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The Latest on State Licensure and 
Activities of the State Affairs Committee

Kalen F. Pieper
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

The topic of state licensure usually meets with one of the following reactions:

(1) I do not know anything about licensure and state laws and don't want to.

(2) I know enough about licensure to know that:

a. I am exempt from becoming licensed.

b. I don't want to have anything to do with licensure.

(3) The state that I live in requires that I become licensed, therefore:

a. I have become licensed.

b. I have tried to become licensed but have run into roadblocks.

A special task force was assembled in 1993 to reexamine SIOP's policy on licensure, given these varied perspectives from SIOP's members. In the July 1996 issue of TIP, Mike Campion published SIOP's new Policy on Licensure (Campion, 1996). Specifically the policy stated, "SIOP recognizes that some states require that certain areas of I-O practice be licensed. SIOP members should be allowed to be licensed in these states if they desire, and SIOP should provide guidance to state licensing boards on how to evaluate the education and training of an I-O psychologist." In addition, the policy stated that industrial and organizational psychologists, as citizens, obey the laws in the states in which they live and work.

The purpose of this article is to update our members on recent activities regarding licensure.

Licensure of the title "psychologist" (known as a title law) and/or the practice of "psychology" (known as a practice law) is restricted in almost every state in the U.S. and province in Canada. The laws differ significantly by state and range from preventing I-O psychologists from becoming licensed, to having a separate policy for I-O psychologists. State licensure requirements differ but are comprised of a few main components:

  • Completion of a PhD/PsyD from an accredited university
  • Supervision for a period of time from a licensed psychologist
  • Achieving a qualifying score (varies by state) on the Examination on Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
  • Passing an oral exam conducted by the state board

SIOP's State Affairs Committee's primary responsibility is to promote the interest of the Society and its members regarding licensure. This objective is achieved by staying abreast of state laws that impact our membership and working with relevant state psychological associations, licensing boards, and SIOP membership to effect changes in licensure requirements, where needed.

The State Affairs Committee's main activities in 1999 were to:

(a) Identify states/provinces in need of change,

(b) Create resources for SIOP members who have questions regarding licensure.

Identify States/Provinces Where Change Is Needed:

In order to identify states/provinces in need of change, the committee reviewed the current licensure laws for each state/province and identified areas in which the definition of psychology encompassed I-O practice, but the requirements for licensure made it difficult for I-Os to become licensed. Seventeen states/provinces were identified:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Manitoba
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin

A survey was then developed and distributed to members of the identified states (around 670 surveys were distributed) to determine if the SIOP members of these areas felt a need to change the current licensure laws. We received approximately 130 responses. From these replies, 5 states were targeted for further action:

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Rhode Island

As this article is going to press, the State Affairs Committee is further exploring each of these states by coordinating efforts with SIOP members of these states (through local I-O groups where possible), reviewing the procedure to change the state law, if desired by members, and working with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards to develop tactics for change.

The committee will repeat these activities annually to determine necessary action for the upcoming year.

Develop Resources That Will Educate SIOP Membership On and Address Questions Regarding Licensure

Thanks to the efforts of Janet Barnes-Farrell, Ara Wade, and Kris Canali, the State Affairs Committee has developed a web page on the SIOP website. This web page covers general information and questions regarding licensure. In addition, the page provides a link to each state/province board so that members can gain specific information.

In addition, each State Affairs Committee member has been designated point person of a state/province. This individual will serve as the initial contact for our membership with any questions/concerns they may have regarding their state's laws. See the attached table for your representative.

The State Affairs Committee will meet during the SIOP conference. We will be setting aside 1 hour of this meeting for members to stop by and discuss any issues/concerns they may have regarding licensure. Watch the announcement board for time and location of this meeting.

The State Affairs Committee has spent the last few years identifying areas in need of change and developing some basic communication tools to communicate with the membership. We hope you find these resources useful and look forward to your comments and ideas for future activities of the committee.

Table 1. State Allocation



David W. Arnold

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa

Donald L. Fischer

Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri

Michael Flanagan

California, Hawaii, Alaska

Greg Gormanous

Louisiana, Alabama

Theodore Hayes

South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska

Norman Hertz

Nevada, Oregon, Utah

Alison Mallard

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina

William McDaniel

Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma

Morton S. McPhail

Texas, Wyoming, Colorado

Peter M. Scontrino

Alberta, Canada, British Colombia, Idaho, Washington

Kalen F. Pieper

Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire

Sandra Lionetti

Delaware, New Jersey, New York

Janet Barnes-Farrell

Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Brunswick, Canada

Margaret Barton

North Dakota, Wisconsin

Timothy Crespin

Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania

Kimberly Schneider

Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona

Jill K. Wheeler

Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Dist. Of Columbia

Seth Kamen

Vermont, Quebec, Ontario

Kyle Lundby

Winnipeg, Michigan, Minnesota, Saskatchawan



Campion, M. (1996). Policy on licensure, Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP), The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 34(1) 16-21.



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