The Real EPPP-2 Roll Out Plan

“Since when is it the licensing boards job to measure competency? It is implied, and rightfully so, that academic and clinical training programs carry this responsibility”

Members of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards discussed plans for going forward with the additional skills test called the EPPP-2, at their Annual Meeting held October 19-23 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

The conference theme was “Sailing in Rough Waters: Promoting Public Protection in an Anti-Regulatory Climate,” and included numerous presentations on “Threats to the Autonomy of Regulatory Boards.”

The agenda and copies of presentation slides were obtained by Modern Psychologist and provided to the Times.

A review of the status for development and community involvement for the EPPP-2 was presented by the EPPP-2 Implementation Task Force. The team members are Bob Bohanske, Don Meck, Karen Messer-Engel, and Chair, Emil Rodolfa. The team spoke on “What have we done? Why have we done it? and What’s the Reaction?” according to the agenda and slides.

The EPPP Step 2 or EPPP-2, is intended to be the second national examination for professional practice and is being developed by the ASPPB. The presentation said the EPPP Step 2 is a “Computer based exam assessing skills needed to practice,” and it augments the EPPP, The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

ASPPB noted that competencies related to this new exam are: 1) scientific orientation; 2) professional practice; 3) relational competence; 4) professionalism; 5) ethical practice; and 6) systems thinking. No more detail was listed in the document.

According to the documents, the task force has completed the task analysis and is developing the content outline for developing exam items.

The presentation notes listed, “Why are we doing this? or How did we get here?” and wrote “Surveyed members ‐ supportive ‐ there is a need!”

Some of the reasons listed in the document, were: the movement in competency, lack of standardization in graduate education, supervisor’s difficulty giving critical information in letters of evaluation, and new technology available. Also listed was how the effort “equalizes Psychology with other health professions.”

Karen Messer‐Engel, from Saskatchewan College of Psychologists, presented 2014 survey data, where 79% of members responding, strongly agreed with the statement, “I support developing a competency exam,” 13% agreed and 8% were neutral.

None were listed as having disagreed.

In 2015, another poll of member jurisdictions resulted in 51% who strongly agree and 20% agree with support for competency exam. This was according to the agenda document.

In a 2015 mailing to member jurisdictions the results of the 64 respondents indicated that 37% would be interested in “utilizing a skills exam,” 54% were not sure, and 9% were not interested.

In another question asking would the board members be interested in a skills exam (EPPP 2) to replace some or part of the oral exam, 54% said they did not have an oral exam, 23% said no, and 23% said yes to some or all replacement of the oral exam.

There did not appear to be a review of selection research. And, presenters also said they believed that predictive validity studies were not possible in this area of selection testing.

From: ASPPB Rolls Out EPPP2 Plan at Oct Annual Meeting, Page 4.

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