Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation (G&P) Roadmap

Phase I Questions: Public Comment Received (Fall 2012)

The Commission on Accreditation wants to thank all of the groups and individuals that provided the nearly 400 pages of public comment to CoA’s Phase I questions designed to lay the groundwork for G&P revision. The Phase I comments were incredibly rich and thoughtful. To make sure neither CoA nor our communities of interest lose track of those comments, we will continue to have them available for viewing on our comment pages.

Phase II Questions: Public Comment Received (Nov. 29, 2012-June 1, 2013)

There were two kinds of questions to which we sought input during Phase II. The first set of questions pertained to both doctoral- and internship-level training. The second group of questions focused on training at the postdoctoral level. To make sure neither CoA nor our communities of interest lose track of those comments, we will continue to have the Phase II comments available for viewing on our comment pages.

In an effort to promote thoughtful discussion, CoA provides an electronic-based comment form for public comment submission. Comments and other information, including the users' identity, will be public. Email addresses used for registration will be kept confidential. CoA will consider all comments received in moving forward with the Roadmap. On behalf of CoA, thank you for your review and comments. Please contact the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation with any questions or concerns.

750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Telephone: (202) 336-5979

Phase II Questions for Doctoral and Internship Training

Accreditation Framework — Competencies and Program Characteristics
  1. There have been many comments in favor of moving CoA accreditation at the doctoral and internship levels toward a uniform, profession-based competency-based assessment. What are the pros and cons of this? If CoA moves to a uniform-professional based competency-based assessment, how might this be implemented? Should CoA identify relevant competencies? Should CoA use previously-identified competencies in the profession (e.g., Benchmark Competencies, NCSPP, etc.)? Are there other competencies that are not fully addressed in existing documents (e.g., research and science) and if so, how should CoA identify and incorporate these into the G&P?

  2. What kind of proximal and distal outcome data should CoA require to evaluate whether a training program is successfully training students/interns to be competent?

  3. Should clinical, counseling, or school programs be evaluated using the same or different accreditation standards? For purposes of accreditation, does type of training model matter (e.g., scientist-practitioner, practitioner-scholar, or clinical scientist)? Should programs be evaluated for accreditation on their own program goals, objectives, and competencies; on a set of uniform-profession based competencies; or both?

  1. Should specialization (e.g., neuropsychology, health) be permitted prior to the post-doctoral level (i.e., at doctoral and/or internship)? What are the pros/cons of such a model? How might this be operationalized given the importance of broad and general training?

  2. Several comments have called for increased interdisciplinary training in professional psychology. How and when should interdisciplinary training and collaboration occur? Should it be a required part of doctoral training? internship? What implications does this have for the acceptable qualifications of faculty and internship program contributors (i.e., instructors, practicum supervisors, internship primary/supplemental supervisors, research mentors)?

Sequence of Training
  1. Should there be a minimum expectation for entry criteria to an accredited doctoral program? What should that expectation be (e.g., undergraduate coursework, minimum GPA, minimum GRE scores)? How would minimum admissions criteria impact underrepresented/non-traditional applicants? What plans should programs implement to handle exceptions to the criteria?

  1. What outcomes should be expected to demonstrate the effectiveness of a program’s admissions criteria (e.g., retention, time to completion, internship match rate, job placement, licensure rates)? At what point should CoA identify admissions criteria as problematic?

  2. What are the pros and cons of requiring either the dissertation proposal, data collection, or defense prior to application for internship?

  1. Should programs be required to send students to accredited internships? If not, how should programs assure quality of internship experience?

  1. When should the internship experience occur (pre/post conferral of the degree)? What are the potential consequences of pre versus post?

  1. How should CoA assess attention to diversity issues at each level of training?

  1. Should CoA continue to include a domain specific to diversity issues? Should diversity issues be infused throughout the standards?

  2. What should CoA’s expectations be for recruitment and retention strategies for diverse students, faculty and staff?

Structural Issues and Resources
  1. How does the G&P need to take into account new organizational structures of doctoral and internship programs (e.g., multiple sites, centrally controlled consortia, in-house internships)? What should be the common elements for a program that is located across multiple sites to insure that it is one cohesive program?

  2. In doctoral programs, what faculty qualifications should be required to contribute to required program training (e.g., in coursework, practicum supervision, research supervision)? How should faculty qualifications be evaluated?

  3. What elements of doctoral and internship training must be in-person versus other formats? What proportion of online (or other not-in-person) learning is acceptable?

  1. Can in-person training be delivered via telehealth, telesupervision, or course videoconferencing? In other words, must individuals always be in the same physical room or are other options acceptable as in-person? Is there a maximum acceptable percentage of training that can be delivered via these technologies? Are there certain elements or placements within the sequence of training where these technologies would be appropriate and other elements or placements in the sequence of training where these technologies would not be appropriate?

  1. Should the revised standards establish a maximum number of cumulative hours a doctoral intern can be expected to work per week? Should the revised standards establish enforceable criteria for a livable salary/stipend for interns and benefits? What might those criteria be for each of these?

  2. Should the revised standards establish clear criteria defining what constitutes an on-site supervisor? Given that some programs have multiple sites, what are the implications of this for the notion of “on-site” supervisors? What percentage of time does a supervisor need to be in a particular setting to be considered integral to the setting?

  1. Are there additional concerns you have about the G&P revision that have not been addressed by the questions above?

Questions for Postdoctoral Training

  1. Beyond accreditation of recognized specialties as defined by CoA — should there be other postdoctoral accreditation in other areas?
    1. If so, what areas?
    2. What is the role of accreditation at the postdoctoral level for the broad areas covered in doctoral and internship training (i.e., clinical, counseling, and school psychology)?
    3. How should CoA address areas of emphasis within broad (as opposed to specialty) postdoctoral programs that are not at the level of a specialty such as a proficiency? (e.g., PTSD, Substance Abuse, etc.)
  2. Given the differences between the nature of doctoral training (doctoral and internship), to what extent should CoA conduct the review of postdoctoral residency programs for accreditation?
    1. How would this impact the nature of the self-study?
    2. How would this impact the role of site visitors?
    3. How would this have implications for accreditation decisions?
  3. Currently, doctoral and internship training involve preparation for entry-level practice, and postdoctoral training involves preparation for advanced practice. Please comment on whether this is an appropriate distinction, and if not how postdoctoral training in preparation for practice should be distinguished from doctoral and internship training.
  4. What are the most appropriate ways for CoA to collaborate with the various specialty synarchies to ensure currency of postdoctoral standards as well as the specialty review standards?
  5. What is the most appropriate way for CoA to collaborate with state licensing boards and ASPPB regarding postdoctoral requirements?
  6. How should clinical service delivery/experience be defined at the postdoctoral level of accreditation?
    1. How much of this can be conducted using standardized patients?
    2. How much telesupervision and/or telehealth interventions can be included?
    3. What level of experiential training versus research-focus is appropriate for the accreditation of a postdoctoral residency program?
  7. What areas beyond clinical service delivery should be included as postdoctoral level competencies? How prescriptive should the standards be for these areas that add value to postdoc training?
    1. Teaching (with a broad definition)?
    2. Advocacy?
    3. Interprofessional competence?
    4. Leadership?
    5. Consultation?
  8. What training areas or competencies can be assumed to be in place at the completion of doctoral and internship training, such that those areas/competencies no longer need to be addressed at the postdoctoral level?
  9. Should entrance to a level of training of knowledge and clinical competency be linked to performance on a national examination? Should there be a standard way of measuring benchmark competencies prior to entry to a postdoctoral residency?
    1. Is this limited to the postdoctoral level or is this something that should be reviewed for entrance to the profession at other levels
  10. What is the role of diversity training at the postdoctoral level? Are there conceptual differences in how this should be approached in terms of the level of training or in terms of the specialty area(s)?
  11. How should the qualifications/credentials of training directors and supervisors be assessed by CoA in a residency program? How should sufficiency of faculty be defined?
  12. What is the appropriate amount, level, focus, and type of supervision provided to the postdoctoral resident? Should there be common requirements across specialties regarding supervision provided to residents?
  13. What role should formal didactics play at the postdoctoral level? How is this different or similar to other levels of training?
  14. What outcome measures are appropriate at the postdoctoral level as evidence of quality education and training?
  15. How can CoA better structure the review and accreditation of multiple specialty programs at a single institution?
  16. What other standards or areas should CoA address in the revised G&P for postdoctoral residencies?