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  • guide to psychiatry travel with the psypactHave you ever heard about the PSYPACT? If you’ve been doing locum tenens work for a while, then you may have heard of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) if you’re a physician, or the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) if you’re a nurse practitioner. Just like the IMLC and NLC help healthcare providers in accelerating the licensure process in any participating compact state, PSYPACT states help psychologists accelerate the licensure process.

    What is the PSYPACT?

    The PSYPACT is an interstate compact that was created to facilitate psychologists in their practice of telehealth psychology and temporary in-person psychology across state boundaries. It is similar in function to the IMLC for physicians and the NLC for nurses, except that is made specifically for psychologists.

    Approved in February of 2015 by the ASPPB board of directors, the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact, or PSYPACT, is an interstate compact that was created to facilitate psychologists in their practice of telehealth psychology and temporary in-person psychology across state boundaries.

    This compact works to not only increase patient access to mental health care and facilitate continuity of care as patients relocate, but also to increase psychologists’ ability to provide care to underserved populations, from those that are geographically isolated, to those in need of specialty care. It provides patients with advantages other than greater access to care as well, such as a greater degree of public protection, and an avenue for complaints.

    As for psychologists, the biggest benefit once you receive your credentials is an ability to bypass additional licensure processes and requirements in order to practice across state lines outside of their licensure home state.

    Is the PSYPACT Only For Psychologists?

    Yes, the PSYPACT is exclusively for licensed psychologists, and does not apply to any other mental health professions. The PSYPACT also only applies to psychologists with doctoral-level degrees.

    PSYPACT States

    There are currently 40 total PSYPACT participating states in the U.S., including Vermont which has enacted PSYPACT legislation but is not yet active. The remaining 39 states on the PSYPACT map have fully enacted PSYPACT legislation, and are considered fully participating PSYPACT states where psychologists can practice telepsychology or temporary in-person psychology with the proper authorizations. You’re eligible to practice under the PSYPACT if your licensure home state is any of the following:

    How Does PSYPACT Work?

    There are two ways that a psychologist can practice under the PSYPACT: 1) to practice telepsychology and/or 2) to conduct temporary in-person practice, which both have different authorizations required by psychologists to obtain with different eligibility requirements.

    PSYPACT for Telepsychology

    A psychologist who obtains the proper credentials and authority to practice under the PSYPACT for telepsychology has the ability to provide telepsychology services from their home state of licensure to patients located in any participating receiving compact state without having to obtain a new license for that state.

    A psychologist looking to practice telepsychology under PSYPACT for telepsychology must obtain an Authority to Practice Under Interjurisdictional Telepsychology (APIT) by applying through the PSYPACT Commission, and an E.Passport by applying through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

    The total costs associated with initial applications for the credentials needed to practice telepsychology under the PSYPACT are $440, which are comprised of a $40 one-time APIT fee, and a $400 ASPPB E.Passport application fee. If you wish to renew your E.Passport, there is also an associates annual $100 ASPPB E.Passport renewal fee.

    PSYPACT for Temporary Practice

    A psychologist who obtains the proper credentials and authority to practice under the PSYPACT for temporary practice can conduct face to face practice of psychology for patients within any participating PSYPACT state without having to obtain a new license for the state/s in which they will practice. However, there is a time limit of how long you can practice in-person under PSYPACT, which is 30 days per calendar year per PSYPACT state.

    In order to conduct in-person practice under PSYPACT, a psychologist must obtain a Temporary Authorization to Practice (TAP) by applying through the PSYPACT Commission, as well as an Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate (IPC) from the ASPPB.

    The initial application fees add up to a total cost of $240, which can be broken down into $200 for the ASPPB IPC application fee, and $40 for the $40 one time TAP fee. Renewing your ASPPB IPC will also cost an additional $50 annually.

    For more information about the PSYPACT or eligibility requirements for your ASPPB credentials, please visit the PSYPACT website.

    Unlock your practice authority in new states by applying for the PSYPACT today!

    Note: This blog was originally written by Karina Kagramanov in 2022, and has been updated with new information in 2023.

    Ready to become a traveling psychologist with locum tenens? Fill out our contact form today to get in touch with one of Barton’s skilled recruiters!

    Bob McHugh
    About Bob McHugh

    Bob McHugh is the Senior Manager, PPC & SEO, at Barton Associates. He has covered the staffing industry for more than 7 years. His research and writing on the staffing industry has been cited in the Boston Globe, Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), Business Insider, and Recruiter Magazine.