Council of Representatives report

Div. 20's APA Council representatives' report on the August 2016 meeting.

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

The APA Council of Representatives (COR) held its regular meetings Aug. 3-5 at the annual APA Conference in Denver. Div. 20 representatives K. Warner Schaie and Patricia Parmelee were present for both sessions.

Major activities during the open sessions included:

  • A proposed bylaws amendment creating a new membership category, “Friends of Psychology,” was approved. This is intended to create a home for individuals who do not meet current requirements for other membership categories (e.g., who do not hold an advanced degree), but who “are interested in the mission of APA, advancement of psychology as a science and as a profession to improve human welfare.” Friends would receive special consideration (e.g., reduced rates for subscriptions and publications) but would not be voting members of APA. The amendment will be sent out to association members for a vote.
  • Resolution in Favor of Providing Support and Assistance to Military and National Security Psychologists Striving to Abide by the APA Ethics Code and APA Policy (NBI #23A/Feb 2014) was considered in small groups as well as full council discussion. After much lively debate about reach of the measure and its implications, Council voted to postpone further consideration until the February 2017 meeting.
  • A revision to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct standard 3.04 was approved. The revision adds the text “Psychologists do not participate in, facilitate, assist, or otherwise engage in torture, defined as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person, or in any other cruel, inhuman, or degrading behavior that violates 3.04(a).”
  • Removal of Barriers to Admission to Doctoral Programs in Psychology Created by the Use of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores (NBI #24A/Aug 2015) proposed a resolution that academic institutions not use cutoff scores for the GRE in considering admissions to graduate programs in psychology. After much discussion, the item was referred to a workgroup representing multiple relevant committees and boards within the association for further study.

In other actions, council:

  • Elected 71 members to Fellow status, including 4 Div. 20 members.
  • Adopted as APA policy the following items:
  • Guidelines for Integrating the Role of Work and Career into Professional Psychology Practice (with an August 2023 expiration date).
  • Resolution on Psychologists in Integrated Primary Care and Specialty Health Settings.
  • Resolution on the Free and Responsible Practice of Science, Freedom of Movement Scientists, and APA International Engagement.
  • Deferred discussion of an official apology to war-on-terror victims of torture and abuse because the item was not received in a timely manner. It will be discussed at the February 2017 meeting;
  • Approved amending the Resolution on Data About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
  • Adopted a resolution regarding maltreatment of children with disabilities.

Council also received updates on the following:

  • Association finances, which are considerably tightened due to expenses related to the Hoffman report;
  • The Workgroup to Develop Civility Principles and Procedures (aka “How can we teach Council representatives not to be rude to one another?”).
  • The Ethics Committee's plans completely to revise the APA Ethics Code.
  • A number of activities relevant to professional competencies and practice.

Council met in executive session for an update on legal issues concerning sequelae of the Hoffman report. This information cannot be made public at this time, but it has some serious implications for APA finances.

A number of items on the consent agenda were approved without discussion.