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Rehabil Psychol. 2015 May;60(2):111-22. doi: 10.1037/a0038353. Epub 2014 Dec 15.

Guidelines for competency development and measurement in rehabilitation psychology postdoctoral training.

Rehabilitation psychology

William Stiers, Mark Barisa, Kirk Stucky, Carey Pawlowski, Marie Van Tubbergen, Aaron P Turner, Mary Hibbard, Bruce Caplan


  1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
  2. Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology Services, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation.
  3. Department of Psychology, Hurley Medical Center.
  4. Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program, VA Palo Alto Health Care System.
  5. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan.
  6. Rehabilitation Care Service, VA Puget Sound Health Care System.
  7. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York Langone Medical Center.

PMID: 25496436 DOI: 10.1037/a0038353


OBJECTIVE: This study describes the results of a multidisciplinary conference (the Baltimore Conference) that met to develop consensus guidelines for competency specification and measurement in postdoctoral training in rehabilitation psychology.

METHODS: Forty-six conference participants were chosen to include representatives of rehabilitation psychology training and practice communities, representatives of psychology accreditation and certification bodies, persons involved in medical education practice and research, and consumers of training programs (students).

RESULTS: Consensus education and training guidelines were developed that specify the key competencies in rehabilitation psychology postdoctoral training, and structured observation checklists were developed for their measurement.

DISCUSSION: This study continues the development of more than 50 years of thinking about education and training in rehabilitation psychology and builds on the existing work to further advance the development of guidelines in this area. The conference developed aspirational guidelines for competency specification and measurement in rehabilitation psychology postdoctoral training (i.e., for studying the outcomes of these training programs). Structured observation of trainee competencies allows examination of actual training outcomes in relation to intended outcomes and provides a methodology for studying how program outcomes are related to program structures and processes so that program improvement can occur. Best practices in applying program evaluation research methods to the study of professional training programs are discussed.

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