Goals and Elements

Training Goals/Competencies and Elements for Psychology Interns


  1. Research

1.1 Demonstrate the substantially independent ability to critically evaluate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., case conference, presentation, publications).

1.2 Disseminate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., case conference, presentation, publications) at the local (including the host institution), regional, or national level.


  1. Ethics

2.1 Be knowledgeable and act in accordance with APA Ethics code, relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels; and relevant professional standards and guidelines.

2.2 Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise and apply ethical decision-making processes to these dilemmas.

2.3 Act in an ethical manner in all professional activities.


  1. Individual and cultural diversity

3.1 Demonstrate an understanding of how their personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.

3.2 Demonstrate knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.

3.3 Demonstrate the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles.

3.4 Demonstrate the ability to apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity.

3.5 Demonstrate the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.


  1. Professional values and attitudes

4.1 Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including cultural humility, integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others

4.2 Engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.

4.3 Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.

4.4 Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.


  1. Communication and interpersonal skills

5.1 Demonstrate effective relationships with a wide range of individuals and groups, e.g., colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.

5.2 Demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts; produce, comprehend, and engage in communications that are informative and well-integrated.

5.3 Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.


  1. Assessment

6.1 demonstrate current knowledge of diagnostic classification systems, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology.

6.2 Demonstrate understanding of human behavior within its context (e.g., family, social, societal and cultural);

6.3 Demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors including context to the assessment and/or diagnostic process.

6.4 Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.

6.5 Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective;

6.6 Communicate the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.

6.7 Complete assessments in a timely manner (as discussed in the Assessment manual).


  1. Intervention

7.1 Establish and maintain effective relationships with clients.

7.2 Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals

7.3 Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.

7.4 Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.

7.5 Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking,

7.6 Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation


  1. Supervision

8.1 Apply knowledge of supervisory models and practices in direct or simulated practice with psychology trainees, or other health professionals. Examples of direct or simulated practice examples of supervision include, but are not limited to, role-played supervision with others, and peer supervision with other trainees.

8.2  Apply the supervisory skill of observing in direct or simulated practice;

8.3  Apply the supervisory skill of evaluating in direct or simulated practice; and

8.4 Apply the supervisory skills of giving guidance and feedback in direct or simulated practice.


  1. Consultations and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills

9.1 Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.

9.2 Apply the knowledge of consultation models and practices in direct or simulated consultation with individuals and their families, other health care professionals, interprofessional groups, or systems related to health and behavior.


  1. Spiritual, existential, religious, or theological issues/resources in professional practice.

10.1 Demonstrate awareness of their own spiritual/personal journey, values, commitments, and resources, and how they inform or bear upon their professional identity and practice.

10.2 Demonstrates facilitative attitudes regarding SERT factors (e.g., openness, curiosity, respect, differentiation).

10.3 Engage client’s spiritual, existential, and meaning-making concerns in a respectful and skillful way.


Rating Scale for Internship Profession Wide and Site-specific Competencies


1 = Not competent, needs extensive guidance and supervision

2 = Beginning competence, needs close supervision on all cases (practicum level)

3 = Foundational competence, needs regular supervision (intern entry level)

4 = Intermediate competence, ready for entry level practice with consultation (intern exit level). See elaborated definition of readiness for entry level practice below.

5 = Advanced competence, demonstrates refined skills and/or skills beyond what might be expected of an early career psychologist.

N = not able to rate (for particular areas/raters).


Successful completion requires ratings of 4 or above for all competencies on the final evaluation as well as other requirements detailed in the Training Plan.


All ratings must be based in part on live observation, e.g., observing actual service, video tape, audio tape, or skill demonstration.


“Readiness for Entry Level Practice” is defined as:

  1. Ability to independently function in a broad range of clinical and professional activities.
  2. Ability to generalize skills and knowledge to new situations
  3. Ability to self-assess when to seek additional training, supervision or consultation.