What are the Implementing Regulations?

The Commission on Accreditation makes policy statements in an effort to help programs better understand how the Commission is interpreting aspects of its Guidelines and Procedures.

  • Prior to 1996, these were published in the Accreditation newsletter titled Capsule.

  • Beginning with the 1996 CoA Annual Report, policy statements adopted during the year were printed in that publication.

  • Beginning in 1999, the Office made a systematic effort to collect all of the documents published in the newsletters and annual reports into one coherent document and to update the policy statements that initially went into effect under the previous accreditation standards to be consistent with the current G&P.

  • In 2000, the Office made a copy of all Implementing Regulations available to the public. 

  • All Implementing Regulations were posted online in June 2001. The dates of initial confirmation and revision are indicated on every Implementing Regulation.

  • In 2005, the Implementing Regulations were renumbered for consistency with the new Accreditation Operating Procedures.

  • The CoA revises and adopts new Implementing Regulations on a regular basis. Please visit our Policies and Procedures page for the latest full version of the Implementing Regulations.

Other accreditation questions

Which groups recognize CoA’s activities?

The Commission on Accreditation (CoA) is recognized as a specialized accreditor by the U.S. Secretary of Education for the accreditation in the United States of doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, school and combined professional-scientific psychology, predoctoral internship programs in professional psychology and postdoctoral residency programs in professional psychology.

The CoA is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for the accreditation of doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, school and combined professional-scientific psychology; internship programs in professional psychology; and postdoctoral residency programs in professional psychology.

The CoA is a member in good standing of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors.

What’s new in accreditation?

At the present time, there are approximately 900 accredited doctoral, internship and postdoctoral programs.

The APA Commission on Accreditation (CoA) is currently phasing out accreditation of programs in Canada. Beginning on September 1, 2015, the APA CoA will no longer accredit programs in Canada.  This follows several years of discussion and is based upon an agreement with the Canadian Psychological Association.

After several periods of public comment and review by the CoA, the scope of accreditation has changed to eliminate the term “emerging substantive areas.” The CoA now accredits doctoral graduate programs and predoctoral internships in (a) clinical, (b) counseling, (c) school psychology, (d) other developed practice areas and (e) combinations of two or three of those areas. A program may not apply for accreditation in a developed practice area until that area has been added to the scope of accreditation. See Implementing Regulation C-14 for further information.

The 21-member Committee on Accreditation changed to the 32-member Commission on Accreditation as of January 1, 2008. All documentation will reflect the change in the name of the CoA.

For the latest policy and procedure updates, as well as actions taken at recent CoA meetings, please visit CoA Update.

What is the complaint procedure? How can I provide third-party testimony?

There are currently two options that exist to convey information to the Commission on Accreditation (CoA) regarding a program: Either the filing of a formal complaint or the provision of third-party testimony. Both procedures are outlined in the Accreditation Operating Procedures (AOP) (PDF, 253KB).

  • The complaint procedure is highlighted under Section 6 of the AOP. The CoA can ONLY review complaints against programs that are currently accredited. Download the accreditation complaint form (PDF, 71KB).

  • Policies regarding provision of third-party testimony can be found under Section 7 of the AOP.  The CoA can accept third-party testimony on programs that are currently accredited AND on those applying for initial accreditation.

  • View the list of programs scheduled for periodic review during the upcoming year. 

  • View a list of programs that have applied for initial accreditation. 

Please contact the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation with any questions regarding either process.

What are some related organizations?

We commonly receive inquiries from the public that are better directed to one of the following organizations/resources. Their links are provided below for your convenience.

APA offices and resources
Psychology education & training organizations
Higher education & accreditation organizations
How can I contact the office?

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
Education Directorate
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979
Fax: (202) 336-5978
Email