The Use of Neuropsychology Test Technicians in Clinical Practice

Official Statement of the National Academy of Neuropsychology Approved by the Board of Directors 5/15/99

(Reprinted fromĀ NAN Website)

The use of neuropsychology technicians (also referred to as “technicians, psychometrists, psychometricians and psychological assistants”-p. 23, Division 40, 1989) in the supervised administration and scoring of the full range of neuropsychological tests and allied cognitive, psychological, and behavioral assessment procedures, can be traced to the late 1930’s, and it has been an established standard of practice in the field of clinical neuropsychology for more than three decades (DeLuca, 1989). This practice is not unique to neuropsychology. Other doctoral level health care practitioners also routinely employ trained non-doctoral technical personnel (e.g. radiology and EEG technicians).

The use of neuropsychology technicians helps maintain the objectivity of data collection and minimizes potential for bias associated with clinical judgment. This practice maintains reliability and validity of test administration (DeLuca, 1989).

Standards of practice exist for the selection, training, supervision and utilization of neuropsychology technicians (DeLuca, 1989; Division 40 Task Force, 1989; 1991). These standards clearly indicate that the neuropsychology technician is trained “only for the administration and scoring of psychological and neuropsychological tests” (p. 24, Division 40, 1989) and observation/reporting of test behavior. Technician training and supervision, test selection, interpretation/analysis of test data, report-writing, and neuropsychological consultation are the sole responsibility of the neuropsychologist who is licensed to practice psychology or neuropsychology. “The professional relationship in clinical neuropsychology is between the patient and the… neuropsychologist” (p. 24, Division 40, 1989). The neuropsychologist establishes and charges fees for services, and is “accountable for the quality of professional work” (p. 24, Division 40, 1989).

This official statement of the National Academy of Neuropsychology is consistent with previously published APA-Division 40 standards for education, training and supervision of non-doctoral neuropsychology technicians (Division 40, 1989, 1991). These standards are endorsed and supported by the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

References:

DeLuca, J.W. (1989) Neuropsychology Technicians in Clinical Practice: Precedents, rational and current deployment. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 3(1), pp. 3-21.

Report of the Division 40 Task Force on Education, Accreditation, and Credentialing, (1989) Guidelines regarding the use of non-doctoral personnel in clinical neuropsychological assessment. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 3(1), pp. 23-24.

Report of the Division 40 Task Force on Education, Accreditation, and Credentialing, (1991) Recommendations for education and training of non-doctoral personnel in clinical neuropsychology. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 5(1), pp. 20-23.

The NAN Policy and Planning Committee Bradley Axelrod, Ph.D. Jeffrey Barth, Ph.D., Chair David Faust, Ph.D. Jerid Fisher, Ph.D. Robert Heilbronner, Ph.D. Glenn Larrabee, Ph.D. Neil Pliskin, Ph.D., Vice Chair Cheryl Silver, Ph.D.