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Mandatory Continuing Education: Where Do We Go From Here?

Monday, July 8, 2019  

Mandatory continuing education for psychologists was enacted into state law in 2018, and it is to take effect in 2021. The years in between --- 2019 and 2020 --- have put matters in somewhat of a “holding pattern.” As I have written on previous occasions, it is now the task of the State Education Department to develop the specific regulations, based on the law. The regulations are the “fine print,” in this case the specific details regarding matters such as requirements to become an approved CE sponsor, what activities count toward CE credits, etc. Our lobbyist has advised us that SED will approach the task of drafting regulations in 2020. Thus the current year of 2019 presents as a “holding pattern”, at least from the perspective of SED and the drafting of regulations.

So where does NYSPA fit in, and what role can we play in the drafting of these yet-to-be-written regulations? The answers are straightforward: 1) NYSPA will have input, and 2) Final decisions on regulations reside with SED. The CE Subcommittee, so capably chaired by Dr. Rafael Javier, has been tasked with shaping and drafting NYSPA’s input concerning proposed regulations. I invite any region, any division, or any individual NYSPA member to contact Dr. Javier with suggestions, preferences or concerns regarding regulations. (Dr. Javier’s email:  JavierR@stjohns.edu.) I wish to note that Dr. Javier and the CE Subcommittee did an excellent job in gathering information and then shaping NYSPA’s input into the CE bill, and this was reflected in the final bill that was ultimately passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. I have the utmost confidence that the CE Subcommittee will undertake the current task with the same conscientious, thorough approach. As the CE Subcommittee moves forward, I anticipate they will be making regular reports to the Legislative Committee, which in turn will share these reports with Council. The final step for NYSPA in the regulatory process is presenting and sharing NYSPA’s input with SED. This task primarily resides with our lobbyist (Jackson Lewis) and NYSPA’s Director of Professional Affairs (Dr. Jerry Grodin). NYSPA is fortunate that both our lobbyist and our DPA are capable, knowledgeable, well connected and highly respected as they advocate for NYSPA within the corridors of Albany.

Thank you for your interest in NYSPA and the legislative process. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at john.northman@gmail.com.

John Northman, PhD, ABPP
Chair, NYSPA Legislative Committee