Postdoctoral Fellowship Performance Evaluation

Performance Evaluation

Mock Diplomate Examination

At the end of each year the fellow will undergo a Mock Diplomate Examination administered by two forensic psychologists, one of whom is the Fellowship Director. The Mock Diplomate Examination will consist of two examinations, with one being performed at the end of each training year. During the mock examinations, the fellow will present an actual case of their choosing, including their methodology, findings, and conclusions, with identifying information redacted. The examination will last approximately two hours.

Parameters relevant to evaluation of performance in the Mock Diplomate Examination include:

  1. Completeness, accuracy, clarity, and professional quality of written report.
  2. Appropriate selection, utilization, and interpretation of assessment methods.
  3. Appropriate case formulation, including integration of background, collateral, mental status, psychological test data, and data from forensic assessment methods.
  4. Indication that a minimum of bias occurred in the handling of the case. Bias will be judged on the basis of: 1) methodology utilized, and 2) conclusions rendered. There should be a clear, coherent, and justifiable rationale for the methodology utilized in assessing the case. The conclusions should both logically follow from the data generated and should fall within professionally accepted guidelines for diagnosis and test interpretation.
  5. The work sample should demonstrate recommendations articulated by Grisso (2010): 1) forensic referral question clearly stated, 2) report organized coherently, 3) jargon eliminated, 4) only data relevant to forensic opinion included, 5) observations separated from inferences, 6) multiple sources of data considered, 7) psychological tests used appropriately, 8) alternate hypotheses considered, 9) opinions supported by data, and 10) connection between data and opinions made clear.
  6. Demonstration of in-depth knowledge of ethical and professional standards.
  7. If appropriate to the referral issue, ability to generate appropriate and substantive recommendations.

The criteria above will be utilized in conjunction with instructions utilized by American Board of Forensic Psychology Board examination panel members. These criteria indicate that examinees are rated on three major component scales as follows:

The Diplomate in Forensic Psychology is awarded to individuals who demonstrate a high degree of skill and knowledge in regard to forensic psychological practice. We are looking for evidence of both depth and breadth concerning these constructs. Successful Candidates are those who demonstrate a high degree of proficiency (which is a higher standard than that of practicing “competently”). To make this determination, we score Candidates on three Scales:

  1. Ethical Standards
  2. Quality of Practice
  3. Knowledge of Forensic Areas

I. Ethical Standards: On this Scale, Candidates are rated on their knowledge and application of ethical standards. Specifically, Candidates are expected to adhere to both the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and the AP-LS Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists.

II. Quality of Practice: Scores are based on responses to questions concerning the Practice Sample. Specifically, Candidates are judged on the quality of their clinical (when appropriate) and forensic practice.

III. Knowledge of Forensic Areas: Scores are based on responses to questions concerning the Practice Sample. Specifically, Candidates are judged on the breadth and depth of their knowledge of each of the two forensic areas, as evidenced by familiarity with case law, statutes, and the relevant literature. Fellows who elect to submit a sample at the end of the first year may choose to submit only one work sample covering one forensic area. Since 706 Sanity Boards contain opinions on competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility, first year fellows may submit one report and have it analyzed in two topic areas: competency and criminal responsibility.


Each Scale or Subscale has a range of 1-9:
1 - 3 = Fail
4 - 6 = Borderline
7 - 9 = Pass
Findings from the Mock Diplomate Examination will be summarized on an Evaluation Form (Appendix A) and placed in the Fellow’s training chart. Grading will be on a pass/fail basis. If the fellow fails the exam, they will be permitted one additional opportunity to pass the exam. The fellow will be required to submit a new report and undergo an additional oral examination.

Quarterly (Six-Month Term) Written Evaluations

receive quarterly evaluations summarizing input from supervisors on the Fellow’s clinical, didactic, research, teaching, and administrative activities and performance. The focus of these monthly evaluations is to determine if the fellow is progressing as expected, and plan for adjustments in training as needed. Feedback is provided on a “Memorandum For Record” (Appendix B) and reviewed with the Fellow by the Fellowship Director.

End of Term (Annual) Ratings

Throughout the fellowship the Fellowship Director will meet with the Fellow to discuss progress to-date and to review goals and objectives for the remainder of the program. At the end of each term the Fellow’s supervisors will complete a supervisor’s rating form (Appendix C), a copy of which will be entered into the Fellow’s training file. This data, along with a summary of achievements developed by the Fellow and Mock Diplomate Examination findings will be summarized in a letter to the Chief, Department of Psychology, and placed in the training file.

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Additional Information

Referrals are accepted from JAG officers and civilian attorneys involved in courts martial for Service Members in any branch of the Armed Services.
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