Memoranda of understanding: Doors to increased organizational exchange
This summer APA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with each of the national psychology associations of Portugal and Spain. This brings to 13 the countries that have joined APA in agreeing to find opportunities to meet, discuss and facilitate opportunities for collaboration and mutual learning. The other countries with which APA has signed MOUs are Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses (OPP)
The signing of a memorandum of understanding between APA and the Portuguese Order of Psychologists (OPP) took place in the Portuguese Embassy in Stockholm. OPP President Telmo Baptista and APA President Donald Bersoff signed the MOU, which was written in both English and Portuguese, at a meeting attended by embassy personnel, APA board members and staff, OPP officers, and guests from the Mexican Psychological Society and the International Association of Applied Psychology. The presidents exchanged comments and thoughts on future collaborations between the two associations. The signing was followed by a reception in the embassy.
Sveriges Psykologförbund (SPF)
APA’s signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Swedish Psychological Association (Sveriges Psykologförbund) took place during the European Congress of Psychology. The ceremony, held in the Exhibit Hall, was attended by APA and SPF members, officers and staff. Lars Ahlin, the SPF president, and Donald Bersoff signed the MOUs and exchanged comments to set the stage for future discussion and collaboration.
The MOU program serves to initiate formal contact between fellow national associations and to set the stage for the development of collaborative programs and exchange. APA maintains regular contact with MOU partners via email, through attendance at each other’s annual conferences and through meetings at international conferences.
Some examples of ongoing activities include: discussion of joint continuing education offerings; joint participation in symposia or roundtables at international conferences; visits to association offices; sharing of guidelines, standards and other association documents; and meetings with specialty committees of leadership groups. Projects under discussion include: disaster response programs; psychology teaching materials and strategies; ethics workshops; models to promote exchange through intensive language courses for psychologists prior to national meetings; and strategies to address threats to animal researchers.
A new initiative of APA’s Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP) is to stimulate discussions and development of international psychology leadership activities. CIRP invited all MOU partners to join in a conversation to assess needs and develop strategies for leadership development.