Feature

Adopting a revised and updated Model Licensing Act was one of a number of actions designed to position the discipline and communicate its priorities taken by the APA Council of Representatives at its February meeting.

“This was an important council meeting because of the number of significant agenda items that helped communicate APA’s values and goals,” said Carol D. Goodheart, EdD, who presided over the meeting in her role as APA president. “Specifically, I’m referring to the council’s action to adopt a core values statement, adopt the revised Model Licensing Act and make changes to standards 1.02 and 1.03 of the Ethics Code.”

The new Model Licensing Act incorporates needed updates since the last revision in 1987 in such areas as prescriptive authority and telehealth. (An in-depth report on the updates to the act will appear in the May Monitor.)

The model act describes the education and training of psychologists and provides guidance to states or other jurisdictions when developing or modifying licensing statutes or regulations.

After the council approved substitute language for section J3 of the Model Licensing Act, the revised act retains, but modifies, the existing exemption for providers of psychological services in schools: The act recognizes the authority of appropriate state education bodies to issue titles to those who provide psychological services in schools as long as those titles incorporate the word “school.” The act continues to restrict the practice of such individuals and their use of their title to employment within school settings.

The council, meeting for the first time in 2010, had 26 business items on its agenda for the two-and-a-half day meeting. In other action, the council:

  • Adopted a core values statement as part of the APA Strategic Plan. The statement reads:

    The American Psychological Association commits to its vision through a mission based upon the following values:

     -Continual Pursuit of Excellence

     -Knowledge and its Application Based Upon Methods of Science

     -Outstanding Service to its Members and to Society

     -Social Justice, Diversity and Inclusion

     -Ethical Action in All that We Do

  • Approved changes to the APA Ethics Code to address potential conflicts among professional ethics, legal authority and organizational demands. The revised language to standards 1.02 and 1.03 is intended to ensure that the standards can never be interpreted to justify or defend violating human rights. (See "Amending the Ethics Code".)

  • Created a $25 dues credit for full members of APA who are also members of the Association for Psychological Science; the Society for Neuroscience; any organizations that are part of the Federation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Sciences; and members of the state, provincial and territorial psychological associations and the four national ethnic-minority psychological associations recognized by APA. This dues credit will begin with the 2012 dues cycle. For members of APS and the federation organizations, it will replace their current 25 percent dual membership discount.

  • Moved the council’s August meeting out of the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. Many APA members and divisions had requested that move due to concerns about a contribution the hotel’s owner, Doug Manchester, made to Proposition 8. (See "APA's council votes to move it's next meeting out of the Manchester Grand Hyatt".)

  • Approved the creation of APA treatment guidelines and the establishment of a Steering Committee and Guidelines Development Panels for that purpose. The work of the Steering Committee and the development panels will be overseen by three APA governance groups: the Committee on the Advancement of Professional Practice, the Board of Professional Affairs and the Board of Scientific Affairs.

  • Received the final report of the 2009 Presidential Task Force on the Future of Psychology Practice, which studied ways to help practitioners thrive in a changing world.

  • Received the Final Report of the Task Force on Psychology’s Contribution to End Homelessness. According to the report, providing housing without addressing the psychosocial factors associated with homelessness is not enough to solve the overarching problem.

  • Reauthorized APA’s public education campaign, directing that it be consistent with the goals and objectives of APA’s Strategic Plan.

  • Approved the association’s 2010 budget. APA’s 2010 budget includes forecasted revenues of just over $114,400,000 with expenditures of $113,500,000, resulting in a forecasted operating safety margin of $900,000. The council has directed staff to budget for an annual operating safety margin to avoid the possibility of deficit budgets.