Standards on Competence
2.01 Boundaries of Competence
(a) Psychologists provide services, teach, and conduct research with populations and in areas
only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised
experience, consultation, study, or professional experience.
Psychologists benefit those with whom they work and avoid harm through the
application of knowledge and techniques gained through education, training, supervised
experience, consultation, study, or professional experience in the field
(Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence). Competence is the linchpin
enabling psychologists to fulfill other ethical obligations required by the APA Ethics
Code (APA, 2010c). Under Standard 2.01a, psychologists must refrain from providing
services, teaching, or conducting research in areas in which they have not had the
education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study, or professional experience
recognized by the discipline as necessary to conduct their work competently.
Psychologists with doctoral degrees from programs solely devoted to research would
be in violation of this standard if they provided therapy to individuals without obtaining
additional education or training in practice fields of psychology.
Graduates of counseling, clinical, or school psychology programs should not conduct
neuropsychological assessments unless their programs, internships, or postdoctoral
experiences provided specialized training in those techniques.
Psychologists should not offer courses or professional workshops if their graduate
education, training, or continued study is insufficient to provide students with fundamental
knowledge and concepts of the topics or areas to be taught.
Psychologists without applicable training in job-related counseling and assessment
should not offer executive coaching services (S. K. Anderson, Williams, & Kramer, 2012).
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68——PART II ENFORCEABLE STANDARDS
and Professional and Scientific Guidelines
Determinations of whether psychologists are engaged in activities outside the
boundaries of their competence will vary with current and evolving criteria in the
relevant field. For example, the Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology
(COSPP) and the ABPP recognize 13 “specialty areas” defined in terms of competence
in providing distinctive configurations of services for specified problems and
populations. The COSPP website provides descriptions of the education, training,
and experience required to attain competencies in each specialty (http://cospp.org).
Advanced training for specific problems across specialties may also be required.
As noted in the Introduction and Applicability section of the Ethics Code and
discussed in Chapters 1 and 3 of this book, psychologists are encouraged to refer to
materials and guidelines endorsed by scientific and professional psychological organizations
to help identify competencies necessary for adherence to Standard 2.01a.
Forensic psychologists should not offer opinions on children’s ability to testify if they
have not obtained requisite knowledge of developmental processes related to recollection
of facts, susceptibility to leading questions, understanding of court procedures, andThe paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
emotional and behavioral reactions to legal proceedings.