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is published twice yearly by the American Board of Professional Psychology. We produce in electronic form for ease of distribution, access and reproduction. Please feel free to download your copies by clicking the links on the right side of this page.
Gregory Lee, PhD, ABPP
This is to introduce myself, review some of the ABPP highlights of the year, and mention important items currently percolating at ABPP. First, I want wish you all a very happy New Year and hope that 2012 is a successful and productive year for each of you.
By way of introduction, I am board certified in clinical neuropsychology and work as a professor of neurology in the Medical College of Georgia at the Georgia Health Sciences University evaluating patients, conducting clinical research, and teaching graduate and medical students and residents. My pathway to ABPP is familiar to many of you. I first heard about board certification during my training years and learned that ABPP certification was the most definite way to demonstrate specialty competency in neuropsychology. I became involved as a member of the BOT in 2006 and served on the executive committee as secretary and then as president-elect. My ABPP has been valuable to me for multiple reasons, but just to name a few: it was universally accepted as an unambiguous statement of competence in my specialty both inside and outside of the health care setting; certification eased the pathway toward promotion at work; and board certification placed me on a more equal footing with my colleagues in medicine, all of whom were board-certified in their specialties.
It is indeed a privilege and an honor to serve as the new president of ABPP for the next two years. I am following two of the most incredibly talented and hard-working people I have ever met, Dr. Nadine Kaslow and Dr. Chris Maguth Nezu. They both have worked tirelessly to increase the visibility and value of board certification in psychology, and our organization has benefitted greatly through the leadership of these two exceptional psychologists. They have set a high bar for future presidents to live up to, and I can only attempt to do so.
Turning to some of the important highlights of this past year, I think the progression to full affiliation of Police & Public Safety Psychology (ABPPSP) to become ABPP’s 14th specialty board would have to be at the top of the list. Although the monitoring phase of ABPPSP affiliations application was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2010, they achieved full affiliation only after completing approximately 50 board examinations during 2011. The ABPPSP is now actively working on obtaining recognition as a specialty by the Committee on Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP).
ABPP will be holding its third annual ABPP Summer Workshop Series in Philadelphia, PA this coming July 11-14, 2012 at the Warwick Hotel. We will be offering some 20 half-day and whole-day workshops by some of the most knowledgeable leaders in their field. Additionally, ABPP is encouraging specialty boards to combine this meeting time with their own board activities, to include oral board exams or board of directors meetings, as examples. We hope that you will join us in Philadelphia this summer and also assist in planning for specific topics and specialty board activities to help grow the workshop series in the future.
ABPP Executive Committee. The ABPP secretary, Jay Thomas, has become ill and resigned his post this fall to attend to his health. We wish to thank Jay for the service he has provided ABPP. Please join with us in keeping Jay and his family in your thoughts and prayers. At ABPP’s annual meeting this past December in Chapel Hill, NC, the Board of Trustees elected Randy Otto as the President-elect, Jerry Sweet as Treasurer, and Alina Suris as Secretary. These accomplished and diligent individuals will add much to broaden the perspective of the EC. Randy Otto is from Florida, Jerry Sweet is from Illinois, and Alina Suris is from Texas.
The Board of Trustees has initiated a plan to have all ABPP specialty boards be consistent with the specialties recognized by APA’s Committee on Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP). At present, there are three ABPP specialty boards that do not have CRSPPP recognition, and these boards are actively working with CRSPPP to submit their specialty applications. Conversely, the area of geropsychology has already been recognized by CRSPPP as a specialty, and ABPP has invited the American Board of Geropsychology to seek ABPP specialty board affiliation.
At the annual meeting in December, the Board of Trustees voted to accept the plan proposed by the Board-Academy Relations Workgroup which outlined the options available for how academies can organize their affiliation to their specialty board (SB) and ABPP. Academies now have three options: 1) merge with their specialty board under the ABPP umbrella, 2) remain a separate organization from their specialty board, but still be under the ABPP umbrella, or 3) remain a separate organization and be incorporated independently from ABPP but be affiliated with ABPP. This workgroup will be designing an affiliation agreement acceptable to ABPP and the academies in the coming months.
ABPP’s newsletter editors, Bob Hill and Michael Cuttler, will be offering CE credits for articles in The Specialist at no cost to board certified specialists. The plan is to have one brief CE article in every issue of the newsletter and a link in the document to the ABPP website where the CE quizzes will be located and credit issued. In the next year or so, ABPP plans to begin developing online continuing education offerings through the ABPP website starting with podcasts with audio lecture content and PowerPoint slide presentations that last between 45 and 60 minutes.
The Maintenance of Certification Task Force has been working on plans to gradually introduce a “maintenance of competence” program into the ABPP board certification process. The emphasis in psychology, as in medicine and other professional groups, is to move beyond simple licensing and certification to continuous professional development for specialists. As currently envisioned, a host of continuous professional development activities (e.g., approved sponsored CE activities, mentoring, clinical training, research, self-directed learning) would consist of a multi-staged process, similar to current requirements in many states for documentation of CEs for maintaining a state license, that would occur over a ten-year period with some form of peer review, such as a modified practice sample review.
The tentative goal is to have criteria in place by January 1, 2013. At that point, Beta testing would occur with several specialists in each specialty. As currently envisioned, this maintenance of competence requirement for board certification would only be required of individuals who obtain board certification after the date the plan is adopted. The program would be voluntary for all current specialists.
The ABPP Foundation was formally recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) (3) charitable organization in 2010. The overall purpose of the ABPP Foundation is to receive charitable support in order to provide educational opportunities and continuing professional education development for licensed professional psychologists and ultimately to improve the health of the general public. Donations may be directed toward projects that foster or disseminate information that is of relevance to professional psychology and enhances public health through its training opportunities. Donations may be made securely online through the webpage at www.ABPP.org and linking on the left side of the page to “ABPP Foundation” or you may use the direct link to the foundation:
http://www.abpp.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3577. Checks are also welcome and may be made payable to “The ABPP Foundation” and sent to 600 Market Street, Suite 300, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.
Our goal to develop a cultural shift within the profession, such that board certification becomes more of an expected standard for specialty practice in professional psychology, has begun to gain some traction, and ABPP continues to work diligently on increasing the visibility of the ABPP board certification process. We are happy to let you know that our application rate continues to increase annually, and our collaboration with other important educational, training, and credentialing organizations in psychology has begun to thrive. I look forward to working with all of you over the next two years to continue the positive trajectory that ABPP has set itself to follow. As in prior years, please feel free to contact me with your feedback and suggestions at any time at, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy New Year!
I hope that your year is full of health and happiness.
I would like to express my gratitude and recognition of the excellent staff that work with me in Central Office (CO): Nancy McDonald, Lanette Melville and Diane Butcher have worked tirelessly (you may have noted some emails in the wee morning hours!) to help keep ABPP running smoothly. I am extremely thankful to have such a hardworking, dedicate and FUN staff with whom to work. Everyone in the office is mindful of getting job(s) done while also having a great sense of humor that gets us through some very busy times. I hope your experience of the CO staff has been as pleasant as has mine! They are a great group! 2010 was an extraordinarily busy year, and CO could not have processed everything that we did without such dedicated staff.
So what goes on in ABPP CO? Sometimes we get inquiries that suggest that not everyone is aware of how busy CO can be. Starting off 2011, I thought it would be worthwhile to highlight just some of the activities in which CO is involved.
Web Site and other Technology Issues
We recently celebrated the one year anniversary of the new ABPP website. We continue to work on updates and improvements, and are very pleased with the way the site has worked out. We are in the process of helping one or two of the academies get their sites linked to and/or hosted by our site. Using the site, we have processed annual attestations electronically with relatively few hitches, and established a way for ABPP specialists to log in and update their contact information independently.
The ABPP web site has also been the doorway for an online registration process for the ABPP Summer Workshop Series. That registration process went very well. Reporting generated by the online registration process facilitated a rapid turn-around of CE certificates provided electronically to those in attendance at the workshops. Those in attendance commented on the fact that CO was able to provide them with an electronic (and therefore easily stored and reprinted as needed) certificate of continuing education within 24 hours of workshop attendance.
The American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology noted the ABPP conference registration and requested our assistance in online registration. We have recently implemented online registration for a conference that is being so-sponsored by the Rehabilitation Psychology board. By providing the online registration service, ABPP is able to assist one of its member boards and funds that would have been paid to an external provider are able to stay within the ABPP family.
Our website also has tools built into it to permit us to conduct surveys. We have completed two such surveys this past year. The first was the “Getting to Know You Survey” conducted by the ABPP Diversity Committee. That survey resulted in something in the neighborhood of 750 responses. We also conducted a survey of those who attended the 2010 ABPP Summer Workshop Series to help us plan future workshops.
Behind the scenes, we have been hard at work digitizing files so that applications and associated documents are electronically accessible. The electronic files are created in a consistent format and with bookmarks that facilitate finding specific documentation within the file. Digitizing the files permits no-cost electronic transmission of files that used to be shipped via FedEx or other means. That process has saved CO a bundle on postage/shipping and has also created a means of all staff being able to readily access files as needed, when needed.
While working on files, the database has been updated and cleaned; this is an ongoing process, as some people (unfortunately) do not update their contact information on their own or have not yet become aware that they can (and should!). Please do remember to go online and help ABPP and yourself by updating your contact information. We have moved to almost entirely electronic communication and rely on having up to date information from each of you. We feel that the database is probably as up to date as it has been in recent years, perhaps ever. We are able to pull reports on a variety of issues with relative ease.
ABPP is now on Facebook. We are hopeful that this use of social media will increase the exposure of ABPP, specifically with the younger generation of psychologists, residents, interns and students. They are the future of ABPP and psychology and we want them involved.
Ongoing ABPP Specialist, Specialty Board, Academy and Inter-organizational Activities
Central Office is involved consistently in day to day activities interfacing with the various specialty boards, academies, specialists, and other organizations. There are frequent projects that involve CO, including one this year that has resulted in reviewing the leadership of APA divisions to determine who in the leadership is board certified through ABPP. There has been correspondence with specialty board and academy presidents to determine who the groups are working together and what might be improved. CO assists in developing and maintaining agendas for conferences including the Executive Committee, Specialty and/or Academy Presidents, Governance, BOT meetings and committees.
An ongoing part of the ABPP CO activities includes updating “the pipeline” for each board so that accurate and up to date information about those who are in the process of becoming board certified specialists. Also, for each board, CO participates in tracking income and expenses, providing budgets and helping to process reimbursements for the many volunteers who participate in examination and other board related activities.
CO is integrally involved in working with several committees. The Ethics Committee is informed by CO of any complaints and findings reported to ABPP, and CO facilitates gathering of necessary information for that committee to perform its responsibilities. This year there have been 10 open cases that have required attention (the Ethics Committee will report on the status of those in dependent of this report). The Communications Committee includes work for production of The Specialist. With Editor Robert Goldberg, CO has worked to produce two issues annually. As most of you know, Dr. Goldberg is facilitating a transition to the new Editor, Bob Hill, and Associate Editor, Mike Cuttler in the coming months. Dr. Goldberg will continue to be involved as the ABPP Historian. Many thanks go to Bob for his many years of outstanding contributions to ABPP and The Specialist!
The 2010 Summer Workshop Series was marketed almost exclusively through the activities of CO. As well, everyone who attended the 2010 Summer Workshop Series, including presenters, was sent a thank you note and encouraged to provide feedback to assist in improving future conferences. Exhibitors were contacted, contracted with and thanked. Randy Otto and CO worked with the Hilton Hotel in Portland for the 2010 workshop, and many CO hours have gone into negotiating the contract for the upcoming 2011 ABPP Summer Workshop Series to be held in San Francisco June 15-18, 2011. CO has been, and remains, primarily responsible for contacting presenters, assisting with the printing and distribution of handouts provide by presenters for workshop attendees, distribution and compilation of workshop evaluation/feedback forms and CE certificates, and other correspondence associated with the workshop series.
CO's role in ABPP activities at the APA Convention results in having smoothly run Governance Day activities as well as Convocation. Each was successful this year in San Diego, as was the perennial presence of ABPP in the APA Exhibit Hall. CO compiled a data sheet of information and specs that provides details of what is required in the process of board certification for each specialty board. This was quite useful at the ABPP booth at APA.
The ABPP booth at APA convention in 2010 was, as usual, quite busy most all of the time and CO greatly appreciates the number of ABPP specialists who volunteer their time and wisdom to assist in educating those visiting the booth about ABPP and specialty board certification.
In 2010, ABPP completed the Periodic Comprehensive Review (PCR) of Clinical Health Psychology, and Rehabilitation Psychology. We are pulling together the CO portion of input for the upcoming PCRs of Organization & Business Consulting Psychology (January 2011), Group Psychology, and Psychoanalysis in Psychology.
New in 2010 is a fee-based verification process for credentialing agencies. Although this service has been provided in the past, the continual and increased number of requests requires a large amount of staff time that is put into providing external credentialing agencies (e.g., managed care organizations, etc.) with verification of ABPP status of individual psychologists. This has led us to implement a fee for the service. There is no fee to an ABPP psychologist; this is only charged to credentialing organizations. Instituting this as a fee-based service has helped us recuperate some of the expense of staff time that is expended to provide the service, and thereby assists in the ABPP bottom line.
ABPP has ongoing and important relationships with several other organizations. As ABPP executive officer, I represent ABPP at the APA Committee for Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP), APA Board of Professional Affairs (BPA), and as needed at other committees involved in the APA Consolidated Meetings. I have also worked on the APA Taxonomy Workgroup and was a presenter at APA on a panel discussing the newly proposed Taxonomy and its implications. Along with many other ABPP leaders, I helped provide an ABPP presence to the Joint Training Conference held in February of the many training and educational organizations in psychology. I serve as liaison to the Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology (CoS), an organization that is strongly supportive of ABPP board certification. The CoS has communicated to several other organizations (including APA, ASPPB and directly to some state some licensing boards) that ABPP is the only board certification entity in psychology that it recognizes. I also regularly represent ABPP at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Board (ASPPB) meetings, and have assisted in building a good relationship with ASPPB leadership. ASPPB and ABPP have had ongoing discussions of ways in which they can work more closely together.
Finally, thanks to all of you who volunteer time and expertise to ABPP and other areas of professional psychology! Your efforts are appreciated, and extremely valued! Enjoy 2011, and may it be a wonderful year for each and every one of you!