Accreditation in the profession of psychology: a cautionary tale

Maiden, Robert and Knight, Bob G. and Howe, Judith L. and Kim, Seungyoun (2012) Accreditation in the profession of psychology: a cautionary tale. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 33 (1). pp. 55-74. ISSN 1545-3847


This article examines the history of accreditation in psychology and applies the lessons learned to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education's (AGHE) consideration of forming an organization to accredit programs in gerontology. The authors identify the challenges met and unmet, the successes and failures, and the key issues that emerged from psychology's experience with accreditation. Psychology has been accrediting programs in clinical psychology for more than 65 years, and the process has been marked by several false steps, considerable tension, and some controversy and at times significant dissatisfaction. The accreditation process that has emerged today, which includes counseling, school psychology, graduate practica, and postdoctoral practica sites, is generally well received yet some tensions exist. The authors apply the lessons learned from psychology's evolution to AGHE. The experience of psychology suggests a need for clear minimum standards and consistency across programs in training goals, if not in curricula and practica. However, setting standards for specific curricula and practice content may result in a similar contentiousness that has plagued psychology. Ultimately, the authors conclude that the benefits of accreditation of programs outweigh the deficits.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 11 May 2016 23:51
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2017 04:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: accreditation; self-directed evaluation; outcome-based measures; scientist–practitioner; AGHE
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/02701960.2012.640728

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