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The Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology (SoA) outline training requirements for programs at the doctoral, doctoral internship, and postdoctoral levels. Correspondent to the SoA are the Implementing Regulations (IRs), which are official policy documents that “elucidate, interpret and operationally define” the Commission on Accreditation’s (CoA) policies and procedures. IRs are divided into several different sections (A through E), which are subject to regular review and revision by the CoA. Through this iterative process, opportunities for clarification have arisen regarding IRs in Section C, which relate specifically to the SoA.

Substantive Changes
In accordance with Standard V.B.2 of the SoA and under Section 8.7 of the Accreditation Operating Procedures (AOP), all accredited programs, whether under a single administrative entity or in a consortium must inform the accrediting body in a timely manner of changes that could alter the program’s quality. IRs C-27 D, C-24 I, and C-20 P outline notifications of changes to accredited programs at the doctoral, doctoral internship and postdoctoral residency levels of education and training. Recent revisions to these IRs provide clarification on the actions the CoA can take if the review of a program’s changes raise questions about its continued consistency with the SoA. These IRs will be effective immediately following the conclusion of this public notice period.

Postdoctoral Residency Specialty Practice Areas
Via I.A.1.b of the SoA, the CoA requires specialty practice areas in health service psychology to meet at least two of the following requirements:

  1. The specialty is recognized by the Commission on the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) of the American Psychological Association or by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).
  2. The specialty is recognized by and holds membership on the Council of Specialties (CoS).
  3. The specialty has provided the Commission on Accreditation with specialty-specific postdoctoral educational and training guidelines endorsed by the Council of Specialties.

Following a period of public comment and review, the CoA has added the specialty area of Serious Mental Illness to the current list of recognized specialty areas.

Postdoctoral Residency Profession-Wide Competencies
Per Standard II.B.2 of the SoA, the CoA requires that all trainees who complete accredited training programs in a substantive specialty practice area, develop certain competencies as part of their preparation for practice in health service psychology (HSP) regardless of substantive practice area, degree type, or level of training. For ease of future revisions, IR C-9 P has been separated by the Level 3 specialty competencies required of postdoctoral residents. These changes are solely structural; contextual changes will be addressed during an upcoming public comment .

In accordance with the APA “Policies for Accreditation Governance” and the US Department of Education regulations for notice and comment, the CoA is providing additional information and is making the changes available for a thirty (30) day period of public notice at starting on August 24, 2021. On behalf of the CoA, thank you in advance for your review.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Website: www.accreditation.apa.orgPublic notice: IRs C-5 P, C-9 P, and Substantive Change IRs