APA Announces the Designation Process for Psychopharmacology Programs

by Legal and Regulatory Affairs and Communications Staff  
April 21, 2010 — The American Psychological Association (APA) is pleased to announce the establishment of its designation system for postdoctoral education and training programs in psychopharmacology for prescriptive authority of psychologists. 

The APA designation system outlines the minimal standards of program quality for psychopharmacology education and training programs. The system does not designate individuals; it designates programs preparing psychologists for prescriptive authority through a voluntary application process. 

The review process for designation is a threshold assessment through documentation that assures that the education and training experience is sufficient to prepare students to be eligible for credentialing in that domain. Those programs identified as meeting these criteria would be referred to as an APA designated program in psychopharmacology for prescriptive authority.

The published criteria for the designation system are based on the revised Recommended Postdoctoral Education and Training Program in Psychopharmacology for Prescriptive Authority (“Model Curriculum”). Development of this APA designation system was proposed by an APA task force charged with reviewing and revising APA policies on psychopharmacology curricula and related policies and approved by the APA Council of Representatives.

The designation system will be implemented by a six-person committee, which will be overseen jointly by the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP) and the Board of Educational Affairs (BEA). The six members include one public member and five psychologists who are APA members.

The committee includes representation from the following domains of expertise: psychopharmacology postdoctoral program directors, psychopharmacology science base, prescriptive authority in psychology, prescriptive authority in another health profession and health care system quality assurance whose areas of expertise includes developmental psychopharmacology and ethnic/cultural factors that can influence psychopharmacological decision-making. 

Interested programs may submit applications, which will be considered by the Designation Committee at its fall 2010 meeting. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, July 30, 2010.

Questions about the designation application process may be directed to either Catherine Grus, PhD or Deborah Baker, JD.