Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and American Psychological Association (APA) Mutual Recognition: First Street Accord

In 2012, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and American Psychological Association (APA) through its Commission on Accreditation (CoA) approved and signed the First Street Accord. The accord is a mutual recognition agreement on accreditation. It demonstrates that the APA CoA views the accreditation standards and principles of the CPA as equivalent to the Commission on Accreditation’s guidelines and principles. Similarly, the CPA views the accreditation guidelines and principles of the Commission on Accreditation as equivalent to the accreditation standards and principles of the CPA. This mutual recognition agreement applies only to the accreditation activities each association undertakes in its own country. It is an agreement that recognizes the equivalence of the systems of accreditation of the CPA and APA and does not confer any reciprocal accreditation status on any of the programs they accredit.

First Street Accord

Accord between Canadian Psychological Association and American Psychological Association on Mutual Recognition of Accreditation/Quality Assurance Mechanisms for Doctoral and Internship Program/mes in Professional Psychology

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and APA through its Commission on Accreditation (CoA) (hereinafter jointly “the signatories”) share an understanding of the policies, processes, standards, criteria, guidelines and principles upon which accreditation (and/or other systems of quality assurance) of doctoral program/mes and internship program/mes in professional psychology in their respective countries are based.

A. The signatories agree that:

1. Accreditation (or other systems of quality assurance) and their policies, processes, standards, criteria, guidelines and principles (hereinafter “accreditation standards and processes”) guide the education and training of professional psychologists.

2. The elements of accreditation standards and processes prescribed by the accreditation systems of the respective signatories, but not necessarily the actual content of these standards or criteria, are substantially equivalent to each other and those signatories will so indicate by publishing statements to that effect in an appropriate, and agreed upon manner within their jurisdictions. This equivalence is based on consensus on the necessary elements of an accreditation/quality assurance system as defined in schedule 1 and on the expected competencies of graduates of accredited program/mes in professional psychology as defined in schedule 2.

3. This accord asserts only that the elements of the accreditation or quality assurance standards and processes used by the APA and CPA for review of programs/mes (consistent with the tables attached) are “substantially equivalent.” Variations between the standards and processes may exist but are deemed by the parties not to be material when assessing the two sets of accreditation standards and processes as a whole.

4. Neither agreement by the signatories regarding substantial equivalence of accreditation standards and processes, nor this accord itself, indicates that an individual doctoral or internship program/me, accredited by one signatory, in any way has been conferred reciprocal accreditation status by the other signatory/accrediting body.

5. This agreement has as its scope the accreditation or quality assurance activities undertaken by APA and CPA only in their own respective jurisdictions as defined in their scope.

6. This accord recognizes the substantial equivalence of the elements or components of signatories’ respective policies, processes, standards, criteria, guidelines and principles at the time the accord was signed and for as long as these respective policies, processes, standards, criteria, guidelines and principles remain in place and unchanged, except as otherwise provided herein. The signatories will advise each other when any revisions are made in the policies, procedures and standards above so that this accord might be reviewed and modified or terminated, as appropriate.

7. Regardless of revisions by either party, the accord itself will be reviewed by the signatories at least every five years beginning from the date of the initial signing of the accord.

B. The signatories agree to:

1. engage in mutual monitoring and information exchange,

2. make reasonable efforts to ensure that the bodies and organizations responsible for regulating, credentialing, hiring, compensating or training psychologists for professional practice in their respective jurisdictions are aware of this accord and the signatories’ agreement that there is substantial equivalence of their respective accreditation or quality assurance processes with respect to the components specified,

3. convene biennial meetings of representatives of the signatories to review the operation of the accord,

4. explore the feasibility of expanding the signatories who form party to this accord (i.e. other psychology accreditors) as appropriate, in the future, subject to the approval of the current signatories.

The accord will remain in effect for so long as it is acceptable and desirable to both signatories. The parties may agree to modifications in writing as they deem necessary. Either signatory may withdraw from the accord by giving at least 12 months written notice to the other party of its intent to terminate the agreement and the effective date of termination. The terminating party will be responsible for notification of the bodies and organizations defined in B.2. above of the termination of this accord.