APA Council of Representatives Report: August 2014 Meeting

Elizabeth Carll

Elizabeth Carll

Elizabeth Carll, PhD

A major portion of the Council meeting focused on decision making regarding the structure and function of Council with the goal to delineate the responsibilities of Council, as well as the structure, in order to make it more nimble focusing on key issues facing psychology and delegating management of the internal issues association to the APA Board of Directors. The Good Governance Project Implementation Working Group (IWG) presented a number of proposals.

Council approved a three-year trial period delegating internal association responsibilities to the APA Board of Directors including financial and budgetary responsibilities, and internally focused policy development. Whereas Council would focus on critical issues affecting psychology and strategic policy development such as healthcare, training and internship issues, etc.

There was considerable debate as to the structure of Council whether to have one representative per Division or SPTA or a form of apportionment as they are currently allocated based on the size of the constituency. At issue was the need for more nimble and efficient process and at the same time having a broad representation of various groups. This item will be taken up for vote at the February 2015 Council meeting.

Council approved the formation of a newly created Council Leadership Team (CLT) which would manage the work flow of Council, and determine the process for the selection of items for the agenda.  A triage system would be developed to determine how motions would flow through the governance system, the CLT would be composed of 12 members including the chair, chair-elect, past chair, APA president, APA president-elect, APA treasurer, APAGs chair, ECP representative, 3 members at large, and the CEO who does not vote.

Council also approved an expanded APA Board of Directors to include 6 members at large to be elected from and by the general membership, early career and student representatives, and a public member. In addition, two seats would be reserved for members of the CLT to insure optimal communication between the two bodies.  This change to the BOD’s composition requires a bylaws change which is expected to be presented to membership in 2015.

Other Council actions:

  • Approved a change in the oversight responsibilities of the Committee for the   Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP).  The committee will be solely a committee of the APA Practice Organization (APAPO) and report directly to the APAPO BOD. CAPP will continue to be responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the APAPO, which is a c6 organization responsible for advocating for the professional interests of practitioners.
  • Approved a motion to include at least one early career psychologist on all APA boards and Committees.
  • Adopted as APA policy a resolution on the Interrogation of Criminal Suspects, which aims at stemming false confessions and wrongful convictions, including a recommendation that all interrogations of domestic criminal felony suspects be videotaped from a “neutral” angle.
  • Adopted as APA policy a resolution on gender and sexual orientation diversity in children and adolescents in schools encouraging education, training and ongoing professional development about the needs of gender and sexual orientation diverse students for educators and other school personnel.
  • Adopted as APA policy a resolution in support of the UN Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Adopted as APA policy Guidelines for Clinical Supervision in Health Service Psychology. These guidelines delineate optimal performance expectations for psychologists who supervise trainees in health-service delivery settings (see www.apa.org/about/policies/guidelines-supervision.pdf).
  • Adopted a new policy that supports the inclusion on all governance boards and committee members who have not previously served in governance on APA Council, boards, or committees.  Such members running for governance will be given the option to have the fact that they are new to governance service noted by an asterisk on the election ballot.
  • Approved the creation of a Division 42 (Psychologists in Independent Practice) journal titled Practice Innovation.
  • Approved the creation of an APA Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education. This committee will subsume the work of the current Psychology Teachers at Community College Committee.

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