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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 488 (January 27, 2024).

49 Pa. Code § 41.59. Continuing education.

§ 41.59. Continuing education.

 (a)  Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Biennium—The period from December 1 of an odd-numbered year to November 30 of the next odd-numbered year.

   CEU—Continuing Education Unit—A unit for measuring contact hours of continuing education. One CEU equals 10 contact hours.

   Contact hour—A unit of measure equaling 50 to 60 minutes of participation in an approved continuing education course or program.

 (b)  Continuing education requirement for biennial renewal. As a condition of biennial renewal, a psychologist shall have completed during the preceding biennium a minimum of 30 contact hours (3 CEUs) of continuing education in acceptable courses, programs or activities which shall include at least 3 contact hours per biennium in ethical issues. At least 2 of the required contact hours shall be completed in approved courses relating to child abuse recognition and reporting, in accordance with §  41.77(b) (relating to child abuse recognition and reporting—mandatory training requirement). The Board will accept child abuse courses approved in accordance with §  41.78 (relating to child abuse recognition and reporting course approval process) without regard to whether the course otherwise meets the Board’s standards for acceptable courses, programs and sponsors in subsection (d). Up to 10 contact hours in excess of 30 from the immediately preceding biennium may be carried over from one biennium to the next. Excess hours in ethical issues may not be used to satisfy the ethics requirement for the succeeding biennium but may be credited toward the total requirement. Excess hours in child abuse recognition and reporting may be counted toward the total 30 contact hours in the biennium in which they are completed but may not be carried over.

 (c)  Reports to the Board. A psychologist shall certify to compliance with the contact hours requirement at the time of biennial renewal. A psychologist shall retain for at least two bienniums, certificates, transcripts or other documentation showing completion of the prescribed number of contact hours. These records are subject to audit by the Board.

 (d)  Approved sponsors; acceptable courses and programs.

   (1)  Courses and programs approved by Board-approved sponsors will be accepted as satisfying all or part of the continuing education requirement. It is the responsibility of the psychologist to ascertain the approval status of the sponsor before undertaking a continuing education activity.

   (2)  Irrespective of the sponsor, the Board reserves the right to reject a continuing education course/program submitted by a psychologist if it is outside the scope of practice of psychology or is otherwise unacceptable because of presentation or content. The Board will not accept courses/programs which are unrelated to the actual practice of psychology—for example, instruction in office management or practice building. A psychologist will be notified of a rejected course/program in writing, along with the reason for the rejection.

   (3)  The Board has approved the following sponsors:

     (i)   Accredited colleges or universities as long as the course/program corresponds to the scope of practice of psychology and generates semester/quarter hour credit.

     (ii)   The American Psychological Association (APA) and APA-approved sponsors.

     (iii)   Sponsors approved by the American Medical Association who meet the criteria of paragraph (4). Programs offered by these sponsors shall relate to the practice of psychology.

   (4)  The Board will consider for approval, on a biennial basis, National and regional professional associations which offer courses and programs for psychologists, and sponsors approved by these associations. An association seeking Board approval for itself or its sponsors shall submit an application to the Board. The applicant will be notified of approval or disapproval in writing. Notifications of disapproval will set forth reasons. The Board will not approve a sponsor unless it:

     (i)   Offers courses/programs with specific learning objectives.

     (ii)   Has a procedure for determining consumers’ perceptions of the extent to which the objectives have been met.

   (5)  The Board may withdraw approval of a sponsor for cause. The sponsor will be notified in writing of the reasons for withdrawal of approval.

 (e)  Home study. A psychologist may accrue up to 15 of the required contact hours in home study courses offered by approved sponsors as long as the course has specific learning objectives and the sponsor evaluates the extent of learning that has taken place.

 (f)  Instruction.

   (1)  A psychologist may accrue up to 15 of the required contact hours by offering one of the following:

     (i)   A course in psychology for a regionally accredited college or university if the course generates semester/quarter hour credit.

     (ii)   A workshop for an approved sponsor.

   (2)  A clock hour of instruction equals 1 contact hour. An individual course or workshop may be credited to the instructor only once every 4 years. The hours of continuing education granted to a psychologist who participates as a workshop instructor will be determined by dividing the number of continuing education hours granted for the workshop by the number of instructors participating in the workshop.

 (g)  Professional writing.

   (1)  A psychologist may accrue the equivalent of up to 10 of the required contact hours by writing one of the following:

     (i)   An article published in a journal abstracted in PSYCHLIT.

     (ii)   A chapter, or more, in a text or trade book for psychologists published by a commercial publisher or a state or National psychological association.

   (2)  No more than 10 contact hour equivalents of professional writing may be granted for one article or chapter published during the preceding biennium. Ten hours per publication, divided by the number of authors, will result in the number of contact hours granted per person per publication.

 (h)  Exemptions and prorations.

   (1)  With the exception of the 2 hours of mandatory training in child abuse recognition and reporting required under §  41.77(b), the Board will exempt from the continuing education requirement a psychologist who received a license within 2 years of the psychologist’s first application for biennial renewal.

   (2)  A psychologist who is licensed under §  41.52 (relating to persons licensed in other states) shall comply with the continuing education requirement, including completion of at least 2 hours of mandatory training in child abuse recognition and reporting, but the psychologist’s contact hours will be prorated on a quarterly basis from the date of licensure in this Commonwealth to the next biennial renewal date. Each quarter will consist of 3 months. Beginning with the quarter immediately following license in this Commonwealth, at least 3.75 contact hours (375 CEU) shall be earned for each quarter.

 (i)  Reinstatement of licensure. Reinstatement of licensure shall be subject to the following conditions:

   (1)  A person whose license has lapsed or been inactive shall show compliance with the continuing education requirement during the biennium immediately preceding the request for reinstatement.

   (2)  A person whose license has been suspended or restricted shall show compliance with the continuing education requirement during the period of suspension or restriction.

 (j)  Waivers. A psychologist who cannot meet the continuing education requirement may apply to the Board in writing for a waiver. The request shall include a description of circumstances sufficient to show why compliance is impossible. Waiver requests will be evaluated by the Board on a case-by-case basis and will be approved or disapproved at its discretion.

 (k)  Curing deficiencies. A psychologist with a deficiency in contact hours may apply to the Board in writing for leave to make up the contact hours in arrears. The request shall include an explanation of why the deficiency occurred and a plan, along with the estimated time needed, for curing it. Requests will be evaluated by the Board on a case-by-case basis and will be approved or disapproved at its discretion.


   The provisions of this §  41.59 issued under section 3.2(2) of the Professional Psychologists Practice Act (63 P.S. §  1203.2(2)); amended under sections 3.2(2) and 15 of the Professional Psychologists Practice Act (63 P.S. § §  1203.2(2) and 1215); and 23 Pa.C.S. §  6383(b)(2).


   The provisions of this §  41.59 adopted June 12, 1992, effective July 13, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 2982; amended December 19, 1997, effective December 1, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 6566; amended April 26, 2002, effective April 27, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 2114; amended December 29, 2023, effective December 30, 2023, 53 Pa.B. 8229. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (349718), (288227) to (288228) and (408387).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  41.13 (relating to reactivation of license); and 49 Pa. Code §  41.52a (relating to licensure by endorsement).

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