Last updated on August 29th, 2023.
Psychology is an always-evolving field of study. Every new year brings with it multiple new advancements in our understanding of the human mind. As such, the APA requires every psychologist to routinely enroll in continuing education (CE) programs to maintain their accreditation.
To help psychologists meet this continuing education goal, the APA offers numerous approved continuing education resources through its website and affiliated sponsors. These resources include the following 5 webinars and online courses that provide everyone you need to gain CE accreditation:
- Book Nook Webinar Series
- Clinician’s Corner Series
- Interactive Professional Development Series
- Interprofessional Continuing Education Programs
- Compact Clinical Series
The APA constantly reviews and adds to the list of available CE resources. As such, the CE event you want, or need may not always be offered. Therefore, by reading further, you will learn more about the current CE catalog as well as other ways to obtain CE credits.
What is APA Continuing Education?
As our understanding of the human mind evolves, the tools we use to understand the mind advance with it. This phenomenon creates a never-ending feedback loop that ensures that no education in Psychology is truly complete. It does not matter how much you already know. You can always know more.
As such, every psychologist should regularly take continuing education courses to update their skills and knowledge. Through this additional training, you can remain at par with the current industry and regulatory standards.
Other benefits of CE in psychology include:
- Stay current with developments in your field
- Grow your skills and techniques to better improve your practice
- Increase your experience in your field and build your resume
- Increased salary potential
- Broaden your scope of knowledge and experience
To help its members achieve this, the American Psychological Association (APA) established the Office of Continuing Education in Psychology to provide all the necessary continuing education (CE) resources and accreditation. Through these CE opportunities, you can expand your skills while earning APA CE credits in a wide variety of topics.
What is an APA Approved CE Sponsor?
While the APA CE Office oversees the CE accreditation, they do not provide the resources themselves. Instead, they outsource the opportunities to affiliated sponsors. These sponsors develop, run, and operate their CE programs independently of the APA.
To ensure you get the best education possible, the APA routinely reviews these sponsors through publicly accessible workshops and sessions at their annual convention.
These APA-approved sponsors come in all shapes and forms. Sponsors can either be APA accredited universities, commercial education providers, or approved communities of psychologists. Some require in-person enrolment. Others only offer online courses. You can even find a few webinars, seminars, and other events on the list. Each sponsor is responsible for covering a specific type of training or topic.
To help you find a sponsor in your area, the APA offers a searchable list of every approved sponsor currently in the program. From there, you can pick the sponsors that best fit your CE needs. For instance, you can go with a single sponsor that offers everything or split up your education to multiple providers.
How do you become a member of APA?
Most APA CE opportunities require you to have some APA membership to register and attend. APA membership makes you a part of America’s largest professional psychologist union. The APA dedicates itself to supporting its members through their careers through innovative resources, networking, and opportunities to develop new skills, deepen their knowledge, and strengthen their professional identity.
Some other notable benefits of APA membership include:
- Expert career and professional development support
- Access to the American Psychologist Journal and the Monitor on Psychology magazine
- Discounts on other APA journals, books, videos, and online resources
- Access to the APA CE program and resources
- Networking with other psychologists through APA divisions and an annual convention
- A vote and eligibility for elections in APA governing bodies and regulations
- Discounts on car rentals, financial resources, official supplies, and other products and services
The APA even makes It easy to join them. You just fill out their online application and submit any required supporting documents. Once you complete all the requirements, the APA evaluates your application. If approved, they will send you your membership kit.
5 Great Resources for Continuing Education for Psychologists
professionals can use for personal development and CE credits. Every opportunity is presented as an optional elective, allowing you to customize your CE curriculum according to your needs.
Most state education departments also recognize these CE resources as approved providers for their CE licensing requirements. These CE resources can take the forms of:
- Online course
- Video-on-demand programs
- Independent study opportunities
The APA also offers a selection of offline, book, and article-based programs, but they are currently suspended. As such, these types of CE programs are not currently in compliance with the requirements and regulations of the APA and many state boards.
Because the APA re-evaluates CE programs annually, the number of available CE resources can vary from year to year. As such, the following 5 CE resources represent only a sample of the resources available in the current rotation.
Resource 1: Book Nook Webinar Series
In a collaboration with the APA publishing service, the APA CE Office provides a webinar series that features great psychology authors and related works. Called the APA Book Nook, it helps you expand your knowledge through discussions about the authors’ books, research, and practices.
Each webinar presentation focuses on a single APA author to highlight their recent publications on timely topics related to their fields of study. The show will include a presenter-hosted interview with the author followed by a dedicated question and answer period. Other elements of the show may include
- A lecture provided by the book author
- Question and answer section
- PowerPoint slides
- Video and audio clips
While the APA broadcasts every webinar live, you will find them all available online as video-on-demand programs with closed captioning after their air dates. Either way, if you register for these webinars, you will receive special promotional discounts on other APA publications and 1.5 CE credits.
Registering for a Book Nook Webinar
You can register for each Book Nook webinar through the APA Book Nook website. Follow the registration instructions for each webinar as they are posted. This will ensure that you receive your registration code in time for the live event.
Resource 2: Clinician’s Corner Series
If books are not your thing, you can try the Clinician’s Corner Series of webinars and podcasts. Each three-hour live webcast offers an in-depth workshop on a key area of professional practice. Hosted by leading practitioners and scholars, these webcasts can help you improve your expertise in important clinical topics.
Similar to the Book Nook Series, each 3-credit Clinician’s Corner show offers:
- An informative lecture on the show’s topic
- Interactive PowerPoint slides, video, and audio clips
- Question and answer sessions with the special guest
- Roleplaying and polling opportunities
Each show will also be available as a video-on-demand program if you miss the live event.
Resource 3: Interactive Professional Development Series
For psychologists that are looking to get more out of their CE experience, the APA established the Interactive Professional Development Series. This fully interactive collaborative series offers an engaging and intensive study on critically significant topics and advancements. These workshop events offer something for every psychologist regardless of the stage of their career.
Each live event offers:
- Guided presentations
- Real-world applications
- Interactive discussion on the event topics
- Active learning tools such as dashboards, handouts, strategies, and assessment tools
Through these events, you will develop your professional expertise over time through practical, engaging, and highly interactive resources that transform new ideas into actual practice. As such, the APA restricts attendance to these workshops to small, select cohorts of participants.
Enrolling in an Interactive Professional Development Workshop
Each Interactive Professional Development workshop has its registration and enrollment criteria. As such, you must first decide which events you can attend before following their specific instructions. For a complete list of upcoming workshops, you can stop by the APA Interactive Professional Development program website.
Some notable upcoming events include:
- Culturally Responsive Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Beyond the Treatment Manual – September 23, 2022; Hosted by Pamela A. Hays, Ph.D., MFA; 3 CE credits; discusses cultural considerations and other therapeutic strategies in culturally responsive therapy
- The Art and Science of Expert Witness Testimony – October 21, 2022; Hosted by Karen Postal, Ph.D., ABPP-CN; 3 CE credits; discusses psychological communication needs and expectations in the courtroom
- Beyond the Opioid Crisis: The Role of Psychology in Pain Medicine – October 28, 2022; Hosted by Ravi Prasad, Ph.D.; 3 CE credits; discusses the opioid crisis in the US, efforts to address it, and the impact on COVID -19 treatments
- The Far-Reaching Impact of Publicly Writing About Clients: A Clinical and Ethical Interactive Analysis – November 11, 2022; Hosted by Barbara Sieck, Ph.D.; 3 CE credits; discusses the complexity of protecting patient confidentiality and maintaining ethical and legal compliance while continuing the advancement of psychology using case studies
Resource 4: Interprofessional Continuing Education Programs
Noting that most psychological disorders come with physical disabilities as well, the APA established the Interprofessional Continuing Education Program. The CE programs help you draw knowledge from and contribute to professional developments in such fields as medicine, physiology, nursing, social work, and other fields of health care.
These events seek to improve and develop integrated care to ensure patients receive the best outcomes possible. In doing so, the APA helps you understand how your practice fits within and supports interprofessional collaborative efforts in the research and development of therapies, treatments, and medications.
As with the other APA CE programs and resources, each event will offer:
- Lectures on the focus topics
- PowerPoint slides, videos, and audio clips
- Polling and roleplaying
- Question and answer session with the presenter
The events will also be available as video-on-demand programs after the live air dates.
Enrolling in an Interprofessional Continuing Education Program
You enroll in one of these workshops by completing the online registration form on the APA website. The registration will give you access to the full presentation, including the webinar, submitting questions, and any interactive activities.
Resource 5: Compact Clinical Webinar Series
If you have limited free time, you may find the Compact Clinical Webinar Series more your style. This APA CE webinar series features half-hour workshops hosted by leading practitioners and scholars in key fields of professional psychological practice.
Each APA Compact Clinical webinar provides a compressed look into a single topic of clinical importance. This dedicated focus can help you master the topic quickly in a form you can use immediately in your clinical practice. You can then expand your knowledge through an independent study of the topics on your pace and schedule.
As per the other APA CE programs, all Compact Clinical events include active learning methods such as lectures, slides, video, and audio clips, question and answer sessions, and roleplaying. You can also catch video-on-demand versions of them if you cannot attend the live events.
Registering for an APA Compact Clinical Webinar
You can stop by the APA Compact Clinical series website to learn more about the program and to register for an upcoming event. Enrollment is simple as following the instructions o the registration page.
Other Available APA CE Resources
The above 5 APA CE resources are usually continuously available and open to all members of the APA, but they are not the only CE opportunities out there. The APA offers numerous CE professional development opportunities and independent study options as well as a complete list of third-party CE resources. They will even help you find CE programs that meet the specific requirements of your state.
Psychologists must continuously learn about their field to maintain their skills and discover new techniques and developments. To help its members to achieve these goals, the APA offers numerous continuing education resources that offer in-depth looks into these developments through lectures and interactive workshops.