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APA Internship - Training Competencies and Evaluation

As a means of achieving our objectives, we have identified eleven Basic Competencies and have divided them into seven Primary Competencies, four Secondary Competencies and two Other Professional Competencies. We consider all of the skills to be important to psychologists, but we do not expect interns to be equally knowledgeable in all of them. The Primary Competences encompass skills that interns can reasonably be expected to perform in any full-range counseling center agency such as ours at The University of Maine. They are skills that would be necessary for a clinician to have developed to be able to work effectively in any clinical setting.  Secondary Competencies are often applicable in Counseling Centers as well as many psychological agencies.  The Other Professional Competencies reflect skills common in many setting but may or may not be a part of a clinician’s work but are important in many settings.   Most of the Secondary and many of the Other Professional Competencies will be available at our Center and we encourage interns to make efforts at developing competency in as many of these areas as possible.  They are included in many of our seminars and experiences at the Center.

Minimum performance standards have been established to measure performance in the eleven Primary and Secondary Competencies.  At our Center, all interns are required to be relatively proficient in the seven Primary Competencies to successfully complete the internship.   This is demonstrated by receive a ranking of 4 on the skills comprising each Competency (see the Clinician Rating Scale below).  We do expect interns to participate in and demonstrate skill in most of the Secondary Competencies, though this is not required to successfully complete the internship.   Optional ratings of the Other Professional Skills are also provided as a guideline of progress.  Listed below are the Competencies. You can click on each to read a description of it. Click here to view a PDF of our Evaluation Form with the competencies and their constituent skills.

Please note that the above standards are only minimum expectations of functioning.  Our overall goal is to encourage professional and personal growth as fully as possible.  It is quite possible, depending on prior experience that some of these standards can be fulfilled upon entering the internship.  Nevertheless, we want to assure that all interns leaving our internship have obtained at least the basic tools and experience to function as professional psychologists in a variety of settings.  We will do our best to help each intern develop their skills and will monitor progress throughout the internship year.

Primary Competencies

Secondary Competencies

Other Professional Competencies


Level 7      Fully able to function at the independent level in the competency.  Has mastered fundamental and advanced skills and can teach others this competency.  Generally performs without need for supervision but consults as appropriate.  (Advanced Skill Level: This level is typified by clinicians whom other clinicians seek out for advanced training.)

 Level 6      Mastery of fundamental tasks in competency.  Clinician can function independently but benefits from some supervision for refinement of advanced skills.  Can teach fundamental and advanced skills to other clinicians.  (Advanced Skill Level:  The level at which senior staff generally function or are moving toward.)

 Level 5      Mastery of fundamental tasks in competency.  Periodic supervision required for refinement of advanced skills in the competency.  Can teach fundamental skills to other clinicians.  (Intermediate, Approaching Advanced Skill, Level: The minimum level expected of senior staff in most skill areas)

 Level 4      Mastery of fundamental tasks in competency.  Ongoing supervision is required for performance of advanced skills.  Occasional and spontaneous demonstration of advanced skills.  (Intermediate Skill Level:  At the end of the internship, this rating in Primary Emphasis Skills demonstrates confidence that clinician is ready for post-internship supervised experience leading to licensure as a psychologist.)

 Level 3      Some supervision and monitoring are required as clinician performs fundamental tasks in the competency.  Clinician requires guidance, training, education, and ongoing supervision for developing advanced skills in the competency.  Growing confidence in clinician’s ability to perform independently.  (Approaching Intermediate Skill Level:  At the end of the Practicum, 2 and 3 are the ratings typically expected of practicum level clinicians.)

 Level 2      Supervision and monitoring are required as clinician performs fundamental tasks in the competency.  Significant supervision and monitoring are required in performing advanced tasks.  Limited confidence in clinician’s ability to perform independently.  (Beginning Skill Level.)

 Level 1      Performs inadequately for a clinician on this competency.  Frequent and close supervision and monitoring of basic and advanced tasks is required.  No confidence in clinician’s ability to perform. (Little or No Skill.)

0 / NA       No experience in this area / Not applicable


 1.         Interns are expected to complete their 12-month appointment and to fulfill the  minimum performance standards in the seven Primary Competencies (including the satisfactory performance of all clinical work and attendance at all required seminars and meetings) in order to successfully complete the internship.  Interns are also encouraged to develop competency in most of the Secondary and Other Professional Competencies and are often expected to undertake activities related to such competencies unless there exists a sufficient reason for them not to engage in them.

2.         Failure to meet minimum standards in any of the Primary Competency areas will constitute a failure in that area.  This will be reported back to the home school at the end of the year.

3.         Intern performance is reflected on the intern evaluation sheets.  The overall minimum performance ratings in each Primary Competency category should be a 4 or better by the completion of the internship.  While a skill level of 4 is not necessarily expected in the Secondary and Other Professional Skills, ratings for many of these areas will also be provided on the evaluation sheet, and will serve  as a guideline of your progress.


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Contact Information

The Counseling Center
5721 Cutler Health Center
Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1392 | Fax: (207) 581-4975
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System