What qualifications do I need to be eligible as a site visitor?

The CoA maintains strict criteria for inclusion in the site visitor pool. These can be found listed under Criteria for Site Visitors. Once you have been approved, you must complete a full day Site Visitor Workshop before participating in a visit.

Potential site visitor questions

Contact accreditation

If you have any other questions about being a site visitor or the site visit process, please email the Office of Accreditation.

Resources for site visitors

Criteria, policies and other useful information for CoA site visitors

Do I have to be a member of an accredited doctoral program or staff at an accredited internship site to be eligible as a site visitor?

Not necessarily. The criteria states you must have involvement as faculty or an association with an accredited training program. In other words, you must have direct contact with students or interns from an accredited program. This includes being an adjunct faculty member, being a teacher of seminars to students/interns in an accredited program or being a supervisor of students/interns at external sites. If you do not hold this kind of affiliation, but still feel you may be eligible, please consult with the Office of Accreditation.

What does the site visitor training cover? When is the training offered? Is there a cost?

The workshop affords site visitors a better understanding of the accreditation process, and an overview of the Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation (PDF, 460KB). This training is offered prior to the annual APA convention and often in conjunction with other psychology conferences (e.g. APPIC, COGDOP, CUDCP). If we receive enough requests for a specific geographic location, the Office of Accreditation will look into hosting a workshop in that area. There is no fee for attending.

Can I receive CEP credit for this training?

As of 2001 we have been able to offer CEP credits for our full day site visitor workshop for the first time. You will receive credits by attending the entire day of training and signing in and out of the session.

How many people compose a site visit team?

Each team will have a chair who is an experienced site visitor (i.e., has participated in three or more visits) and who has a professional background and experience compatible with the program being visited. In addition to the chair, site teams for doctoral programs will have at least two other members, and internship and postdoctoral residency programs will have at least one other member.

What is the process for being selected to be on a site visit team?

Once you are trained, your name will appear on lists of potential site visitors to programs. The program will be provided with all of your contact information as well as your degree institution, specialty area and primary proficiency area. The program will then directly contact each person on the list until they find someone who is available for the proposed dates of the visit, and who has no potential conflict of interest with the program.

How many visits will I be expected to participate in each year? Is there a limit to the number I can agree to?

You can accept or decline as many site visit requests as you wish. Being a site visitor is purely voluntary and you should only accept to do a visit if it will work with your schedule. Ideally, no site visitor will participate in more then two site visits per year, but this limit is merely a suggestion and should not limit you from doing additional visits if your schedule allows.

How often will I be contacted to participate in a site visit?

Unfortunately, this question is very difficult to answer. Some years you may have many invitations, and other years, you may never receive a call. It is very dependent on your area of expertise and the types of programs up for review. Our new site visitors are always first on lists so that they may experience a visit while the training is still fresh.

How much time am I obligating myself to when I agree to do a site visit?

A typical site visit is scheduled for two full days at the program site. Travel to and from the program should also be factored in. Additional time is needed prior to the visit for review of the self-study and other program materials, as well as after the visit for the writing of the site visit report (with the help of your other visitor[s]). The time needed for the site visit report varies on the complexity of the visit and delegation of work among your other team members. The site visit report is due to the Office of Accreditation 30 days following the visit.

Will I be reimbursed for all of my expenses?

Expenses for food, hotel and travel are reimbursed following the visit. You have the option to make your travel arrangements through the APA travel office so that the plane fare is paid directly by APA.

How do I get involved?

Link back to our Site Visitor page for information on how to nominate yourself or a colleague. Once approved to be in the site visitor pool, the office will inform the potential visitor of all upcoming workshops.