Consortia

Criteria Revised September, 2000
Clarification Revised January, 2008

See Also: Guidelines for Development of Consortia

In addition to meeting the APPIC membership criteria for Doctoral Psychology Internship Programs or Postdoctoral Training Programs, consortia programs must demonstrate evidence of the following:

  1. A primary consortium director or co-directors must be present at one or more of the training facilities for at least 20 hours a week.

    Clarification:
    The program is administered by a doctoral level licensed (certified or registered) for independent practice psychologist or psychologists who:

    1. must be at one facility at least 20 hrs./week and can be at additional facilities for additional hours beyond the 20 hours spent at the first facility.

    2. coordinates and organizes the consortium-wide training program and its resources.

    3. coordinates the selection of interns or post-doctoral residents.

    4. monitors and evaluates the training program's goals and activities.

    5. oversees the documentation and maintenance of interns' or post-doctoral residents' training records.

  2. Each agency or site has at least one clearly designated, appropriately credentialed doctoral level staff psychologist who is responsible for the integrity and quality of training and present at the agency/site for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

    Clarification:
    At each site there is a doctoral level licensed (certified or registered) for independent practice psychologist who:

    1. directs and organizes the training program and its resources at that site.

    2. is involved in the selection of interns and/or post-doctoral residents.

    3. monitors and evaluates the training program's goals and activities at that site.

    4. is responsible for documenting and maintaining interns' and/or post-doctoral residents' training records at that site.

    5. regularly participates in the consortium wide training faculty/staff meetings.

  3. Regularly scheduled consortium-wide activities, including formal, didactic face-to-face contact among trainees at least monthly; ongoing informal contact among trainees across sites; and structured faculty meetings at least quarterly.

    Clarification:
    The Psychology training program should have scheduled didactic experiences available to meet the training needs of their interns and/or post-doctoral residents.

    1. Provide a schedule of face-to-face contacts when all the interns or post-doctoral residents are together including dates, hours, topics covered, and presenters.

    2. Describe opportunities for ongoing informal contact among trainees (e.g., listserv, scheduled lunches).

    3. At least quarterly training faculty/staff meetings, where faculty discuss issues related to the overall program, interns'/post-doctoral residents' performance and program evaluation.

  4. A formal plan outlining the didactic activities and procedures provided in the training program.

    Clarification:
    A description of the complete training program for each site must be provided.

    1. Please refer to Clarification #3a for Consortia programs above as well as Item #1 for Doctoral Criteria and Item #1 for Post-Doctoral Criteria.

    2. Information should be provided for all training that is provided throughout the consortia, as well as all training that is provided specific to each site.

    3. If this information is already well documented elsewhere, please reference to those sections of the report.

  5. Assurance of trainee contact with more than one supervisor.

    Clarification:
    Interns' primary clinical supervision and role modeling must be provided by two or more psychologists licensed (certified or registered) for independent practice at the doctoral level within the consortium who are:

    1. officially designated as psychology intern or post-doctoral resident supervisors.

    2. significantly involved in the operation of the training program.

  6. A written consortia contractual agreement delineating:

    • the nature and characteristics of the participating entities;

    • the rationale for the consortial partnership;

    • each partner's commitment to the training/education program, its philosophy, model, and goals;

    • each partner's obligations regarding contributions and access to resources;

    • each partner's adherence to central control and coordination of the training program;

    • each partner's commitment to uniform administration and implementation of the program's training principles, policies, and procedures addressing trainee/student admission, financial support, training resource access, potential performance expectations, and evaluations (Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology; Committee on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association); and

    • due process procedures including notice, hearing and appeal.

    Clarification:
    This document should be signed and dated by an individual with administrative authority (such as Director, Executive Director, Director of Finance, or Department Chair) from each of the agencies within the consortia. It is advisable that the Director of Training of the consortia internship training program also sign the agreement.

    1. The documentation should clarify the length and duration of the contract, as well as the renewal process.

    2. This document should be binding for at least the duration of the internship/post-doc program training year.

    3. This document should be reviewed annually by the training faculty.

    4. Due process procedures describe how each agency within the consortia deals with problematic intern performance issues and how the interns' grievances with the training program are handled. The documentation would include:
      the formal evaluation and complaint procedures;
      • the program's and intern's responsibilities and rights in the process;

      • the appeal process;

      • procedures if interns have grievances about their training or supervision.

    5. Consortia member sites should document that these due process procedures have been reviewed in their consortia-wide training faculty/staff meetings. The training faculty/staff should determine the compatibility of their procedures. Given the constraints of each site, where possible procedures should be made comparable.

    6. Please describe how you will inform APPIC within one month that there have been significant changes in any aspect of the program outlined above (e.g. leadership, site membership).

NOTE: APPIC Membership criteria are approved by a vote of the APPIC membership and appear above in bold type. Clarification information is approved by the APPIC Board of Directors.

Guidelines for Development of Consortia

Revised July 2, 2003

Preface: What is a Consortium?

A consortium is comprised of multiple (more than one) independent agencies that have joined together to offer a well-rounded, unified psychology training program. A formal written agreement among the agencies in which lines of responsibility and financial commitments are delineated creates the consortium. The trainees (a) physically work at the multiple sites (or some combination thereof), and/or (b) obtain training from one primary site with some experience at or exposure to aspects of the other setting(s) that their primary site does not offer. Agencies within a consortium complement each other rather than duplicate strengths and weaknesses.

  1. What is the purpose or rationale for a consortium? How can that purpose be assured?
    The purpose of a consortium is to pool the resources of more than one site to enhance and ensure the quality of training provided to interns and/or postdoctoral fellows. Consortia agencies each have a unique training objective that, when combined with other sites in a consortium, enhance and complement the overall mission of the consortium. In some cases, isolated agencies within a consortium cannot meet certain APPIC criteria for an internship or postdoctoral fellowship (e.g., they lack breadth of training experiences or resources to fund more than one trainee or licensed psychologist, etc.), but are able to contribute to a comprehensive training program when various types of resources are combined.

    Together (but perhaps not independently), the sites are able to meet APPIC requirements, which include:

    • provide breadth of training experiences;

    • increase exposure to a variety of service delivery options;

    • maximize trainees' exposure to a range of theoretical and professional orientations;

    • enhance trainees' experiences with diverse populations;

    • increase exposure to broad-based and diverse professional resources; and

    • provide efficient mechanism for ensuring trainee interaction and collegiality.

    Trainee refers to a psychology intern and/or postdoctoral fellow.

  2. When should a program be considered a consortium or several independent sites?
    Consortia should have a clearly articulated mission that can only be met by a consortial arrangement and a unified perspective on training. Regular, ongoing communication and direct interaction should occur among licensed psychologists serving as training directors at each site. The purposes of these communications are to (a) monitor training needs and remain responsive to training issues as they arise, (b) ensure adequacy of individual sites at providing quality training experiences, and (c) consider means by which needs unique to the consortium can be met.

    • Regular, ongoing, meaningful formal and informal communication and direct interaction occurs among trainees in a consortium (and may not occur among independent sites). Trainee meetings occurring at least monthly are recommended.

    • Resources are shared among agencies to benefit trainees and the overall training program, such as staff expertise, research opportunities, university privileges, journal libraries, in-services, and unique supervision opportunities.

  3. What are the criteria needed for a consortia?
    Please refer to the Consortia Guidelines and Clarification Document for the answer to this question.

  4. Can a site be both free standing and part of a consortia? Or must it be one or the other?
    Consortia sites must make a commitment to one model of training (i.e., they cannot be a free-standing internship or postdoctoral fellowship and a member of a consortium). This ensures that adequate attention to important and unique consortia issues remain focal to all agencies within the arrangement, and minimize internal competition for trainees, role and responsibility confusion among participants, and other sources of potential conflict of interest.

  5. If an established consortium accepts a new member into the consortium, what impact does that have on their APPIC membership?
    Consortia should have the flexibility and ability to add new members (or omit existing members) when necessary to sustain their mission. New applicant agencies should apply directly to the consortium, which should have established membership criteria consistent with their mission statement and in compliance with APPIC criteria. The consortium must notify APPIC in writing within 30 days of adding a new member to the consortium, omitting a current member, or other major change. Documentation should also include changes to the APPIC application face sheet, revised tables (A, B,C), and a new signed and dated consortium agreement. The change will be reviewed by the APPIC Internship Membership Review Committee or Postdoctoral Review Committee to insure ongoing adherence to the Membership criteria.

    The Committees reviewing the materials will then decide whether the change(s) warrants having the consortium reviewed at an earlier date than the normal, formal three-year review cycle for non-APA accredited programs. Consortium programs maintain their APPIC Membership during the review process. Only non-APA/CPA accredited programs need to have a formal review.

    New applicant agencies should submit a formal request for consideration that includes a clear description of:

    • the goals and objectives of the training activities;

    • the plan, location, and sequence of direct service experiences;

    • the training curriculum; i.e., the content, duration, and frequency of the training activities;

    • a supervision plan, including the person responsible, number of hours devoted to supervision per week, and on-going availability of the supervisor; and

    • how the psychology training program is integrated into the larger organization.

    Agencies should be added to the consortium based on careful and thoughtful consideration of variables such as:
    • How the applicant agency contributes to the unique mission of the consortium -- for example, does it offer experiences:

      • that are not otherwise available in the consortium (e.g., a diverse population or clientele); and/or

      • in a setting or area that presents unique service-delivery needs (e.g., rural locale)?

    • Does the agency agree to the requirements of the consortium -- for example,

      • supervisors' representation at board meetings (if applicable);

      • trainees' attendance at regularly scheduled consortium meetings;

      • continuous annual selection and hiring of trainees, with no more than one year on inactive status; and/or

      • other consortium procedures and practices deemed necessary to maintain ongoing APPIC membership?

    Sites that are added to existing APPIC-member consortia may not represent themselves as an independent APPIC member. Further, consortia members are listed only once in the APPIC Membership Directory; each agency is not listed separately.

    For new member applicants, independent membership in APPIC is wholly and completely contingent upon successful review by the APPIC Doctoral Membership Committee or the APPIC Postdoctoral Membership and Review Committee.

    If a site existing within an existing APPIC member consortia wishes to apply for independent membership, it can retain its status in the consortium while its application is being considered. If approved as an APPIC member, the site must resign from the consortium (i.e., it cannot be an independent member and part of a consortium simultaneously).

    If two or more sites within an existing APPIC-member consortium wish to leave and create a new consortium, they will be reviewed as new member applicants and must submit all materials that would be required from a first time applicant. Their application would be reviewed by the APPIC Doctoral Membership Committee, or by the APPIC Postdoctoral Membership and Review Committee. Their prior status as APPIC members based on their relationship within a consortium is not sufficient to warrant continued membership status.

  6. Do consortia internship programs have different needs from single site programs with regard to the APPIC Match?

    Some consortia do have relatively complex needs for the internship selection process. However, the APPIC Match has a number of features that provide consortia with considerable flexibility in selecting interns. For example, a consortium can specify that it has multiple "programs" (e.g., rotations, training opportunities, sites) in the Match, which allows the Training Director to submit separate ranking lists for each program, and allows applicants to rank each program at the consortia according to their preferences. The instructions from National Matching Services (NMS) provide extensive information about these options, and the APPIC Match Coordinator and NMS are available for consultation as needed.

NOTE: An earlier version of these guidelines were developed by the APPIC Consortia Task Force.