APA-Approved Standards and Guidelines

APA Approved Guidelines

The following standards and guidelines have been reviewed following the procedures detailed in Association Rule 30-8 Standards and Guidelines and approved by the APA Council of Representatives as APA policy. 

As these terms are used in APA policy, "standards" include any criteria, protocols or specifications for conduct, performance, services or products in psychology or related areas, including recommended standards. Standards are considered to be mandatory and may be accompanied by an enforcement mechanism. "Guidelines" include pronouncements, statements or declarations that suggest or recommend specific professional behavior, endeavor or conduct for psychologists or for individuals or organizations that work with psychologists. In contrast to standards, guidelines are aspirational in intent.

Standards

Clinical Practice Guidelines

Clinical practice guidelines provide recommendations based on an independent systematic review of the research on treatments for specific disorders or health conditions.

Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults (PDF, 583KB). Up for review approximately in 2022. Guideline's appendices (PDF, 1.1MB).

Professional Practice Guidelines

Professional practice guidelines are designed to guide psychologists in practice regarding particular roles, populations or settings, and are supported by the current scholarly literature but do not focus upon specific disorders or treatments.

Child custody evaluations in family law proceedings. Up for review in approximately 2019.

Competencies for psychology practice in primary care (PDF, 586KB). Up for review in approximately 2025.

*Evaluation of dementia and age-related cognitive change. Up for review in approximately 2021.

Integrating the role of work and career into professional psychology practice (PDF, 293KB). Up for review in approximately 2026.

Practice of parenting coordination. Up for review in approximately 2021.

Practice of telepsychology. Up for review in approximately 2023.

Practice parameter: Screening and diagnosis of autism (PDF, 116KB). Up for review in approximately 2017.

Prevention in psychology(PDF, 142KB). Up for review in approximately 2020.

Professional practice guidelines for occupationally-mandated psychological evaluation. (PDF, 223KB)

Psychological evaluations in child protection matters. Up for review in approximately 2021.

Psychological practice in health care delivery systems. Up for review in approximately 2021.

Psychological practice with girls and women. Up for review in approximately 2017.

*Psychological practice with older adults. Up for review in approximately 2023.

Record keeping guidelines. Up for review in approximately 2017.

Specialty guidelines for forensic psychology. Up for review in approximately 2021.

*Transgender and gender nonconforming people (PDF, 617KB). Up for review in approximately 2022.

*Developed by APA’s Public Interest Directorate to aid psychologists in their practice with special populations.

Education and Training Guidelines

Education guidelines concern such matters as educational policy, assessment, program and curriculum development, and instruction.

National standards for high school psychology curricula. Up for review in approximately 2021.

Preparing high school psychology teachers: Course-based and standards-based approaches (PDF, 275KB). Up for review in approximately 2019.

Principles for quality undergraduate education in psychology. Up for review in approximately 2021.

Trauma competencies for education and training (PDF, 527KB). Up for review in approximately 2025.

Undergraduate psychology major. Up for review in approximately 2023.

Public Interest Guidelines

*Psychological practice with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. Up for review in approximately 2021.

*Psychological practice with older adults. Up for review in approximately 2023.

Principles for the validation and use of personnel selection procedures, 4th edition. Up for review in approximately 2017.

*Developed by APA’s Public Interest Directorate to aid psychologists in their practice with special populations.

Science Guidelines

Standards for educational and psychological testing. Up for review in approximately 2023.

Test user qualifications (PDF, 823KB). Up for review in approximately 2018.

Use of nonhuman animals in behavioral projects in schools (K-12). Up for review in approximately 2023.