American Psychological Association
Recommended Postdoctoral Education and Training Program In
Psychopharmacology for Prescriptive Authority

Education and training in psychopharmacology for prescriptive authority has evolved rapidly over the past two decades. As of the writing of this document, there were approximately 10 programs in a range of educational contexts offering this training on a postdoctoral basis. As more states pass laws authorizing properly trained psychologists to prescribe it will continue to be necessary to define what is meant by “properly trained psychologists.” Psychology’s ethical responsibility to the public requires that the profession be able to define the training needs and minimum competencies required for prescriptive authority. This document reflects the most current thinking in the field as to the nature of such education and training. It incorporates knowledge and experience derived since the 1996 version of this document, Recommended Postdoctoral Training in Psychopharmacology for Prescription Privileges, became APA policy.

In accordance with Association Rule 30-8.3 requiring that all APA standards and guidelines be reviewed at least every 10 years, and in light of the advances that have been made in prescriptive authority education and training and legislation enacted since the document APA Recommended Postdoctoral Training in Psychopharmacology for Prescription Privileges (1996 Recommended Training) was approved in 1996,1 the Council of Representatives authorized a joint BEA-CAPP Task Force in February 2006 to review the current program requirements and recommend any necessary updates and revisions.

When the original model program standards were developed over a decade ago, few programs existed and no state legislation, enabling psychologists to prescribe, had been enacted. Since then, a number of new programs have developed operating under varying education and training models, and enabling legislation has been passed in two states and one U.S. territory (with legislation pending or planned in several others). These developments clearly called for revisions of the existing policy.

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