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ABOLISHED 05/07/2015 PER PAY LETTER 15-17 - Senior Psychologist (9840)

ABOLISHED 05/07/2015 PER PAY LETTER 15-17 - Senior Psychologist

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: XL40
  • Class Code: 9840
  • Established: 07/08/1955
  • Revised: 09/01/1971
  • Title Changed: 09/02/1965


Under general direction, (1) to perform difficult and responsible assignments relating to psychological assessment and treatment and either (a) to assist in the direction of the psychology program of a neuropsychiatric institute or a large State hospital and its service area, or (b) to plan, organize, develop and direct a psychology program similar in size and nature at a State facility; or (2) to plan, organize and coordinate a special patient treatment program which utilizes psychological techniques as its main nonmedical emphasis at a State hospital or neuropsychiatric institute; and to coordinate the work of treatment staff of various clinical specialties and volunteers in the program; or (3) to serve as a departmentwide expert and psychology consultant in a specific psychology discipline; or (4) to coordinate a departmentwide correctional psychology program; and to do other related work.

Distinguishing Characteristics

As a working supervisor: Typically directs a staff of three or four psychologists; is responsible for the evaluation of his/her staff; and personally performs the more difficult evaluation and treatment of patients. In addition to these duties a Senior Psychologist may act as an assistant to the chief psychologist of a large mental facility; provide leadership for program development and evaluation; coordinate program research or training; provide clinical or program consultation; or be responsible for the direction of a correctional psychology program or a psychology program similar in size and nature for a particular State facility.


As a special program administrator: Incumbents plan, organize, and provide leadership and functional direction for a multi-disciplinary staff engaged in a specialized treatment program.


In a staff capacity: He/she may coordinate the statewide correctional psychology program of his/her department or function as a highly specialized psychological consultant to other psychologists and other members of treatment staff. Psychology specialists are recognized as experts in a particular aspect of psychology such as:




Usually broad and high level skills in the assessment of human behavior which includes advanced knowledge of test construction and validation; ability to advise on and develop rating scales and questionnaires for special clinical studies.


Community Psychology: Advanced skill in the application of public health and psychosocialogical concepts in resource development, community organization and planning for the delivery of mental health services, therapeutic intervention and social change at the community level.


Operant Conditioning: Extensive knowledge and special skill in the application of learning theory principles to the development of adaptive habits, the shaping of self-reliant behavior and design of token economies for habitation of the developmentally disabled or the rehabilitation of chronic behavior disorders.

Typical Tasks

Plans, organizes and coordinates a special program of direct or indirect services based primarily on psychological techniques; with medical and other clinical consultation as necessary, carries project responsibilities; coordinates work of a multidisciplinary treatment staff for whom he/she has program responsibility at a ward level; trains treatment staff in applying psychological treatment methods to patient problems; may plan, organize and direct the work of a psychology unit and integrate it with that of other services in a State facility; may supervise other psychologists and provide facilitywide direction for specific areas of a psychology program such as program research, behavior modification or assessment; may direct ward staffing conferences of patients and have authority over the special patient privileges of this group; consults with medical, social work, rehabilitation, education, nursing custody and other personnel regarding program planning and evaluation and the development of direct and indirect services; conducts and participates in staff meetings; interprets the objectives and procedures of the program to other hospital personnel, members of the public, and other agencies and organizations; may perform operational and systems research studies of program effectiveness; participates in selection or exit interviews for personnel; develops and maintains working relationships with other facility units and with other agencies and organizations and may work with community groups and agencies to develop supportive resources; prepares progress, financial. and other statistical and narrative reports on the project; may submit budget requests for associated personnel, equipment and supplies; participates in training programs for Clinical Psychology Interns, Psychiatric Technicians, Psychiatric Residents. other student staff and volunteers, and may develop seminars in psychology; may select and train technical and nontechnical assistants and volunteers and assign, super vise and evaluate their work; maintains familiarity with professional development and research; may write articles for presentation or publication.

Minimum Qualifications

Experience: Either


1. One year of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a Staff Psychologist (any specialty).




2. Two years of postdoctoral, postinternship experience in the practice of psychology involving assessment and treatment and either training, research, consultation or program planning in mental health services. and


Education: Completion of all the requirements for a doctoral degree with specialization in clinical, counseling, educational, social, experimental, or medical psychology or closely related psychological specialty from a recognized college or university. Graduates of foreign universities except Canadian, and graduates of unaccredited universities must meet the education requirements for State licensure as a psychologist as evidenced by a written statement from the Psychology Examining Committee of the Board of Medical Quality Assurance. This statement will also be required to determine the sufficiency of an academic specialty believed equivalent to those mentioned above. (Two years of additional qualifying experience in the California state service may be substituted for the doctoral requirement.) and Completion of a university approved internship or field or research experience in psychology, equivalent to one full year of supervised training (1800 hours). This training must be in addition to practicum work associated with specific academic courses or dissertation research. (One full year of experience in the practice of psychology under the close supervision of a Ph.D. level psychologist may be substituted for the required training provided it follows two years of graduate study in psychology.) This internship or supervised experience must be in the same specialty as the doctorate and under the supervision of a Ph.D. level psychologist of the same specialty.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Principles, techniques and problems in developing and coordinating a specialized psychological treatment program; principles, techniques and trends in psychology with particular reference to normal and disordered behavior, human development, motivation, personality, learning, individual differences, adaptation and social interaction; methods for the assessment and modification of human behavior; characteristics and social aspects of mental disorders and retardation; research methodology and program evaluation; institutional and social process, group dynamics; functions of psychologists in various mental health or correctional services; current trends in the field of mental health; professional training; principles of personnel management and supervision; community organization and allied professional services; the department's affirmative action program objectives; a manager's role in the affirmative action program and the processes available to meet affirmative action objectives.


Ability to: Plan, organize, and direct, or coordinate a specialized psychological treatment program involving members of other treatment disciplines; provide professional consultation and program leadership; supervise professional staff; teach and participate in professional training; recognize situations requiring the creative application of technical skills; develop and evaluate creative approaches to the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of mental disorders, to the conduct of research, and to the development and direction of a Psychology program; plan, organize, and conduct research, data analysis and program evaluation; conduct the more difficult assessment and psychological treatment procedures; secure the cooperation of professional and lay groups; analyze situations accurately and take effective action; speak and write effectively; effectively contribute to the department's affirmative action objectives.

Special Personal Characteristics

Scientific and professional integrity, emotional stability, patience, alertness and tact, demonstrated leadership ability.

  Updated: 10/11/2017
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