Continuing Professional Education (CPE) FAQs
1. How many hours of CPE are required?
Psychologists are required to complete an initial 6 hours of training prior to conducting pre-employment peace officer evaluations. Thereafter, the psychologist must complete 12 hours of CPE every two years based on their license renewal cycle. If the psychologist began screening peace officers during a partial cycle, the hours are prorated at .5 hours per month, which is added to the initial six hour requirement. The CPE Tracking System will automatically calculate the required hours based on the effective date of this requirement (September 1, 2014) and the date the psychologist began conducting peace officer evaluations.
2. Since licensed psychologists are already required to take continuing education courses, why is this new requirement necessary?
Although the California Board of Psychology requires licensed psychologists to take 36 hours of approved continuing education (CE) biennially, there is no further requirement specifying the content or topics that must be covered (besides mandatory hours in ethics). As such, there is no assurance that peace officer screening psychologists devote their CE hours to courses directly relevant to this purpose. The new POST regulation ensures that 12 of these 36 CE hours will involve instruction and education of direct relevance to this specialization.
3. What criteria will POST use to approve courses?
POST-approved CPE is training that has met two specific criteria: course quality and relevance. Course quality is determined by prior approval by the California Board of Psychology (BOP) for continuing education, as well as other bona fide organizations. These BOP pre-approved CE courses will have met the quality requirement for POST approval.
The main focus of POST review will be on the content of instruction. To be POST-approved, CPE courses must address one or more of the competency areas described in Chapter 3 of the POST Peace Officer Psychological Screening Manual (pdf).
4. Who will be making these decisions?
POST has assembled a panel of subject matter experts, consisting of leaders in the field of pre-employment psychological screening. This panel, along with POST staff, will evaluate the proposed courses.
5. Who will have to pick up the costs of these courses; the agency, the psychologist, or POST?
Psychologists normally absorb the cost of CE courses, given that they are required to maintain their license. Therefore, it is assumed that psychologists will continue to pay for the cost of courses required to satisfy the new POST requirement.
6. How do I submit my information to ensure that I meet the POST requirement?
POST’s online CPE Tracking System has a profile page specifically for psychological evaluators. Evaluators will be asked to provide contact information (this can be the same information provided to BOP for licensure), license number, as well as completed course information, including associated documentation. At their discretion, evaluators may also upload a CV or resume. You can access the evaluator profile page.
7. Will evaluator information be made public?
Yes. As with the California Board of Psychology license verification system, the information provided by screening evaluators will be available on the POST Website. However, evaluators will be able to maintain some of their information as private (e.g., phone number, email). Additionally, course completion verification information (e.g., certificates of completion, rosters) will not be available to the public.
Maintaining an online list of psychological evaluators will allow for the tracking of both evaluator information and CPE courses. It also provides a resource for law enforcement agencies seeking the services of psychological evaluators who have chosen peace officer screening as one of their specialties.
8. How are courses submitted for approval?
Providers – as well as others – may submit courses for approval through the online CPE tracking system. The submitted information will be reviewed to determine if it meets the required quality and content criteria. If approved, it will be added to the list of POST-approved courses.
9. How do I find POST-approved training?
POST-approved CPE courses are listed on the POST Website.
10. What responsibility will an agency have for meeting this requirement?
POST will have an online list of psychologists who submitted verification of CPE in order to meet this requirement. Agencies will be able to access this list to ensure that their psychologists are in compliance. However, an agency’s responsibility will be the same as that for ensuring that their psychologists meet current requirements of Government Code 1031(f) and POST Regulation 1955.