The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) was formed in 1947 and was originally known as the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology ("American Board of Professional Psychology." Encyclopedia of Psychology Volume 1. 2nd ed. 1984.). It was formed with the support of the American Psychological Association (APA) and today enjoys a close relationship with the APA although it is a separate corporate and professional entity.
The purpose of the ABPP is to certify advanced practice psychologists in various psychological specialties similar in purpose and procedure to the American Board of Medical Specialties, which awards board certification in medical specialties to licensed physicians). These specialties include clinical, counseling, school, group, clinical geropsychology, forensic, cognitive-behavioral, organizational/business, rehabilitation, clinical health, child and adolescent and couple/family psychology and clinical neuropsychology.
Board certification involves a three-step process, including a thorough credentials review, the submission of a work sample, and an oral examination by trained examiners. Some boards also require passing a written examination. ABPP status is recognized for pay scale increases by the all branches of the U.S. military and the Veterans Administration.