National Register Guidelines for Supervised Postdoctoral Experience

The postdoctoral year must consist of a minimum of 1,500 hours of supervised experience and be completed within a four year consecutive period. This experience must occur after all requirements of the doctoral program are completed. The ratio for supervision time to direct service time should be sufficient to ensure adequate learning, namely, at least one hour per week of formal, direct, individual supervision*. Direct, synchronous audio-visual telecommunication technology may be permitted for individual supervision. Examples of acceptable experience include supervised postdoctoral employment and completion of formal accredited postdoctoral experience.

Acceptable postdoctoral supervised experience must meet the following requirements:

  1. A minimum of 1,500 hours of documented supervised experience must be satisfactorily completed.
  2. It consists of direct, formal contact with a senior psychologist with documented expertise in the subject matter of the experience who is responsible for the educational development and guidance of the supervisee. Classwork or other course-related experiences do not qualify as individual supervision.
  3. a) The supervision must be for the direct provision of health services in psychology by the applicant to individuals or groups of clients/patients (applicant supervision of others does not qualify as direct service provision).


b) A minimum of 1,500 hours of supervised experience completed in an organized postdoctoral training program accredited by APA, CPA, or listed by APPIC.

Supervisors must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Supervisors must be doctoral level psychologists who are appropriately trained and possess an unrestricted current license at the time of the applicant’s experience by the state/provincial/territorial board of psychology in the jurisdiction where the supervision occurred (psychologist supervisors practicing in a federal program must maintain at least one active, unrestricted license in any U.S. state or Canadian province.)
  2. The professional qualifications of each direct supervisor must be appropriate to the services rendered. Applicants may be requested to provide evidence of the qualifications of direct supervisors identified in the application.
  3. A supervisor, at the time of supervision, must not be in a dual relationship with the supervisee (e.g., spouse, other close relative, or therapist).
  4. A supervisor’s current credentialing by the National Register is usually considered as successfully satisfying the requirements.
  5. Under exceptional circumstances, to be determined on a case-by-case basis (e.g., geographically isolated areas, documented mental health care provider shortage areas, or areas of highly specialized expertise), a portion of the psychologist’s postdoctoral supervised experience may be provided by a qualified healthcare professional working in another field (e.g., a board certified psychiatrist or social worker). Only a minority of total postdoctoral supervised hours may be so supervised, and the rationale for supervision provided by a non-psychologist must be included in the application. Non-psychologist supervised hours are not guaranteed to be accepted as part of the overall 1,500 minimum supervised hours.

* Beginning in calendar year 2020, in accordance with accreditation standards from APA’s CoA, completion of CoA accredited postdoctoral training programs will require a minimum of two hours per week of formal, direct individual supervision. This applies to postdoctoral supervision obtained in calendar year 2020 and beyond.

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