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Professional Record Keeping

Psychologists and School Psychologists must plan for the management of their records in their absence.

Pursuant to OAC § 4732-17-01(B)(7)(c) each licensee must report to the Board on the biennial renewal form the name, address, email, and telephone number of “a person knowledgeable” about responsibility for records in the event of the licensee’s absence, emergency, or death. This is not new, of course, although Ethical Standard 6.02(c) in the new (June, 2003) APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct contains language that serves to clarify and inform this rule. Specifically, the standard indicates that, “Psychologists make plans in advance to facilitate the appropriate transfer and to protect the confidentiality of records and data in the event of the psychologist’s withdrawal from positions or practice.” Therefore, all licensees should have a plan for the protection and transfer of professional records—just in case. Many psychologists have mutual arrangements with psychologist-colleagues or practice representatives. Under current rules, the person listed on the renewal form does not need to be the responsible party, but must have knowledge about your plan for your records. The Board encourages all licensees to make a plan so that your clients have confidentiality and access to their records (e.g. to transfer services and records to another provider), should you be unable to oversee retention of your records and oversee requests to release information.