No. OBCP specialists have a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Our board is comprised of members with degrees in counseling, clinical psychology, and I–O psychology.
Yes but not exclusively. Our specialists are engaged in organizational, leadership, and consulting practice across a variety of professional settings. They work in the private sector, private practice, public sector, government, military, and education to deliver science–based assessment, evaluation, and strategies to improve workplace performance.
Common activities include:
Personnel Assessment and Selection
Training and Development
Leadership and Executive Coaching
Military and National Security Psychology
In addition to reviewing the Specialty Definition and Examinee Manual located on this website, the most important consideration is how you spend much of your professional time. Many psychologists who apply for our specialty certification have discovered that their work has evolved from providing psychotherapy or healthcare delivery to primarily dealing with issues of individual job fit and effectiveness, team performance, or organizational success, among others. The focus will be on such things as assessing and developing work skills and attitudes, providing job training, enhancing productive behavior in teams, or determining the causes of organizational dysfunctions and creating solutions for them. Also, a specialist may now be a manager or director who is responsible for the leadership of a department or entire organization. These psychologists will have greater accountability for overall organizational management, strategic vision, and employee performance than would be true for a clinical supervisor or mentor.
As described above, many ABOBCP members become gradually involved in consulting after completing their graduate studies in another psychology specialty. Often, they educate themselves in the concepts and practices of leadership, organizations, and consulting through individual reading, attending conferences or training programs, peer coaching, and membership in local or national associations such as the Society for Consulting Psychology (APA Division 13) or the Society of Psychologists in Leadership (SPIL). We take those different career paths into account during the application and exam processes. Our main interest as a board is that practitioners provide thoughtful, appropriate consulting based on sound principles.
Psychologists who have been involved in consulting for more than 15 years may qualify for examination under this model. The option allows for choosing 1 professional areas of practice rather than 2 because the person may have developed a substantial but somewhat narrower practice than someone who is earlier in their career.
An exam committee relies on the practice samples provided by a candidate to understand the nature of their work and how they approach it. We ask for detailed but anonymous examples of the person’s typical work that illustrate the types of consulting issues they face, their approach to determining what to do, and the professional foundations for the decisions they make and the techniques they use. The committee members review the samples in-depth and have a conversation with the candidate about each one to assure that they fully understand how the psychologist provides consultation. As with other ABPP specialties, the exam’s final decision is pass/fail rather than another type of grading or ranking.