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GPA Membership Newsfeed: GPA News

Psychological Testing Bill Passes!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Dietrich and Dr. Daniel Rogers

Senate Bill 319 Explained - Annotated Version
Dr. Daniel Rogers, Legal and Legislative Committee Chair

GPA gives sincere and heartfelt appreciation to Daniel Rogers for his tireless, impressively organized and constant efforts to the psychological testing bill. His management and dedication are both models of excellence for current and future members of GPA. We are very happy for GPA and Daniel in regard to the passing of the bill.

Thank you Daniel!

Message from Dr. Daniel Rogers

On March 24, 2016, the Georgia Senate gave final approval to a piece of legislation that defines psychological testing in State law.  This effort has been a central focus of GPA for several years.

The bill’s main effects are the following:
  • adds diagnose to the scope of practice for LPCs, with some language about limits and continuing education
  • defines psychological testing as occurring when assessment instruments are used to both (a) measure mental abilities, personality characteristics, or neuropsychological functioning, and (b) diagnose, evaluate, classify, or render opinions regarding mental and nervous disorders and illnesses
  • clarifies that the existing prohibition in the law for LCSWs, LMFTs, and LPCs conducting psychological testing is referring to the above definition
  • allows licensed psychologists to describe or label any testing, assessment, or evaluation they conduct within their scope as “psychological” in nature, even if it does not adhere to the more narrow legal definition of psychological testing
  • clarifies that LCSWs, LMFTs, and LPCs each have types of testing or assessments within their scopes of practice, and that these are not restricted by the prohibition for psychological testing

An annotated version of the bill is available by clicking here.  This document shows the full language of the bill with brief explanations of its key components.  Note that bills only contain sections of the law that are new or changed, so a full appreciation of the bill is best accomplished by reading it in the context of the entire sections of the Georgia Code..

There are several groups that deserve recognition for this outcome.
Many of you as GPA members actively participated in this effort, and these actions had a significant impact.  You wrote letters, sent emails, made phone calls, and/or met with legislators.  Some of you even recruited others.  Thank you!

Our lead lobbyist, Stan Jones, and his team, Helen Sloat and Chuck Clay, worked tirelessly on this effort for the past two years with integrity and professionalism.

The Legal and Legislative Committee helped guide the legislative strategy and made key decisions along the way.  The members are Ann Abramowitz, Bill Buchanan, Frank Harbin, Kyle Raque, and Marilyn Vickers.  Our work was not possible without the excellent support of Martha Turner-Quest, Amy Han Dietrich, Gayle Spears, and the GPA Executive Committee and Board.

Many legislators assisted at various points.  Among those more heavily involved in the bill were:  Representatives Tom Dickson, Joyce Chandler, Lee Hawkins, and Pat Gardner, and Senators Bill Cowsert, Lester Jackson, Steve Henson, Chuck Hufstetler, and Greg Kirk.

GPA also worked diligently with all of the other mental health professional associations in Georgia throughout the past four years.  Their engagement on the issue, even when there were disagreements, was important in shaping the bill and outcome.
Lastly, such efforts consume not only time but also money.  APA’s Practice Organization (APAPO) has supported this effort with grants.  But it is your membership in GPA, as well as your contributions to the PAC, that helped sustain this effort.
Daniel Rogers
Chair, GPA Legal and Legislative Committee