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The APA Commission on Accreditation (CoA) has initiated the process of establishing standards for the evaluation of master’s degree programs in health service psychology (HSP). As is noted in the current Standards for Accreditation for Health Service Psychology (SoA), the CoA defines HSP as “the integration of psychological science and practice to facilitate human development and functioning.” Using this definition, eligible HSP programs include those offering master’s degrees in clinical, counseling, and school psychology, and in combinations of these three practice areas.

The CoA has discussed accreditation requirements for these HSP programs, addressing the similarities and differences in the different practice areas, as well as considering the educational similarities and differences between educational levels in HSP, i.e., master’s, specialist, and doctorate. In addition, program outcomes including student achievement, that are appropriate for master’s HSP programs to demonstrate, have been a component of the CoA dialogue.

From these conversations, a set of standards were drafted, i.e, the Standards for Accreditation for Health Service Psychology, Master’s Degree Programs (SoA M) and put forward for public comment in accordance with the APA “Policies for Accreditation Governance” and the US Department of Education regulations for notice and comment. The CoA made the drafted standards available for a ninety (90) day period of public review and comment. Following this period, information received was reviewed by the CoA and a second draft of the SoA M, considering these comments, has been prepared for public comment.

In accordance with the APA “Policies for Accreditation Governance” and US Department of Education regulations for notice and comment, the APA CoA will make the proposed revised standards available for a sixty (60) day period of public review and comment. Information about the proposed standards and public comment will be available at http://apps.apa.org/accredcomment.

The comment period is scheduled to begin at 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on August 10, 2020 and will continue through 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time on October 9, 2020.

Please contact the office with questions at APAaccred@apa.org or by calling (202) 336-5979.