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On behalf of the Association of Canadian Psychology Regulatory Organizations (ACPRO), the Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Programmes (CCPPP), and the Canadian Psychological Association Accreditation Panel (the CPA Panel): The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on individuals, communities, our health care systems and on health providers themselves.
We, ACPRO, CCPPP, and the CPA Accreditation Panel also recognize that this pandemic has had, and continues to have, a significant impact on the operation of professional psychology training programmes, and on their faculty, staff, and students.
Attached, you will find a statement from ACPRO containing their response to licensure concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a statement from the CCPPP and CPA Accreditation Panel regarding their responses to accreditation- and training-related concerns. With these statements, our organizations want to communicate our commitment – to the extent possible – to minimize the disruptions that the pandemic has on students’ training, on programme operations, and ultimately on the availability of competent practitioners to meet the public need for mental health services at this time, while also maintaining the highest levels of integrity in our training, licensing, and accreditation processes. We also want to reassure our stakeholders of our commitment to maintaining an open dialogue among our organizations as this situation unfolds to ensure that we continue to be responsive to all of your needs.
Should you have any questions about the content of these statements, please do not hesitate to contact us at the coordinates below.
Wishing you all good health.
Sara Hagstrom, President, CCPPP, email@example.com
Catherine Costigan, CCPPP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Messer-Engel, Chair, ACPRO, email@example.com
Stewart Madon, Registrar of Accreditation, CPA, firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCREDITATION PANEL FOR DOCTORAL PROGRAMMES
INTERNSHIIPS IN PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
On Behalf of the CPA Accreditation Panel:
CPA and the Accreditation Panel understand that the management of COVID-19 has far reaching effects on individuals, communities, our health care systems and on health providers themselves. Its impact on the health care environment will also impact trainees of all health professions. Some may leave internships or residencies to return home. Most will find their clinical roles impacted and it is possible that their clinical activity will be significantly changed or suspended as health care environments respond to this unprecedented health emergency. The decisions and experiences of trainees may vary from university to university, health care setting to health care setting and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The guidance and advisories in one province/territory to another may differ and consequently impact health care delivery and health care training differently.
We understand and anticipate the concerns of trainees that any disruption or suspension of their residencies and internships can impact their ability to meet program completion requirements and, ultimately, impact their progress towards graduation and licensure. We also understand that there is not a single authority who can decide how missing requirements will be dealt with. For example, CPA’s Accreditation Panel cannot require programs to extend their training years or decrease required clinical hours. Programs needs and options will vary in the kind of accommodation they can offer. Further, regulatory bodies have requirements about how many internship hours are required of candidates for licensure.
The purpose of this advisory, however, is to let programs – their faculty, supervisors and trainees – know that CPA will collaborate with programs on an individual basis as well as Canada’s regulatory bodies individually and collectively, to help them navigate the impact COVID-19 will have on the training of psychologists. We will all need to be understanding, nimble and flexible in finding solutions that work for each program and, ultimately, put the needs of clients and students front and centre. CPA has reached out to CCPPP and ACPRO to discuss this issue and come up with some collective guidance to programs. CPA has also been collaborating with APPIC, APA, and ASPPB on this issue as well for those of our students who train north and south of the border. We will keep you apprised of our progress.
In the interim, feel free to contact the Accreditation Office at any time. Even more importantly, stay well and stay safe.
Dr. Stewart Madon, C. Psych.
Registrar, Accreditation & Ethics Officer
Canadian Psychological Association
PDF version: CPA Panel Statement re; COVID 19
Education & Training in Health Service Psychology – COVID-19 – Joint Statement Updated 3-19-2020
The Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), the American Psychological Association (APA), the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) have received questions and concerns from programs and students concerned about how COVID-19 will impact their training experiences and if it will impact their completion of degree requirements. The range of ever-changing information, sometimes conflicting, from different organizations in which psychology graduate students train throughout the U.S. and Canada has contributed to increasing anxiety.
The purpose of this communication is to provide information coordinated by APPIC, APA, CPA, and ASPPB about how information will be shared as it becomes available. The community should expect further updates as this situation continues to develop, and public health guidelines are clarified by various agencies. We will continue to review updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). We anticipate that COVID-19 will impact the ability of some students to complete their internship/residency requirements, as psychological services will be disrupted, and further travel regulations will result in postponed training and education in psychology as well as other health professions. This impact will affect internships and postdoctoral fellowships, as well as information about accreditation and licensure. We intend to continue to update programs as this situation evolves, prioritizing student, faculty, and patient safety.
We recognize that programs may need to employ varying approaches and strategies that are influenced by individual institutional policies and procedures; local, state or provincial/territorial, and federal regulations; and possible variations in the spread of COVID-19. Licensing boards and colleges have to respond to jurisdictional requirements; as an accrediting agency recognized by the USDE (US Department of Education) and CHEA (Council of Higher Education Accreditation), the APA’s Commission on Accreditation (CoA) is charged with upholding minimum standards such that the public is assured that accredited psychology education and training programs conform to that which is delineated in the APA Standards of Accreditation; CPA’s Standards and Procedures need to enable accredited institutions to meet the provisions of their provincial/territorial degree granting authority and membership in Universities Canada. APPIC relies on its programs to ensure that ALL graduates meet the requirements, but also encourages programs to be flexible when possible and to follow institutional guidelines and employment rules typically controlled by individual sites regarding leave time.
APPIC, the APA’s Commission on Accreditation and CPA’s Accreditation Panel believe that program faculty and supervisors are in the best position to make decisions during training about trainee competence, including psychological intervention and assessment. and we trust that performance requirements set by programs will be effective in assessing trainee competence and safety.
For everyone, although we cannot issue a blank statement that will cover all training sites and all regulatory boards, rest assured that we – APA, CPA, APPIC, APA CoA (Commission on Accreditation), and CPA Commission on Accreditation Panel– are working with our programs to be flexible, and we are
working with ASPPB and psychology regulatory boards to stay in communication and updated through this time. For up-to-date information about licensure jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction, visit the ASPPB website (www.asppb.net) that is updated daily as new information is available.
We recognize that this is a stressful time for all stakeholders involved in education and training. Our organizations have staff who are available to assist you as situations arise. Please contact the appropriate agency with your questions, and please understand that there might not be immediate answers to some questions. We will do our best to give you updates as we learn more facts that impact training and licensure.