APA Council of Representatives Report: August 2013 Meeting

The majority of Council time was focused on the discussion and approval of the historic Good Governance Project (GGP) recommendations which grew out of a three year period of assessment, research, and discussion with members.

Elizabeth Carll, PhD

The majority of Council time was focused on the discussion and approval of the historic Good Governance Project (GGP) recommendations which grew out of a three year period of assessment, research, and discussion with members.  Highlights of items approved by Council are listed below followed by approved GGP motions.

Adopted Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology.  A copy of the guidelines are posted on the Division 46 website.

  • Resolution on accreditation for programs that prepare psychologists to provide health services.
  • Adopted policy that replaces current Association policy in the area of psychologists’ work in national security settings and reaffirms APA’s position against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The new APA resolution does not create new policy but makes existing policy in the area more internally consistent and comprehensive.
  • Continuing recognition of counseling psychology and school psychology as specialties in professional psychology.
  • Recognition of biofeedback: applied psychophysiology as a proficiency in professional psychology was extended for a one-year period.
  • Recognition of clinical psychology as a specialty in professional psychology was extended for a one-year period.
  • Revision of the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major
  • Quality Professional Development and Continuing Education Resolution
  • Revised Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing
  • Revised Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Older Adults
  • Resolution on Counseling in HIV Testing Programs
  • Reauthorization of funds for reimbursement for ethnic minority members of Council
  • Approved a 2014 budget plan including a spring revenue estimate of $111 million as outlined to serve as the revenue framework for the development of the 2014 Budget.

The following GGP motions were approved by Council.  The GGP was formed to increase the alignment of the association’s governance with APA’s strategic plan, to enhance nimbleness of governance, and to increase member engagement.

Motion #1 – Technology

In order to enhance governance effectiveness, efficiency and nimbleness in addressing the future of psychology and APA, Council supports the enhanced use of technology to engage members and provide increased opportunity to do the work of governance (as well as the advisory bodies) in addition to face-to-face meetings.

Council directs the President to instruct the Implementation Work Group (IWG) to design the specific steps, including a determination of the fiscal implications, and to present these to Council for approval beginning in February 2014.

Motion #2 – Leadership Development

Council supports developing a process for opening, and thus broadening opportunities for leadership participation and leadership development for governance service.

Council directs the President to instruct the IWG to develop a transition and implementation plan for the development of a leadership program focused on training for governance leadership as well as leadership in the general APA community, including fiscal implications, and to present these to Council for approval beginning in February 2014. 

Motion #3 – Triage

Council supports the creation of an APA governance-wide triage system to ensure that the appropriate level of governance authority addresses new items and emergent situations in a timely and comprehensive fashion, without duplicative efforts.

Motion #4 – Council Purpose

Council will expand its scope to also focus on directing and informing policy and ensuring APA policies are aligned with APA’s mission and strategic plan. The Council will review and revise the strategic plan and identify and prioritize the major issues facing psychology and APA’s efforts to fulfill its mission.

To meet its purpose, the APA Council will need to:

  1. Develop a mechanism to select a Council Leadership Team to help manage the Council’s workflow;
  2. Develop a process to identify and prioritize and address the major issues facing psychology;
  3. Develop a mechanism to articulate and prioritize APA’s efforts to advance its mission;
  4. Develop a plan to use technology to advance the work of the Council;
  5. Participate in an APA wide triage system to enhance the work of the Association;
  6. Develop a strategy to employ APA boards and committees as Council resources of expertise and action.

Motion #5 – Fiduciary Roles

Council supports delegating the authority for the following areas of fiduciary responsibility to the Board of Directors on a trial basis for a three-year period following implementation:

  • Financial/budget matters
  • Hiring, evaluation and support for the Chief Executive Officer
  • Assuring alignment of the budget with the APA strategic plan
  • Internally focused policy development

In addition, Council will receive regular reports from the Board on the delegated areas during the trial period and retains its responsibility as set forth in the Bylaws.  In the interest of transparency, such reports to Council will also be made available to the entire membership.

Motion #6 – Board Composition

Council approves the following composition for the Board of Directors:

  • 6 members-at-large elected directly by membership, drawn from general membership
  • 4 elected by the Council, including Secretary & Treasurer and two from Council leadership team
  • 1 elected directly by APAGS membership, drawn from APAGS members (APAGS Past Chair)
  • 3 in the Presidential cycle
  • 1 appointed by Board from the public (Public Member with needed expertise- non-voting.  If made voting, would increase range to 16-19.)
  • CEO in ex officio role
  • A commitment to have at least one ECP on the Board through the ANSD process

Council approves utilizing the Assessment of Needs and Slate Development (ANSD) process for those members-at-large elected by the APA membership.

Motion #7 – Council Structure

Council believes a substantive change in Council structure is needed to be effective in the future.

Council members were asked to vote for their preferred model.  The two models receiving the highest percentage of votes were:

  • A constituent unit based model – one unit/one vote for each Division and state, provincial, territorial psychological association (SPTAs) and adding seats for other perspective groups/affiliated organizations
  • A constituent unit based model with pillar elements – include some elements from the  first model, including one unit/one vote for Divisions and SPTAs, and may add disciplinary/mission based seats (e.g., education, science, public interest practice and health) and diversity representatives (such as ethnic-minority psychological associations, early career psychologists, members of the American Association of Graduate Students).

Motion #8 – Implementation

Council directs the President to appoint an Implementation Work Group (IWG) made up of 15-20 individuals who are a broadly representative group of leaders from diverse backgrounds and organizational perspectives and who shall include members of Council, the Board of Directors and other members who have relevant expertise.  For motions #4 and 7 that affect the structure or function of only Council, a subgroup of the IWG shall be created directly from Council including at least one member of the Committee on Structure and Function of Council.

Council approved the addition of $24,000 in the 2013 Budget for one meeting in 2013 of the IWG and the inclusion of $48,000 in the 2014 Budget for two meetings in 2014 of the IWG.

Changes to the Board of Directors or Council’s structure require approval by the membership through a bylaws amendment.

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