The Practice Assessment: What You Need to Know

Answers to common member questions about the annual payment supporting the work of the APA Practice Organization

In addition to APA dues, members who are licensed practitioners pay the annual "Practice Assessment" that supports the work of the APA Practice Organization (APAPO). A companion organization to APA, the mission of APAPO to advance and protect the professional practice of psychology is supported by Practice Assessment monies.

This article provides answers to common questions from members about the Practice Assessment.

Why Is the Practice Assessment Needed?

The Practice Assessment provides vital resources to the APA Practice Organization, which actively promotes the professional interests of practicing psychologists in a wide variety of settings. APA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under IRS rules. As a public charity, APA must operate for the good of the public in advancing charitable, educational, or scientific purposes. Providing for additional resources in order to confront persistent challenges and cultivate opportunities for practicing psychologists took a major step forward in 2001 with the advent of the APA Practice Organization. Created as a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization, APAPO is not subject to the same IRS restrictions as APA, and is able to engage in a broad range of advocacy in support of practicing psychologists, limited only by available resources.

Who Pays the Practice Assessment?

Licensed APA members who provide health or mental health services or supervise those who do pay the Practice Assessment, which supports the work of APA Practice Organization on behalf of professional psychology. The Practice Assessment is included in a separate section in the APA member dues statements. The base Practice Assessment amount is $140 for 2011, as noted on the APA dues statements. (Certain limited adjustments described below may apply.)

Can I Pay a Reduced Fee?

Several categories of members are able to claim an "adjustment" that results in a reduced Practice Assessment or no payment due.

For example, early career psychologists licensed for 12 months or less pay $25, while those licensed for 13 to 24 months pay $75.

Members engaged in the provision of health or mental health services or clinical supervision thereof for less than five hours per week pay a Practice Assessment of $85. This adjustment may apply, for example, to an early career psychologist raising a family or to a late-career psychologist winding down his or her practice.

Licensed psychologists who are not engaged in providing any health or mental health services (including supervising those who do provide those services) can elect to pay no Practice Assessment. Such psychologists claim an adjustment on their dues statement reflecting their non-practitioner work settings. These adjustments include: employed solely as an academic administrator or faculty member (e.g., dean, professor); employed solely in a non-health-related capacity by public or private organizations (e.g., research consultant, I/O consultant); employed solely in providing education-related services in an institutional setting. Finally, APA members who qualify for Full Life Status or reduced dues as a result of hardship pay no Practice Assessment.

The list of "Practice Assessment Adjustments" and corresponding payment due for each is included annually in the APA Dues Statement Instructions.

Why Isn't the Practice Assessment Part of My APA Dues?

As noted earlier, Practice Assessment monies support the work of the APA Practice Organization, a legally separate entity with a different IRS status than APA. As a result, Practice Assessment payments are not part of your APA membership dues, although they are billed on your APA dues statement.

The APA Practice Organization is housed administratively in the Practice Directorate, which also provides services for the 501(c)(3) APA on behalf of practicing psychologists and consumers of psychological services.