Competency Assessment Models

Irene W. Leigh, I. Leon Smith, Muriel J. Bebeau, James W. Lichtenberg, Paul D. Nelson, Sanford Portnoy, Nancy J. Rubin, Nadine J. Kaslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


This article describes characteristics of alternative assessment models deployed in the measurement of professional competencies across the professional life span based on the work of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Assessment of Competence in Professional Psychology. Assessments of knowledge, decision making, performance and personal attributes, as well as integrated practice-based skills and tasks are described and compared on the basis of their validity, feasibility and practicality, fidelity, and relevance at difference stages of professional development. It is acknowledged that no single assessment can evaluate all competencies and that assessments can be combined in complementary ways. Assessments deployed in the nursing, dental, and medical professions are reviewed and contrasted with current practices in psychology. At the licensure level, differences in the assessments deployed among the 4 healthcare professions are described, and their candidate fees and number of candidates assessed annually are documented. Ideas for developing new assessments in psychology are discussed on the basis of the needs and financial resources available to psychology and the experiences of other healthcare professions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-473
Number of pages11
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • assessments
  • feasibility
  • fidelity to practice
  • reliability
  • validity


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