AACN Practice Guidelines
KeywordsPractice Guideline American Psychological Association Neuropsychological Assessment Guideline Development Clinical Issue
The American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) is a specialty board within the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). For those seeking board certification in clinical neuropsychology, ABCN is the board responsible for overseeing the examination process. The American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) is the organization for those awarded board certification by the ABCN. In 2007, AACN produced the first set of practice guidelines, which were intended to “…facilitate the continued systematic growth of the profession of clinical neuropsychology, and to help assure a high level of professional practice.”
Given the recent growth of clinical neuropsychology, coupled with the American Psychological Association’s focus on evidence-based practice, the AACN established (AACN 2007) guidelines for the practice of neuropsychological assessment and consultation. The guidelines are intended to provide standards for competence and professional conduct within the practice of neuropsychology by describing the “most desirable and highest level of professional conduct” for clinical neuropsychologists providing clinical neuropsychology services. It is important to note that the guidelines are fully compatible with the current APA (2002b) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (EPPCC) as well as the Criteria for Practice Guideline Development and Evaluation (2002a) and Determination and Documentation of the Need for Practice Guidelines (2005). The AACN practice guidelines include recommendations for the practice of clinical neuropsychology, and they are not to be regarded as mandatory standards. The guidelines detail consideration of ethical and clinical issues as well as specific methods and procedures for the practice of neuropsychology.
There are several major areas of emphasis in the guidelines. They include (1) definitions, (2) purpose and scope, (3) education and training, (4) work settings, (5) ethical and clinical issues (e.g., informed consent, patient issues in third party assessments, test security; underserved populations/cultural issues, and (6) methods and procedures (e.g., review of records, measurement procedures, test administration and scoring, and interpretation).
References and Readings
- The AACN practice guidelines can be found on the AACN’s web site (www.theaacn.org) and are also published in the AACN’s journal: The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 21, 209–231.