“Pre-accreditation reflects the judgment that the resourcing of a training program justifies a reasonable expectation of a program’s effectiveness in supporting the personal and professional development described [in the] Standards (Accreditation Manual, §110).”
The Accreditation Manual (beginning in 2019) approaches the accreditation process from a life-cycle perspective, beginning with the actions for which (in CPSP) the chapter has primary responsibility:
- Designation of the clinical supervisor (either a CPSP-certified diplomate, or a certified member who has been approved to enter supervisory training),
- Evaluation of the suitability of the proposed training program – considering both its resourcing and the number and variety of potential clients who might be served by trainees,
- [For site-based programs] A visit to the site by members of the chapter,
- A review of the documents required to conduct a training program – the working agreement between the program and the training site, proposed text of an agreement between trainees and the program, training program policies, and proof of insurance, and
- Final action by the chapter (based on its review) to authorize the training program, and the convener’s reporting of this action to the Accreditation Oversight Committee.
The chapter’s responsibility for pre-accreditation is essentially unchanged from its authority, role, and task as defined in pre-2019 Standards. This restatement of the process reflects four concerns:
- Maintaining the centrality of the chapter in the oversight of training programs, as described in The Covenant,
- Supporting the chapter in this task by communicating clearly what “pre-accreditation” signifies,
- Establishing a reasonable connection between the requirements for pre-accreditation and those for accreditation, and
- Establishing, for the record, a definite date for the grant of pre-accreditation.
U.S. Department of Education criteria for recognition of accrediting agencies requires that pre-accreditation and accreditation criteria be reasonably related, and that an agency program not be allowed to remain in pre-accredited status for more than five years.
A newly-certified diplomate’s time as clinical supervisor in a pre-accredited program (while in training) counts towards the five-year limit, hence the CPSP requirement that accreditation be achieved within one year of certification as a diplomate.