ABVE Certification

Vocational Expert Certification

Applicants must hold a Master’s or Doctorate degree from an accredited institution in vocational rehabilitation, psychology, vocational counseling or a related human service field. Also required is specific knowledge or vocational assessment, functional capacity measures, psychological tests and measurement, job analysis, job placement, and job surveys. An applicant must hold an Associate Membership at the time of application for certification.

Steps to Certification are as follows:

  • Complete the appropriate application
  • Submit official college transcripts in a sealed envelope or electronically directly sent from the institution awarding the Masters or Doctoral degree(s).
  • Submit a current Curriculum Vitae or resume
  • A minimum of three Letters of Reference documenting your years of experience providing expert opinion in a forensic setting (ie. Attorneys, Judges, Hearing Officers, Arbitrators, etc.)
  • Submit at least one redacted forensic work product or work sample (should be your superior work product.) Social Security Vocational Expert (SSVE) testimony is not considered an acceptable forensic work product.
  • Submit a signed Code of Ethics
  • Pass a Peer Review
  • Attain a passing score on the appropriate ABVE Examination

 Fellow (ABVE/F) Certification

(ABVE/F) certification requires three years of documented experience in assessment of vocational capacity and working as a forensic vocational expert, and:

  • Hold a Master’s or Doctorate degree from an accredited institution in human service field specializing in vocational rehabilitation, psychology, vocational counseling, etc.
  • Have specific training and experience in such areas as assessment, functional capacity measures, psychological testing and measurement, job analysis, job placement, job surveys, and have experience providing testimony in these areas
  • Display knowledge and expertise within a submitted forensic work product. Social Security Vocational Expert (SSVE) testimony is not considered an acceptable forensic work product.
  • Attain a passing score on the ABVE examination.
  • Sign and adhere to the ABVE Code of Ethics

Ready to Apply to be a Fellow? (Click here to download a brochure)

  • Download the Application
  • Please allow 60 – 90 days for your application to be reviewed.
  • The exam is 3-hrs in length and 150 multiple choice questions.
  • The ABVE exam can be proctored at anytime by a local Fellow/Diplomate member (search our membership directory) or through a local University or Library. Applicant is responsible for finding the proctor and coordinating the date and time of which the exam will be administered, and will need to coordinate with ABVE for the delivery of the exam. The exam will be administered electronically.
  • ABVE also administers the exam at our Annual ABVE Conference. In order to sit for the exam at the conference, completed applications for certification must be received 90 days before the start date of the Annual Conference.

Review the following application items: Areas of Practice, Core Competencies, Specialty Services, Exam Prep, Letters of Reference


ABVE Diplomate Certification

Diplomates must have at least 7 years of of documented experience in assessment of vocational capacity and working as a forensic vocational expert.

Please allow 60 – 90 days for your application to be reviewed. (Click here to download a brochure)

Review the following application items: Areas of Practice, Core Competencies, Specialty Services, Exam Prep, Letters of Reference

International Psychometric Evaluation Certification (IPEC)

Become IPEC certified through the to be recognized as a competent, empirically savvy, evidenced-based assessment evaluator! IPEC is the Gold Standard to demonstrate your forensic work and expertise is based on scientific methodology! Complete the application today and witness your practice get the recognition it deserves in an environment of legal competencies and empirical competencies! This is the cornerstone certification that many disciplines (Rehabilitation, Therapists, Forensic Evaluators, Counselors, Life Care Planners, and Educators) have been waiting for!

Below are the criteria to be able to become certified:

A. Be a current ABVE Member.
B.  Education/Academics:

a. Master’s/Doctorate in psychology, social work, counseling, or health related degree.
b. Applicant must provide an official copy of their transcripts in a sealed envelope.

C. A copy of the academic degree.
D. Professional Experience/Work Product:

a. Three years’ work experience administering psychometric tests is required.
b. Applicant must provide 1 to 3 redacted work samples to show they administer, interpret, and/or score psychometric tests. Examples of psychometric tests include but are not limited to testing in achievement, aptitude, interest, personality, behavior, career, neuropsychology, pain, research, forensic, speech, occupational therapy, physical medicine, work evaluation, medical or human resource management.

E. Applicant must provide an up-to-date CV or resumé.
F. Proof of Ethical/Legal Standing:

a. Confirmation to show if you have ever been investigated or disciplined by a national certifying body or state/national licensing body. Investigation or discipline does not necessarily mean you would be precluded from being qualified from IPEC or ABVE certification.

G. Proof of current certifications or licensure:

a. List your current certifications or licensure credential along with certification/licensure number, and status of each.

H. References:

a. Three professional references must be provided to verify employment, education, and experience. (Please use the reference letter template).

I. IPEC Application:

a. Applicants are required to complete the IPEC Application provided by ABVE and submit it with all attachments.

J. Code of Ethics:

a. Applicants are required to sign an ABVE/IPEC code of ethics, affirming they agree to practice within their scope of practice.

K. Peer Review Approval:

a. A peer review of your application and supporting documents is reviewed by peer review committee members to ensure full pre-qualification status and authorization to sit for the IPEC exam.

L. Non-Refundable Application Fee and Membership:

a. A non-refundable application fee of $225.00 must be paid at time of application.
b. If you are not a current AVBE Associate Member, then the non-refundable membership fee of $195.00 must also be submitted with your application.

M. Attain a passing score on the IPEC examination.

* Note: Please allow 60 – 90 days for your application to be reviewed.

Click here for the Code of Ethics – applicants are asked to sign the last page and send in with application.

Learn more about the IPEC: Both these articles were published in the Journal of Forensic Vocational Analysis, Vol 15, No. 2:

  1. The Evolution of the International Psychometric Evaluation Certification (IPEC) by Cynthia P. Grimley & Scott Whitmer
  2. Psychometric Evaluation Competency: The International Psychometric Evaluation Certification (IPEC) in the Era of Evidenced Based Assessment Within the Forensic Environment by Scott Whitmer & Cynthia P. Grimley

Exam Content

There are three content domains contained on the certification exam.  (You can review the data analysis and survey report behind the exam here.) They are:

Domain 1. Vocational Assessment
A. Forensic Vocational Reporting
B. Medical/Functional Aspects of Disability
C. Forensic Vocational Rehabilitation Tools
D. Psychometric Evaluation

Domain 2. Forensic Vocational Practice Venues and Systems
A. Disability Systems
B. The American Legal System
C. Civil Litigation
D. Life Care Plan

Domain 3. Professional Standards and Practice
A. Clinical Judgment
B. Research and Statistics
C. Professional Standards and Ethical Issues


 Certification Maintenance Requirements

Certification by the American Board of Vocational Experts (ABVE) is a formal acknowledgement and recognition of one’s knowledge, experience and skill application on the part of a vocational professional working in the forensic arena. The ABVE certification process serves as the mechanism to insure that professionals have actually demonstrated a high degree of forensic competence, integrity, accountability and an adherence to ethical standards promoting the highest level of service provision within this specific profession.

The purpose of the re-certification process for ABVE Diplomates, Fellows and IPEC, is to promote professional growth through continuing education. The evolution of forensic skills related to the analysis of earning capacity, labor market trends, knowledge and application of research techniques, the use of cognitive and vocational interest assessments, and the implication of medical conditions on functional capacities are activities expected of the certified vocational expert.

Re-Certification Cycle
The re-certification cycle is a three-year cycle. Currently, the period is January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2024. If you don’t have the required CEU hours on file with ABVE at the end of the cycle you will lose your ABVE Certification. Fellow/Diplomate and IPEC members must acquire 42-CEUs approved by ABVE during this period. Active Emeritus members must acquire 14 CEUs.

Annual Renewal Fee
Renewal fees are payable annually to maintain ABVE certification. Due to the recent change from a fiscal year to a calendar year the annual renewal fee is due and payable each year by December 31st.

Revocation Of Certification
Failure to annually renew your membership by payment of the annual renewal fee or failure to submit evidence of 42-contact hours of acceptable continuing education by the end of the recertification cycle will result in the revocation of your ABVE membership and certification designation.

CEU Requirements
In addition to the annual fee, proof of continuing education advancement is required. The current 3-year CEU cycle runs from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2024. Fellow/Diplomate and IPEC members must acquire 42-CEUs approved by ABVE during this period. Active Emeritus members must acquire 14 CEUs.

The Approval of CEU Credits Will Reflect The Sixteen (16) Core Forensic Competencies as Listed Below and Found on the ABVE Certification Examination:

  • Forensic Testimony & Related Legislation, Rules & Regulations
  • Standardized Vocational Testing & Work Samples
  • Statistical Analysis, Foundations & Theories
  • Research Methodology and Forensic Applications
  • Standardized Psychological and Neuropsychological Testing
  • Vocational Theory and Forensic Applications
  • Job Surveys and Job Placement Techniques
  • Seminal Vocational Texts & Applications (i.e. Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Handbook for Analysis, and others)
  • ABVE Standards, Code of Ethics and Professional Ethical Behavior
  • Transferable Skills Analysis; Theories and Forensic Applications
  • Physical Capacity Evaluation, Assessment of Functionality & Work Applications
  • Occupational Information Network (O*Net Applications)
  • Life Care Planning; Resources, Techniques, Competencies
  • Pain Measurement, Pain Management, Work Implications, Treatment Modalities
  • Occupational Density; Theoretical Foundation, Resources, Applications
  • Determination of Earning Capacity; Theories, Sources & Applications

Click here for information on opportunities to obtain CEUs.