About the ads

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

APA fees

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Ollie123, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors and sponsors. Thank you.
  1. Ollie123

    Ollie123

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,725
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Just wanted to call attention to an interesting discussion taking place on various listservs. For ethical reasons, I don't want to post the discussions in a public place, but to summarize:

    A number of members seem very upset with the APAPO. Though I think all have been said tongue in cheek and I doubt anything will come of it, there have been suggestions of legal action against them. They feel there is a lack of accountability for how their budget is being spent (e.g. the amount of money being spent on RxP versus on other practice-related issues), among other things.

    This in and of itself is not a problem, APAPO is a lobbying organization and free to do as they wish. The problem is that they are affiliated with APA, and have incorporated a "Practice Assessment" fee into APA membership renewal. A number of people who didn't want to pay the fee for various reasons (i.e. living outside the US) were told they had to. People have had troubles leaving the organization, and continued to be billed despite requests to discontinue their membership. People were told (it sounds like by official channels) that they were required to pay the practice assessment in order to be in APA if they are clinical psychologists. Dr. Nordal has now confirmed that isn't true, and members are upset because they feel APAPO has essentially scammed them out of a substantial sum of money over the years. Furthermore, someone pointed out that APA itself may have jeopardized its tax exemption status by requiring (or appearing to require) donations to a lobbying organization for membership. Members are calling for APAPO to refund the money they paid, etc.



    Personally, I'm torn whether this is an intentional attempt to mislead members in order to increase funds, or just APA's usual lack of organization. I lean towards the latter (mostly because I think they are too incompetent to be that underhanded;) ), but I suppose we will see if they actually change this system now that it has been brought to their attention. Only time will tell.

    Just thought the discussion was interesting and people not on the listservs should be made aware that it was taking place.
  2. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,140
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Interesting. Thanks for the post.
  3. robinsena

    robinsena

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    :insert sarcastic, acerbic yet witty jab at APA here:

    Just one of the many reasons I am not a member of APA and stopped paying my membership after one year of getting not much, if anything, out of it. I support some of the goals of specific chapters, but as an overall organization, BLEGH.

    :thumbdown:
  4. Ollie123

    Ollie123

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,725
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Same here. SSCP being the main one, along with a few others with more specific goals.

    Once I no longer need their $35 a year student insurance, I suspect I'm done for good.
  5. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,515
    Status:
    Post Doc
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Same here.

    As an aside, I heard that APA is soon to receive an accreditation visit from whatever body it is that accredits accrediting organizations. I had no idea such an overseeing organization existed. It sounds like a Monty Python sketch. Does anyone know more about this?
  6. Neuropsych2be

    Neuropsych2be

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    East coast
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    The APA COA (committee on accreditation) operates under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Education. The APA can not act as a fully independent body. It must be held accountable to a higher legal authority. Congress has given the DOE the legal authority to develop and enforce guidelines by which organizations such as the APA COA and other accreditation agencies must abide. In the case of the APA, its accreditation decisions impact employment, professional licensing, and student loan eligibility. Our society is not going to simply hand over that kind of authority to a body that whose activities are not supervised by a publically accountable agency. One reason among others that the APA COA can't simply stop accrediting professional schools is that this probably violates federal regulations and DOE policies. A school denied accreditation or a school which has been placed on probation by APA COA can appeal that decision to the DOE which has the final authority regarding the validity of its findings. What you have heard about is probably a review of the APA COA, its functioning, and the degree to which it follows federal guidelines.
    Last edited: May 1, 2010
  7. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,515
    Status:
    Post Doc
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Thanks for this info. This makes sense.
  8. LM02

    LM02 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    620
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Actually, their rates for professionals are very competitive. Thus, I am an APA member solely for the cheap insurance. I have friends whose employers mandate that they purchase their insurance from another source, and it's more than double the annual premium.

    Depending on your employer, they may or may not pay your insurance for you. At my institution, they will let me charge my grants for my insurance coverage. But I have colleagues whose institutions interpret federal policy differently, and make them pay it out of their own pockets...
  9. Ollie123

    Ollie123

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,725
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I suppose it depends on the setting I'm in, but I think there's only about a 50/50 chance I'll be actively practicing at all, so I may not need insurance. I intend to pursue it initially, but if I end up in a job/state where I can get away with not being licensed I very well may elect to let my license lapse since I plan to be strictly academic and my research interests aren't therapy-related.
  10. LM02

    LM02 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    620
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    That's fair. Though remember that you will most likely supervise students/trainees. Even if not for therapy, then for assessment. It's important to make sure you have a safety net.

    ps. I am strictly academic, though my research is quite "clinical" in nature.
  11. krisrox

    krisrox

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Messages:
    647
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
  12. Ollie123

    Ollie123

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,725
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Just an interesting update:
    APA did decide to change its membership application to clarify that the fee is mandatory. Or at least said it would - time will tell.

    Doesn't seem to be altering the general feeling that the APAPO was scamming people out of money though, and their note offered an explanation of what happened, but definitely not an apology. To me, it came across a little like "Well, we needed your money, so you should WANT to give it to us, but I guess we can make it a little more clear that you don't have to".

    Interestingly, they also listed some of the things that the money goes towards. Notably, they didn't mention RxP in that list. The majority of the objections I have heard to paying the fee center on the fact that a substantial portion of psychologists seem to anti-RxP and cannot convince the APAPO to release how it is distributing its budget amongst RxP campaigning versus other issues that they consider more relevant. I'm kind of with them...maybe I'm wrong but it seems like there is a LOT more time, effort, and money going into RxP than into many of the other practice-related concerns that exist right now.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to APAPO's membership and budget this next year.
  13. CGOPsych

    CGOPsych

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    144
    Status:
    Psychologist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Thank you for bringing this up. If I could just add a few things, though some of this is repetitive and I apologize:

    Since 2001 APA's dues statements have VERY strongly implied that the practice assessment is mandatory in order to be a member of APA in good standing. In reality, it is not required. It is only required to be a "member" of the APAPO, although there is no actual notice that you are or are not a member. You do get certain newsletters or emails as an APAPO member, however.

    This was not a simple misunderstanding by a few hundred, or even thousand psychologists. In my witnessing of the listserv discussions, and discussions with all my psychology friends - many of whom have been APA members for decades - about 99+ percent of those who were not high-ranking insiders believed that the assessment was mandatory for APA membership.

    Even those who strongly support all of APAPO's political actions admitted they thought this was mandatory. Many were upset because it seemed apparent that APA misled its entire membership for a decade, and the result was far more money for the political organization than would have been collected had everyone know it was not mandatory for APA membership.

    The implications are stunning - the systematic and institutional deception of tens of thousands of members for 10 years. Also stunning was that many of the insiders knew that it was voluntary, and did not tell their colleagues. One of them, a member for three years of CAPP, the committee which runs APAPO, admitted he knew but complained that if APAPO had to depend on voluntary contributions alone, it could not do the political work they wanted.

    Thus, even those who did not actively perpetrate this situation still remained silent. And remember that many of these people, such as CAPP members, rotated through these positions over the course of 10 years, and none apparently spoke out.

    The issue of COA is most interesting and hasn't come up before. However, as you note, some have suggested that a class-action lawsuit could be filed against APA, with everyone who paid the assessment as possible class members. Thus, they could recover upwards of $40 million in back payments, possibly with punitive damages. Also, some have suggested this could make APA vulnerable to criminal fraud charges, while others have said that APA could be at risk of losing its tax-exempt status, as an organization which forced members to contribute to a political fund. Tax-exampt revocation can occur retroactively, so APA could be hit with a tax bill going back 10 years.

    I agree that it is hard to believe, but I have not yet seen anyone put forth an explanation for why tens of thousands of members all made the same mistake, paying what was not required, over the course of a decade. One could believe a few hundred, or even a few thousand. But I have never met anyone who thought it was anything but mandatory.

    Many have sworn they will never pay the assessment again, and many others who were lukewarm members of APA have said they don't intend to stay in an organization that would deceive them for money.

    Meanwhile, APA's leadership has only produced a vague and carefully worded document suggesting this was all a mixup and offering to clarify this in the future.
  14. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    18,363
    Location:
    My Island of Denial
    Status:
    Psychologist
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    This is there response to everything.
  15. Ollie123

    Ollie123

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,725
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    We'll see if they learn anything from this. Not that this is an organization that believes in learning, but hey, I can dream.

    I'm a bit torn on what I want to result from this. Part of me WANTS to see APAPO take a huge hit over this, be completely in the red for years down the line, handicapped, unable to function, etc.. Frankly, I think they deserve it. Another part of me is concerned who is going to be advocating for practice-related issues, and I'm wondering to what degree an incompetent, irresponsible, unethical organization doing so is better than none at all.

    As I said above, APAPO isn't exactly forthcoming about their budget. I don't know where that money is going, and I'm not convinced that an appropriate proportion of the budget is being spent on non-RxP issues right now anyways, but I'm interested to see what, if any, changes appear to be made in the next year. If what CGO says is true (not that I doubt you personally, more that I doubt other peoples follow through on what they say once the dust settles), their budget could be cut by an enormous margin next year - and potentially at a VERY bad time with the healthcare changes that are occurring. Again, part of me feels like its justice, a part of me doesn't want to see the profession I identify with suffer as a result.
  16. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    18,363
    Location:
    My Island of Denial
    Status:
    Psychologist
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    501c3 non-profits have lost their status for far less offenses. A DECADE of abuse on a very clear matter is actually criminal, as the tax implications and fines are definitely going to be in the millions.

    I'm frustrated because they are supposed to be representing our best interest, and to punish them is to punish our profession for the acts of a handful of people. Unfortunately it looks like the APAPO and APA executives have been anything but forthcoming about their transgressions.
  17. CGOPsych

    CGOPsych

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    144
    Status:
    Psychologist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    No offense taken about the doubts. The facts are clear and yet the conclusions are so stunning as to be unbelievable. What in blazes were they thinking? Did they think they could get away with this forever? Some of them at the top are attorneys ... they didn't think what would happen when they were caught?

    What's important now is that the membership learn about this. Not many people know, even now. If the organizations are hurt, it will be they who did it to us, not the other way around. And perhaps a lot of them should be shown the door.

Share This Page


About the ads