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