Prepared by Ira K. Packer, Ph.D. (President 2008-2009)
The CoS annual meeting of the Board of Directors was held in Washington D.C. on November 14-15, 2009. In addition, a telephone conference meeting was held earlier in the year on June 13. The Board focused both on internal issues (such as amending the Mission statement and developing an updated Table which summarizes the current status of all the recognized Specialties in professional psychology), as well as general issues affecting specialties. The full minutes are available on this website, and the salient items are listed here.
- Taxonomy for Psychology: CoS has long been interested and concerned regarding the lack of a uniform taxonomy for psychology. CoS participated in the Taxonomy Taskforce sponsored by APA, and has remained involved with CRSPPP, which has now been tasked with following up on the foundations laid by that taskforce. At the November meeting, Ron Rozensky, serving as the liaison from CRSPPP, presented the latest draft of their Taxonomy document, and solicited input. A major focus was on the recommendations for a standardized use of terms such as “major area of study,” “emphasis,” “experience,” and “exposure.” Some specific recommendations regarding the nomenclature for Postdoctoral programs were offered. Overall, CoS directors expressed their appreciation of the work that CRSPPP has done to date. CoS will continue to participate with CRSPPP (through our liaison to CRSPPP) as this important project continues.
- Encouragement of accredited Postdoctoral programs: CoS was initially formed as a successor organization to the Inter-organizational Council for Accreditation of Postdoctoral Programs in Psychology (IOC). As such, one of the major initiatives of CoS has been to encourage the development of education and training standards for each specialty. To date, most of the specialties have developed E&T Guidelines, and these are used by CoA as part of the process of certification of Specialty Postdoctoral (Residency) programs. Over this past year, CoS has been exploring ways to now encourage postdoctoral programs to seek accreditation (as only a minority of current postdoctoral residencies have sought accreditation by CoA). At our November meeting, we agreed to send out a questionnaire to postdoctoral residencies (both those accredited and those not), to seek information about obstacles to accreditation, as well as benefits of accreditation. Feedback received will be discussed at the next CoS meeting to determine in what ways CoS can be helpful in encouraging programs to seek accreditation (including providing templates and/or a “toolkit”).
- Issue of subspecialties: This issue has been raised by both ABPP and CRSPPP, and was discussed at both meetings this past year. The report from ABPP indicated that they are considering recognizing subspecialties but such requests for recognition must come from one or more of the existing specialties. At present, it appears that we are all in agreement that a subspecialty would have to be part of at least one recognized Specialty.
- Development of Specialties Table: At the November meeting, the Table which summarized the current status of each specialty was discussed and revised. It was agreed that this would be update annually. This Table is posted on this website. This Table provides a good snapshot of the progress of each of the Specialties in developing internal structures (such as Specialty Councils/Synarchies), recognition by APA and ABPP, as well as practice and education guidelines. It also indicates whether the level of training required for entry into specialty practice is at the doctoral or postdoctoral level.
- Bylaws: Over this past year, the bylaws were reviewed and updated, and the revisions were unanimously approved at the November meeting (the updated Bylaws Document is available on this website). As part of this process, the CoS definition of “Specialty” was amended to: “A specialty is a defined area of professional psychology characterized by a distinctive pattern or configuration of competent services to specified problems and populations. Practice in a specialty is based upon broad and general education and training in scientific psychology and the foundations of practice. Practice in a specialty requires advanced knowledge and advanced skills acquired through an accredited doctoral program, and may require an organized sequence of education and training in postdoctoral programs.” As this definition is similar to, but not identical with, the definitions used by CRSPPP and ABPP, a motion was passed to invite these two organizations to work with CoS on adopting a uniform definition. Following the meeting, both organizations accepted this invitation.
- Website update: Jeff Miller demonstrated the enhancements to the website, which includes both more information available to the public, as well documents available to the synarchy representatives only via a secure log-in. Furthermore, each synarchy representative can edit his/her files relevant to the specialty (including links to constituent organizations).
- Elections: Celiane Rey-Casserly, Ph.D. was elected to a 2 year term as President (2010-2011), and Jeff Miller, Ph.D. was elected to a 2 year term as Vice President. Thomas Dowd, Ph.D. will continue as Secretary-Treasurer through 2010.