Standards for Professional Psychology Continuing Education Sponsors: A Comparative Analysis of Health Service Professions

Ana Rabasco*, Dean McKay, Jason J. Washburn, Bethany A. Teachman, Brandon A. Gaudiano, Gerald C. Davison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Continuing education is recognized as important to maintaining professional competence. The aim of these analyses was to compare the continuing education standards established by the American Psychological Association (APA) to those of other service delivery professions. Two studies were conducted in which graduate students in clinical psychology and health care professionals provided blind ratings of the scientific rigor of continuing education standards for 16 diverse health care organizations. In the first study, clinical psychology doctoral students and faculty rated the APA and American Dental Association (ADA) as having the highest scientific rigor. In the second study, 37 professionals from most of the 16 health care fields whose standards were reviewed in this study rated the ADA as having the highest scientific rigor, followed by the APA. Understanding the scientific rigor of the APA's continuing education standards in comparison to other health care fields is especially important because it can help to inform potential recommendations for changes to the APA's standards and future directions in continuing education within the field of psychology. The implications of these findings for policies on continuing education sponsor approval and requirements are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Continuing education
  • Health service delivery
  • Professional education
  • Scientific standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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