The Candidate’s Path to ABGP

The ABGP is responsible for establishing criteria related to the definition, education, training, competencies, and the examination leading to certification as a specialist in Group Psychology. 

Board certification assures the public and the profession that the group psychologist specialist has successfully completed the educational, training, and experience requirements of the specialty including an examination designed to assess the competencies required to provide quality services in group psychology.

A phased breakdown of the process in place for Board Certification can be found below as well as here. This informative presentation by our past president, Dr. Sam James, is a great introduction to application process and understanding functional and foundational competencies. Additional resources and professionals who can answer any specific questions you have regarding this process can be viewed by clicking the button below.


  1. Fill out both the Generic and Specialist applications on line and forward by computer to the Central Office.
  2. Submit Application Fee to the Central Office (see below). Application fees are based on a sliding scale, depending on where you are in your career, ranging from $125 to $25 . See where you are on the fee schedule here.
  3. The Executive Officer (EO) and Central Office (CO) staff will verify the license to practice psychology, the doctoral degree and program; the specialty board may also review your application for specialty-specific requirements. You must request that an original doctoral transcript be mailed or emailed ( to CO directly from the educational institution. (Central Office may take up to three months for this review.)


  1. When passed by the Central Office, you become a “Candidate”.
  2. Your application is sent from the Central Office to the ABGP Exam Coordinator for a review of your group psychology education and experience.
  3. When passed by ABGP your application returns to the Central Office. (The ABGP may take up to two months for this review.)
  4. The ABGP Exam Coordinator ascertains that you have a mentor.


  1. The AGBP Exam Coordinator invites you to prepare a Practice Sample Statement and Professional Statement. Your mentor will review these to ensure they are ready for submission at the next phase. 
  2. Submit $250 Practice Sample Fee directly to the Central Office.


  1. Send the Practice Sample and Professional Statement to ABGP’s Exam Coordinator (see below). If your Practice Sample includes a recording of a group therapy session, prepare six unedited copies (that are compatible with Windows and Apple).
  2. The ABGP Exam Coordinator (with one additional board member) either passes or recommends revisions to your sample and statement. (The ABGP may take up to two months for this review.)
  3. Once passed, the ABGP Exam Coordinator informs the Central Office that you are ready for the Oral Exam.


  1. Submit $450 Oral Exam Fee to Central Office.
  2. The ABGP Exam Coordinator selects a Committee Chair.
  3. The Committee Chair chooses two additional members for your committee and arranges the day and time of exam. (The scheduling process may take up to two months.)
  4. Your Committee meets with you for a four hour collegial exam.
  5. The Central Office informs you of the results. (You will receive your notice of exam results within the week.)


Please consult ABGP’s Exam Coordinators:

Additional Resources:

ABGP Exam Manual Appendices’ Forms

  • Form A, p.58, ABGP Board Certification Process
  • Form B, p.59, Credential Review Results Form
  • Form C, p.60, Group Psychology Application
  • Form D-1,p.64 Practice Sample Checklist
  • Form D-2, p.65 Senior Option Checklist
  • Form E, p.66 Professional Statement Checklist
  • Form F, p. 67 Voluntary Consent Agreement
  • Form G, p. 68 Rating Grid for Oral Exam Competency Areas
  • Form H, p. 72, Practice Sample Review Results
  • For further and more complete information, consult the Exam Manual