, Chapter 102
- Laws 1978, Chapter 99
- Laws 1980, Chapter 102
- Laws 1988, Chapter 273
- Laws 1990, Chapter 259
- Laws 1991, Chapter 119
- Laws 1992, Chapter 120
- Laws 1998, Chapter 57
- Laws 1999, Chapter 156
- Laws 2000, Chapter 55
- Laws 2002, Chapter 32
- Laws 2004, Chapter 155
- Laws 2006, Chapter 29
- Laws 2007, Chapter 65
- Laws 2008, Chapter 228
- Laws 2009, Chapter 160 and Chapter 161
- Laws 2015, Chapter 168
- Laws 2016, Chapter 298
- Laws 2017, Chapter 273
- Laws 2019, Chapter 195 and Chapter 227
Board of Psychologist Examiners website
Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact website
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 170 – Board of Psychologist Examiners, 1966-2007