In this issue

Report from the APA Council of Representatives meeting


By Patricia A. Parmelee, PhD, and K. Warner Schaie, PhD, ABPP

Edited from a report by Rhea K. Farberman, Monitor executive editor

The APA Council of Representatives held its regular meeting Feb. 20-22, 2015. This was council's first meeting in its new, strategic planning capacity. Council therefore 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 regarding how to support translation of scientific research into public policy. After the presentations, council members participated in one of three break-out discussions focused on advocacy, educating the public, and translational research. Both Div. 20 representatives participated in the translational research session. The consensus was that the format was not ideal, but brainstorming yielded some interesting ideas for encouraging researchers to emphasize translation/application.

Professional practice in health-delivery settings was a focus of much of the business agenda. Council adopted an interorganizational document, on which APA and three of its divisions collaborated with five other groups, which outlines competencies for psychology practice in primary care. The competencies document (PDF, 586KB) will serve as a resource for graduate-level psychology education and training programs, students and current practitioners.

In a related action, 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. A full report on the new guidelines will appear in the May Monitor.

A third action concerning professional practice was adoption of a new policy document, Professional Practice Guidelines: Guidance for Developers and Users . The new policy document provides updated guidance for creating professional practice guidelines and gives current examples of such guidelines.

Budget report. Chief Financial Officer Archie Turner and APA Treasurer Bonnie Markham, PhD, PsyD, reported that 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, particularly real estate holdings.

Other action. 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, defined as being within 10 years of having earning the doctoral degree. A few boards and committees will be exempted from this rule due to their special requirements for service (e.g., the Fellows Committee). APA's boards and committees have until 2017 to comply with the new rule.
  • Plans to implement changes in the association bylaws and rules related to the composition and election of the board of directors. These changes are an outgrowth of the Good Governance Project. All bylaws changes require a vote of the membership. That vote is expected to take place this fall by mail ballot.
  • APA's endorsement of the 2012 San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, which calls for improvements in the ways that the impact of scientific research is measured. In particular, it recommends against reliance on journal impact factors as measures of the quality of individual research articles or of an individual scientist's contributions.
  • A change in the bylaws and association rules to allow one seat on APA's Board of Educational Affairs to be held by an APA High School or Community College Teacher Affiliate member. An amendment to the APA bylaws to implement the change will be sent to the membership for a vote this fall.