Guidelines Concerning Withdrawal Of The National Register Credential
Due To Professional Misconduct
(Revised December 2016)
I. Scope of Sanctions
The National Register of Health Service Psychologists (the “National Register") may impose appropriate sanctions in cases involving violations of the Guidelines by Applicants for credentialing, or by psychologists already credentialed (“Registrants”). Appropriate sanctions may include denial of the National Register credential, withdrawal of the National Register credential, referral of matters to appropriate authorities, and such other actions as may reasonably be warranted in order to comply with the law, and to protect third parties, the public, or the integrity of the National Register.
II. Bases for Sanctions
A. Failure to Meet the Criteria
If at any time the National Register determines that a Registrant does not meet the applicable credentialing criteria (because a license has been revoked, suspended, restricted, placed on probation, subject to material conditions, or voluntarily relinquished or withdrawn, among other examples), appropriate sanctions may be imposed. In instances where a Registrant is licensed in more than one jurisdiction, the National Register will proceed on the basis of actions taken by the sanctioning jurisdiction, even if the individual maintains a full, unrestricted license in other jurisdictions.
B. Professional Misconduct
The National Register may impose appropriate sanctions upon an Applicant or Registrant if a governmental body, a state, provincial or territorial psychology board (or similar body responsible for supervising psychology practice), the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association or any affiliated regional, state, provincial or territorial, psychological association that has authority to impose sanctions determines that such psychologist has committed professional misconduct or violated material rules of such body.
C. Serious Crimes
The National Register may impose appropriate sanctions upon any Applicant or Registrant who has been convicted of a serious crime, despite the pendency of an appeal or other legal proceedings (provided that if such conviction is vacated, sanctions may be modified or revoked). A "serious crime" shall include any felony, any lesser crime an element of which under applicable law is fraud, bribery, extortion, theft, or attempt or conspiracy to commit another serious crime, or any other criminal act involving moral turpitude.
The National Register may impose appropriate sanctions upon an Applicant or Registrant who is found by a court or arbitral body to have committed malpractice or another professional tort, if such finding appears to reflect a substantial deficiency in the individual's standards of practice.
The National Register may withdraw a Registrant’s National Register credential or take other appropriate action concerning an individual if a court, governmental body, state, provincial or territorial psychology board (or similar body responsible for supervising psychology practice), the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association or any affiliated regional, state, provincial or territorial psychological association that is empowered to render such determination, determines that he/she is professionally incapacitated or disabled by reason of mental or physical causes, provided that if such incapacity or disability is removed, sanctions may be modified or revoked.
F. Misrepresentation and Failure to Advise of Events
For initial and subsequent yearly credentialing by the National Register, Applicants and Registrants must attest that the information they submit is true and complete to the best of their knowledge and belief.
Applicants and Registrants, by virtue of accepting or renewing the National Register credential, agree that they shall advise the National Register in writing within thirty days of the occurrence of any of the following events:
(1) Credentialing criteria are no longer satisfied and/or psychology license in any jurisdiction is revoked, suspended, restricted, placed on probation, subject to material conditions, or voluntarily relinquished or withdrawn;
(2) Professional misconduct or violation of the material rules of a professional body described in Section II.B. of the Guidelines;
(3) Conviction of a serious crime, as defined in Section II.C of the Guidelines; or
(4) Determination to be professionally incapacitated or disabled by reason of mental or physical causes by a court or other governmental body as described in Section II.E. of the Guidelines.
This reporting obligation exists regardless of the pendency of any appeal or other proceedings related to the triggering event, and regardless of whether any such condition or sanction has already expired.
Appropriate sanctions, including denial or withdrawal of the credential, may be imposed upon any individual who is found to have made any significant misrepresentation in connection with his/her application for credentialing or who fails to notify the National Register as required above.
A. The Executive Officer will in most instances determine if a reported event is compatible with granting or renewing the credential. Appropriate matters raising a question as to whether or not sanctions should be imposed will be referred to the National Register's Committee on Professional Practice and Ethics (the “Committee”).
B. The Committee shall be composed of at least three psychologists who are currently credentialed by the National Register. At its discretion, the Committee may request the services of ad-hoc members, who, by virtue of their expertise in law, ethics, or related fields are deemed necessary to assist the Committee in reaching an appropriate decision. Such ad hoc members may participate in any hearings will have full voting rights in determining the Committee’s response. On an annual basis the Executive Officer will present a report to COPPE detailing known disciplinary actions against Registrants.
C. The Committee on Professional Practice and Ethics shall (with the assistance of the National Register's staff) obtain available information and determine whether the matter warrants further review. If it determines that such review is warranted, it shall promptly advise the applicant or Registrant ("the Respondent") in writing of the reason(s) for the possible imposition of sanctions. The Respondent will then have thirty days in which to submit in writing any information he/she desires. If the Respondent does not respond within thirty days, the Committee shall proceed to decide the matter on the basis of available documentation. The Respondent shall authorize the National Register to obtain information concerning the matter from all appropriate persons and agencies. Failure to authorize release of such information may be considered as one factor in determining the appropriateness of particular sanctions. The Respondent also shall be advised of the nature of the evidence against him/her, and have an opportunity to respond to such evidence. The Respondent may submit in advance of the review any written evidence (including statements of witnesses) he/she wishes and may petition to appear before the Committee. The Respondent may make a live or recorded oral presentation of reasonable length before the Committee. The Respondent does not have the right to call witnesses. The Committee shall consider only evidence which has been formally submitted as part of the record of the proceedings. After reviewing all available information, the Committee shall decide the matter, decide on the appropriate sanction, if any, and advise the Respondent of its decision and the basis for the decision. The Committee shall keep appropriate minutes or other records of its decisions. The Committee’s decisions shall be determined by majority vote.
D. If the possible basis for sanctions is or includes suspension or revocation of the Respondent's license or his/her conviction of a serious crime, then the Respondent has no absolute right to appeal the Committee's decision. However, if the Respondent believes that some extraordinary factor warrants an appeal, he/she may, within thirty days of notice of the decision of the Committee, provide in writing evidence of such a factor and request an appeal. The Committee will re-examine the case and newly submitted material and render a decision. Further appeal of such a decision is not permitted.
E. If the possible basis for sanctions is other than suspension or revocation of the Respondent's license or conviction of a serious crime, then the Respondent may, within thirty days of notice of the decision of the Committee file a written request for an appeal and state the extraordinary basis for the appeal. The Committee will re-hear the matter in light of newly presented material and render a decision. No further appeal of this Committee’s decision is permitted.
F. In case of appeal, the Committee’s procedures shall remain the same as in an initial hearing, with the exception that the Committee may, depending on the nature of newly submitted material, at its discretion substitute ad hoc members with appropriate expertise to assist the Committee in reaching a decision.
G. For purposes of these Guidelines, a surrender, relinquishment, or withdrawal of a psychologist's license voluntarily, by consent, or in a similar fashion, after a complaint concerning his/her professional qualifications, competence or misconduct has been presented to the relevant state, provincial or territorial psychology board (or similar body responsible for supervising psychology practice) or court, shall be regarded as the equivalent of a license suspension or revocation.
H. If an applicant or Registrant seeks to withdraw from the application process, surrender the National Register credential, or refuse to renew the National Register credential at any time after charges have been filed against him/her which, if proven, might constitute a basis for sanctions under these Guidelines, the National Register may, in its discretion, determine whether or not to complete such proceedings, despite the individual's effort to withdraw or resign. In any case in which sanctions are finally imposed upon a Respondent, the National Register (1) will post the result in such case, and the basic reasons for up to ten years on the National Register’s web site, and (2), may communicate facts concerning the matter to any appropriate governmental body, professional organization, or others in order to protect third parties, the public or the integrity of the National Register.
I. Eligibility for Credentialing or Recredentialing. An individual who has been denied the National Register credential or has had the National Register credential withdrawn due to a finding of a violation of the Guidelines, may be approved for credentialing or recredentialing only if:
(1) Any sanctions imposed by an authorized adjudicatory body, including suspension or revocation of a license, completion of supervision or remedial coursework, or the payment of fines have been completely fulfilled and the individual’s license has been restored to a full, unrestricted status.
(2) The Committee on Professional Practice may, at its discretion, mandate a waiting period of one to five years after all terms and conditions imposed by the authorized adjudicatory body have been fulfilled prior to granting or renewal of the credential. In cases where an individual is licensed in more than one jurisdiction, the Committee will make its determination on the basis of actions taken by the sanctioning jurisdiction, even if the individual maintains a full, unrestricted license in another jurisdiction.
(3) The individual satisfies the credentialing or recredentialing criteria in effect at the time of such renewed application (regardless of whether the individual may have satisfied any previously existing criteria); and
(4) The individual presents such evidence of rehabilitation and corrective measures taken as may be relevant in the particular case and as the National Register may require.
(5) In the case of serious crimes, misconduct, or malpractice the National Register retains the discretion to deny issuance or renewal of the credential, regardless of whether the individual’s license has been restored to a full, unrestricted status.