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MCEP Questions &
Mandatory Continuing Education for Psychologists.
It is the CE program for psychologists licensed in
California. In addition to the information available at this
page, you can also obtain answers from the Board of
Psychology's CE page: BOP
or from the accrediting agency: CPA
is the role of CPA and the accrediting agency?
is the only agency that is authorized to keep track of your
CE credits. If you take a CE course, it has to be reported
to CPA. They are the only ones who can verify your
educational record, and they will be submitting a report to
the BOP after your license renewal date. All of
your credits must be reporterd to CPA, either by you or the
course provider (keep reading).
What courses qualify for credit?
A. There are three types of course you can use for credit:
MCEP, APA or
is an MCEP course?
It is a course that is approved by CPA - the California
If the course is approved by CPA, it will have a course
approval number that looks like this: SAC004-0029-000 (this
would be the 29th course offered by the Sacramento Valley
Psychological Association, whose provider number is
is an APA course?
Any course that is offered by an APA approved sponsor
qualifies for credit for California psychologists.
(This includes ABPP - American Board of Professional
Psychology - workshops.)
is a CME course?
stands for "continuing medical education." For our
purposes, a CME course is one that is accredited by the
California Medical Association (CMA) or by the Accreditation
Council for Continuing Medical Education, (ACCME). ...
courses only count if taken after January 1st,
If you take a CME course, it
"specifically applicable and pertinent to the practice of
How do you know if it is applicable and pertinent? You
have to use your judgment and make that determination
yourself. The regulatory intent is that you pursue
education that enhances your skills or contributes to your
fund of knowledge, in a way that ultimately serves the
interests of consumers. You are the one who knows what is
relevant and important.
I study at home?
In each two year renewal cycle,
may use 18 hours of "distance
to fufill your 36 hour requirement. This includes home study
and internet courses. The distance learning courses must
still be approved by CPA, or they must be APA or CME
Note: the Board of Behavioral Science allows MFTs and LCSWs
to do all of their CE at home. Be certain you know that this
does not apply to psychologists.
The 18 hour distance learning option went into
effect on January 1st, 2005. A
proposal is in the works to allow 27 hours of distance
This would mean that you would need only 9 hours of "live"
contact coursework. This change is expected sometime in 2006
assume it has happened unless you
(check with me if need be). If you want see what's on the
table, go here and read the
second notice of modified
are hours for MCEP or CPA approved courses recorded?
you take a course that was approved by CPA (it will have an
MCEP course number), the course provider is required to
report your attendance to CPA within 45 days after the
course is completed. In other words, for CPA approved
courses: the provider submits the report; you don't have to
do anything. Increasingly,
most of the courses you take will not automatically
be reported ... most course providers are dropping their CPA
accreditation in favor of APA approval.
CPA is dropping CPA accreditation in favor of APA
are hours for APA and CME courses recorded?
you take APA or CME courses, you
have to report these credits to CPA to have them included in
your educational record.
here for a copy of the report
(to print from your browser or save the .pdf).
There is a $35.00 fee to process this form, but you can list
all of the credit-eligible courses you have taken in any
renewal cycle. In other words, send it in once, with all of
your non-CPA approved courses listed.
me again, which courses do I have to report?
the courses is approved by CPA, you don't have to do
anything. If the course does not have an MCEP approval
number, you have to submit a report form to CPA.
here for a copy of the report
(print ready or save as .pdf).
the BOP audit our compliance with the CE mandate?
A copy of your educational record will be sent to the
BOP two months after your license renewal date. (The lag
time allows for reports to be submitted by course
providers.) When you renew, you will certify that you have
met the requirements. The BOP will then check to insure
compliance. They check on all renewals.
do I need to get my MCEP hours? How many do I need?
need to have all of your hours completed before the date of
your license renewal, which is the last day of your birth
month. Your renewal date is on your psychology license. Your
birthdate is on your driver's license. Your license is good
for two years after each renewal, so you have two full years
to accumulate the necessary credits.
You may start gathering hours for the next renewal cycle on
the first day of the month following your birthday (in the
year in which you renew). If you are a new licensee, you can
start taking courses immediately.
Every two years (i.e., during each license renewal cycle),
you need 36 MCEP credits. Extra hours accumulated during any
two year cycle cannot be carried forward for the next
if I 'm newly licensed and this will be my first
your first renewal, you need to accrue 1.5 hours of credit
for each month during which you held your license, prior to
renewal. You have to count the month in which you received
your license, and the month in which you are renewing, even
if you held the license for only part of one of those
months. Count the months and do the
you have any questions, call the BOP's continuing education
specialist at 916-263-4777.
there any required courses?
January of 2000, every
psychologist is required to take a 4 hour course in
and the law
in each renewal cycle. So
every two years, you need to meet this requirement. The 4
hours can be included in the total number of credits
on about Spousal Abuse and
I have to take a course on Spousal Abuse?
you did, but
no you don't.
done. This was a one time requirement.
last people who needed to do it were those who renewed in
I have to take a course on Aging?
this law was passed, there was some confusion about the
requirement. But the BOP has spoken, and you have to do it.
The mandate went into effect in January 2005.
The course has to be at least 3 hours in length.
is a one-time requirement. This requirement for license
renewal will end with those who renew their licenses in
December of 2006.
do I have to do when it's time to renew my license?
you renew, you will have to certify on your application that
you have completed the required number of course hours. You
will also have to certify that you have taken a 4 hour law
and ethics course. If you renew before the end of 2006, you
will have to certify that you took an Aging course. Sixty
days after you renew, the BOP will receive a report from
CPA, indicating whether or not you are in compliance with
your hours. All
license renewals are audited for compliance with the hour
I need to keep my own set of records and to save my
A. That would seem to be a real good
you send in your report form listing APA and CME courses,
you have to send in a copy of the completion or attendance
if I take a course that is still under MCEP review?
Some advertisements will say that a course has been
"submitted for approval" or that "approval is pending." In
most cases (like 90% of the time), a course that has been
submitted will be approved. And even if the course has not
been given an approval number by the date on which it is
offered, you can still receive credit when the review
process is completed. The approval process takes about 30
days, and some applications are submitted "down to the
wire." If you are "down to the wire" in accumulating your
credits, consider the provider's reputation and their past
history in offering courses. If they have been successful
with previous course submissions, the odds are that they
will be successful again. If you are concerned or uncertain,
call CPA for advice.
most of the courses you encounter will specify that they are
APA or CME approved. The number of CPA approved courses is
there a supervision course requirement?
as part of MCEP. The
training, education and CE requirments for supervisors are
entirely separate from the MCEP
If you need to know about supervision requirements, you are
going to need to study the laws
and BOP regulations.
For supervision, start here with the BOP's supervision
at a glance page.
about hospital rounds?
Psychiatric grand rounds and agency in-service training
programs are usually offered with CME credits.
sure you check.
do I find approved courses?
If you are licensed as a psychologist in California, you
probably need to look no further than your mail box. For
information online, check the links to CE providers
happens if I don't finish getting my hours?
This is what the BOP says: "If you fail to
complete the required hours of continuing education, your
license will become invalid for renewal upon expiration. The
continued practice of psychology is prohibited until the
continuing education is completed and the license is
restored to a valid status. If the deficiency is not made up
within six months following the license expiration date, you
will be subject to disciplinary action and/or citation and
there any exemptions to the MCEP requirement?
Yes. The following information is from the BOP:
"When applying for renewal, a psychologist may request a
waiver from the continuing education requirements if,
during the two-year period immediately prior to the
expiration date of the license, he or she:
... has been residing in another country or state for at
least one year, reasonably preventing completion of the
continuing education requirements,
... or has been absent from California for at least one year
because of military or missionary service reasonably
preventing completion of the continuing education
... or has had a total physical and/or mental disability for
at least one year, or has had total responsibility for at
least one year for the care of an immediate family member
with a total physical and/or mental disability.
Psychologists with inactive licenses do not need to comply
with continuing education mandates until their licenses are
reactivated. Additionally, psychologists requiring
reasonable accommodations according to the Americans with
Disabilities Act may be granted an exemption from the
on-site participation requirement and may substitute all or
part of their continuing education requirement with an
APA-approved home study or self-managed education program.