10 Monitor on Psychology • April 2015
At its February meeting, the APA Council of Representatives focused much of its action on the training and skills required for psychologists to work in
health-delivery settings. In addition, council members discussed
translating psychological science into public policy and received
a report on the association’s finances.
In one of its most far-reaching actions, the council adopted
an inter-organizational document that outlines competencies
for psychology practice in primary care. The document is the
product of a nine-organization work group including APA and
three APA divisions, the Association of Psychologists in Academic
Health Centers, Council of Clinical Health Psychology Training
Programs, Society of Behavioral Medicine, Society of Teachers of
Family Medicine and the VA Psychology Training Council.
The competencies document articulates the knowledge
and skills health-service psychologists need to practice in
primary-care settings. It will serve as a resource for graduate-level psychology education and training programs, students
and current practitioners. (See www.apa.org/ed/resources/
In a related action, by a nearly unanimous vote, the council
voted to approve the Commission on Accreditation’s new
Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology. The new
standards will replace the current Guidelines and Principles for
Accreditation and will go into effect for all accredited programs
on Jan. 1, 2017. The original Guidelines and Principles for
Accreditation were adopted in 1995. The new standards reflect
changes in the profession since that time. Look for a full report
on the new guidelines in the May Monitor.
A third action concerning professional practice was the
adoption of a new policy document, Professional Practice
Guidelines: Guidance for Developers and Users. It replaces
two earlier documents on practice guidelines from 2002 and
2005. The new policy document provides updated guidance
for creating professional practice guidelines and gives current
examples of such guidelines.
Translating science into public policy
Council devoted a full day of its two-and-a-half-day meeting
to a strategic issue discussion focused on the goal of translating
psychological science into public policy. The topic was opened
by panel presentations by four council members and APA
General Counsel Nathalie Gilfoyle (see sidebar). After the
presentations, council members participated in one of three
break-out discussions, each focused on a central goal: advocacy,
educating the public and translational research.
Council also received a report from APA Treasurer Bonnie
Markham, PhD, PsyD, and Chief Financial Officer Archie
Turner. They reported to the council that the association’s
finances are strong despite a small deficit budget this year.
Overall, APA is in compliance with all of its debt covenants
and continues to benefit from sizable long-term investments.
Furthermore, the association’s real estate holdings, its
headquarters building and a second near by office building, are
fully leased and continue to grow in value.
In other action, the council:
• Approved a change in the association rules to require
boards and committees to have at least one member who is an
early career psychologist. Early career psychologists are defined
as psychologists within 10 years of earning their doctoral
degree. A few boards and committees will be exempted from
this rule due to their special requirements for service, such as
the Fellows Committee, since members of this group must have
attained fellows status, which requires candidates to have 10
years of postdoctorate experience. APA’s boards and committees
will have until 2017 to fully comply with the new rule.
• Approved plans to implement changes in the association
bylaws and rules as per votes taken at the council’s August
2014 meeting. The changes are related to the composition and
election of the board of directors and are an outgrowth of the
Good Governance Project, which was designed to open the
advancing the field
APA’s Council of Representatives adopts standards for competencies for health-service
providers and accreditation of health-service psychology programs.
By Rhea K. Farberman • Monitor executive editor