Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many hours of CPE are required?
All screening psychologists must complete the POST Peace Officer Psychological Screening Manual online (book-based) exam and are required to complete a minimum of 12 hours of POST-approved continuing professional education (CPE) every two years, coinciding with their individual license renewal cycle. 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. The hours are prorated at .5 hours per month.
2. Since licensed psychologists are already required to take continuing education courses, why is this 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 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 has 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 POST requirement.
6. How do I submit my information to ensure that I meet POST requirements?
POST’s online CPE Tracking System has a profile page specifically for psychological evaluators. Evaluators must 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 allows the tracking of both evaluator information and CPE courses. It also provides a resource for law enforcement agencies and others 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 Course Submission form. The submitted information will be reviewed to determine if it meets the required quality and content criteria. If approved, the training 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 does an agency have for meeting this requirement?
POST provides a list of psychological evaluators who have submitted verification of CPE in order to meet this requirement. Agencies can 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 Commission Regulation 1955.