How To Guide: Psychologist Credentialing

Written by Researchbite | Updated on: February 17, 2023

How To Guide: Psychologist Credentialing

Psychologist Credentialing has several moving components and includes numerous stakeholders. All healthcare professionals, including your  Psychologist, must demonstrate that they have the education, training, and expertise necessary to provide patients with the best treatment possible.


Healthcare oversight groups monitor doctors' and nurses' work to assess complaints of poor treatment, among other things. Both healthcare institutions that employ providers and health insurance companies who want to publish authorized provider listings must continuously review all this reporting and monitoring. Undoubtedly, a lot of effort is involved in the certification process for psychologists. This article explains the fundamentals of provider credentialing to reduce confusion and provides suggestions for carrying out the duties as effectively and efficiently as feasible.

A psychologist (Ph.D. or PsyD) has attained a psychology doctorate. They have successfully finished a recognized internship, undertaken extensive training, and passed a demanding exam. However, they need a license from the state where they work to be qualified as a psychologist. A psychologist has at least a doctoral degree in psychology and a license to practice therapy. Since there is no state board for psychologists, it might be challenging to determine someone's credentials. However, some organizations provide certificates that reveal a therapist's degree of training.

What Do Psychologist Credentials Mean?

A mental health practitioner must have psychologist credentials to be licensed to practice. There are some broad criteria for what kinds of degrees and licenses should look like in your region. However, they may vary based on where you reside. In addition, there are many distinct requirements based on prescriptive authority, specialized training, specialty board certification, and level of licensure, among a host of other criteria that affect the type of credentials needing verification to complete the credentialing process within the range of types of mental health credentialing and behavioral health credentialing, as is proper for any taxonomy. Finally, proper mental health credentialing and regular compliance monitoring are crucial to ensure payment integrity and speedier reimbursement from payers to linked healthcare provider organizations and eventually to the mental health practitioner.

Some psychologists have chosen to obtain additional credentials in psychology and therapeutic methods:

  1. The American Board of Forensic Psychology's ABFP certification (ABFM). The Forensic Board, an associate of the ABPP, awards psychologists who successfully fulfill the criteria for Specialty Board Certification with a Diploma in Forensic Psychology. Forensic psychology (American Board of)
  2. ABPP The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), founded in 1947, awards Diplomate certification to licensed psychologists who can show a high degree of expertise and experience in their particular specialty. A panel of qualified examiners in that field will put a psychologist through a rigorous written and oral examination procedure before awarding them this certification.
  3. BCD practitioners with a high degree of expertise and experience with five years and 7,500 hours of post-graduate clinical practice are awarded the Board Certified Diplomate credential (including 3,000 hours under supervision). Social workers, therapists, counselors, and other mental-health specialists are examples of BCD professionals.
  4. A clinical mental health practitioner who satisfies the requirements for education, training, and experience in group psychotherapy is a CGP (Certified Group Psychotherapist).
  5. CHT, A Certified Hypnotherapist, has received hypnotherapy training.

Checking The Credentials Of A Psychologist

A therapist is frequently one of the first persons you feel safe with and opens up to after being traumatized or abused. Therefore, confirming your counselor's credentials is crucial before you start working together. Unfortunately, some psychologists don't even have psychology degrees, which might result in damaging and ineffective therapies.

An Increasing Need For Mental Health Care And A Scarcity Of Psychiatrists

An increased degree of access is needed to fulfill demand as more baby boomers approach the Medicare age and are served by mental and behavioral healthcare professionals. The epidemic and the new pressures it is causing, such as homeschooling, job loss, sickness of loved ones, and fear of an economic collapse, as well as the fact that election season frequently splinters families and support networks, all contribute to the increased demand. The obligation to ensure that the requirements for practice and reimbursement have been satisfied falls on healthcare organizations and health insurance providers or payers. The process of confirming education, training, certificates, experience, and competence in healthcare is known as credentialing. The U.S. healthcare system has issues due to a lack of psychiatrists. In addition to being upsetting for patients, it might also be dangerous for them and their loved ones and put the safety of other medical professionals at risk. The general public and the taxpayer bear the costs of untreated mental illness.

However, due to reduced payment rates and the burdensome paperwork requirements that come with the profession, many psychiatrists, in particular, are hesitant to pursue this specialty. It might not be easy to coordinate care due to the numerous stringent laws implemented in the mental health field. This can be too much for doctors who are already overworked and under stress. There is now a higher demand for psychiatric intervention due to the decreased stigma associated with mental illness; the media focus on its advantages and more reasonable care. Despite stagnant federal investment in mental health care, demand outpaces supply. The dispersion of psychiatrists around the United States is also a concern. The Steinberg Institute reports that, in addition to a general scarcity, psychiatrists are concentrated in particular regions, leaving 55 percent of U.S. counties completely devoid of psychiatrists.

Essential Conditions for the Credentialing Process

The following requirements must be met by candidates to be eligible for the National Register Health Service Psychologist (HSP) Credential:

  1. A psychology doctorate from a program that has received APA/CPA accreditation or otherwise complies with the National Register Doctoral Degree Guidelines.
  2. Psychology internship at the doctoral level that complies with the Standards for Determining an Internship or Organized Health Service Training Program
  3. Direct medical services postdoctoral experience that complies with the Guidelines for Supervised Postdoctoral Experience
  4. A valid, unrestricted license, certification, or registration issued by a state, province, or territory's board of psychologists that enables independent practice in psychology.
  5. The Committee on Professional Practice and Ethics will further examine the application if there is a record of disciplinary action against any psychological license (COPPE).
  6. Obtaining a passing mark on the Psychology Professional Practice Examination (EPPP).

Requirement Of  ABPP Certification for Psychologist Credentialing

The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) is a body that grants psychologists specialization board certification. The psychologist stands out because of their ABPP accreditation, which shows they are dedicated to upholding the criteria set by their specialized board.

The following are the main advantages of ABPP accreditation, according to the ABPP and as published on its website:

  • A distinctive, verified level of specialized knowledge in psychology is required to deal with mental and behavioral health patients.
  • Enlisted psychologists who hold board certification and services for the Department of Defense or the Public Health Service get a monthly pay bonus.
  • Specialty board certification is viewed as evidence of competency in the cognitive and behavioral domains of practice by colleagues in other healthcare disciplines.
  • As a minimal requirement to confirm the psychologist's education, training, and area of competence for patient treatment, employers and practice groups appreciate specialist board certification.
  • The ability to practice in most U.S. states based on license reciprocity, education waiver, or test is made possible by board certification in around 39 states. This is essential to telemedicine because it enables psychologists with ABPP certification to work between states.
  • Specialty board certification is sometimes considered a crucial qualification or even a prerequisite for acquiring privileges by many healthcare delivery organizations, including hospitals, medical institutions, acute care facilities, and even practice groups.
  • When assessing applications from psychologists seeking network inclusion, health insurance companies value and represent risk minimization through specialty board certification.
  • Healthcare customers will reward psychologists who have chosen to pursue and obtain specialty board certification.
  • For byline, promotion, tenure, publication, research, academic, and publishing environments sometimes demand or give preference to people with specialty board certification.
  • The ABPP web resources are helpful for networking, making recommendations, and confirming the most current certification status.

A doctorate from a university that meets the accreditation or designation requirements mentioned on the website is required to be eligible for ABPP certification.

To get certified by the ABPP, psychologists must complete the following steps:

  • Provide The Necessary Documents.
  • Send In Examples Of Your Work.
  • Pass The Oral Test.
  • A Written Test Is Necessary For Several Specialisations.


Payers and healthcare delivery organizations need help keeping up with the many and constantly changing compliance standards as mental and behavioral healthcare becomes more and more decentralized due to telemedicine. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) simplifies the medical licensing procedure among its 29 member states to ease the delivery of cross-state mental healthcare. Telemedicine allows qualified professionals to deliver mental health treatments in the Compact's member nations. Licensure must be obtained through the medical licensing boards of the states, provinces, and territories that do not participate in the IMLC. Specific requirements for licensing, such as schooling and testing, can be skipped in the event of certification from ABPP.





Written by
ResearchBite is a platform committed to availing the scientific knowledge and information at your fingertips.

Check out other articles written by Researchbite .