What is GPC accreditation

Accreditation is a formal process by which Ghana Psychology Council mandated by law to assess and approves the training and practice of applied psychology in Ghana. Accreditation provides a formal process for ongoing evaluation and improvement of psychology programme.

 

Why is GPC accreditation important?

GPC accreditation sets professional and practice standard for all institutions running psychology programmes. This will enable all institutions to meet nationally endorsed standards in the training of practitioners.

When a training institution is accredited by the National Accreditation Board (NAB), is it still important to accredit it with the GPC?

The Ghana Psychology Council is the only body mandated by law (Part 5 of Act 857 of 2013) assess and ensure the highest standards in the training and practice of applied psychology including counselling and special education. The GPC accreditation is an additional requirement for all National Accreditation Board accredited institutions who want to run a psychology programme.

How many types of accreditation do you have?

GPC has two main types of accreditation:
  • Course content accreditation for training institutions (Universities & Lay practitioners training institution).
  • Continues Professional Development (CPD) accreditation.
  • What Level of programmes are accredited by Ghana Psychology Council?

    • Post graduate psychology programmes (PhD, Psy.D., M.Phil, MA. M.Ed., M.Sc.)
    • Undergraduate psychology (BA, B.Sc., Diploma and Certificate in counselling

    Accreditation ensures the quality of the psychology profession on behalf of public interest and public safety. It involves comprehensively examining education providers and their programmes of study against relevant accreditation standards.

    Education providers of psychology programs are subject to an accreditation process against the Accreditation Standards to ensure adequate standards of education for psychologists, paraprofessionals and lay practitioners, and the ongoing improvement of educational quality in the applied psychology discipline.

    Accreditation is a process of assessment of programmes of study in applied psychology (and of the higher education provider offering them) against the GPC Standards. GPC considers accreditation as a process based on self and peer-assessment for the purpose of publicly and openly assuring adequate standards of education for psychologists and the constant improvement of educational quality in the psychology discipline.

    GPC accepts applications from recognised higher education providers offering appropriate qualifications in applied psychology and request that education providers make themselves familiar with the information on this website (in particular the accreditation process and the more detailed GPC Rules & Standards) before contacting GPC for advice.

    An education provider may be granted the following accreditation status:

    • Accreditation without Conditions
    • Accreditation with Conditions
    • Accreditation Revoked
    • Accreditation Expired

    Any application for accreditation of a new education provider or programme of study which is unsuccessful in gaining Accreditation without Conditions, or Accreditation with Conditions, will have no accreditation status.

    See pages 8 to 10 of the GPC Rules for Accreditation for more information.

    Institution and Schools course approval is conducted by the Ghana Psychology Council and consists of assessing courses against the Council’s Course Approval Guidelines for Psychology, Paraprofessional and Lay practitioner Courses to determine if they meet the training requirements for accreditation. The relevant Guidelines and application materials are available from the GPC website.

    GPC assesses education providers and their programmes of study to determine whether a program meets the Accreditation Standards.

    GPC accepts applications from recognised education providers offering appropriate qualifications in applied psychology and request that education providers make themselves familiar with the information on this website (in particular the accreditation process below and the more detailed GPC Rules & Standards) before contacting GPC for advice.

    Full cycle accreditation assessments are undertaken every five years, with out-of-cycle accreditation assessments undertaken as required at any point within the five year period.

    An education provider due for its full cycle accreditation assessment submits an application for accreditation for its programme(s) of study to be assessed against the GPC Accreditation Standards. An Assessment Report is prepared based on the information provided by the education provider as well as the observations of the assessors, and is informed by meetings with staff and other stakeholders. The onus is on the education provider to demonstrate that their programmes meet the Accreditation Standards.

    Assessments of new programmes yet to commence may take the form of an on-paper assessment. A follow-up site visit assessment of these ‘under development’ programmes would then be conducted and are scheduled once students have commenced.

    While full cycle accreditation assessments occur every five years, education providers and their programmes of study can be audited by GPC at any time. Any of the following can result in accreditation assessments being conducted within the five-year cycle:

    • New programmes introduced within the five year period in out-of-cycle assessments
    • Changes to the provider or its programmes since the last assessment
    • Evidence of breaches of standards received by GPC

    It is the responsibility of an education provider to, at all times, accurately inform students and other stakeholders of the accreditation status of its programmes of study.

    GPC-accredited programmes of study which are subsequently approved by the Council for the purposes of registration as a psychologist are listed on the Council’s website as ‘Psychology Approved Programs of Study’.

    Accreditation process for full cycle accreditation assessments

     

    GPC assessors are highly committed to its task concerning the education and training of psychologists and counselor in Ghana. Assessors have extensive experience in the provision of psychology education and training in the higher education sector, and are in leadership positions. An assessment team reviews the education provider’s application on how it meets the Accreditation Standards, undertakes a site visit where applicable and writes a report detailing the assessment findings. The Assessment Report outlining any conditions is approved by the GPC Assessment Team, Accreditation Committee and the Council.

    Assessors are GPC-trained and are allocated to accreditation assessments of education providers where the providers are not located in the same institute as the assessor’s usual place of employment. One of the experienced assessors on the assessment team acts as Team Leader.

    The composition of the Assessment Team usually includes:

    1. One Assessment Team Leader
    2. Two GPC-trained assessors
    3. One senior GPC Secretariat staff member – appointed by GPC to Assessment Team and considered to be full members of the Assessment Team
    4. One or two Observers may also be appointed by GPC to Assessment Teams and are considered to be full members of the Assessment Team

    Cycle applications
    Education Providers are required to register their intention via a Notification of Intended Application before 30 November in the year prior to assessment and then submit a detailed Application for Accreditation prior to 31 March in the year of assessment. 

    GPC will consult with the education provider to develop a Site Visit Agenda using the Site Visit Agenda Guidelines. In cases where a site visit includes assessment of postgraduate professional programmes with specialist content, the specialist content assessors should typically be scheduled for the last two days of the visit.

    Out-of-cycle applications
    Out-of-cycle accreditation assessments, occurring at any point in the five year period, result in the same monitoring as those detailed above for cycle accreditation assessments.

    Four to six months should be allowed for the accreditation assessment process, from submission of application to notification of accreditation determination.

    Applications for assessment of new programmes may involve an on-paper assessment, with a follow-up site visit scheduled once students have commenced in the program. An accreditation determination would therefore be issued at two stages.

    GPC will advise if the application documentation is insufficient and the programme is not yet able to be assessed.

    Contact the GPC Office to discuss time frames for application submission.

    Additional titles
    Complete an Addition Degree Title Form for an additional title with identical content / staffing / mode of delivery as that in an existing accredited programme.

    An additional title to an existing accredited programme being offered online for the first time is regarded as a substantial change and requires completion of the application form.

    Contact the GPC office to discuss whether an application is required for an additional title to an existing accredited programme being offered at a new campus.

    Complete an Addition Degree Title Form when combining a GPC-accredited degree title with another degree to make a double degree, for example Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)/Bachelor of Commerce.

    Complete a Change of Degree Title Form to change the name of an existing GPC accredited programme.

    Discontinued programs
    Accredited applied psychology programmes of study which will be, or have been discontinued, and are currently being taught-out, should maintain GPC accreditation until all students have completed the program. A new Discontinued Program Application Form is to be submitted for each discontinued program.

    Discontinued psychology programmes can only receive a grade of Accreditation with Conditions. Conditional accreditation is for a maximum twelve month period. The education provider should re-apply for conditional accreditation each year until there are no students enrolled in the programme. Application for conditional accreditation for a discontinued programme is made by completing this form. Applications are to be received by GPC no later than two months prior to expiry of accreditation of that discontinued program.

    Should the accreditation of a programme be allowed to expire by virtue of a failure to re-apply for accreditation (or because GPC revokes its accreditation), there is a risk that any student subsequently completing the program of study requirements and graduating from the programme may not be considered by the Ghana Psychology Council in the future to hold an GPC-accredited qualification.

    Note: A programme with a change to the programme code but with the same title and content does not need to be discontinued.

    Part 5 of Act 857 requires GPC to monitor programmes of study approved by the Council to ensure the programme and education provider continue to meet the approved Accreditation Standards. To meet these requirements, GPC has developed both routine and targeted monitoring methods.

    Monitoring of accredited education providers and programmes occurs in two ways:

    • Education providers with Accreditation with Conditions on the provider and/or any programmes are required to submit a Progress Report at dates specified in determinations (usually the end of February and the end of August)
    • Education providers, except for those undergoing their full cycle assessment that year, are required to submit an Annual Update Form by the end of April each year outlining compliance with the GPC Standards


    Auditing programme
    As per Section … of the Law, an audit assessment of accredited providers and their programmes of study can be undertaken by GPC at any time. Where an education provider is selected for audit by GPC, advance notice of the assessment and any required site visit(s) will be given.

    An auditing process is also instigated for suspected breaches of the Accreditation Standards.

    Failure to notify GPC of changes to a provider or its programmes of study may result in problems for graduates of the programme and/or the revocation of GPC accreditation.

    Reporting requirements
    While GPC supports and encourages programme changes as a way of quality improvement, it is important that education providers report such changes to GPC as they occur. A site visit may then be required to assess the changes against the GPC Standards.

    GPC considers the following programme changes to be significant and must be reported to GPC:

    Change

    Notification Method

    Change of title

    Application Form for Change of Degree Title

    Additional title

    Application Form for an Additional Degree Title

    Discontinued programme

    Application Form for Discontinued Program 

    Significant change to education provider’s functioning or existing program

    Email to the Registrar

    Academic staffing

    Email to the Registrar

    Number and/or location of campuses

    Email to the Registrar

    Program delivery mode

    Email to the Registrar

    Structural and unit changes within programs

    Email to the Registrar

    Other changes

    Email to the Registrar

    CATEGORY

    LICENSING & REGISTRATION FEEs

    Ghanaian Trained

    Foreign Trained

    PROFESSIONAL

    GHC 300.00

    USD 500

    PARAPROFESSIONAL

    GHC 250.00

    USD 250

    LAY PRACTITIONER

    GHC 200.00

    USD 200

    INTERNSHIP

    GHC 150.00

    USD 150

    PSYCH ASSISTANT

    GHC 150.00

    USD 150

    FACILITIES

    GHC 500.00

     

    ACCREDITATION FEES

    CATEGORY

    FEE

    UNIVERSITIES

    GHC 5000.00

    TRAINING INSTITUTIONS

    GHC 2000.00

    CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

    GHC 500.00

    Content coming soon…

    Internal review process

    An education provider may request an internal review of a GPC accreditation determination of Accreditation Failed or Accreditation Withdrawn.

    For further information on the process, including how to lodge a request for review, please contact the registrar@ghanapsychologycouncil.org.gh

    GPC maintains a publicly available list of all current GPC-accredited education providers and programmes of study on its website. The current list of GPC-accredited programmes of study identifies the current accreditation status and will be amended to reflect any changes in the accreditation status of programmes of study. GPC also publishes on its website a summary of the outcomes of each cycle accreditation assessment it conducts, and of new programmes in out-of-cycle assessments. The Council publishes all approved education providers and programmes of study on its website as required under Section 49(5) of the National Law.

    Using GPC accreditation for promoting GPC-accredited programmes outside of Ghana
    Education providers are to take care when using GPC accreditation to promote GPC-accredited programmes outside of Ghana, particularly in relation to the requirements to practise in Ghana. Overseas health professionals must fulfil special requirements in order to be allowed to practise in Ghana.

    Use of the GPC logo
    Education providers may promote their accredited programmes through use of the GPC logo.

    The GPC logo is a certification denoting that an education provider’s psychology programme of study has been accredited by GPC and meets the Accreditation Standards for Psychology Programmes.

    The GPC logo can only be used by education providers offering GPC-accredited programmes that have received an accreditation status of Accreditation without Conditions or Accreditation with Conditions by GPC.

    The education provider has responsibility to ensure correct use of the GPC logo and must comply with the Rules for Use which have been created to protect the value of the mark.  Education providers cannot use the logo for psychology programmes that have not received GPC accreditation.

    Education providers wishing to use the GPC logo must first forward a completed Application Form to GPC for approval prior to using the logo.  There is no cost attached to the application process or use of the logo once authorised by GPC.

    Content coming soon…

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