The Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology (CoS) is a non-profit joint venture, initially sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), to represent and support the development and functioning of recognized specialties in Professional Psychology.

CoS Definition of a Specialty in Professional Psychology

A specialty is a defined area of professional psychology practice characterized by a distinctive configuration of competent services for specified problems and populations. Practice in a specialty requires advanced knowledge and skills acquired through an organized sequence of education and training in addition to the broad and general education and core scientific and professional foundations acquired through an APA or CPA accredited doctoral program.* Specialty training may be acquired either at the doctoral or postdoctoral level as defined by the specialty.
*Except where APA or CPA program accreditation does not exist for that area of professional psychology

CoS Policy on Specialty Synarchies

A Synarchy, as concerning the specialty councils in professional psychology, is a process of governance through joint sovereignty, and consists of the professional groups and organizations that represent the major educational, training, and professional constituencies and stakeholders relevant to the particular specialty in professional psychology.

  1. Each Specialty Synarchy holds at least one meeting each year.
  2. Each Specialty Synarchy elects a representative to attend all CoS meetings.
  3. Each Specialty Synarchy representative is responsible for communicating the issues and concerns of the CoS meetings to their Specialty Synarchy and the issues and concerns of their Specialty Synarchy to the CoS.
  4. Each Council Member is responsible for communicating the issues and concerns of the Council to their respective organizations in the form of an annual report to be included on the agenda of those organizations' meeting, and shall include any action items required for the agenda of that meeting.