Each attending group made at least one commitment that it
promised to fulfill to ameliorate the internship shortage, along
with one “ask” — a request to the other training councils to fill
a particular need.
The most significant ask to come out of the meeting is
likely to affect the internship match for years to come: APAGS
proposed that all groups agree that completing an accredited
doctoral training program and an accredited internship become
the standards for entry into health service psychology. This
essentially means that all groups would work toward phasing
moving toward health-care reform and standards are going up.
Employers, and the public, need to know that our training is up
In March, APPIC revealed its plan for rolling out one of the
relevant changes. Beginning in 2017, the match will be limited
to students from accredited graduate programs: This means
that students from programs not accredited by the APA or CPA
(Canadian Psychological Association) would be ineligible to
participate in the match program. Mattu says everyone was
surprised to see this change happen so quickly, but many of the
“All of the changes that are happening are going to affect
far more than our generation of psychologists and their
students; it’s going to change the next 30, 40, 50 years of
what we do. We have to do what’s right for the field and
for our patients.”
APAGS’ past chair
out nonaccredited training experiences. These changes,
which would ultimately affect both graduate programs and
internships, are no small undertaking, but when they do begin
to happen, the hope is that they’ll streamline the system and
benefit the field.
“From APAGS’s perspective, this is a matter of ensuring
quality,” says Mattu.
Other health-care professions are adopting more rigorous
standards, he says, and requiring accreditation would more
closely align psychology with these evolving norms. “We’re
Stats on the internship mismatch
In 2012, 915 students remained unmatched
by the end of the second phase of the APPIC
match. In 2013, the number was 788. This slight
improvement was also reflected in the total
percentages of students who were unmatched
(including those who withdrew or didn’t submit
ranks) relative to the total number that applied.
All in all, in 2012, 29 percent did not match,
and in 2013, the number was slightly lower, at
For the full data set, go to www.appic.org/
councils believe it will benefit the field tremendously.
There are some provisions in place to ensure that no one
who’s already in the middle of graduate training is negatively
affected by the change. For example, students who are currently
in nonaccredited doctoral programs will be grandfathered in
and will not be excluded from participation from the internship
match. However, students beginning study in nonaccredited
graduate programs in fall 2013 or later will not be eligible to
take part in the internship match.
To support accreditation as a standard of entry into health
service psychology, the psychology community has been
working to create more accredited internships, which will
improve one’s chances of matching to an accredited internship.
Last year, for example, APA launched an up to $3 million
Internship Stimulus Program to develop more accredited
There are also changes happening that will streamline
the process internship programs must go through to gain
accreditation. Mattu explains that the accreditation process has
different phases, which until recently must all be completed
before the program is granted accreditation.
“In the new system,” says Mattu, “as long as they complete
each step along the way, and that material is approved by
the Commission on Accreditation, they’ll have ‘contingent
accreditation’ and will be fully accredited when the last phase
is completed and approved by the CoA.” In other words, the