Texas Register Preamble
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council adopts amendments to §463.8, relating to Licensed Psychological Associate. Section 463.8 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the March 31, 2023, issue of the Texas Register (48 TexReg 1700) and will not be republished.
The adopted amendments correct typographical errors in subsections (a)(3), (b)(3), and (c)(3). The adopted amendment to subsection (a)(2) will allow for the supervised experience from an internship, practicum, or the like to count towards licensure if it is obtained under an individual licensed as an LSSP, instead of only under the supervision of a psychologist. Subsection (c)(5) has been amended to allow a provisionally licensed psychologist to count supervision hours obtained towards the independent practice requirements as an LPA. Subsection (d) has been deleted to correspond with the adopted change to §463.11, which deletes the gap requirements for when supervised experience was obtained and when an application was submitted. Subsection (f) extends a grandfathering provision for degrees in psychology that began before August 31, 2019. And subsection (g) creates a way for applicants with deficiencies to petition for permission to remediate certain areas of deficiency.
List of interested groups or associations against the rule.
The Texas Association of School Psychologists
Summary of comments against the rule.
A commenter disagreed with this rule change because the commenter has been licensed as an LPA and LSSP since the 1990s and the commenter believes there should be a grandfathering provision added to the independent practice status supervised experience requirements for those licensees who may no longer have documentation of the supervision they received under a psychologist if it occurred a long time ago.
A commenter disagreed with this rule change because the commenter stated that the training and scope of practice for an LSSP and LPA are dissimilar. LSSPs specialize in knowledge of the school system and IDEA eligibility criteria and not the many diagnoses listed in the DSM. Therefore, LPAs are not competent to practice in a school setting, having an LSSP supervise an LPA would not remedy this type of deficiency in competence, and LSSPs are not trained to supervise LPAs beyond the scope of practice for an LSSP.
List of interested groups or associations for the rule.
Summary of comments for the rule.
A Commenter voiced support for these rule changes. The commenter opined that Texas has a shortage in its mental health workforce and the commenter believes some of these rule changes may help address some of the issues preventing otherwise qualified applicants from obtaining licensure.
The Executive Council declines to amend the rule as requested by the commenters. A grandfathering provision was not considered in the original proposal so adopting the rule with such an amendment would be outside the scope of the original proposal. Documentation of supervised experience is required for all applicants by §882.2 so a waiver of this requirement would not be possible.
The Executive Council acknowledges the differences in the education, training, and scope of practice between LSSPs and LPAs. The amended rule does not expand the scope of practice for LPAs, this rule amendment does not allow for LPAs to conduct the practice of school psychology in a school setting. What this rule amendment does is allow for applicants that have completed at least six hours of structured supervised experience, such as in internship or practicum, under the supervision of a licensed psychologist or an LSSP to be eligible to apply for an LPA. Before an LPA can independently conduct the practice of psychology, the LPA must obtain at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience delivering psychological services under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Therefore, an LPA must have practiced under the supervision of a licensed psychologist for at least two years before an LPA can practice psychology independently, and the Executive Council, along with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, believes this will ensure that future LPAs are competent to provide psychological services to the public.
The Executive Council appreciates the supportive comments.
The rule is adopted under Tex. Occ. Code, Title 3, Subtitle I, Chapter 507, which provides the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council with the authority to make all rules, not inconsistent with the Constitution and Laws of this State, which are reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties and regulations of proceedings before it.
Additionally, the Executive Council adopts this rule pursuant to the authority found in §507.152 of the Tex. Occ. Code which vests the Executive Council with the authority to adopt rules necessary to perform its duties and implement Chapter 507 of the Tex. Occ. Code.
In accordance with §501.1515 of the Tex. Occ. Code the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists previously voted and, by a majority, approved to propose the adoption of this rule to the Executive Council. The rule is specifically authorized by §501.1515 of the Tex. Occ. Code which states the Board shall propose to the Executive Council rules regarding the qualifications necessary to obtain a license; the scope of practice, standards of care, and ethical practice; continuing education requirements for license holders; and a schedule of sanctions for violations of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter.
The Executive Council also adopts this rule in compliance with §507.153 of the Tex. Occ. Code. The Executive Council may not propose and adopt a rule regarding the qualifications necessary to obtain a license; the scope of practice, standards of care, and ethical practice for a profession; continuing education requirements; or a schedule of sanctions unless the rule has been proposed by the applicable board for the profession. In this instance, the underlying board has proposed the rule to the Executive Council. Therefore, the Executive Council has complied with Chapters 501 and 507 of the Texas Occupations Code and may adopt this rule.
Lastly, the Executive Council adopts this rule under the authority found in §2001.004 of the Tex. Gov't Code which requires state agencies to adopt rules of practice stating the nature and requirements of all available formal and informal procedures.
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