The American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABN) was created by a group of clinical neuropsychologists in response to the growing need to formally assess competency in the practice of clinical neuropsychology, providing a way for consumers to identify practitioners with demonstrated competence. No other certification process existed at state or national levels at that time.
ABN has grown from a small nucleus and evolved in accordance with the field. The original members consisted of 21 practicing clinical neuropsychologists, each holding diplomate status from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in fields such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or school psychology. Each had achieved national recognition through research and/or practice in clinical neuropsychology.
ABN was incorporated in the state of Georgia in June 1982, with Lawrence C. Hartlage, Ph.D. as executive officer. From 1982-1985, the ABN evaluation of practice competency in clinical neuropsychology was by a review of academic and professional practice information, also of work samples which were independently reviewed by at least 3 Board members. ABN then entered a period of inactivity and reassessment of the need for ABN’s continued service. ABN was substantially reorganized, with new by-laws established in 1991.
Since that time, criteria for diplomate status have evolved. The diplomate is obtained after passing an application review, a written examination, review of work samples, and an oral competency-based examination. All prior diplomate members of ABN were offered the opportunity to undergo the newly established components of the ABN Diplomate evaluation process.
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