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Challenges to the assessment of competen

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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 2007, Vol. 38, No. 5, 474 – 478 Copyright 2007 by the American Psychological Association 0735-7028/07/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0735-7028.38.5.474 Challenges to the Assessment of Competence and Competencies James W. Lichtenberg Sanford M. Portnoy University of Kansas Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology Muriel J. Bebeau Irene W. Leigh University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Gallaudet University Paul D. Nelson Nancy J. Rubin American Psychological Association University of Alabama School of Medicine—Tuscaloosa Campus I. Leon Smith Nadine J. Kaslow Professional Examination Service Emory University School of Medicine Challenges to the assessment of competence and competencies in professional psychology are discussed in this article. These include difficulties in defining competencies in precise and measurable terms; reaching agreement within the profession about the key elements of each competence domain; establishing an armamentarium of tools for assessing all components of competence, including the knowledge base, skills, and attitudes (and their integration); determining appropriate agreed-upon minimal levels of competence for individuals at different levels of professional development and when “competence problems” exist for individuals; assuring the fidelity of competency assessments; and establishing mechanisms for providing effective evaluative feedback and remediation. But even if these cha ...
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