The ABCCAP examination process assesses functional and foundational competencies. These domains are described below.
Science Base and Application
**NOTE: Satisfactory performance in science base and application must be demonstrated throughout the entire examination process.
A successful Candidate is aware of and conversant with scientific and scholarly developments in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and applies them in professional practice. Examiners explore the Candidate’s awareness of and ability to discuss critically the implications and applications of contemporary knowledge in the practice of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. This includes knowledge of the integration of theory, research, and practice concerning interpersonal interactions, issues of individual/family and cultural diversity (e.g., ethnicity, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability status, and special populations1), ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification. If applicable, attention is paid to the Candidate’s own scholarly contributions as they inform the practice of clinical child and adolescent psychology.
A successful Candidate conducts assessments that can range from the administration and interpretation of standardized tests to behavioral observations and clinical interviews. Assessment cases come from appropriate developmental levels. In some forms of professional practice, assessment and intervention are integral parts of the same process. Examiners explore the Candidate’s level of sophistication in discussing choice of assessment methods or approaches to address diagnostic issues and/or case formulation consistent with whatever theoretical foundation and evidence base is proposed as guiding assessment work. Attention is paid to interpersonal interactions, individual and cultural diversity, ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification as related to assessment.
A successful Candidate performs interventions that may take the form of any modality of psychological treatment or environmental modification. Intervention cases may come from any appropriate developmental level. In some forms of professional practice, assessment and intervention are integral parts of the same process. Examiners explore the Candidate’s level of sophistication in discussing choice of therapeutic or environmental interventions to address therapeutic or family/systemic/organizational issues consistent with whatever theoretical foundation and evidence base is proposed as guiding intervention work. Attention is paid to interpersonal interactions, individual and cultural diversity, ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification as related to intervention.
A successful Candidate demonstrates the ability to communicate and apply his/her knowledge in consultation with others such as other persons who provide psychological services, health care professionals from other disciplines, educational/school personnel, social service agencies, rehabilitation centers, industry, legal systems, public policy makers, and individuals in other institutions and settings. Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologists, additionally, consult regarding research. Attention is paid to interpersonal interactions, individual and cultural diversity, ethics and legal foundations, and professional identification as related to consultation.
With regard to Supervision, a successful Candidate demonstrates the ability to communicate and apply his/her knowledge in supervision with others such as psychological technicians/assistants; psychometricians; other persons who provide psychological services; psychology trainees in practicum, internship, and postdoctoral settings; and individuals conducting research. With regards to Management, a successful Candidate demonstrates the ability to effectively carry out administrative activities and/or program design, implementation, and evaluation.
In addition to the functional competencies described above, four foundational competencies are evaluated as they apply to all functional competencies evaluated. The foundational competencies are described below and include: interpersonal interactions, individual and cultural diversity, ethical and legal foundations, and professional identification.
A successful Candidate demonstrates sensitivity to the welfare, rights, and dignity of others and an ability to relate to clients/patients and others in ways that enhance the effectiveness of services provided. Successful Candidates must be aware of their own impact on others and countertransference vulnerabilities. They must indicate awareness of relevant issues regarding boundaries, communication styles, and professionalism.
Individual and Cultural Diversity
A successful Candidate demonstrates awareness of all aspects of individual and cultural diversity (e.g., ethnicity, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability status, and special populations) as these influence their understanding of assessment, intervention, consultation, supervision/ management, the science base and its application, and interpersonal interactions. Successful Candidates convey awareness of their own individual and cultural diversity characteristics as these influence functioning across functional competencies and interpersonal interactions.
Ethical and Legal Foundations
A successful Candidate is aware of: (1) current ethical principles and practice guidelines of the APA; (2) current statutory and regulatory provisions applicable to professional practice; and (3) implications of these principles to protect clients/patients, the profession, and society.
A successful Candidate identifies with the profession by appropriate memberships and involvement in international, national, state, or local professional organizations and by awareness of current issues facing the profession. The Candidate pursues continuing professional education commensurate with licensure requirements and professional development in the Specialty of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. They seek consultation and supervision when necessary and engage in ongoing training and continuing professional education.
Candidates should refer to the ABCCAP Examination Manual for specific details of what and how to submit practice samples. In summary, the Curriculum Vitae and Professional Statement are required for all Candidates. Individuals applying under the Regular Option will submit two recorded practice samples with accompanying documentation as described below. Individuals applying under the Senior Psychologist Option will submit two practice samples but are not required to provide recorded material. In each case, practice samples should come from two of the following functional competencies: assessment, intervention, consultation, and supervision/management. The same client/patient cannot serve as the basis for both Practice Samples.
All Practice Samples must include a Curriculum Vitae detailing the Candidate’s professional contributions. The Curriculum Vitae must include educational and training background, professional roles and responsibilities, and professional contributions (e.g., service activities, publications, presentations, grants).
The Professional Statement (no more than 10 double-spaced, typewritten pages) must address in separate sections each of the following items:
1) Description of current professional work (employment and professional activities at the local, state, and national level), continuing professional education activities, long-term plans in psychology, and reasons for seeking board certification;
2) Summary of the two submitted Practice Samples (for regular applicants) or a summary of primary functional competencies (for senior applicants) that includes a description of the theoretical and empirical bases for these activities;
3) Discussion of the evidence base that informs one’s practice as a Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist;
4) Examples of handling of complex interpersonal interactions in the functional competencies of assessment, intervention, consultation, and/or supervision/management;
5) Examples of awareness of individual and cultural diversity as pertinent to one’s assessments, interventions, consultations, and/or supervision/management;
6) Description of a meaningful and challenging ethical dilemma personally encountered, aspects of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct pertinent to the dilemma, and how the dilemma was managed;
7) Attestation that no ethical/legal action has been taken against Candidate since candidacy.
REGULAR OPTION PRACTICE SAMPLES
The Practice Samples are two recordings (e.g., DVDs, videotapes) of professional work representative of the Candidate’s current practice, each approximately 50 minutes in length. These recordings should be made no more than one year prior to the submission. The Candidate may select to provide Practice Samples reflecting two of the following functional competencies: assessment, intervention, consultation, and/or supervision/management. The recorded Practice Samples will depict two of the following: (1) an unrehearsed psychological assessment or evaluation; (2) an unrehearsed intervention (any modality) drawn from typical clinical practice; (3) an unrehearsed consultation in any context drawn from typical practice; or (4) an unrehearsed demonstration of clinically relevant supervision or management activities. It is not acceptable to provide two samples of the same functional competency (e.g., two assessment samples).
An Assessment Practice Sample may include psychological testing or an intake evaluation. If the Assessment Practice Sample includes test administration, the recording must be that portion during which rapport building, interviewing and/or provision of feedback takes place. A recording solely depicting test administration is not satisfactory unless the test is a semi-structured interview, such that the specific administration requires significant clinical sophistication (e.g., ADOS). Where standardized assessment instruments are used, the Candidate should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the construction, administration and interpretation of such instruments. Note that formal testing is not required for an Assessment Practice Sample.
An Intervention Practice Sample may include an example of ongoing therapy. An in-depth assessment feedback session may also be used, unless a feedback session is used for the Assessment Practice Sample, in which case the Intervention Practice Sample must reflect a different type of intervention. The Candidate may be queried as to how he/she handled the issues of confidentiality, informed consent, and privacy with the client/patient.
A Consultation Practice Sample may include an example of a clinical consultation.
A Supervision/Management Practice Sample may include a demonstration of performance in supervision or management activities.
SENIOR OPTION PRACTICE SAMPLES
Psychologists who qualify for the Senior Option must submit a Curriculum Vitae and Professional Statement as delineated above. In addition, the Senior Candidate must include two or more of the following: professional publications, brochures, outlines, presentations, or portfolios that demonstrate functional competence in assessment, intervention, consultation, and/or supervision/management related to the practice of clinical child and adolescent psychology. As with regular option candidates, the two practice samples must reflect two different areas of functional competence. Specifically, Candidates qualifying as seniors may provide information reflecting more distinctive practice patterns resulting from extended professional experience, e.g., areas of consultation; contracted service responsibilities; special grants; program administration/supervision; graduate school, internship, or residency program contributions, involvement, or clinical level teaching; Continuing Professional Education program presentations; program evaluation or research, professional publications related to the practice of the specialty; or the organization and pattern of the Candidate’s current clinical practice.
Please note that recorded Practice Samples are not required for the Senior Psychologist Option, but the Candidate should be prepared to discuss the following functional competencies: science base and application, assessment, intervention, consultation, and supervision/management.
Once Stage II is passed, then the candidate moves on to the Stage III oral examination. Candidates are referred to the ABCCAP Exam Manual for a summary schedule of the oral examination. The Oral Examination process is designed to be completed in approximately three hours. For both regular and senior option Candidates, it is a competency-based examination and the Examination Committee is expected to explicitly address functional and foundational competencies with the Candidate. Within each segment, there is room for variation according to the judgment of the Examination Committee. Many topics will be interwoven throughout the examination, and flexibility should be allowed if relevant to the discussion. A topic may receive more cursory exploration in its scheduled time period if it has been sufficiently covered earlier. It often is useful to utilize hypothetical examples or situations to ascertain if the individual meets the criterion for passing each functional and foundational competency. The Oral Examination process should be collegial in nature.