Message From the President
The Value of Board Certification
I have continued involvement with a number of committees and organizations within the field of professional psychology: Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology (COS), Committee for the Advancement of Professional Psychology (CAPP), Board of Professional Affairs (BPA), Board of Educational Affairs (BEA), the Association of State and Professional Psychology Boards (ASPPB), Psychology Executive Roundtable (PER), Trilateral (now merged with PER), Council of Credentialing Organizations in Professional Psychology (CCOPP), National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP) and others. Although the American Psychological Association Task Force on Taxonomy was not budgeted for 2008 (in APA) that group did hold a teleconference and make recommendations to CRSPPP, the group that will be continuing work in that area within APA.
ABPP and ASPPB
ABPP and ASPPB continue to have a very strong working relationship as Organizations. This past year the formal institution of the ABPP and ASPPB reciprocal discount program occurred (it had been verbally agreed to in 2007). Psychologists who have a CPQ will be granted a $100 discount on the usual $125 ABPP application fee. Psychologists who have ABPP will be granted a $100 discount on the usual $200 fee for CPQ.
Maintenance of Certification
ABPP has begun initial discussions and exploration of maintenance of certification (MOC) issues. While there is not an expectation that any implementation will be conducted in the very near future, it is something that our profession, and therefore ABPP, needs to be considering given current trends in health care.
Florida Legislative and Rules Update
My column in the Summer 2008 The Specialist referenced so me of the proceedings regarding the Florida Board of Psychology (BOP) board certification issues. Of note is that on November 14, 2008 The State of Florida Administrative Weekly published notice that: “The Board proposes to review the existing language in this rule to determine whether changes are necessary.” This is expected to be taken up at the January 23, 2009 meeting. I have had conversations with The Florida Psychological Association, ASPPB and APA, each of whom expressed considerable concern about the current Florida status.
State Affiliate Initiatives
ABPP Specialists in Florida and New York have each taken on initiatives to start, or revive (in the case of Florida), groups of ABPP board certified psychologists with the state.
Early Entry Option
The ABPP Early Entry Program continues to be a welcome addition to our boards. Several institutions, including professional school and university programs, have agreed to sponsor their students in this fashion. This program appears to be serving us, and early career psychologists quite well. In 2007, we had 24 Early Entry applications; through October 2008 we had 133 Early Entry Applications. As well, we are already seeing many of the EE applicants convert to candidacy!
As an aside – in 2007 we had 220 applications total (including EE apps); through October 2008 we had 320. All of you recruiters are doing a great job! Thanks!
Periodic Comprehensive Review Update
This year we completed the Periodic Comprehensive Review (PCR) of the American Board of Couples & Family Psychology (ABCFP) and the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP). At this point, the following boards have undergone review: Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology, Couples & Family, and Forensic. The Cognitive & Behavioral board and Psychoanalysis in Psychology board will be reviewed in 2009.
Recognition with the Department of Veterans Affairs & the United States Military
Most of you know that the Department of Veterans Affairs has explicitly and exclusively recognized ABPP as the only psychology board certification organization eligible for salary grade increases.
Signed into law in October was a bill that allows for an accession bonus (“signing bonus”) of up to $400,000 for ABPP board-certified psychologists who enlist in the military. No, that is not a typo – the law permits up to $100,000 per year over a 4 year period!
I had the honor of presenting to roughly 20 psychologists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center earlier this year, as well as to a similar number of Navy psychologists at Navy Day in Boston during APA Convention. The latter presentation was at the invitation of the Admiral over psychologists in the Navy, who wanted to specifically recognize those who had become ABPP board certified and provide encouragement to others.
Updates on Central Office
CO Staff Updates
Nancy McDonald is staying on as an employee full-time and indefinitely. Nancy has been commuting periodically to Chapel Hill, where she stays in a corporate apartment (this costs us less per month than 5 or 6 days in a hotel). She has been staying 1-2 weeks at a time, and works from her home in the Savannah area otherwise. So far this is working very well for all of us and we are happy that she is staying with us!
Lanette Melville has joined our staff as the “keeper of the applications”. Lanette works ½ time and does a fantastic job of processing applications, responding to telephone and email queries and the like. She is very efficient; applications that are complete are often provided to me for review and completed within the same day. On average, completed applications (those for which we have all of the materials required of the applicant to submit) take no longer than 3-5 days to move on the next phase (e.g., Specialty Board review).
We are also working on the initial phases of implementing the charitable arm of ABPP – the 501(c)( 3). Al Finch is heading this up and we should have it in place shortly.
Despite costs incurred with the relocation (which we kept as low as possible) we have managed effectively and come in under budget for the year. This was accomplished by consciously managing tasks and personnel, in a fashion that allowed us to thoroughly review the processes whereby applications move through the organization, and then matching the skills of personnel and organizational needs. Nancy and I have had long discussions about these areas, how they have worked (or not) in the past and feel very good about how Central Office is working presently, as well as hopeful regarding future growth of services that Central Office can provide.
We are looking at alternative avenues for generating revenue that include a “book shop” (ABPP and Oxford University Press do have a book coming out on becoming board certified, from which all royalties will go directly to ABPP), continuing education programs (perhaps through affiliating with existing journals as one means) and others. Your ideas along these lines are welcomed.
Lastly, but by no means least, ABPP has experienced the loss of a number of significant people in the recent past. Most notably, of course, is the loss of Russ Bent, who contributed so much to this organization and professional psychology. In his honor, we are establishing a memorial scholarship program within ABPP. Details of how that will work are being established, but I certainly want us all to be mindful of the invaluable contributions made by Russ and others we have lost recently. Their leadership and personalities are missed greatly.
David R. Cox, Ph.D., ABPP