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Trainee Evaluation

The Training Program has established the following evaluation procedures in order to

  • evaluate trainee performance
  • respond to problematic, unsatisfactory or inadequate performance
  • ensure that due process is accorded all parties during the evaluation and review process.

The Training Program has the responsibility to regularly and formally assess the progress of each trainee for the purpose of facilitating professional and personal growth and ensuring that standards of quality are maintained in training and services. Feedback is intended to be constructive, objective, comprehensive and timely, with appropriate communications with the academic programs as needed.

Efforts to provide activities and formats to facilitate trainee growth include a comprehensive orientation process, individualized training approaches, clear and realistic expectations, direct and timely evaluations with recommendations for change, facilitative relationships individually (e.g., with supervisors) and collectively (e.g., with other trainees and staff), seminars providing the necessary didactic materials beyond the prerequisite academic learning, and administrative attention to the gradual increase in clinical responsibilities.

In addition completing all required tasks and adhering to Center policies, APA Ethical Guidelines, and Illinois State Law, successful completion of the internship program entails a minimal rating of 3 (intermediate level) on all items on the formal final evaluation.When one's personal and interpersonal functioning appears to seriously compromise clinical efficacy and potential for growth, or any other area of performance has not met minimal standards on the midyear written evaluation, the training concerns will be formally conveyed in writing to the trainee, generally by the Primary Supervisor after consultation with the Training Committee and approval by the Training Director. Appropriate staff, along with the trainee, will then attempt to formulate strategies and procedures to remediate the concerns. If such efforts do not result in an acceptable level of performance within a set, reasonable period of time, more serious consequences up to termination from the program may result, following due process (See Due Process Policy).

Definition of Inadequate Performance

For the purpose of this document, inadequate performance is defined broadly as any behavior interfering with professional functioning. Ratings on the formal written evaluations reflect an inability and/or unwillingness to acquire and integrate essential professional standards in the delivery of psychological services and/or to incorporate the personal and professional qualities necessary to participate effectively as a psychological practitioner in an organization setting. For interns, this is reflected by a rating of 1 (remedial level) at mid-year and a rating of 1 or 2 (beginning level) at year end. For externs, this is reflected by a rating of 1 (remedial) at mid-year and final evaluation. For postdoctoral fellows this is reflected by a rating of 1 (remedial level) or 2 (beginning level) at mid-year and a rating of 1, 2, or 3 (intermediate level) at final evaluation.

When inadequate performance is noted, evaluative criteria should link it to particular objective behaviors, in clear feedback by supervisors at regular intervals during training. A distressed condition may not necessarily affect directly one's clinical and training roles and so it would not in itself constitute inadequate performance. However, when it does adversely and significantly hinder or distort professional activities and relationships, the trainee's performance may be considered to be inadequate.

In general, it is a matter of supervisory judgment with the concurrence of the Director of Training as to when difficulties in a trainee's behavior reach the threshold of inadequate rather than representing less serious but problematic issues. More specifically, for purposes of this document, a problem distinct from being inadequate refers to aspects of a trainee's behaviors, attitudes, or character which, while of concern and requiring more intensive attention, are perceived to be not unexpected or extreme for professionals in training. Problems typically lead to inadequate performance when they include one or more of the following characteristics

  • the trainee does not acknowledge, understand, or address the problem when it is identified;
  • the problem is not merely a reflection of a skill deficit which can be rectified by didactic training or practice;
  • the quality of services and/or professional relationships of the trainee is seriously and adversely affected;
  • the problem is not restricted to one or more minor areas of professional functioning;
  • a disproportionate amount of attention by training personnel is required to attempt to ameliorate the consequences; and/or
  • the trainee's behavior does not change as a function of feedback, remediation efforts or other corrective experiences over time.
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