Licensing Laws vs. Regulations… What’s the Difference?
- Laws: are the product of written statutes, passed by either the U.S. Congress or state legislatures. The legislatures create bills that, when passed by a vote, become statutory law. For example, in this case, the Wisconsin Chapter 455 is the law. To become licensed, applicants must “have had at least one year of appropriate experience in psychological work under conditions satisfactory to the examining… However, the examining board may not adopt rules requiring an internship.” So, what makes the WI Psychology Examining Board enforce the ASPPB requirements onto applicants/ and business competitors? We’ll refer you to ASPPB Issue #1.
- Regulations: derive from the law, are standards adopted as rules by the Psychology Examining Board of Wisconsin to implement, interpret, or make specific the law enforced or administered by the rule. For example, in this case, the Administrative Code PSY-1 through PSY-5 is the regulation. It requires “3,000 hours of supervised experience” (specifically: 1,500 pre/ 1,500 post-doctoral), which is identical to their ASPPB Contract. What makes the Board prefer to enforce invalid/ unenforceable rules, over the color of State the law? … What makes them impose ASPPB requirements onto applicants/competitors? We’ll refer you to ASPPB Issue #1.
What makes the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) misinform the applicants and the public? Nothing in this Wisconsin law require applicants to have a preset number of pre-doctoral or post-doctoral hours for licensing. Yet, the DSPS keeps contradicting itself, and misinforming applicants “Per statute: x,y,z, is needed.” Check it out… you don’t even have to read anything, if you want, just do a quick word search on the statute (Ctl+F), and look for ‘year,’ ‘hours,’ ‘pre-doctoral’ or ‘post-doctoral,’ or come up with your own. Nothing come up. Nada. We are paying big $$$ to whoever finds it in State law. Here is the example:
What Happens when There is a Discrepancy Like This One?
You Complain or Contest the Rule…. You can only judge the validity of a regulation by reading it with the statutes that authorized it. When State agencies make regulations that exceed the scope of its statutory authority, the regulations will be deemed invalid as challenged. Digging deeper into Wisconsin State Law, while the Board “shall promulgate rules for its own profession, they must be consistent with state law“ Wi.Statt.227.10(2) / [Pfeiffer v. Board of Regents, 328 NW 2d 279 – Wis: Supreme Court 1983]. Also, an administrative agency (DSPS) cannot control for weight when interpreting its own rules, [this is when Courts defer to agencies’ interpretation of their own regulations because of agency’s ‘presumed expertise and experience’]… when it is clearly erroneous and inconsistent with the law [Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co. 325 U.S. 410 (1945)] as it is in this case. If the DSPS and the Board are being properly informed, trained, and supervised about its own laws, what makes them continually impose ASPPB requirements onto applicants/competitors? We’ll refer you to ASPPB Issue #1. Interesting enough, according to its ‘Tips and Tricks” Manual,” the ASPPB is also quite aware of this type of issue (Page #17). Yet, they continue to “deny any such allegations.”
While the WI Board received the a proposal to correct the issues, being made aware of the law on 2/08/16 (Exhibit 1), and then received the full complaint on 3/18/16, they have neither taken reasonable efforts to correct this issue, nor responded to our letters. Instead, note how the hastily canceled their Board meeting scheduled for 3/31/16. *In the process of writing this note, it was noted they also canceled their 5/11/16 meeting today.*
Giving them the benefit of the doubt… a thought came to mind … Hmm, maybe they said:
a) “Well, let’s take more time to review this objectively, evaluate reasonable alternatives, fix the rules if needed… or modify them according to the law… and then properly re-submit them…
Sounds Fair Right??…
OR …maybe they said:
b) “Let’s cancel this meeting, so we don’t have to formally review this public comment/complaint as required by the state’s rule-making process…that way we can push this through, and it looks clean for a potentially faster approval… and deal with it later.”
Any guesses? …..It seems like they went with option b, as noted in WI Senate/Assembly Journal entries (4/7/16).
What makes the implicated Board members push their own interests and continue to pursue flawed regulations, despite the law?? Are they really just trying to maintain their private interests? … are they simply saving-face?… are they just very agentic personalities? …or a combination of all three? Not sure… we can only reasonably refer you to Issue #1 Conflict of Interests at this time.
The Great News
The Wisconsin Psychology Board recently replaced their old ASPPB-Driven Application (11/2011) with a brand New Form (3/31/2016). It was noted that applicants from any other State (reciprocity) are no longer required to compete the lengthy (and still outdated) ‘Verification of Supervised Experience‘ (1/2013) form. Meaning… the ‘ASPPB postdoc ticket’ is no longer required! Great Job Wisconsin! Definitely going in the right direction and would love to see more integrous psychologists stand up for what is right and make this happen for everyone in every state. It wasn’t so hard… plus it was without the need to contest the rules (hint to all you State Boards).
For the sake of objectivity, one question remains for the Board.. How do you justify issuing a psychologist license to an out-of-state applicant/competitor from one of the 11 States without post-doctoral requirements, yet still require local applicants with identical experiences to complete his/her experiences only post-doctorally? Not sure, other than Issue #1. By the way, isn’t this illegal trade discrimination both at State and Federal levels?? Checkmate… Either way, there is still some work to be done.
How will the Wisconsin Psychological Association (WPA) and its ‘advocacy’ team address this issue tomorrow at their Annual Convention?? We noticed the Chair for the WI Licensing Board will be there on Friday, and would love to hear about what he has to say regarding this mess. And while the WPA sure has been intensely lurking (and ‘carbon copy’) all of this, they have taken the ‘conformity stance’ as they have neither responded to our letters, nor taken a stance. In fact, published minutes indicated continual WPA attendance to the Board’s meetings, yet mere agreeability with everything the Board says. It’s kind of ironic for a self-proclaimed ‘advocacy cabinet’ … Silence is Collusion.
Before we go..it is Time to Release Open Records Documents:
How does Antitrust Law apply to Psychologists?
Next time, we’ll incorporate the most serious issue: Anticompetitive Conduct.