STRUCTURE & PERSONNEL
Board of Directors:
On May 25, 2016, the PCSAS Board of Directors announced the appointment of Alan G. Kraut, former Executive Director of the Association for Psychological Science, as the new PCSAS Executive Director, replacing the retiring Richard McFall who had served as PCSAS's founding Executive Director since 2008.
To the extent that the RC's ability to evaluate programs is limited, due either to the review workload or to the special nature of candidate programs, the RC is empowered, with Board approval, to enlist ad hoc reviewers to assist in the reviews. However, the role of ad hoc reviewers is advisory. They may be invited to attend and speak at review meetings or portions thereof, or may participate by phone or other electronic means, but they are non-voting participants. The ED also attends RC meetings as a non-voting participant, serving as the RC's executive secretary, assigning cases to reviewers (in consultation with the RC Chair), organizing all RC activities, and handling all correspondence with applicant programs and other relevant parties.
PCSAS started accepting applications for accreditation June 1, 2009. The Review Committee has held eleven rounds of application reviews to date, and has accredited 30 programs. The nine members of the Review Committee, with their affiliations and terms, are as follows:
The RC has the sole responsibility for all accreditation decisions and actions by PCSAS regarding specific applicant programs. All official decisions and actions by the RC require a quorum of at least six (6) members participating. A favorable accreditation decision requires that at least five (5) RC members vote in favor of the action. Only those RC members who are present throughout the entire review of a given program's application are eligible to vote on that program's accreditation decision. Votes on accreditation, whether categorical or in the form of ratings, are by confidential ballot.
RC meetings are not open to the public. The proceedings are not recorded, and reviewers are required to keep the proceedings confidential. The RC's reviews and decisions must be free from any outside influences that would undermine their integrity. RC procedures include protections, patterned after those of NIH, against unwarranted influences due to "conflicts of interest." Ordinarily, RC decisions are final, although in rare cases of factual or procedural errors, the RC may elect (by a positive vote of at least 3 members) to re-review a program's original application, without amendment, at the next opportunity. (See the Appeal Policy page of this website for more specific details about appeals.) Normally, a program that received a negative decision would need to "revise and resubmit" its application, based on the RC feedback, for future consideration.
Only the Executive Director is empowered to communicate on behalf of PCSAS regarding the review process, the evaluations, or the outcomes. These communications always must be done in a manner that protects the confidentiality and integrity of the process. Following each RC meeting, the Executive Director assembles the relevant review materials and drafts correspondence informing applicant programs of the RC's evaluations and decisions. The RC's Chair reviews and approves these decision notices for accuracy before they are sent to the programs.
The PCSAS Board does not have the authority to interfere with, or override, the RC's accreditation decisions regarding individual applicant programs. While respecting the autonomy of the RC's reviews and decisions, however, the Board must exercise its continuing responsibility to oversee and protect the integrity, fidelity, aims, and viability of PCSAS. The Board is responsible for setting and maintaining the general aims, principles, criteria, procedures, and policies to be implemented by the RC. The Board also is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the RC's performance; for revising the aims, principles, criteria, procedures, and policies as appropriate; and for informing CHEA, doctoral programs, relevant organizations, and the public at large of its oversight and quality control activities. To ensure the transparency of PCSAS accreditation, the Board is expected to issue an annual report of the organization's activities and any policy or procedure changes to interested institutions, programs, and agencies. To promote continuous quality improvement, the Board also is expected to seek periodic feedback and evaluation from the institutions and programs with which it has dealings.
Last update: 02/8/2017