Background: Workforce shortages to meet the mental health needs of the world's aging population are well documented. Within the field of professional geropsychology in the U.S.A., a national conference was convened in 2006 to delineate competencies for psychological practice with older adults and a training model for the field. The conference produced the Pikes Peak Model of Geropsychology Training. The Council of Professional Geropsychology Training Programs (CoPGTP) aimed to produce a competency evaluation tool to help individuals define training needs for and evaluate progress in development of the Pikes Peak professional geropsychology competencies.
Methods: A CoPGTP task force worked for one year to adapt the Pikes Peak Model geropsychology attitude, knowledge, and skill competencies into an evaluation tool for use by supervisors, students and professional psychologists at all levels of geropsychology training. The task force developed a competency rating tool, which included delineation of behavioral anchors for each of the Pikes Peak geropsychology knowledge and skill competencies and use of a developmental rating scale. Pilot testing was conducted, with 13 individuals providing feedback on the clarity and feasibility of the tool for evaluation of oneself or students.
Results: The Geropsychology Knowledge and Skills Assessment Tool, Version 1.1, is now posted on the CoPGTP website and is being used by geropsychology training programs in the U.S.A.
Conclusions: The evaluation tool has both strengths and limitations. We discuss future directions for its ongoing validation and professional use.