The Ohio Board of Psychology recently posted an Alert titled, Work Disability Examinations: Forensic Psychology Competence and Resources, making it clear that disability exams are forensic psychological evaluations.1 The Alert states:
"Psychologists undertaking practice on work disability matters are expected to have a working knowledge of the foundational competencies in forensic psychology and their application to work disability cases."
Thus, an Ohio-licensed psychologist without education, training, or experience in forensic psychology would be practicing outside their "boundary of competence" if they conducted Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation and pension examinations (C&P exams).2
The Alert describes forensic psychology as "... professional practice when applying the scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge of psychology to a psycho-legal issue to assist the legal decision maker in addressing legal, contractual, and/or administrative matters."
The Ohio Board emphasized:
Psychologists understand that requests, requirements, or perceived demands by referral sources do not supplant State Board rules and professional ethical requirements.
... psychologists proceed with knowledge that ease of entry to this area of practice and ease of garnering referrals have no bearing on the professional requirement for documented competence in forensic psychology.
1. Ohio Board of Psychology, "Work Disability Examinations: Forensic Psychology Competence and Resources" (July 18, 2018), https://psychology.ohio.gov/laws-rules-resources/advisories-resources/work-disability-examinations-forensic-psychology-competence-and-resources
2. American Psychological Association, "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct" (2017): 2.01 Boundaries of Competence, https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/
3. See Fed. R. Evid. 702, Testimony by Expert Witnesses ("A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if: (a) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue; ...").
6. American Psychological Association, "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology", American Psychologist 68, no. 1 (2013): 7-19, https://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/forensic-psychology
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