Mission & Function

The PCSAS mission is to advance public health by using the accreditation to promote the training of psychological clinical scientists. PCSAS programs graduate clinical psychologists who can widely disseminate the best clinical knowledge we now have about mental health, who can generate new knowledge related to mental health at both a basic and applied level, and who can use this knowledge to advance public health. The PCSAS mission is supported by five inter-related sub-goals:

  1. To advance the field of scientific clinical psychology by promoting the highest standards of education and training in psychological clinical science. 
  2. To increase the number of well-trained psychological clinical scientists who actively contribute to the disseminating and  advancement of knowledge and methods related to the origins, nature, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and behavioral health problems.
  3. To produce a new cadre of integrative and trans-disciplinary psychological clinical scientists who, in their research and application, employ scientific methods and theories from across a broad range of scientific perspectives to help advance our knowledge about important public health problems; and to develop, deliver, and evaluate cost-effective solutions for such problems.
  4. To promote education and training aimed at enhancing the quality, availability, and reliability of up-to-date, empirically-supported, efficacious, cost-effective and safe services in mental and behavioral health care.
  5. To contribute to the development and dissemination of knowledge and services that will help reduce the incidence of mental health problems; promote adaptive functioning; improve the quality, availability, safety, and impact of mental and behavioral health-care delivery; and improve the public’s general health and well-being.

The primary functions and activities of PCSAS are:

  1. To formulate and implement accreditation policies, procedures, and criteria in support of the PCSAS accreditation mission and goals, and to adapt and refine these activities through a process of continuous quality improvement.
  2. To review and evaluate the performance records and overall quality of the education and training provided by the doctoral programs in psychological clinical science that apply for initial or renewed PCSAS accreditation.
  3. To coordinate site visits to applicant programs as an integral part of the review and evaluation process.
  4. To appoint leading psychological clinical scientists and science educators to PCSAS’s Review Committee.
  5. To provide applicant programs and the public with timely and informative summaries of the Review Committee’s evaluations and accreditation decisions.
  6. To obtain and maintain annual reports from PCSAS-accredited programs; analyze and evaluate the data in these reports; and provide programs and the public with useful summaries of the information gleaned from these reports.
  7. To engage in self-study and self-evaluation of PCSAS operations for the purpose of enhancing the performance and assuring the quality of PCSAS accreditation, and to provide the public with summaries of these self-studies.
  8. To sponsor science-centered educational activities, such as conferences, workshops, publications, continuing education programs, or research, for the purpose of improving the quality and impact of educational activities, methods, and services in scientific clinical psychology.
  9. To maintain active communications with relevant stakeholders regarding PCSAS accreditation and shared interests in scientific, educational, and public health issues.
  10. To build and maintain a sound fiscal foundation and business plan that will help to ensure PCSAS’s viability and performance over time.