Resolution on accreditation

In August 2013, the APA Council of Representatives approved, by a majority vote, the resolution on accreditation for programs that prepare psychologists to provide health services. The resolution sets forth a vision that all students who are training to become health service psychologists will be trained in doctoral and internship programs that are accredited by APA and the Canadian Psychological Association or programs accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. secretary of education for the accreditation of professional psychology education and training in preparation for entry to practice.

The resolution sets a goal of seven years for internship programs and five for doctoral programs that are not currently accredited to become accredited. It also states that accreditation should be one of the requirements for licensure for independent practice. Reaching this goal will require that actions be taken so that no students or programs are disadvantaged during the transition, and efforts are under way in this regard.

Approval of the resolution is significant, as it conveys psychology’s commitment to quality assurance and accountability in the preparation of health service psychologists to the public and to potential students. The public expects that psychology will be active in self-regulating the quality of those who are allowed to practice. Further, accreditation is an important protection for students’ rights and a requirement for some job opportunities. Approval of the resolution is an important statement on the value of quality education and training by the association.

The complete resolution and answers to frequently asked questions are available online.