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OPD - CE Requirements in California
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 CE Requirements in California

What Every Licensed Psychologist Should Know !

Which courses count toward the continuing education requirement for license renewal?

  • Those courses which are from CE Provider organizations that are:
  • Approved by the California Psychological Association (CPA OPD)
  • Approved by the American Psychological Association (APA);
  • Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses specifically applicable and pertinent to the practice of psychology and that are accredited by the California Medical Association (CMA) or the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME); Note: AMA PRA Category 1 credits are ACCME approved.
  • Sponsored by the Academies of the specialty boards of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). 

Record Keeping
You are required to maintain original attendance records. The Board of Psychology acknowledges CPA as a bona-fide third party record keeper and will accept certification of CE compliance directly from CPA if you are selected for audit.  If you would like CPA to review and assess your CE documentation for compliance, track your compliance and maintain your CE records in a secure environment you can register for the CPA CE Banking Service at  

Accrual Period
Effective January 1 2016, All licensees issued a license on or after January 1, 2016 will be given an expiration date two years from the date it was issued and required to complete 36 approved CE hours.
Any licenses issued a license December 31, 2015 or before, your license renews on the last day of your birth month. You begin accruing hours on the first day of the month after your renewal and continue to acquire hours until the last day of the renewal cycle. Each two-year renewal cycle requires 36 approved CE hours. If you are renewing for the a first-time and were licensed for less than the full two years, your hours will be pro-rated at 1.5 hours for each month or partial month your license was active. If you accrue extra hours during any renewal cycle, the excess can not be applied forward. Everyone starts fresh each renewal cycle.

Exemptions are available for reasons of physical or mental disability of self or immediate family member,  for active duty military service, or if you require further accommodations under ADA. Full information is available on the BOP's website. Contact the Board of Psychology directly in order to determine if you qualify and to apply for an exemption. For more information click here.

Inactive License
You do not need continuing education hours to renew an inactive license. In order to reactivate an inactive license, 36 hours of qualifying continuing education, including any mandatory courses at the time, are required. These hours of coursework must have been completed no more than 24 months prior to the date of reactivation. For further information about placing a license on inactive status or reactivating a license, please contact the BOP directly.

Independent Learning - previously known as Distance Learning (Same definition, just new name)
Psychologists are allowed to accrue up to 75% of their continuing education via distance learning each renewal cycle.  Distance learning courses may be taught via the Internet, CD-ROM, satellite downlink and traditional home study. Independent learning courses must meet the same requirements as all other approved courses.

Continuing Education Content Requirements and Rules:

Note: You are responsible for determining if you meet the following requirements and must report your compliance directly to the BOP on your license renewal form.

Ethics and the Law
Effective January, 2007, the BOP's ethics and law requirement allows flexibility in meeting the intent of the original requirement to stay abreast of changes in law, regulation, ethical standards and standards of practice in your specialty area. The new approach requires the use of professional judgment - it is not a prescribed, one size fits all formula. The burden has always been on the professional to stay abreast of the changes; you now have the flexibility to select activities that are both useful and appropriate for your practice.  Reminder: this does not change the CE regulation that requires 36 hours of approved coursework to renew your license. This only effects the ethics and law requirement.

Supervision Requirement
The Board of Psychology's supervision requirement is completely unrelated to the MCE license renewal requirement.  You make the determination whether or not any particular course or subject of study meets your educational requirements as a supervisor. For assistance in making that determination, please visit the Board of Psychology's web site at:  Supervision At A Glance.

Aging/Long Term Care  and Spousal/Domestic Violence requirement
Beginning with the Jan. 2007 license renewals, the aging and long-term care CE requirement is no longer in effect. Additionally the one-time requirement for Spousal Abuse/Domestic Violence expired January 2006. However, if you are a first time renewal, these requirements may apply for you. To determine if you need these courses, please talk directly to a licensing tech at the Board of Psychology. You can send an e-mail to

(revised 10/2014)


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