After the 2011 Biennial Conference of the Society for Community Research and Action, the Community Psychology Practice Council and the Council of Education Programs appointed a task group focused on defining practice competencies for the field. These competencies were developed with the intent to communicate the nature and contributions of community psychology practice to prospective students and psychological colleagues, and to articulate for prospective employers the the set of skills they could expect from a practicing community psychologist. The 18 competencies were not developed to be standards for accrediting programs. Instead, they offer a framework for discussion of the skills involved in community psychology practice, fosters innovation in opportunities for developing these skills in graduate education and allows for transparency of graduate training. To read more about the practice competencies, click here: Dalton & Wolfe (2012).
1. Ecological Perspectives
The ability to articulate and apply multiple ecological perspectives and levels of analysis in community practice.
The ability to articulate and apply a collective empowerment perspective, to support communities that have been marginalized in their efforts to gain access to resources and to participate in community decision-making.
3. Sociocultural and Cross-Cultural Competence
The ability to value, integrate, and bridge multiple worldviews, cultures, and identities.
4. Community Inclusion and Partnership
The ability to promote genuine representation and respect for all community members, and act to legitimize divergent perspectives on community and social issues.
5. Ethical, Reflective Practice
In a process of continual ethical improvement, the ability to identify ethical issues in one’s own practice, and act to address them responsibly. To articulate how one’s own values, assumptions, and life experiences influence one’s work, and articulate the strengths and limitations of one’s own perspective. To develop and maintain professional networks for ethical consultation and support.
COMMUNITY PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT
6. Program Development, Implementation and Management
The ability to partner with community stakeholders to plan, develop, implement and sustain programs in community settings.
7. Prevention and Health Promotion
The ability to articulate and implement a prevention perspective, and to implement prevention and health promotion community programs.
COMMUNITY AND ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY-BUILDING
8. Community Leadership and Mentoring
Leadership: The ability to enhance the capacity of individuals and groups to lead effectively, through a collaborative process of engaging, energizing and mobilizing those individuals and groups regarding an issue of shared importance.
Mentoring: The ability to assist community members to identify personal strengths and social and structural resources that they can develop further and use to enhance empowerment, community engagement, and leadership.
9. Small and Large Group Processes
The ability to intervene in small and large group processes, in order to facilitate the capacity of community groups to work together productively.
10. Resource Development
The ability to identify and integrate use of human and material resources, including community assets and social capital.
11. Consultation and Organizational Development
The ability to facilitate growth of an organization’s capacity to attain its goals.
COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL CHANGE
12. Collaboration and Coalition Development
The ability to help groups with common interests and goals to do together what they cannot do apart.
13. Community Development
The ability to help a community develop a vision and take actions toward becoming a healthy community.
14. Community Organizing and Community Advocacy
The ability to work collaboratively with community members to gain the power to improve conditions affecting their community.
15. Public Policy Analysis, Development and Advocacy
The ability to build and sustain effective communication and working relationships with policy makers, elected officials, and community leaders.
16. Community Education, Information Dissemination, and Building Public Awareness
The ability to communicate information to various segments of the public, to strengthen competencies and awareness, or for advocacy. To give community psychology away.
17. Participatory Community Research
The ability to work with community partners to plan and conduct research that meet high standards of scientific evidence that are contextually appropriate, and to communicate the findings of that research in ways that promote community capacity to pursue community goals.
18. Program Evaluation
The ability to partner with community/setting leaders and members to promote program improvement and program accountability to stakeholders and funders.
Interested in Community Psychology as a field? Check out our page What is Community Psychology?