Site Visitors and the Accreditation Process

Accreditation

  • A voluntary, nongovernmental process of self-study and external review intended to evaluate, enhance and publicly recognize quality in institutions and in programs of higher education.

  • Serves general, liberal education; technical, vocational education and training; and education and training for the professions.

  • The Commission on Accreditation currently accredits:

    • Doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, school psychology, developed practice areas and combinations of two or three those areas;

    • Internship programs in professional psychology; and

    • Postdoctoral residencies in professional psychology and specialized areas.

Site Visit

  • An essential and unique step in the accreditation process, and as such site visitors serve a critical role in providing information to the Commission about the quality of educational programs.

  • Site visitors act as the "eyes and ears" of the Commission. It is through the written report of the site visitors that it is possible to verify self-study information and receive a perspective about the program operation that can only be obtained through direct observation.

  • Since representatives of the programs do not appear before the Commission, it is only the site visit team that has face-to-face contact with the psychologists involved in the program.

The Commission on Accreditation conducts, per year, approximately 75 visits to doctoral programs and 125 visits to internship/postdoctoral programs, necessitating the participation of well over 400 visitors from all areas of psychology.

Criteria for Site Visitors

Site visitors are classified either as:

  • Professional psychologists (i.e., the areas of clinical, counseling and school); or

  • Generalists (from areas of psychology outside the scope of accreditation).

The CoA needs site visitors who are engaged in educational activities and participate in training programs like those accredited by the CoA and maintains strict criteria for inclusion and retention in the site visitor pool.

For Site Visitors Who Are in Professional Psychology

  • Received a doctoral degree from an accredited program and have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience

  • Have an involvement as faculty in an accredited training program, or an association with an accredited training program within the past five years

  • If primarily engaged in private practice, have a formal ongoing association (such as adjunct faculty or external supervisor) with an accredited training program

  • Considered to be concerned with, and knowledgeable about, educational, professional and scientific issues in psychology

  • Hold appropriate licensure and/or certification

  • Are active members of professional and/or research organizations within psychology

For Site Visitors Who Are Generalists

  • Received a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution and have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience

  • Have involvement as faculty in a department or school, within a regionally accredited institution, with responsibility for delivering graduate psychology education that is not substantially online (or if retired, had such association).

  • Considered to be concerned with, and knowledgeable about, educational, professional and scientific issues in psychology

  • Are active members of professional and/or research organizations within psychology

Becoming a Site Visitor

The Commission on Accreditation (CoA) is actively recruiting accreditation site visitors. Learn more about the recruiting process.