Specialty Definition

The American Board of School Psychology (ABSP) is a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The ABPP oversees and authorizes the credentialing activities of thirteen specialty boards. The ABSP is responsible for establishing criteria related to the definition and requirements for education, training, competencies, and the examination, which bleads to Board Certification in School Psychology. The ABSP is governed by a Board of six Directors who are certified in School Psychology and are representative of the specialty on a national basis.


School psychology is a general practice and health service provider specialty of professional psychology. School psychologists apply the science and practice of psychology to youth, families, learners of all ages, and the schooling process. School psychology practice promotes the protection and fosters the promotion of the educational and personal development of students. The practice of school psychology includes psychological and psycho-educational evaluation, individual/group/family intervention with students and parents, health promotion, consultation with educators and parents, program development and evaluation, and research. School psychologists intervene at the individual and system levels to develop, implement, and evaluate preventive programs. School psychologists practice in public and private schools, clinics and hospitals, forensic settings, universities and in independent practice.


Certification in School Psychology


Board certification assures the public and the profession that the School Psychology Specialist has successfully completed the education, training, and experience requirements of the specialty, and through an examination has provided evidence of the competencies required to provide quality services in School Psychology. Specialties, by definition, are advanced levels of practice including doctoral and/or post-doctoral preparation with three or more years of qualifying experience.


Requirements for Board Certification


Board certification assures the public and the profession that the specialist in school psychology has met the education, training and experience requirements, as well as demonstrating the advanced competencies required by the specialty through an individualized, peer reviewed examination. The examination encompasses the following interrelated domains of professional competency.


Assessment and Intervention  The assessment and intervention competencies related to the practice of school psychology specialty are fundamental competencies and must reflect a base in the discipline of psychology and the practice of those competencies as a School Psychologist.
Science Base and Application The science or discipline base of the specialty is the appropriate application of that base to the contemporary practice of school psychology, including the applicant’s awareness of theory and research pertaining to issues of diversity e.g. ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, family cultural issues, and family populations.
Ethics and Legal Foundations  The awareness and appropriate exercise of ethical and legal standards. This includes the APA Ethical Principles, current statutory provisions, and case law precedents applicable for the protection of the interests of individuals, groups, organizations, the profession, and society.
Professional Identification  Meaningful involvement with the profession in general and the specialty in particular as evidenced through participation in professional organizations and activities, associated with the specialty.Consultation and Supervision These competency areas have emerged as significant areas of practice and are applicable when the specialist’s pattern of practice includes them in an important way.


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