Continuing Education - Frequently Asked Questions
In response to the many questions and concerns posted to us by our membership, we're providing this list of comments and responses so that you are updated about the conversations with, and guidance from, our lobbyist, who is actively working with us on a resolution to the CE concerns. Updated 12/18/2020.
1. What is NYSAN's stance on the proposed CE regulations?
NYSAN initiated the proposal for CE requirement for psychologists in NY with the goal of maintaining high standards for practice of psychology in NY state and consistency with all other 49 states in the US. However, the current CE regulation proposals from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) do not reflect what NYSAN proposed. We sent a letter to NYSED expressing our concerns, including a request to include APA as an approved NYS CE provider. NYSAN members can read the letter here.
2. Is the NYSED required to address NYSAN's concerns about the current CE proposal?
The NYSED must specifically address every concern about CE’s raised by NYSAN in a public comment. If the NYSED will not make the changes requested by NYSAN, the NYSED must publicly state why they are not doing so.
3. How many CE’s can be “self-study” vs “online” vs “live”?
Due to COVID-19, the Department has provided an adjustment to licensees in all profession with mandatory CE, allowing licensees to complete 100% "self-study" from approved providers prior to May 1, 2021. This policy will apply to psychologists and the date may be extended, depending on the pandemic and providers’ ability to offer in-person CE activities.
After this temporary adjustment expires, 12 CE credits can be considered “self-study activities,” which include non-live events, such as pre-recorded seminars or lectures. There is nothing in the regulations that require live courses of learning CE’s be in-person. There are different types of acceptable CE’s.
One is “courses of learning” defined below. Note that there is NO requirement for in-person courses:
- Courses of learning…. Formal courses of learning shall include but not be limited to, university and college credit and non-credit courses, and professional development programs and technical sessions offered by national, state and local professional associations and other organizations acceptable to the department, and any other organized educational and technical programs related to the practice of psychology that are acceptable to the department.
An entirely separate type of CE is “self-study,” defined as those activities that do not include live instruction. We can only claim 12 of this type of CE.
- Completing a self-study program, meaning structured study, offered by a provider approved pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section, that is based on audio, audio-visual, written, on-line, or other media, and does not include live instruction, transmitted in person or otherwise, during which the student may communicate and interact with the instructor and other students. Self-study programs may comprise no more than twelve hours of continuing education in any three-year registration period, or one-third of the hours for a registration period other than three years
Additionally, CE’s may also be earned for activities including:
- Preparing and teaching a course or lecture (offered by a provider of continuing education to psychologists or institute of higher learning)
- Making a technical presentation or lecture at a professional conference sponsored by an organization that is a provider of continuing education to psychologists
- Authoring a first-time article published in a peer-reviewed journal or a chapter in a published book, or authoring a first-time book in the practice of psychology
- Independent study (no more than one-third of the mandatory continuing education requirement may be completed through independent study)
- Mentoring or receiving mentoring as a mentee
Hypothetically, based on the regulations as currently proposed, if you did 12 hours of self-study, 12 hours of independent study, taught a few lectures, wrote an article, chapter, or book, and mentored someone, you would need very few (if any) CE’s to be from live educational activities. Additionally, as a result of the pandemic, there are many more interactive, live webinars and conferences now available for remote learning.
4. Would CME credit from my medical institution count toward by CE credits?
No, CME is different from CE. The medical institution would need to apply to become a NYSED CE provider for psychology, which would, therefore, allow medical institutions to grant CE credits to psychologists.
5. Should we reach out to the Regents?
On 12/1/2020, we contacted the Regents to notify them of our concerns; this was in addition to the letter submitted by NYSAN to the NYSED Deputy Commissioner for the Office of the Professions on 11/25/2020. The Regents met on 12/14/2020, these are highlights from their meeting:
·A vote was taken and the regulations were unanimously approved as written.
·They received over 200 comments; all were distributed to the board to review. The majority of comments requested a delay in implementation.
·Regent’s response was that the date was set in the law and therefore the Regents does not have the ability to delay the implementation date of 1/1/21.
·However, the law includes the option to make the regulations easier to implement, which was done by phasing in the requirements on a pro-rated basis, allowing a 1 year “conditional” registration delay for those who apply due to inability to meet requirements (medical reasons, military, etc.)
·Many comments addressed concerns about lack of in-person activities due to Covid.
·Based on what has already been adjusted for other professions, they will extend to psychologists the option for 100% of CE's to be earned through "self-study." As of now, this applies through 5/1/2021 but may be extended.
·They noted many requests to automatically approve APA.
·Their response was that the law states that all providers must apply and be approved by NYSED; therefore, they do not have the ability to change this.
·Unfortunately, this appears to be correct. The law itself states: “FORMAL COURSES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPONSOR APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT, BASED UPON AN APPLICATION AND FEE,PURSUANT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.” (https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/s7398/amendment/a)
· As of the meeting, they have received 41 applications; 9 have been approved.
6. Why not encourage a letter writing campaign from individual NYSAN members?
Our lobbyist has the ear of our NYSED contact, and we have been informed that the person overseeing the CE matter is overwhelmed with paperwork right now. The lobbyist, therefore, has provided the following guidance about letter writing from individual members: “I do not think it is necessary for this issue – The letters from the two associations [NYSAN and NPSYA] are important here. Because this is part of the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) process, as part of the final adoption, SED will have to address the comments received, and explain why changes were/were not made as a result of these comments. Any additional letters that echo the same points made in the association letters are fine, but I don’t think those individual letters will significantly sway the final outcome on this issue."
7. Are there currently any psychology CE providers approved by NYSED: