The Project

1. A Brief History of the IPCP until July 2016

“Competence” was the theme selected by the Organizing Committee in planning the 5th International Congress on Licensure, Certification and Credentialing, Stockholm, July 2013. The Congress’ goal was to start a process “To promote the development of a global agreement on identifying the benchmark competencies that define professional psychology”. The Congress was unusual in being by invitation only. 150 invitations were issued and 75 people participated in the Congress from 18 countries and 5 continents. International associations such as (in alphabetic order) the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), the International Test Commission (ITC) and the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) were represented. The Congress also differed from previous ones in operating as an extended series of workshops. Most of the time was spent in highly productive small group discussions interspersed with plenary feedback and agenda-setting sessions.

Prior to the Congress a “Foundation Document”, a “Statement”, and documents on existing models on competence for psychologists had been distributed to delegates. A draft summary competence model had also been produced prior to the Congress through content analysis of a range of current national models. This was used as a stimulus for the group discussions. Through a subsequent series of iterative consultations, this summary model has formed the basis for the final “International Declaration on Core Competences in Professional Psychology” (hereafter called the Declaration).

The Congress was a great success as an opening conversation about the guiding concept and the intended goal, and it ended in an agreement to establish “The International Project on Competence in Psychology” (IPCP) as a multi-stakeholder international project. There was a willingness of all the planners and participants to move beyond discussing regional and national differences and to begin exploring areas of common understanding and agreement that inspire the belief that this effort can be successful.

A Work Group was established which consisted of:

  • Dave Bartram (UK)
  • Steve DeMers (USA)
  • Janel Gauthier (Canada)
  • Germán Gutiérrez (Colombia)
  • Buxin Han (China)
  • Steve Osborne (New Zealand)
  • Sverre Nielsen (Norway)
  • Tholene Sodi (South Africa)
  • Waikaremoana Waitoki (New Zealand)
  • Dragos Iliescu (Romania)
  • Hilson Amy (USA)

In addition a network (Reference Group) was established and consisted of 275 persons from 77 countries.

The Work Group held five face-to-face multiple-day meetings and produced three Progress Reports since the Stockholm Congress. Each Progress Report was sent out as a draft for comment to the Reference Group. In addition, members of the Work Group held open discussion meetings at two international congresses (ICAP2014 in Paris & ECP2015 in Milan) and at four regional conferences (Kampala, Durban, Armenia-Colombia, and Beirut). In the last round of consultations (December 2015) national and international psychological associations were also invited to comment. Special attention was given to the comments from IAAP and IUPsyS in this last round of consultations.

The “International Declaration on Core Competencies in Professional Psychology” was adopted by The International Association of Applied Psychology – IAAP in June 2016, and by The International Union of Psychological Science – IUPsyS in July 2016. These two organizations also supported the project all the way from the start in 2013. The Declaration can be found on their web sites – and also on this website (please consult the “Outcomes” section). If you are interested in all the documentation of the IPCP, please consult the “History” section on this website.

2. From two sessions at ECP 2017 Amsterdam

When the Declaration was adopted by IAAP and IUPsyS, it was thought that this was the end of the IPCP. At the European Congress of Psychology (ECP) in Amsterdam 2017 two sessions where organized to check if there was any use of the Declaration. It appears that the Declarations is translated to Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Romanian and Ukrainian. More translations are in the pipeline. Several countries are using it for establishing regulations in professional psychology and/or for benchmarking.

In Amsterdam, one also realized that there are expectations for a continuation, and to take the process forward. The presidents of both IAAP and IUPsyS were present, and spoke about challenges and needs in relation to the Declaration. There was no dispute around these issues. Among the ca 40 participants in the sessions, there were also the presidents of EFPA, ITC, and other national and regional representatives.

On this background, all the members of the IPCP Work Group committed themselves to prepare for a process to see if the international community wish the IPCP to continue, what the task(s) should be and what support there is.

3. IPCP WG from November 2017 to July 2018

The actual start and activation of the IPCP Work Group (WG) was the 22nd November 2017. Since then the WG has communicated regularly on email and at two video meetings. A brain storming on challenges/tasks for an eventual continuation resulted in many proposals. An email was sent to the former network (250 addresses) with information of what is going on and invitation to submit proposals for tasks for the WG. No proposals has been received, but many emails with support for a continuation was received.

The IPCP WG has decided to continue the project with a plan for the first two years.

4. Continuation of the IPCP onto July 2020 [July 2021 due to Covid19]

During this time, the Members of the IPCP Work Group worked together to advance the development of the Declaration on Core Competences in Psychology. It aimed at organizing a two- or three days meeting in connection with the ICP 2020 in Prague, using the same model as in Stockholm.

5. The IPCP Conference in Brighton and contributions at the European Congress of Psychology (July 2023)

The IPCP Conference 2023 seeked to advance the development and the use of the Declaration towards achieving its proposed goals by identifying critical next steps and establishing an action plan to guide the project in years ahead. Participants had the opportunity to work together in small groups and determine how to use it to establish more globally consistent recognition and credentialing mechanisms for psychology where appropriate.

This Conference is organized by the International Test Commission – ITC. It is sponsored by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards – ASPPN and the European Federation of Psychologists’ Association – EFPA. The Members of the IPCP Work Group have been working together to advance the development of the Declaration on Core Competences in Psychology, and thus providing broad support for the development of this event. During this conference, there was a new Work Group and an Advisory Board was created.

Read the complete conference statement in the following link: Conference Statement

The IPCP Conference was held in conjunction with the 18th European Congress of Psychology (ECP) and the work group had a footprint in this event through its contributions in the academic agenda.