American Academy of Clinical Psychology

Recognizing and Promoting Advanced Competence within the Speciality of Clinical Psychology

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Certification Overview


The American Board of Clinical Psychology (ABCP) is a Specialty Board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The examination for Board Certification in Clinical Psychology is conducted in a collegial format and is intended to certify that the successful candidate has acquired the professional experience and possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high quality services in the specialty of Clinical Psychology. Board Certification by ABCP assures the public that the individual has successfully completed the educational, training, and experience criteria of the specialty of Clinical Psychology,

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must hold an earned doctorate from a regionally accredited program in professional psychology and have completed an internship in professional psychology. They must be licensed or certified as a psychologist at the independent level by the State, Territory, or Province of the United States or Canada in which the applicant practices.

Before application can be made, the applicant must have two or more years of supervised professional experience (including an internship year) for individuals completing an APA or CPA accredited or APPIC member postdoctoral residency/fellowship program, or three or more years of professional experience (including an internship year) for individuals not completing an APA or CPA accredited or APPIC member postdoctoral residency/fellowship program

Standards For Award of Board Certification
The primary objective of ABCP is to establish a Board Certification process that recognizes, certifies, and promotes competence within the specialty of Clinical Psychology. Advanced standing is conceptualized as discriminably higher than the basic level of competence certified by state licensure, but within the reach of most experienced practitioners of the specialty of Clinical Psychology.

Application Procedures

After the applicant submits his/her credentials and the Board determines that the requirements for education and experience have been met, the applicant becomes a candidate for Board Certification (Stage I). The candidate is then requested to submit Work Samples (Stage II). This entails submitting a Professional Statement in which professional training, identity, and experience are elaborated upon. Applicants are also required to prepare two videotaped samples of approximately 50 minutes each, one depicting an unrehearsed psychological assessment service and the other an intervention service. These should be drawn from the candidate's typical clinical practice and should have occurred within approximately six months prior to their submission. Once these work samples are deemed acceptable by a panel of examiners, the candidate is eligible to take the oral examination (Stage III).

Oral Examination

The Oral Examination is a collegial process designed to allow the candidate ample opportunity to demonstrate high quality functioning and the defining competencies required to practice Clinical Psychology. The examination is conducted by a three member examination committee of Board Certified psychologists (usually the same panel that evaluated the work samples in Stage II).

The Oral Examination assesses the following areas of professional functioning (as fully described in the Examination Manual ):

• Assessment/Diagnosis/Conceptualization
• Intervention
• Consultation
• Science, Knowledge and Methods
• Interdisciplinary Systems
• Professionalism and Reflective Practice
• Individual and Cultural Diversity
• Ethical and Legal Standards/Policy
• Relationships
• Research and/or Evaluation (if applicable)
• Supervision and/or Teaching (if applicable)
• Management/Administration (if applicable)
• Advocacy (if applicable)

Upon successful completion of the above requirements, the candidate is certified by an affirmative vote of a majority of the examining committee. ABPP then issues a Diploma attesting to the fact that the candidate has been Board Certified in the specialty of Clinical Psychology.

The newly Board Certified psychologist is now eligible for membership as a Fellow in the American Academy of Clinical Psychology and is notified accordingly.


A candidate may request and be assigned a mentor for the examination process.  These mentors are volunteers and members of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology.  They can advise regarding the application and examination processes, though they do not involve themselves in evaluating the acceptability of materials to be submitted as the candidate's own.  You may click here to see the guidelines for mentoring and how to access a mentor.

American Academy of Clinical Psychology
211 East Davis Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33606-3728, Fax: 813-253-3420
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The American Academy of Clinical Psychology is an independent membership association supporting board certification in the area of clinical psychology. The Academy is not affiliated with any other organization including the American Board of Professional Psychology.

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