Canadian Guidelines

Canadian Applicants for Board Certification by ABPP

For Canadian Applicants Seeking Board Certification by ABPP
Passed by the ABCN Board of Directors, June 2007
Reviewed by ABCN Board June 2023, next ABCN Board review will occur on or before June 2026

While the availability of high quality professional psychology training in Canada is comparable to that in the US at the doctoral and internship levels, training in clinical neuropsychology at the post-doctoral level is less common and accessible. The dearth of formal clinical neuropsychology post-doctoral training programs in Canada is due, in part, to different funding mechanisms than are in place in the US and in part due to different expectations/demands for training at the advanced level.

Due to the limited availability of 2-year post-doctoral programs in clinical neuropsychology, Canadian applicants who completed doctoral training on or after January 1, 2005 face a significant barrier in applying for ABCN Certification. What follows is a set of interim criteria, the purpose of which is to allow time for the development of formal 2-year neuropsychology fellowship programs in Canada that meet the Houston training guidelines. These interim procedures will be reviewed at two year intervals by the ABCN Board of Directors until such time that, in consultation with Canadian ABCN specialists, it is determined that they are no longer required.

The same didactic, academic and clinical training experiences at the Doctoral and Internship level will be required of Canadian and US applicants, including the same requirements for Knowledge Base and Skills.

At the level of Residency Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology, Canadian applicants are required to have two years of full-time post-doctoral practice supervised by a practicing clinical neuropsychologist, at least 50% of which is engaging in clinical neuropsychology activities. Post-doctoral practice should be supervised by a doctoral level psychologist with specific expertise in clinical neuropsychology. Supervised practice should allow for access to a variety of didactics (e.g., patient rounds, lectures, case conferences) and other training opportunities (e.g., medical rounds, imaging training, etc). Interactions with other residents in medical specialties and allied professions is encouraged, but not required.

Supervised practice should also allow the applicant exposure to and experience with a broad range of medical/neurological disorders or conditions and train them in the provision of a variety of clinical neuropsychology services (assessment, history taking, interview, feedback, report-writing, consultation, program planning, and intervention). The exit criteria for the residency are the same, namely:

  1. Advanced skill in the neuropsychological evaluation, treatment and consultation to patients and professionals sufficient to practice on an independent basis;
  2. Advanced understanding of brain-behavior relationships;
  3. Scholarly activity, e.g., submission of a study or literature review for publication, presentation, submission of a grant proposal or outcome assessment.
  4. A formal evaluation of competency in the exit criteria 1 through 3 shall occur in the residency program.
  5. Eligibility for state or provincial licensure or certification for the independent practice of psychology.
  6. Eligibility for board certification in clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

In summary, the only deviations from the current ABCN criteria involve more flexibility for those who seek out comparable supervisory and training experiences where formal residency programs do not yet exist.