Ethical Standards, Credentialing, and Accountability: An International Perspective

Elizabeth Reynolds Welfel and Basak Kacar Khamush

in The Oxford Handbook of International Psychological Ethics

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739165
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Ethical Standards, Credentialing, and Accountability: An International Perspective

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  • History and Systems in Psychology


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Across the globe, the existence of formal standards for credentialing of psychologists is tied to a nation's economic wealth (or at least economic stability) and the vibrancy of the academic discipline of psychology there. Countries with long-standing stable governments, and with the opportunity for free and fair elections, also appear to have a more formal system for the education, credentialing, and oversight of psychological practice. In nations where governments are autocratic and dictatorial, and economies are unstable, the profession is largely invisible and certainly without formal governmental recognition. Nations that have been isolated from international contacts may also lag behind in availability of well-trained mental health professionals and in the regulation of mental health practice (Sanchez-Sosa & Riveros, 2007). China is one example of this dynamic, though it no longer has an unstable economy and is catching up rapidly. In this chapter we will examine the commonalities and variability in professional identity, licensing standards, and measures of accountability in 13 countries across the globe, representing six continents, and address general global trends. Specifically, we will highlight the state of regulation of psychology and related professions in each nation, the vibrancy of the profession and the professional associations in each country, and, whenever regulations exist, the procedures for licensing aimed at protecting the public from harm. Finally, we will identify points of convergence and divergence in licensing standards and discuss the fundamental issues and values that appear to underlie those similarities and differences.

Keywords: ethical standards; credentialing; accountability; licensing

Article.  6981 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology

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