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Luli Emmons Attends 5th International Conference on Licensure, Certification and Credentialing of Psychologists

Article from the January 2014 Edition of Global Mental Health Newsletter

In July 2013, Dr. Luli Emmons, Director of Professional Advising and Development, attended the 5th International Congress on Licensure, Certification and Credentialing of Psychologists in Stockholm, Sweden, on "Competence as a Common Language for Professional Identity and International Recognition."

The goal of this working conference, "To promote the development of a global agreement on identifying the benchmark competencies and define professional psychology," proved to be both intriguing and challenging.

At the outset, the project was expected to be a multi-year, multi-stakeholder international project, moving beyond regional and national differences to explore areas of common understanding and agreement. The focus in Stockholm was on articulating and defining common denominators in the scope or practice, competencies to practice and models of competencies in applied psychology across international borders.

This work may be shaped into a competency “framework” rather than standards, and is expected to ultimately inform an international agreement about competencies. Competencies include knowledge, practice, ethics, assessment, intervention, consulting, interdisciplinary collaboration, relationships, professionalism, culture and diversity, and reflective practice.
At this stage, basic questions about the final outcome and potential benefits and concerns were on the table. The group was challenged to address and predict the benefits and potential derailers for the profession, their country, and the international community. An international model could not only facilitate national and international mobility, it could strengthen and unite professional identity for psychologists.

However, the process of creating an international competency framework is challenging on many levels such as: to be inclusive of all countries and regions; to address language issues; to be responsive to local and regional and national association pressures on the process; to avoid creating a framework that fails to differentiate between psychology and other mental health professions. The outcome was to continue work on the project under the heading “International Project on Competence in Psychology” IPCP to reflect its independent and international context. Of the 75 participants, 18 countries and 5 continents were represented.

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