The Consortium invests a significant amount of time, finances, and professional resources in the successful training of each intern. This investment begins with an admissions process to select only those students who are professionally, intellectually and personally qualified for pre-doctoral internship training. The Consortium expects that each student admitted to the program will successfully complete the program. Further, Consortium faculty, staff, and students are jointly responsible for maximizing the probability of attaining that goal. The Consortium has developed due process procedures to ensure that decisions about interns are not arbitrary or personal. Interns are informed of the Consortium’s expectations related to professional functioning and behavior and of due process procedures both verbally (during orientation) and in writing (Intern Handbook). In cases in which due process procedures are used, the Consortium expects that all concerned, especially the intern, are fully aware of the relevant issues and of the likelihood that disciplinary action will be taken.
Notice and Hearing for Probation
Probation of an intern will be considered when a concern or complaint is expressed by any member of the Executive Committee (EC) or if a student fails to make satisfactory progress as a result of inadequacies in academic, research, ethical, or fieldwork performance. In such as event, the intern’s supervisor sends a written notification to the intern requesting a meeting with the student. At the meeting, other persons (for example, the EC member expressing concerns) may be invited to attend, if the supervisor deems that additional persons would be helpful. If at any point the supervisor has concerns about the complaint or if the intern has not adequately responded to supervisor feedback, the supervisor (or a member of the EC) can make a recommendation for a probation hearing. The student will be notified in writing that the EC is considering probation. A quorum of three EC members must be present in order to hear the complaint. A majority vote of the members present is required for all decisions of the EC. Any EC member who cannot hear the evidence fairly and objectively for any reason is obligated to dismiss himself/herself from the case. An intern who fails to appear before the EC in accordance with proper notification shall be deemed to have waived his/her rights to be present during the presentation and to present information in his/her own behalf.
Interns placed on probation will be notified in writing as to both the probationary period and the corrective actions necessary for remediation. Identified deficits must be remediated before an intern can be removed from probation. Should this occur prior to the end of the probationary period, the intern may petition the EC to be removed from probation.
Notice, Hearing and Appeal for Termination
Termination of an intern will be considered when (1) the intern fails to meet the conditions established by the EC at the time of the initial probation decision or (2) an intern not on probation breaches legal or ethical conduct in his/her collegiate, personal, or professional behavior. The student will be notified in writing that the EC is considering termination. A quorum of three EC must be present in order to hear the charges. A majority vote of the members present is required for all decisions of the EC. Any EC member who cannot hear the evidence fairly and objectively for any reason is obligated to dismiss himself/herself from the case. An intern who fails to appear before the EC in accordance with proper notification shall be deemed to have waived his/her rights to be present during the presentation and to present evidence in person to his/her supervisors, or any member of the consortium staff. At the determination of the EC, the violation may be outlined with a written request for corrective action or the intern may be terminated. Violation of legal, ethical, personal or professional behavior deemed flagrant without corrective recourse will result in the EC’s recommendation for immediate termination. Ignorance of ethical and legal standards does not constitute extenuating circumstances. If the members of the EC vote to terminate the intern, a recommendation to that effect will be conveyed in writing to the intern and a notice sent to the intern’s training program.
When an Intern is being considered for termination due to any one of the following events: (1) a material breach of the contract with the Consortium; (2) conviction of intern of a felony or exclusion from participating in any federal healthcare; (3) failure of the intern to comply with any other rules and regulations established by federal and state government agencies, the intern will be immediately suspended, with pay, from working until the EC has made a ruling on the issues.
The disciplinary action of the EC may be appealed. In all cases, the request for appeal must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the EC within seven (7) calendar days of written notice of the board decision. If the seventh day falls on a weekend or holiday, the time is extended to the next regular workday. All appeals must be taken upon the record made before the original board. Pending the outcome of an appeal, termination will not be imposed. The Chair of the EC will form an appellate board of three members of licensed psychologists from the community. The intern has a right to refuse a member for cause. A majority vote of the members present is required for all decisions of the appellate board. Any appellate board member who cannot hear the evidence fairly and objectively for any reason is obligated to dismiss himself/herself from the case. The appellate board will review the request for appeal together with any written briefs or other supporting documents to determine if the appeal presents a substantial question within the scope of review. The scope of review shall be limited to the following:
Appropriateness of Termination: In cases appealing the appropriateness of termination, the appeal board shall uphold termination unless termination is shown to be clearly unreasonable (i.e., that which has been clearly and fully proven to have no sound basis or justification in reason).
New Evidence: In cases appealed on grounds of new evidence, the moving party must show that such evidence could not have been discovered by due diligence prior to the original hearing.
Due Process: In cases appealed on the grounds of denial of due process, the moving party must show that the adjudicatory process of the initial hearing was not conducted in conformity with properly prescribed procedures.
Grievance Procedure (Training or Supervision)
An intern has the right to file a grievance by presenting concerns in written form to the EC. While an intern may file a grievance at any time, it is anticipated that complaints and grievances about training components will be brought to the attention of the direct supervisor, the group supervision supervisor, one of the co-chairs of the consortium, or the training director and successfully resolved. The board will respond in writing to the concern within a 30-day period. The intern may appeal the EC’s decision by so notifying the EC in writing within a 15-day period. Upon receiving the written appeal, the EC will notify the Director of Training of the University of Central Arkansas Counseling Psychology Program. The UCA Director of Training will appoint a three member committee to review the appeal. The committee members will be selected from members affiliated with the Counseling Psychology Program. The co-chairs are nonvoting members of the committee. The appeal committee shall make a ruling on the appeals within 30 days of the Consortium’s receiving the written appeal from the intern. Decisions of the appeal committee shall be considered final by all parties involved.