APA advocates to overturn ban on use of testing technicians by psychologists

APA is working in collaboration with NYSPA and NYSAN to lift the ban

By Legal and Regulatory Affairs Staff

October 14, 2011—On August 22, APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, and representatives of the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA) and NY State Association of Neuropsychologists (NYSAN) met with Doug Lentivech, recently appointed Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Office of the Professions.

The Office of the Professions licenses and regulates forty-eight professions in the state, including psychology. The August meeting is the most recent step in the collaboration among NYSPA, NYSAN and the APA to reverse the ban on the use of testing technicians by neuropsychologists.

“APA supports the use of properly supervised testing technicians by neuropsychologists in conducting neuropsychological assessments,” says Dr. Nordal. “Without the use of testing technicians to assist with these assessments, the time constraints on the neuropsychologist, who also interviews the patient, interprets the test results, provides a report of the evaluation findings and coordinates patient care results in less access to much of these critical services for patients of all ages, but particularly the underserved.”

The NYSAN, a companion organization of NYSPA, was created to pursue reversing this ban. The issue dates back to the 2003 enactment of New York’s psychologist licensure law. The law was unclear about the ability of New York psychologists to use testing technicians. When NYSPA sought clarification, the executive secretary of the licensing board issued an interpretation of the newly enacted licensing law, banning their use.

This adversely impacted neuropsychologists, who rely heavily on testing technicians in administering tests, as well as providing some scoring. NYSAN and NYSPA continue to work for an administrative resolution, although other options, such as introducing legislation to explicitly allow the use of testing techs, may also be considered.

The APAPO will keep members updated about emerging developments in the PracticeUpdate e-newsletter.

For more information, contact the Legal and Regulatory Affairs department at (202) 336-5886 or by email.