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date: 18 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Trainee evaluation occurs throughout professional psychology training, from the application process through graduation and beyond. Evaluation occurs across the training system, from term-to-term through program milestones and capstone events. Through this process, trainers fulfill their social contract with accrediting bodies and the public, socialize future psychologists, enhance trainees’ professional functioning, and gatekeep the profession to produce the best-prepared and highest-functioning graduates possible (Bernard & Goodyear, 2004; Bourg, 1986; Kenkel, 2009; Kennedy & Lingard, 2007). This chapter provides a historical overview of trainee evaluation, information about formative and summative assessments, measurement considerations, potential biases, challenges and implications, and ethical and legal aspects of evaluation. The responsible, thoughtful, reflective use of evaluation is emphasized as a means to promote best practices in evaluation, increase accountability in training, assess the extent to which training programs meet their goals, and enhance the use of evaluation to advance trainee performance. The chapter is set within a contextual focus, as evaluation involves stakeholders across the training ecology in proximal and distal contexts (e.g., training programs, accrediting bodies, mental health practitioners, clients) and is inextricable from the systems in which trainees develop (Forrest, Elman, & Miller, 2008). Implications and future directions for practice and research are discussed.

Keywords: psychology training, trainee evaluation, competency benchmarks, functional and foundational competencies, toolkit

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