FAQ’s

There are 3 steps that lead to ABCN Subspecialty Certification in Pediatric Clinical Neuropsychology:
  1. Completion of the Subspecialty Credential Application
  2. Passing a Written Examination, offered in June at the annual AACN meeting
  3. Submission of 1 clinical case and a 3-page Supplement for Practice Sample review
Prior to 12-31-14, only those who have already obtained ABCN Specialty Board certification in Clinical Neuropsychology may apply for subspecialty certification and proceed to examination.

On or after 1-1-15, any applicant or candidate in the ABCN certification process may submit an application; however, candidates who pass subspecialty credential review must wait until they have completed the full ABCN Specialty Board certification process before they sit for the subspecialty Written Examination.

Applications are available as a download on the ABPP website and can be accessed here. A direct link to the application form can also be found on the homepage of the ABCN website. Please note that if you try to access the application before January 1, 2015, you will be prompted to enter your ABPP username and password. If you are a current ABCN Specialist and do not have this information, contact the ABPP office at office@abpp.org.  If you are not yet board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by ABCN, you will need to wait until January 1, 2015 or after to access the application form.

The application should be sent to the ABPP Central Office: office@abpp.org

The required two letters of recommendation should be sent directly and confidentially from the endorser to the ABPP Central Office: office@abpp.org

  • There is no fee for Application/Credential Review
  • The Written Examination fee is $125
  • The Practice Sample submission fee is $250.
Note: The Practice Sample fee of $250 will be refunded to ABCN Specialists who took the June 2014 calibration Written Examination and who submit their practice sample by December 31, 2014. There will be no refund for PS submission after this date or for resubmissions in the event that the PS does not pass review criteria.

For the Credentials Committee to determine eligibility, you should provide evidence in your application and CV of your pediatric clinical practice over time, highlighting those times when your pediatric practice was more substantial. Alternatively, you can provide evidence of current pediatric-specific research, scholarly writing, or clinical supervision/training. Applications that do not clearly meet subspecialty practice criteria will require more careful review and may be deferred to determine if any additional documentation is required.

No. ABCN board certification in Clinical Neuropsychology remains exactly what it has always been, a multi-step credentialing process for those practicing across the lifespan. The new pediatric subspecialty credential is a voluntary added credential for those that wish to demonstrate their focused interest in pediatric populations. In no way does the new credential change the intent or meaning of the Parent credential.

The subspecialty examination process must be completed within a three (3) year candidacy window. The start of the candidacy period depends on the status of the applicant at the time the subspecialty application is submitted, as described below:

For candidates who have already been awarded board certification through the ABCN parent process at the time they complete subspecialty credential review, the date on the subspecialty credential review decision letter defines the start of this three-year period.

For candidates who pass subspecialty credential review but have not yet been awarded board certification through the ABCN parent process, the subspecialty process must be completed within three (3) years of the date on which they are awarded Specialty certification in Clinical Neuropsychology by ABCN. The date on the board certification award notification letter from ABPP defines the start of the 3-year period for these candidates.

Candidates who do not successfully obtain subspecialty certification within their allotted candidacy period must re-apply and re-start the process from the beginning, with appropriate fees.

The subspecialty Written Examination (WE) will be held at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology in June. Further details will be provided when candidates register for the examination.

The subspecialty WE consists of 30 multiple-choice questions covering the science and practice of pediatric neuropsychology. Topics may include: neurodevelopment, functional neuroanatomy, pediatric clinical syndromes, childhood psychopathology, specialized neuropsychological assessment techniques, research methodology in pediatric populations, developmental psychology, family systems, genetics, cultural diversity, ethical and legal issues in pediatric neuropsychological practice, consultation, and intervention strategies.

In effect, a successful candidate will have taken a 130-item examination: 100 items of the parent WE that covered broad areas of knowledge and skill competency for practice across the lifespan (including foundational issues related to general pediatric practice), and this additional 30-item WE with content focused on more in-depth issues related to subspecialty pediatric practice.

Yes. Candidates will receive exam score notification and instructions on how to proceed in the subspecialization process. Candidates who pass the subspecialty WE will also receive 4 APA-approved CE credits from ABPP.

Yes, one may accrue a total of 34 credits by completing parent and subspecialty certification. Twenty-four (24) CE credits are awarded by ABPP for successful completion of the ABCN Specialty (Parent) Board Certification Process (4 credits for completing the 125-item parent WE and 20 credits for passing the oral examination). Subspecialists will be awarded an additional 10 CE credits from ABPP for successful completion of the Subspecialty certification process.

The subspecialty WE cut score was derived from the psychometric analyses of an initial calibration examination administered in June 2014 at the NYC meeting of AACN to 127 pediatric neuropsychologists who passed the Pediatric Subspecialty credential review process.

The pediatric subspecialty WE may be taken no more than three times within a single candidacy window. Candidates who do not pass the WE after three attempts, or prior to the end of their candidacy window, must re-apply and restart the process from the beginning, with associated fees.

Practice Sample (PS) submission requires:
  1. One case report of a patient aged 16 years or younger,
  2. Raw data for this case, and
  3. A mandatory 3-page supplemental statement.
The PS case must be an example of the candidate’s own work product, without editing or advising by another individual or parts completed by a student or trainee. It may be the same case that you submitted for the ABCN parent examination if you are satisfied it is an excellent example of your current expertise. However, note that review methods and criteria differ between the parent and subspecialty examinations such that a PS case that was considered sufficient as one of two cases submitted for the parent examination may not meet full criteria as a single PS for the subspecialty examination. In selecting a subspecialty PS case, candidates are strongly encouraged to choose a case from the preceding two years in order to highlight their current practice and skills. If for some reason this is not possible (e.g., supervised trainees on all cases over the past two years) please provide explanation in the Supplemental document. Please review the subspecialty PS guidelines for more information.

Not necessarily. We all know that tests are revised and new ones are developed, while old tests become less used. You have an opportunity to provide an explanation for your test choice in the required (3-page maximum) supplemental statement that you must submit with the case report and raw data. You may justify your decision to select older test versions (or an older case) in this Supplement along with other relevant information you wish the PS reviewers to know.

The required 3-page Supplement is critical since you are only submitting one PS case and there is no subsequent oral examination to allow you to explain your assessment choices, differential diagnosis, rationale for recommendations, etc. Therefore, the selected case should demonstrate a breadth of clinical knowledge and assessment skill, and should demonstrate clearly that you are practicing pediatric clinical neuropsychology independently at the subspecialist level of competence. The supplement is your only opportunity to ensure that the reviewer has all the information he/she needs to fairly review the PS, since there is no opportunity for clarification at an oral exam.

The required Supplement should be a maximum of three (3) pages double spaced, 12 pt type, with at least 1” margins. It is your opportunity to summarize case specific information not addressed in the report in order to allow the reviewers to evaluate the candidates’ neuropsychological conceptualization. The required Supplement is not meant to be an academic review of the literature and references are not expected.

Check the PS criteria carefully to determine which information absent from your report might need to be elaborated in the Supplement, e.g. your assessment choices, diagnostic differential, additional source data, radiology and laboratory findings, ethical and cultural diversity considerations, consultation with the referral source, efficacy of recommendations, etc.

Two board-certified Pediatric Neuropsychology Subspecialists who are members of the PS Review Cadre will review your de-identified PS according to criteria listed in the PS submission guidelines.

Yes. Each reviewer is instructed to provide clear information about which criteria were not met adequately. The feedback should be useful to you if you decide to resubmit a new PS.

In the parent PS review process, the decision to accept or not accept a PS is based on the sum of the candidate’s work across two cases whereas for the Subspecialty process only one case is reviewed. If the candidate chooses a case from the parent PS that was relatively weaker, it may not pass when it is the sole submission. Additionally, the threshold for review decisions differs between the parent PS process and the subspecialty. As noted in the Candidate Manual, “whereas the parent PS review is intended to determine whether the candidate’s practice of clinical neuropsychology would be defensible at oral examination, the subspecialty review process is intended to determine if the PS itself demonstrates competent practice in the subspecialty. As such, candidates are encouraged to carefully attend to the information provided in the Pediatric Subspecialty PS Guidelines found in the Peds Manual in the document library (p. 9, Section VI. A.).

An unsuccessful outcome will not reflect negatively on your already impressive accomplishment of achieving ABCN Specialty Board Certification. Confidentiality rules are stringent at every stage of ABCN board certification process, Specialty and Subspecialty.

Just as for parent Board Certification, should you have concerns about a procedural error there is an Appeals Committee chair and committee members for the Subspecialty. Specific information about the Appeals process, including appealable versus non-appealable decisions, can be found in the Pediatric Subspecialty Manual.

You do not need to take any further action. You will now be credentialed in ABCN’s subspecialty of Pediatric Neuropsychology. You will subsequently receive a formal certificate documenting this accomplishment from ABPP. ABPP will also issue 10 APA-approved Continuing Education units to all who complete the subspecialty process.

AACN currently maintains a special interest group for Academy members, affiliates, and student affiliates with interests in pediatric, child-clinical, and lifespan developmental neuropsychology. The Pediatric Special Interest Group (P-SIG) has an active listserv where ABCN subspecialists and affiliates with pediatric interests can exchange ideas and share information in a supportive and respectful environment. AACN members, affiliates, and student affiliates who would like to join the P-SIG listserv should send an email to: AACN-Ped-SIG+subscribe@googlegroups.com. Be sure to send the e-mail from the address you want added to the list-serve and you will be added to the list distribution once your member/affiliate status with AACN has been verified. Click here for more information about the AACN P-SIG.

Consistent with ABCN Specialty Board procedures, there is no grandparenting or senior option for subspecialization.

Complete information about the ABCN Pediatric Subspecialty certification process is posted on the ABCN website and in the Pediatric Subspecialty Manual.

Questions not directly addressed in the manual or in the above FAQ can be directed to the office staff at ABPP (office@abpp.org) or to the ABCN Office (nunce@umich.edu).