Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Bulletin website includes the following: Rulemakings by State agencies; Proposed Rulemakings by State agencies; State agency notices; the Governor’s Proclamations and Executive Orders; Actions by the General Assembly; and Statewide and local court rules.

PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 00-169



[49 PA. CODE CH. 41]

Application Fees

[30 Pa.B. 536]

   The State Board of Psychology (Board) amends § 41.12 (relating to fees) by revising certain application fees.

   This rulemaking amends reapplication and certification fees and creates verification and fictitious/corporate name registration fees to reflect the Board's actual cost of providing the services.

   Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 29 Pa.B. 2145 (April 24, 1999). Publication was followed by a 30-day public comment period during which the Board received no public comments. Following the close of the public comment period, the Board received comments from the House Professional Licensure Committee (HPLC) and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee (SCP/PLC) did not comment.

   The following is a response to the comments.

Certification and Verification Fee

   The HPLC questioned under what circumstances the Board ''certifies'' an examination score. The HPLC and IRRC also requested an explanation of the difference between a verification and certification and an explanation of what accounts for the differential in fees.

   The certification of a score is made at the request of a licensee when the licensee is seeking to obtain licensure in another state based upon licensure in this Commonwealth which was issued on the basis of a uniform National or regional examination which was taken in this Commonwealth. Generally the state of original licensure is the only source of the score of the licensee as testing agencies do not maintain this information. The licensure laws of many states include provisions that licensure by reciprocity or endorsement based on licensure in another state will be granted only if the Board or agency determines that the qualification are the same or substantially similar. Many state agencies have interpreted this provision to require that licensees have attained a score equal to or exceeding the passing rate in that jurisdiction at the time of original licensure. For this reason, these states require that the Board and other licensing boards certify the examination score the applicant achieved on the licensure examination.

   As noted in proposed rulemaking, the difference between the verification and certification fees is the amount of time required to produce the document requested by the licensee. States request different information when making a determination as to whether to grant licensure based on reciprocity or endorsement from another state. The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (Bureau) has been able to create two documents from its records that will meet all of the needs of the requesting state. The licensee, when the applicant applies to the other state, receives information as to what documentation and form is acceptable in the requesting state. The Bureau then advises the licensee of the type of document the Bureau can provide and the fee. In the case of a ''verification'' the staff produces the requested documentation by a letter, usually computer generated, which contains the license number, date of original issuance and current expiration date, and status of the license. The letters are printed from the Bureau's central computer records and sent to the Board staff responsible for handling the licensees application. The letters are sealed, folded and mailed in accordance with the directions of the requestor. The Bureau estimates the average time to prepare this document to be 5 minutes. The Bureau uses the term ''certification fee'' to describe the fee for a request for a document, again generally to support reciprocity or endorsement applications to other states, territories or countries, or for employment of training in another state. A certification document contains information specific to the individual requestor. It may include dates or location where examinations were taken, or scores achieved or hours and location of training. The information is entered onto a document which is usually supplied by the requestor. The average time to prepare a certification is 45 minutes. This is because a number of resources, such as files, microfilm and rosters must be retrieved and consulted to provide the information requested. The Board staff then seals and issues this document.

Administrative Overhead

   IRRC requested that the Bureau and the boards: (1) itemize the overhead cost to be recouped by the fees; and (2) reexamine the method that is used to determine the administrative overhead factor for each fee.

   IRRC commented that although the Bureau's method was reasonable, there was no assurance that the fees would recover the actual overhead cost because the charge was not related to the service, and because the charge was based on the actual rather than the projected expenditures. IRRC also commented that there was no certainty that the projected revenues would meet or exceed projected expenditures, as required under the licensing boards enabling statutes.

   In computing overhead charges, the licensing boards and the Bureau include expenses resulting from service of support staff operations, equipment, technology initiatives or upgrades, leased office space and other sources not directly attributable to a specific board. Once determined, the Bureau's total administrative charge is apportioned to each board based upon that licensing boards share of the total active licensee population. In turn, the board's administrative charge is divided by the number of active licensees to calculate a ''per application'' charge which is added to direct personnel cost to establish the cost of processing. The administrative charge is consistently applied to every application regardless of how much time the staff spends processing the application.

   This method of calculating administrative overhead to be apportioned to fees for services was first included in the biennial reconciliation of fees and expenses conducted in 1988-89. In accordance with the regulatory review, the method was approved by the HPLC and SCP/PLC and IRRC as reasonable and consistent with the legislative intent of statutory provisions which require the Board to establish fees which meet or exceed expenses.

   IRRC suggested that within each licensing board, the administrative charge should be determined by the amount of time required to process each application. For example, an application requiring ½ hour of processing time would pay ½ as much overhead charge as an application requiring 1 hour of processing time. The Bureau concurs with IRRC that by adopting this methodology the Bureau and the licensing boards would more nearly and accurately accomplish their objective of setting fees that cover the cost of the service. Therefore, in accordance with IRRC's suggestions, the Bureau conducted a test to compare the resulting overhead of charge obtained by applying the IRRC suggested time factor versus the current method. This review of a licensing board's operation showed that approximately 25% of staff time was devoted to providing services described in the regulations. The current method recouped 22% to 28% of the administrative overhead charges versus the 25% recouped using a ratio-based time factor. However, when the time factor is combined with the licensing population for each licensing board, the resulting fees vary widely even though different licensees may receive the same services. For example, using the time-factor method to issue a verification of licensure would cost $34.58 for a landscape architect as compared with a cost of $10.18 for a cosmetologist. Conversely, under the Bureau method the administrative overhead charge of $9.76 represents the cost of processing a verification application for all licensees in the Bureau. Also, the Bureau found that employing a time factor in the computation of administrative overhead would result in a different amount of overhead charge being made for each fee proposed.

   With regard to IRRC's suggestions concerning projected versus actual expenses, the Boards note that the computation of projected expenditures based on amounts actually expended has been the basis for biennial reconciliations for the past 10 years. During these 5 biennial cycles, the experience of both the Boards and the Bureau has been that established and verifiable data which can be substantiated by collective bargaining agreements, pay scales and cost benefit factors. This method has provided a reliable basis for fees. Also, the fees are kept at a minimum for licensees, but appear adequate to sustain the operations of the Boards over an extended period. Similarly, accounting, recordkeeping and swift processing of applications, renewals and other fees were the primary basis for ''rounding up'' the actual costs to establish a fee. This rounding up process has in effect resulted in the necessary but minimal cushion or surplus to accommodate unexpected needs and expenditures.

   For these reasons, the licensing boards have not made changes in the method by which they allocate administrative expenditures and the resulting fees will remain as proposed.

Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1, Regulatory Review and Promulgation

   The Board reviewed this rulemaking and considered its purpose and likely impact upon the public and the regulated population under the directives of Executive Order 1996-1, Regulatory Review and Promulgation. The final-form regulation addresses a compelling public interest as described in this Preamble and otherwise complies with Executive Order 1996-1.

Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements

   The final-form regulation will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The fees will have a modest fiscal impact on those members of the private sector who apply for services from the Board. The final-form regulations will impose no additional paperwork requirements upon the Commonwealth, political subdivisions or the private sector.

Statutory Authority

   The final-form regulation is authorized under section 3.3(d) of the Professional Psychologists Practice Act (act), (63 P. S. § 1203.3(d)).

Sunset Date

   The Board continually monitors the effectiveness of its regulations through communications with the regulated population; accordingly, no sunset date has been set.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on April 24, 1999, the Board submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 29 Pa.B. 2145, to IRRC and the Chairpersons of the HPLC and the SCP/PLC for review and comment. In compliance with section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Board also provided IRRC and the Committees with copies of the comments received, as well as other documentation.

   In preparing this final-form regulation the Board has considered the comments received from the Committees, IRRC and the public.

   This final-form regulation was approved by the HPLC on December 7, 1999, and deemed approved by the SCP/PLC on December 20, 1999. IRRC met on January 6, 2000, and approved the regulation in accordance with section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(e)).

Contact Person

   Further information may be obtained by contacting Melissa Wilson, Administrative Assistant, State Board of Psychology, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649; (717) 783-7155.


   (1)  Public notice of proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder at 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered.

   (3)  This amendment does not enlarge the purpose of proposed rulemaking published at 29 Pa.B. 2145.

   (4)  This amendment is necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the Board's authorizing statute.


   The Board, acting under its authorizing statute, orders that:

   (1)  The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 41, are amended by amending § 41.12 to read as set forth at 29 Pa.B. 2145.

   (2)  The Board shall submit this order and 29 Pa.B. 2145 to the Office of General Counsel and to the Office of Attorney General as required by law.

   (3)  The Board shall certify this order and 29 Pa.B. 2145 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (4)  This order shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


   (Editor's Note:  For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 30 Pa.B. 465 (January 22, 2000).)

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 16A-636 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 00-169. Filed for public inspection January 28, 2000, 9:00 a.m.]

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.