Exam Bulletin - Psychologist (Health Facility - Clinical - Safety)

Department of State Hospitals

Multiple Testing Departments. Please see list of Departments.

Exam Code: EX-1297

Examination Plans Included:


Final Filing Date: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Bulletin Updates

  • Any editable section on the Exam Bulletin has been updated.

Classification Details

PSYCHOLOGIST (HEALTH FACILITY - CLINICAL - SAFETY): $5,312.00 - $11,651.00 per Month *1
*1: CDCR will also use this classification to fill their vacancies for Psychologist - Clinical, Correctional Facility.

View the PSYCHOLOGIST (HEALTH FACILITY - CLINICAL - SAFETY) classification specification.

Application Instructions

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):


For all Classifications, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 6 months:

Exam Code(s):


For PSYCHOLOGIST (HEALTH FACILITY - CLINICAL - SAFETY), once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 6 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-01297

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.

Unless otherwise stated in the Minimum Qualifications, qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as "Either" 1, "or" 2, "or" 3, etc. For example, applicants possessing qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 1 and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 2 may be accepted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirement.


License: Possession of a valid license as a Psychologist issued by the California Board of Psychology and possession of an earned Doctorate Degree in Psychology from an educational institution meeting the criteria of Section 2914 of the Medical Board of California's Business and Professions Code. and Possession of the education and experience for the appropriate specialty (Clinical, Counseling, Educational, Experimental, or Social) as outlined in Section 1396 of the Board of Psychology's Regulations.

Individuals who do not qualify for licensure by the California Board of Psychology or who are in the process of securing this license will be admitted into the examination and may be appointed, but must secure a valid license within three years of an appointment or the employment shall be terminated. For persons employed less than full time, an extension of a waiver of licensure may be granted for additional years proportional to the extent of part-time employment, as long as the person is employed without interruption in service, but in no case shall the waiver exceed five years.

(Unlicensed individuals who are recruited from outside the State of California and who qualify for licensure may take the examination and may be appointed for a maximum of two years at which time licensure shall have been obtained or the employment shall be terminated. Additionally, they must take the licensure examination at the earliest possible date after the date of employment.)

Education: Completion of all requirements for a Doctoral Degree in Psychology from a recognized college or university with specialization in clinical or child clinical psychology. [Graduates of foreign universities, except Canadian, and graduates of unaccredited universities must meet the educational requirements for State licensure as a Psychologist as evidenced by a written statement from the California Board of Psychology and possession of an earned Doctorate Degree in Psychology from an educational institution meeting the criteria of Section 2914 of the Medical Board of California's Business and Professions Code. This statement will also be required to determine the sufficiency of an academic specialty believed equivalent to those mentioned here. (Applicants who are within six months of receiving their degree will be admitted to the examination but will not be eligible for appointment until receipt of the degree and completion of the internship.)]

Position Description


Conduct various forms of group and individual therapy, including behavior modification and psychotherapy; select, administer, score, and interpret psychological tests; assess forensic clients, patients, or inmates and make recommendations on admission, transfer, discharge, and therapeutic activities; consult with medical personnel regarding forensic client, patient, or inmate status; evaluate and report on current and new programs; participate in treatment team, staff, and professional meetings; serve as consultants within the facility or to other agencies and groups; may work with community groups to develop supportive resources and conduct mental health education; may participate in training programs for other staff and volunteers; may participate in interviews for the selection of personnel; initiate, design, collaborate, and report on psychological research or program evaluation; may write articles for publication; may compile and analyze statistics; and observe and intervene in instances of disruptive or assaultive behavior.

 Assist staff in the counting, distribution, and accounting for all utensils to prevent their use as weapons; inspecting facility to identify security breaches that could lead to forensic client, patient, or inmate escape; and observing and intervening in forensic client, patient, or inmate behavior that may signal an impending escape attempt.


Special Personal Characteristics

An interest and a willingness to work at developmental centers, State hospitals, or correctional facilities contracting with the Department of Mental Health for diagnostic and treatment services; sympathetic and objective understanding of the problems of developmentally or mentally disordered offenders; possession of scientific and professional integrity; alertness; tact; patience; and emotional stability.

Special Physical Characteristics

Possession and maintenance of sufficient strength, agility, and endurance to perform during physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful and emergency situations encountered on the job without endangering their own health and well-being or that of their fellow employees, forensic clients, patients, inmates, or the public.

For information regarding position location(s), please refer to the Eligible List Information section.

Examination Information

This examination consists of the following components:

  • Online Exam : 100% of the final score.

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

Knowledge of:
1. Psychological theories and research.
2. Principles, techniques, and problems in developing and coordinating a specialized psychological treatment program. 3. 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.
4. Methods for the assessment and modification of human behavior.
5. Characteristics and social aspects of mental disorders and retardation.
6. Research methodology and program evaluation.
7. Institutional and social process.
8. Group dynamics.
9. Functions of psychologists in various mental health services.
10. Current trends in the field of mental health.
11. Professional training.
12. Community organization and allied professional services.

Ability to:
1. Plan, organize, and work in a specialized psychological treatment program involving members of other treatment disciplines.
2. Provide professional consultation and program leadership.
3. Teach and participate in professional training.
4. Recognize situations requiring the creative application of technical skills.
5. 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 psychological program
6. Plan, organize, and conduct research, data analysis, and program evaluation.
7. Conduct assessment and psychological treatment procedures.
8. Secure the cooperation of professional and lay groups.
9. Analyze situations accurately and take effective action.
10. Communicate effectively.

Eligible List Information

A Servicewide Open eligible list for the PSYCHOLOGIST (HEALTH FACILITY - CLINICAL - SAFETY) Classification will be established for:

  • State of California

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 12 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. Veterans' Preference is an assistance program for veterans, veteran widows and widowers, and spouses of 100% disabled veterans who seek employment with the state. Veterans' Preference is also extended to currently serving military members nearing their retirement or separation date.

You are not eligible for Veteran's Preference if you are:

  • A veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.
  • A veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran who currently has permanent civil service status. (Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This does not include limited term).

Veterans' Preference is codified in Government Code Sections 18973 – 18979.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Psychologist (Health Facility - Clinical - Safety) Training & Experience Examination Preview


Rate your knowledge and experience performing specific job-related tasks.


  1. Provide clinical services in the form of structured psychological interventions of demonstrated clinical effectiveness (e.g., individual or group psychotherapy, behavior therapy).
  2. Provide psychological treatment services including diagnostic assessment and consultation.
  3. Participate in conferences and meetings with colleagues to design, implement, and monitor the effectiveness of psychologically sound treatment programs.
  4. Participate in the Treatment Team process including identifying treatment needs, designing, and developing individualized treatment plans/programs, and making dispositional decisions.
  5. Review patient referrals to determine treatment needs.
  6. Administer, score, and interpret a variety of psychological test instruments to patients to obtain information on individuals' intelligence, achievements, interests, and personalities.
  7. Perform psychological assessments of patients' cognitive, personality, behavioral-functional, or neuropsychological status and provide information on the results to the patient and Treatment Team.
  8. Provide feedback to patients regarding findings of psychological assessments/evaluations and document the process.
  9. Perform Suicide Risk Assessments and Violence Risk Assessments on all patients to determine the level of risk as clinically indicated.
  10. Participate in the design, development, and refinement of skill training treatment groups provided at the unit level.
  11. Interact with patients to assist them in gaining insight, defining goals, and planning action to achieve effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment.
  12. Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or treatments and the accuracy and completeness of diagnoses.
  13. Assess and document progress to maintain required records as clinically indicated for patients.
  14. Review appropriateness and facilitate the completion of all referrals for psychological and neuropsychological assessments.
  15. Complete reports and documentation (e.g., primary clinician, treatment progress notes).
  16. De-escalate patient aggressive behavior and intervene to protect self and others.
  17. Complete assessments/evaluations and make recommendations on therapeutic activities.



Rate your knowledge and experience in applying specific job-related knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of:

  1. Psychological practice (e.g., intellectual assessment, personality assessment) to determine diagnosis.
  2. Crisis management and risk assessment (e.g., violence risk, suicide risk) to help define direction and development of patient treatment.
  3. Techniques of psychological assessment including clinical interviewing, mental status examination, scoring, administration, and interpretation of psychological tests.
  4. Psychological theories to evaluate patients, implement treatment programs, and develop treatment strategies.
  5. Behavioral management principles to understand patient challenges to develop treatment strategies and assist patient.
  6. Psychology with particular reference to human development, motivation, personality, learning, individual differences, adaptation, and sociocultural interactions.
  7. Group dynamics to deliver patient treatment.
  8. Methods for the assessment and modification of human behavior.
  9. Characteristics and social aspects of mental disorder and intellectual disability.

Ability to: 

  1. Interpret psychological data to inform treatment planning.
  2. Develop and evaluate approaches to the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of mental disorders.
  3. Conduct assessment and psychological treatment procedures.
  4. Write using a variety of data and relevant information and files.
  5. Communicate with discretion, diplomacy, and tact, regarding the difficult and sensitive situations of others (e.g., students, colleagues, management).
  6. Compile information or data to maintain accurate and complete records.

Testing Departments

  • Department of State Hospitals
  • State of California

Contact Information

Questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

Department of State Hospitals
Julie Amaro
Department of State Hospitals - Sacramento
Human Resources Office
1215 O Street, MS 17
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 915-8285

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

Department of State Hospitals reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)