Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 10. Psychiatric Technicians [4500 - 4548]

  ( Chapter 10 added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1851. )

ARTICLE 2. Licensure [4510 - 4519]
  ( Heading of Article 2 amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1323. )


The board shall issue a psychiatric technician’s license to each applicant who qualifies therefor, and, if required to take it, successfully passes the examination given pursuant to this chapter. The board shall also issue a psychiatric technician’s license to each holder of a psychiatric technician license who qualifies for renewal pursuant to this chapter and who applies for renewal.

After the applicant passes the examination and upon receipt by the board of the initial license fee required by subdivision (e) of Section 4548, the board may issue a receipt or temporary certificate that shall serve as a valid permit for the licensee to practice under this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 26, Sec. 146. Effective March 30, 1994.)


An applicant for license by examination shall submit a written application in the form prescribed by the board. Provided that the application for licensure is received by the board no later than four months after completion of a board approved psychiatric technician program and approval of the application, the board may issue an interim permit authorizing the applicant to practice all skills included in the permittee’s basic course of study, pending the results of the first licensing examination, or for a period of nine months, whichever occurs first.

A permittee shall function under the supervision of a licensed psychiatric technician or a registered nurse, who shall be present and available on the premises during the time the permittee is rendering professional services. The permittee may perform any function taught in the permittee’s basic psychiatric technician program.

If the applicant passes the examination, the interim permit shall remain in effect until an initial license is issued by the board or for a maximum period of six months after passing the examination, whichever occurs first. If the applicant fails the examination, the interim permit shall terminate upon notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, or if the applicant fails to receive the notice, upon the date specified in the interim permit, whichever occurs first. An interim permittee shall not use any title or designation other than psychiatric technician interim permittee or “P.T.I.P.”

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 338, Sec. 17. (SB 539) Effective January 1, 2012.)


An applicant for a psychiatric technician’s license shall have the following qualifications:

(a) Be at least 18 years of age.

(b) Have successfully completed an approved general education course of study through the 12th grade or the equivalent thereof as determined by the board.

(c) Have successfully completed (1) a prescribed course of study and training in a school approved by the board, which course of study and training shall combine the nursing knowledge and skills necessary for the care of any ill person and in addition those special skills necessary for the care of the mentally disabled and the developmentally disabled, or (2) a course of study and training which, together with previously acquired training or experience, is determined by a school approved by the board to be equivalent in academic credits to its regular program for psychiatric technician training, or (3) have completed a course of study and training which in the opinion of the board is equivalent to the minimum requirements of an approved program for psychiatric technicians in the state. Clinical inpatient experience shall be an integral part of any such prescribed or equivalent course of study and training.

(d) Have committed no act which, if committed by a licensed psychiatric technician, would be grounds for disciplinary action.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 338, Sec. 18. (SB 539) Effective January 1, 2012.)


The board shall deny the application for approval made by, and shall revoke the approval given to, any psychiatric technician school that does not give to student applicants credit, in the fields of nursing and psychiatric technician practice, for previous education and the opportunity to obtain credit for other acquired knowledge by the use of challenge examinations or other methods of evaluation.

The board shall prescribe, by regulation, the education for which credit is to be given and the amount of credit that is to be given for each type of education, including the amount of credit to be given to a psychiatric technician assistant, a certified nurse assistant, a nurse assistant who has provided direct nursing services in health facilities, and an applicant who has successfully completed equivalent courses offered by a secondary school that is accredited by the State Department of Education in any state or by a nationally recognized, regional accrediting body. These courses shall be assessed for equivalency by the psychiatric technician school.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 338, Sec. 19. (SB 539) Effective January 1, 2012.)


An applicant for a psychiatric technician’s license shall, upon the filing of his application, pay to the board the application fee prescribed by this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1323.)


Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, every applicant for a psychiatric technician’s license shall be examined by the board. The examination shall be held at least once a year and at the times and places determined by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1323.)


Upon written application and receipt of the required application fee the board may issue a license to any applicant who possesses a valid unrevoked license or certificate as a psychiatric technician issued by any other state or a foreign country, and who in the opinion of the board has the qualifications set forth in Section 4511.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1323.)


Every person licensed under this chapter may be known as a licensed psychiatric technician and may place the letters P.T. after his name.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1323.)


The board may, in its discretion, provide for a continuing education program in connection with the professional functions and courses described in this chapter. The number of course hours that the board may require in a continuing education program shall not exceed the number of course hours prescribed for licensed vocational nurses pursuant to Section 2892.5.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1078, Sec. 1.)


In the event the board adopts a continuing education program, the board may collect a biennial fee as prescribed under Section 4548 from any provider of a course in continuing education who requests approval by the board of the course for purposes of continuing education requirements adopted by the board. The fee, however, shall in no event exceed the cost required for the board to administer the approval of continuing education courses by continuing education providers.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 655, Sec. 54. Effective January 1, 2000.)


(a) In the case of a person who is employed by the state as a psychiatric technician, no state funds shall be expended in releasing the person from duty to attend continuing education courses, other than funds for in-service training and related state-provided programs.

(b) If the provisions of this section are in conflict with the provisions of a memorandum of understanding reached pursuant to Section 3517.5 of the Government Code, the memorandum of understanding shall be controlling without further legislative action, except that, if the provisions of a memorandum of understanding require the expenditure of funds, the provisions shall not become effective unless approved by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 208, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2001.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC2