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Public Statements about Accreditation & APPIC Membership

Policy on Public Statements about Accreditation and APPIC Membership

August 5, 2015 - (Revised June 23, 2016)


The following policy applies to all APPIC-member internship and postdoctoral programs as well as non-member internship programs that participate in the APPIC Match and/or Post-Match Vacancy Service.

An internship or postdoctoral program's accreditation and APPIC membership statuses are important factors for students in choosing where to apply and complete their training. Given that students often know little about the accreditation and membership processes, and given that many sites underestimate the amount of time that it takes to achieve accreditation or APPIC membership, it is vitally important that statements about accreditation and APPIC membership are as clear and unambiguous as possible in order to minimize the likelihood of misunderstandings and disappointments.

Thus, APPIC has established restrictions on the statements that internship and postdoctoral programs can make to applicants about their accreditation and membership statuses. APPIC is a membership organization, not an accrediting body. APPIC-member programs may refer to themselves as "APPIC Members" but should not use the terms "APPIC Accredited" or "APPIC Approved" in their public statements. The following statements are permitted:

  1. Statements about the program’s current APA accreditation, CPA accreditation, and APPIC membership statuses (e.g., accredited by APA, not accredited by CPA, APPIC member, not an APPIC member).

  2. Statements about the following milestones in the accreditation or APPIC membership process ONLY if already successfully completed:
    1. Submitted an accreditation self-study to APA or CPA.

    2. Received notification of approval for an accreditation site visit by APA or CPA.

    3. Accreditation site visit by APA or CPA has already occurred and awaiting final decision.

    4. Application for APPIC membership submitted and awaiting decision.

If a program has been told when a site visit will occur, or when a decision will be made by APA/CPA/APPIC, that information may be communicated to applicants.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any statement about progress / milestones must include a clear disclaimer, informing applicants that there is no guarantee about the outcome of the process (e.g., "Please be advised that there is no assurance that we will be able to successfully achieve accreditation.”). We encourage you to be thoughtful and careful in making any statement about milestones in order to avoid unintentionally misleading applicants.

The following statements about an internship or postdoctoral program’s accreditation and/or APPIC membership status are prohibited:

  1. Statements about a program’s intentions to attain accreditation and/or APPIC membership in the future. While it is understandable that programs may want to share their interest in obtaining those goals, delays in fulfilling those intentions can result in very serious consequences for students’ employment and licensure opportunities.

  2. Discussions of milestones in the accreditation or APPIC membership process that have not yet been achieved (e.g., “We plan to submit our self-study next Fall”).

  3. Any statement that references accreditation or membership standards that does not accurately convey the program’s current accreditation or membership status (e.g., “Our program was designed to meet APA accreditation standards”, “This program is equivalent to an APPIC-member program”).

Questions about APA Accreditation should be directed to the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation (www.apa.org/ed/accreditation). Questions about CPA Accreditation should be directed to the Canadian Psychological Association (www.cpa.ca/accreditation).