The Certification & Examination Process

Stage I:

The completed application is reviewed by the ABPP Executive Officer for compliance with general doctoral degree and licensure/certification requirements, and the OBCP Specialty Board for specific requirements of the specialty.  Following favorable review and verification, the applicant becomes a candidate for certification and moves to Stage II, or the practice sample stage of the process.

Stage II:

The practice samples are completed, guided by clear instructions.  A mentor for this stage is available to guide the applicant.  The practice sample(s) should reflect the candidate’s usual practice.  This stage is reviewed by central office for completeness and the specialty board for adequacy of preparation.  Upon approval by the specialty board, the candidate moves to Stage III, the oral examination.

Stage II:

The Examination Coordinator of the Specialty Board appoints a chairperson for the candidate’s (oral) Examining Committee.  The chair works directly with the candidate until the conclusion of the examination.  The chair will attempt to select examiners whose areas of theoretical orientation, practice, and professional interest are similar to those of the candidate as set forth in their completed form:  Practice Areas and Activities for the Preparation of Practice Samples and Oral Examinations.

The chair reviews all documentation and practice samples submitted by the candidate in preparation for the examination.  Ethical issue vignettes, appropriate for the candidate’s areas of practice, are used as part of the examination.  The examination normally takes one half day at a time and place agreeable to the candidate.  Details of the examination procedures, criteria and rating methods are available to candidates prior to the examination.

While thorough, the oral exam is collegial and is designed to allow the candidate to demonstrate knowledge and skill in an environment of as little stress as possible.  The candidate is examined within his/her own theoretical framework.  The results of the examination are forwarded to the Executive Officer for notification to the Candidate.

The examination encompasses the following interrelated domains of professional competency:

Assessment and Intervention
The assessment and intervention competencies related to the practice of the specialty are fundamental aspects of the examination.  Among others, the ability to choose procedures appropriate for assessing the needs is essential, as is the ability to select appropriate intervention procedures and apply these at a highly effective level.  Example(s) of the candidate’s practice are submitted and reviewed.

Science Base and Application
The science and discipline base of the specialty and the appropriate application of that base to the candidate’s current practice of OBCP, including awareness of theory and research pertaining to issues of diversity e.g. ethnicity.

Ethics and Legal Foundations
The awareness and appropriate exercise of ethical and legal standards.  This includes the APA Ethical Principles and current statutory provisions and case law precedents applicable for the protection of the interests of individuals, groups, organizations and society.

Professional Identification
The Candidate is expected to demonstrate meaningful involvement with the profession in general and the specialty in particular.

Consultation and Supervision
These competency areas are particularly significant areas of practice for many specialties and are often applicable when included in the candidate’s pattern of practice.

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