Specialties and Proficiencies
Learn more about how APA and the discipline of psychology work together to define specialization in psychology.
Specialties: a defined area of psychological practice which requires advanced knowledge and skills acquired through an organized sequence of education and training.
Principles for the Recognition of Specialties (PDF, 38KB)
The mechanism which provides for the recognition of specialties.
Petition for the Recognition of a Specialty (DOC, 181KB)
Guidance on the types and amounts of information necessary for a formal decision on recognition of a specialty to be reached.
Proficiencies: defined by a core of psychological knowledge and skills, and includes specific methods for how psychologists typically acquire its knowledge and skills.
Principles for the Recognition of Proficiencies (PDF, 21KB)
The principles used to evaluate any petition for recognition of a proficiency in professional psychology.
Petition for the Recognition of a Proficiency (DOC, 70KB)
Guidance on the types and amounts of information necessary for a formal decision on recognition of a proficiency to be reached.
Procedures for Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies (PDF, 46KB)
The process by which the American Psychological Association and its Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) will consider petitions for formal recognition of specialties or proficiencies in professional psychology.
Recognition of Organizations that Provide Certifications in Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology
Organizations that provide certifications in APA-recognized specialties and proficiencies may apply to be recognized by APA so that individuals with a certification from the organization can have that credential listed in the APA membership directory.
Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology (CoS) provides a structure for representatives of specialties to consider policies affecting specialization.