At its August meeting in Toronto, APA's Council of Representatives took the following actions:
Made changes in the association's rules to consolidate policies related to the promulgation of guidelines into a single rule. Remaining intact in the revised rule are policies that, first, all new guidelines must undergo legal review by APA's general counsel and all boards and committees, and that, second, guidelines are aspirational in intent. An important new feature of the rule is a "sunset" mechanism for addressing the review or expiration of current and future standards and guidelines. Under most circumstances, an "expiration" window of 5 to 7 years is anticipated, meaning that guidelines would likely be reviewed for their currency within 5 to 7 years, but not longer than a 10-year timeframe.
Adopted the fourth edition of the Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures of APA's Div. 14 (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology) as APA policy. The principles specify established scientific findings and generally accepted professional practice in the field of personnel selection and evaluation.
Approved, in principle, the final report of APA's Presidential Task Force on Governance and requested that specific recommendations from the report be brought back to council for action in February 2004.
Approved the establishment of and initial funding for the creation of a new APA electronic database, PsycEXTRA. This database will cover material relevant to psychology but not currently included in APA's other database products. It will be a companion database to PsycINFO designed for consumers, policy-makers, librarians, teachers and students. The expected launch date for this new product is January 2004.
Approved the draft 2004 preliminary budget but requested that the second round of consolidated meetings be put back in the budget. (The second round of consolidated meetings had been cut from the budget as a cost-savings measure last year.)
Approved an amendment to Association Rule 100-1.9 to clarify that, in the event that APA files an amicus curiae brief in a court case, divisions and other APA entities should not file separate briefs in the same case in order to avoid rejection of the briefs under court rules that restrict the number of pages that one organization can file.
Reviewed and adopted a policy clarifying that when council "adopts," "supports," or "endorses" a statement, resolution or policy of another organization, this does not mean that organization's position has become APA policy unless there is a specific statement to that effect adopted by council. Where there is a conflict between an APA policy and a policy of another organization that has been endorsed or adopted by APA, the APA policy will take precedence.