Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
Summary of Continuing Education Program
Excerpted from the APA Division of Psychoanalysis (39)
Continuing Education Handbook
In assessing whether the Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology would offer CE credits for its programs, and MSPP Executive Board requested a report from its Section IV (the Section of Local Chapters of Division 39) Representative on what would be entailed. This report excerpts and summarizes the procedures involved in offering APA-approved CE credits.
Division 39 has been approved by the APA to offer continuing education credits for psychologists. Any section, committee or local chapter may use this service in planning educational activities. Program committees must designate a psychologist to serve on the continuing education committee and to assume responsibility for overseeing the activity to assure that guidelines and requirements established by the APA are followed.
The CEC chair is responsible to Division 39 Board and the Continuing Education Office of APA to assure that the guidelines and requirements of the APA are being followed and will report regularly to APA and the Division Board concerning Continuing education activities. The CEC chair is responsible for maintaining contact with committee members, providing relevant information to assist in documenting continuing education activities, reviewing the documentation received, offering corrections and suggestions to CEC members when indicated.
Importance of continuing education requirements: Some of the requirements to document continuing education may not seem immediately relevant to various program committees. It helps to keep in mind that these rules are designed as a kind of "consumer protection" for participants, providing timely and relevant information. Another function of these rules is to ensure that activities offered are for continuing education for psychologists. In other words, the activities are not supposed to be either so basic that a psychologist would be expected to know the content of the activity, or so advanced as to require the development of new skills. Finally, the activities are supposed to be "consumer-driven" and program committees should be planning events based upon some assessment of the continuing education needs of the "target" audience.
It is true that the above concerns may not be a priority for many program committees. Many of the requirements may seem routine, even tedious. It is important to keep in mind, however, that offering continuing education credits is only an option for the program committee; but if the committee wants to take part in this APA program, it must "sign on" for the entire set of requirements. At the same time, it should be pointed out, the guidelines are sufficiently flexible to allow program committees to construct promotional material and assessment instruments that are helpful in attracting interest in the program as well as provide useful information concerning the success and/or value of the program.
Completing the process: CEC members have the
responsibility for overseeing the process followed by their program committees.
At the completion of activities, the CEC member should provide the following
information to the CEC chair:
• A completed Continuing Education Activity Form
• One copy of the satisfaction questionnaire and learning assessment form
• One copy of the certificate of attendance
• One copy of promotional literature used in advertising the activity
• An alphabetized, and legible, list of the names and addresses of psychologists attending the activity
• In addition to promotional brochure, any additional information that describes the purpose of the activity, prerequisites for the course, qualifications of the instructor(s), and so on.
Local chapters also provide an opportunity for their members to share their own work, to develop their skills in writing and presenting papers, and in teaching in various formats. There are a number of formats that have been used successfully by various local chapters; among the most popular are speaker and program meetings, study groups, workshops, and courses. These may be offered for continuing education credits (see pp. 15-18 for details). However, no local chapter many offer certification or accreditation as an aspect of its educational program.
Examples of Formats
A. Speakers and Program Meetings:
B. Study Groups
The name and address of the current Chair of the Continuing Education Committee is Bill MacGillivray, 7 Forest Court, Knoxville, TN 37919, Telephone: 423-558-5675, E-mail: email@example.com. Each local chapter participating in the continuing education program must designate someone in the local chapter to serve on this committee and report regularly to the chair regarding continuing education activities planned by the local chapter. Although anyone in the local chapter may have the responsibility for attending to the details of documenting continuing education activities, the local chapter committee member must be a psychologist.
Below are the guidelines that must be followed in order to assure approval from APA and Division 39 for a continuing education activity:
1. Activities must have specific learning objectives that are clearly spelled out prior to the time a participant registers for the activity.
2. Potential participants must be informed of the faculty, format, cost, activities covered by the fee, refund policy, and number of continuing education credits prior to registration All promotional material must adhere to APA requirements.
3. One continuing education credit is given for each hour of learning time. Breaks and meals must not be figured in as learning time. The following language must be used in its entirety: "CE credits _ (enter number to be granted) Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education credits for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for the program."
4. All participants must sign in at the beginning of the activity, attend the whole activity, and submit a participant satisfaction questionnaire and a learning assessment at the close. For courses and longer activities, participants must attend a minimum of 80% of the activity to receive credit. Participants who complete these requirements should be given a certificate of attendance that documents the continuing education credits awarded, the name of the activity and instructor, and the date(s) of the activity. The local chapter continuing education coordinator should sign the certificate of attendance.
5. Participant satisfaction and assessment of learning must be checked. Participant satisfaction is usually assessed with a simple questionnaire. Assessment of learning relative to the program's stated learning objectives is important in that it allows the local chapter to know how well the instructor taught. This assessment may take the form of a self-report-of-learning form with questions such as "How much did you learn', "Rate your learning on the following scale," or "List three new items of knowledge." It is suggested that all participants, not only those seeking CE credits, be encouraged to provide this feedback in order to increase the validity of results.
6. Following the activity, the chapter must submit copy of the promotional literature, participant satisfaction questionnaire and the learning assessment instrument, and certificate of attendance to the Chair of the Continuing Education Committee as well as a completed Continuing Education Activity Form with an alphabetized list of the participants and their addresses.
This report was presented to the Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (MSPP) Executive Board by Barry Dauphin, Ph.D., MSPP Section IV Representative, in the Spring of 2000. It is reprinted here with permission.
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