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PEP Transition

Wednesday, January 18, 2017  
Transition of Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists (PEP) from APA Practice Organization to ASPPB effective January, 2018

Notice to PEP Candidates of black out period.  The PEP will be unavailable from March 31 until January, 2018

This communication is to inform all potential PEP candidates about the transfer of management of PEP from the APA Practice Organization (APAPO) to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). The PEP has been housed in the APA Practice Organization since its creation in 2001.   Currently, all psychology licensing boards in jurisdictions that grant prescriptive authority to qualified psychologists rely on the PEP as a critical part of the process to identify psychologists with the appropriate training and knowledge to prescribe competently and ethically.

To provide background, the APA Practice Organization was notified that the examination vendor (the company that assists with production and delivery of the examination) would not be renewing their contract with the APAPO to produce and deliver the PEP when the term of this contract ended on 12/31/16.  Additionally the test administration vendor (provides test sites to take the exam) also declined to maintain a contract with APA to continue delivery and scoring of PEP.  

Representatives from APAPO notified ASPPB of its difficulty finding a vendor that would continue to sponsor the PEP and requested that ASPPB consider taking ownership of the PEP and incorporating it into its other examination offerings.  ASPPB has extensive experience with examination services, having produced and managed the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) for more the 50 years.  Since the PEP is an examination that is used for licensure purposes, the transition to ASPPB was a very logical solution and in the best interest of the profession. The ASPPB Board of Directors considered the impact of taking this action and the impact on member boards of not taking over the PEP.  Unfortunately, the cost to update, validate and maintain the PEP will far exceed the revenue generated by the limited number of test takers each year.  Given the inability of APA to continue to offer PEP, declining to assume ownership of PEP would have meant our member boards that regulate prescriptive authority for psychologists both now and in the future would no longer have access to a critical tool they use to assess applicants who seek prescriptive authority. In August 2016, the ASPPB Board voted to move forward with a process of importing, re-validating and then offering the PEP starting in January 2018. 

Transitioning, updating, and building the infrastructure to deliver a high stakes examination requires considerable time and resources.  ASPPB and the APA Practice Organization are collaborating to ensure a proper transition and to minimize the inconvenience to potential candidates for the examination.    However, there will be a period of time during this transition that the examination is unavailable.  APAPO was able to negotiate a short extension with the test administration vendor (Prometric) to allow the PEP to remain available to candidates until March 30, 2017.  After that date, there will be a “black out” period during which the PEP will not be available until the new ASPPB sponsored PEP is launched in January 2018.  

Dr. Matt Turner is coordinating the transition project for ASPPB and can be reached at, if you have questions either now or as this transition from APA Practice Organization to ASPPB progresses.   

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