Core Competencies

Training for all doctoral psychology fellows is organized around six core competency domains or categories: assessment; intervention and prevention; consultation; scholarly inquiry and research; professional development; and cultural and human diversity. The focus on diversity permeates all aspects of the training program. Therefore, competencies related to diversity are embedded in each of the other core competency categories. In 2012-2013 the program is piloting additional competencies in the following categories: evaluation; systems based practice; and career development.

Training in the core competencies occurs through multiple experiences. These include, but are not limited to: the delivery of professional services in the placements; supervision and mentoring; participation in the core seminar and placement-based seminars; and completion of a scholarly project.

Core competency training is tailored within each placement to the populations served and to the professional service model and setting. The progress of fellows in developing these competencies is assessed by supervisors and advisors informally throughout the year and formally through written assessments at three points of time during the year.

The competency domains and the individual competencies within these domains are as follows:


  1. Demonstrates effective clinical interviewing skills.
  2. Demonstrates the ability to collect and integrate data from multiple sources.
  3. Demonstrates the ability to use an array of assessment tools appropriately.
  4. Demonstrates skills in interpreting the results of various types of assessment.
  5. Demonstrates knowledge of DSM-IV and psychiatric nomenclature.
  6. Formulates clinical case conceptualization based on assessment results.
  7. Writes reports clearly, accurately, and in a timely manner.
  8. Communicates findings effectively to patients, family members, team members, and collateral providers, as appropriate.
  9. Demonstrates culturally competent assessment skills with diverse populations.
  10. Demonstrate the ability to use research to inform assessments.


  1. Demonstrates the ability to conceptualize, formulate, and implement an intervention plan, and to make adjustments in the plan as needed.
  2. Collaborates effectively with other disciplines and stakeholders in intervention efforts.
  3. Demonstrates understanding of relevant theory to guide the intervention.
  4. Demonstrates skills in working with a range of clients (including children, adolescents, adults, and/or family members, as appropriate), in intervention and prevention activities.
  5. Demonstrates an ability to carry out evidence-based interventions.
  6. Establishes and maintains effective relationships with service recipients, collateral providers, and community partners, as appropriate.
  7. Evaluates intervention and prevention outcomes effectively, including community program interventions as appropriate.
  8. Demonstrates culturally competent intervention skills with diverse populations.
  9. Demonstrates the ability to use research to inform interventions.


  1. Clarifies requests for consultation appropriately and effectively.
  2. Develops effective consultative, and when appropriate technical assistance, relationships with professionals, service recipients, and community stakeholders.
  3. Communicates consultation results and recommendations effectively.
  4. Demonstrates understanding of systems and organizational issues when providing consultation.
  5. Demonstrates effective program development skills.
  6. Demonstrates culturally competent consultation skills with diverse populations.
  7. Demonstrates the ability to use research to inform consultation activities.

Scholarly Inquiry/Research

  1. Demonstrates skills in developing research designs.
  2. Demonstrates knowledge of appropriate strategies to analyze data.
  3. Demonstrates skills in writing and reviewing research manuscripts.
  4. Demonstrates knowledge of grant application processes.
  5. Demonstrates culturally competent research skills with diverse populations.

Professional Development

  1. Demonstrates essential understanding of ethical principles for psychologists.
  2. Demonstrates skills in applying ethical principles in research and practice.
  3. Able to identify individual professional strengths and limitations.
  4. Able to seek and use supervision as appropriate.
  5. Accepts and integrates supervisory input in a professional manner.
  6. Organizes and manages time and competing demands effectively.
  7. Able to work independently as well as with others effectively.
  8. Demonstrates skills in adhering to the highest standards of profession conduct with diverse populations.
  9. Demonstrates an appreciation for the role of research in clinical practice and consultations.

Pilot Competencies


  1. Understands the basic principles of program evaluation, quality assurance, and performance improvement.
  2. Able to manage or assist in conducting program evaluation, quality assurance, and performance improvement projects.
  3. Recognizes and is responsive to the complex interprofessional and cultural issues that are inherent in program evaluation, quality assurance, and performance improvement projects.

Systems Based Practice

  1. Recognize and articulate four distinct levels of analysis for understanding organizational events (individual, interpersonal, group, and intergroup).
  2. Identify action interventions aimed at each of the four levels of analysis.
  3. Describe the influence of hierarchy and authority on verbal and behavioral interaction in an organization.
  4. Identify the potential influence of group memberships (professional, hierarchical, and identity) on organizational life.

Career Development

  1. Articulates a clear set of personal priorities regarding potential career directions.
  2. Systematically explores options by gathering information from multiple sources.
  3. Develops effective communications to potential employers through letters and a CV.