Chapter VI. Organization of APA


Policy providing that annual reports from the Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Executive Officer be in written form

Council approved a recommendation from the Board of Directors that the reports given annually by the Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Executive Officer be in written form.


Policy prohibiting smoking in the Council room when Council is in session

On the recommendation of the Committee on Structure and Function of Council, Council voted to prohibit smoking in the Council meeting room when Council is in session.


Policy that mandates the Committee on Structure and Function of Council to hold a debriefing session for outgoing representatives

Council voted to instruct the Committee on Structure and Function of Council to schedule a debriefing meeting of all Council members whose terms are expiring and to hold such a session at each August meeting.


Policy on periodic review of committees by their parent board

That all APA boards established criteria and procedures for periodic evaluation (at least once every five years) of their committees to determine if their usefulness is sufficient to warrant their continued existence.


Policy on seating/space at Council meetings

Staff was instructed whenever possible to make available at all future Council meetings seating and work tables of no less than three linear feet (one meter) per person.

Policy on indemnification of officers, governance members and staff

The Council of Representatives reaffirmed APA's ongoing policy to indemnify all APA officers, governance members and staff from litigation and/or associated judgments and costs provided that: (1) the actions on APA's behalf are undertaken in good faith; (2) the actions on APA's behalf do not involve acts of gross negligence or malice; and (3) the persons involved act within the scope of their authority.


Guidelines for Council resolutions

These guidelines apply to all resolutions submitted to Council for consideration. The following information must be provided: (1) The purpose and rationale for the resolution stated clearly, and documenting its relevance to psychology or psychologists; (2) The issue’s importance to psychology or to society as a whole; (3) Representative scientific or empirical findings related to the resolution; (4) The likelihood of the resolution having a constructive impact on public opinion or policy.

Resolutions approved by Council are understood to reflect what APA values or believes and, in most cases, does not commit APA to any action. If approval of the resolution requires that specific action be taken, the following information must also be provided: (5) Suggestions on how it should be implemented, if it is passed; (6) Breakdown of staff resources or association funds needed to implement the resolution.


Mission statement for APA

The mission of the APA is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.


APA Vision Statement

The American Psychological Association aspires to excel as a valuable, effective and influential organization advancing psychology as a science, serving as:

  • A uniting force for the discipline;
  • The major catalyst for the stimulation, growth and dissemination of psychological science and practice;
  • The primary resource for all psychologists;
  • The premier innovator in the education, development, and training of psychological scientists, practitioners and educators;
  • The leading advocate for psychological knowledge and practice informing policy makers and the public to improve public policy and daily living;
  • A principal leader and global partner promoting psychological knowledge and methods to facilitate the resolution of personal, societal and global challenges in diverse, multicultural and international contexts; and
  • An effective champion of the application of psychology to promote human rights, health, well being and dignity.

APA Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Maximize Organizational Effectiveness

The APA's structures and systems support the organization's strategic direction, growth and success.

a. Enhance APA programs, services and communications to increase member engagement and value;
b. Ensure the ongoing financial health of the organization;
c. Optimize APA's governance structures and function.

Goal 2: Expand Psychology's Role in Advancing Health

Key stakeholders realize the unique benefits psychology provides to health and wellness and the discipline becomes more fully incorporated into health research and delivery systems.

a. Advocate for the inclusion of access to psychological services in health care reform policies
b. Create innovative tools to allow psychologists to enhance their knowledge of health promotion, disease prevention, and management of chronic disease;
c. Educate other health professionals and the public about psychology's role in health;
d. Advocate for funding and policies that support psychology's role in health;
e. Promote psychology's role in decreasing health disparities;
f. Promote the application of psychological knowledge for improving overall health and wellness at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

Goal 3: Increase Recognition of Psychology as a Science

The APA's central role in positioning psychology as the science of behavior leads to increased public awareness of the benefits psychology brings to daily living.

a. Enhance psychology's prominence as a core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) discipline;
b. Improve public understanding of the scientific basis for psychology;
c. Expand the translation of psychological science to evidence-based practice;
d. Promote the applications of psychological science to daily living;
e. Expand educational resources and opportunities in psychological science.


APA Core Values

The American Psychological Association commits to its vision through a mission based upon the following values:

  • Continual Pursuit of Excellence
  • Knowledge and Its Application Based upon Methods of Science
  • Outstanding Service to Its Members and to Society
  • Social Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Ethical Action in All That We Do