Commission on Accreditation (CoA) Update March 2011

Richard Seime, PhD

Joyce Illfelder-Kaye, PhD
Associate Chair, Program Review

Elizabeth Klonoff, PhD
Associate Chair, Quality Assurance

2010 Summary

The report on CoA’s 2010 activities can be found with other Board/Committee reports on the APA website (click the ‘Committees’ tab to locate the header for the Commission on Accreditation).  Included in this report are statistics on the number and types of program reviews conducted in 2010 and descriptions of all policy changes adopted during the year.

As a reminder, policy and procedure changes are described as they occur within these CoA Updates that follow each meeting.  All accredited and applicant programs are strongly encouraged to review these updates (available on the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation website) to remain aware of all relevant changes.

CoA Welcomes 12 New Members

The following new members began their terms of service with CoA on January 1, 2011.  We are excited to welcome these individuals to CoA and look forward to their important contributions over the coming year(s). 

  • Kathleen Bieschke, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Michael Boroughs, MA (2011)

  • Lawrence Cohen, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Ana Faraci, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Mary Anne Hanner, PhD (2011-2013)

  • H. Garland Hershey, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Stephen Holliday, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Richard Milich, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Nancy Ruddy, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Lawrence Schoenfeld, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Gary Stoner, PhD (2011-2013)

  • Luis Vazquez, PhD (2011-2013)

Note:  All terms of service noted above are renewable.

Annual Policy Meeting Review

CoA held its annual policy meeting, and first meeting of the year, on February 4-6 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The meeting was preceded by several days of orientation and training for CoA’s new members. 

In addition to full group discussions and action items, CoA’s policy and work groups continued their work on issues from 2010 and set priorities for 2011.  These subgroups of CoA serve as task forces to address areas essential for the accreditation process, the effective work of CoA, and accreditation policy development and clarification.  CoA has utilized this structure for the last several years and found it effective in addressing the wide range of issues beyond program review.  Each CoA member is assigned to one policy group and one work group for the year.  For 2011, these groups are as follows:

Policy Groups (issues related to level of training)

  1. Doctoral

  2. Internship

  3. Postdoctoral

Work Groups

  1. Communications**

  2. Complaints

  3. Research

  4. Training

**This newly developed group is examining ways for CoA to improve communication with its publics, including how to increase transparency about CoA’s processes and engage constituent groups more effectively.  The work group will be looking at potential strategies for addressing these issues over the next few years.  We welcome any feedback or ideas from our constituencies related to these important communication issues (e-mail:

Information Especially for Accredited Programs

Doctoral Programs - Revisions to IR C-16

At the policy meeting, CoA reviewed the feedback received on questions related to Implementing Regulation (IR) C-16, as solicited from training councils and doctoral programs in the December CoA Update.  CoA’s questions had centered on issues related to the expected breadth and depth of training in core content areas, what constitutes graduate level training, and the qualifications of faculty delivering these content areas, as related to Domain B.3 of the G&P and the existing IR C-16.  CoA thanks the numerous training councils and individuals that contributed valuable input on these important issues.  After careful consideration of the feedback received, CoA drafted a new version of IR C-16 for review by the public.  CoA believes that this version incorporates an understanding of programs’ need for flexibility within the curriculum, without compromising the requirements and intent of the G&P and the need to protect the public.  To read the proposed IR, view comments, or post comments, visit the Accreditation Public Comment website. Comments will be accepted through June 1, 2011 for review at CoA’s summer meeting.

Doctoral Programs - Double-Check Your C-20 Info

CoA requests all accredited doctoral programs to review their websites to ensure that their education and training outcomes are consistent with the requirements outlined in the latest version of IR C-20 (adopted in July 2010).  The December CoA Update included a list of common errors found during an October review of all doctoral program websites.  Office staff will be reviewing these sites periodically to assess compliance.

Postdoctoral Residency Programs - IR on Emphasis Areas vs. Specialty Practice Programs

CoA has drafted an IR to clarify the key features that would differentiate emphasis areas within a traditional practice area program from multiple practice programs with separately accredited specialty practice programs.  The proposed IR is being made available for a short period of public comment.  To read the proposed IR, view comments, or post comments, visit the Accreditation Public Comment website.  Comments will be accepted through March 30, 2011 for review at CoA’s spring meeting. 

All Programs - Notify CoA of Program Director Changes!

Per IR C-19, programs are required to notify CoA in advance of any substantive changes.  CoA wants to reiterate the importance of informing the Office when there is a change in program director and providing the contact information (including the e-mail address) for that person.  Doing so will ensure that the correct individual(s) for your accredited program receives CoA’s correspondence and periodic updates, including Annual Report Online login information and reminders.