Official Statement of the National Association of Psychometrists
The use of Psychometrists (also neuropsychological technicians, psychometricians, psychological assistants) to administer and score the full range of psychological and neuropsychological assessments has been the standard, accepted practice dating back to the late 1930’s (DeLuca, 1989). Much like other medical professions, (e.g. EEG technologists, radiology technologists, and nurse practitioners), neuropsychologists rely upon trained non-doctoral personnel in their practices. According to the NAN position paper on technician use, this practice dates back for more than 3 decades and is an established standard of practice in neuropsychology.
Psychometrists administer and score psychological and neuropsychological assessments are beneficial for the following reasons:
Psychometrists are highly trained professionals, usually with a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university, preferably in psychology or a related mental health field (as recommended by APA’s Division 40). One example of competence is certification as a Certified Specialist in Psychometry (CSP), which requires educational training, clinical and/or research experience, a passing score on a Nationally Standardized exam, and ongoing continuing education. Extensive training is provided in standardized administration procedures to ensure that each client is assessed in the same way regardless of setting. Psychometrists work closely with and under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist to ensure that quality care is delivered in a timely manner to as many clients as possible.
The use of Psychometrists allows for objective data collection and additional behavioral observations from a second party, unbiased by clinical interview data, contributing to increased reliability and validity of test administration (DeLuca, 1989).
It also allows the neuropsychologist/psychologist more time to devote to clinical interviewing, test selection, interpretation, and report writing. This permits a larger number of clients to receive needed services in a more timely manner.
Standardized norms for such commonly used tests as the Wechsler scales (e.g. WAIS-III and WMS-III) and the Halstead-Reitan battery were based upon data collected by technicians.
As of January 1, 2006, federal guidelines, such as CPT codes, establish and reimburse for technician-administered assessments.
The use of Psychometrists to administer and score tests is recognized by APA Division 40, NAN, INS, the Standards for Educational, and Psychological Testing, and Medicare, and most state licensing boards in psychology.
APA Division 40 guidelines detail the standards of practice in place for the selection, training, supervision, and utilization of psychometric support (Division 40 Task Force, 1989; 1991). Psychometrists’ duties include the standardized administration and scoring of neuropsychological and psychological instruments and making behavioral observations regarding client behavior. Test selection, interpretation, report writing, and consultation remain the sole responsibility of the supervising neuropsychologist or psychologist (Division 40, 1989). Collection of fees for services remains the responsibility of the supervising psychologist/neuropsychologist (p.24, Division 40, 1989).
This official statement is endorsed and supported by the National Association of Psychometrists (NAP) and is consistent with previously published standards of practice as established by APA Division 40 and the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN Position Paper on The Use of Neuropsychology Test Technicians in Clinical Practice, 1999).
Information in part provided by Tom Erickson, MA, CSP, NCC, LMHC
DeLuca, J. W. (1989). Neuropsychology Technicians in Clinical Practice: Precedents, rational and current deployment.
Division 40 Task Force (1989). 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.
Division 40 Task Force (1991). Report of the Division 40 Task Force on Education, Accreditation, and Credentialing (1991): Recommendations for education and training of non-The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 3 (1), 3-21.The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 3 (1), 23-24.