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April 2017 Update

April 3, 2017

The Interim Certification Council (ICC) writes this message to keep you informed about upcoming changes related to AASP's Certification Program. As per our last communication to the membership, you know that we have been working diligently to transition to a new certification program. Since the previous communication to the membership (February 2017), we have tackled three additional issues.

Nominating Committee. The Certification Council Nominating Committee of Vanessa Shannon, Duncan Simpson, and Robin Vealey put out a call for AASP members to nominate others or self-nominate to be part of the permanent Certification Council (4 members who are also Certified Mental Performance Consultants® (CMPCs) and one community member). Beyond the open call, they invited several individuals to self-nominate for membership on the council with the hope of having a large and diverse group from which to choose. Bart Lerner will be working over the coming weeks to encourage Fellows to self-nominate for positions on the council and will guide the Fellows through the selection process for Fellows to serve on the council (4 Fellows who are also CMPC).

Certification Exam. As stated in our previous message, in consultation with two psychometricians, a 100-item exam was developed based on the Job Task Analysis (JTA). The psychometricians have conducted a criterion-referenced passing score evaluation to help identify an appropriate passing score for exam takers. Determination of the official passing score for the exam will be one of the first tasks undertaken by the permanent Certification Council.

Mentored Experience. In addition to coursework, documentation confirming a 400-hour mentored experience will be required of those individuals who apply to sit for the certification exam. These requirements go into effect October 1, 2017 and are as follows:

Minimum of 400 hours of mentored experience:

  • Note that a minimum of 200 of the total 400 hours [(1) Direct Client Contact, (2) Support Activities, and/or (3) Mentorship] must be spent with sport populations
    • “Sport” includes only those populations participating in competitive sport, as opposed to exercise-based or other non-sport activities
    • All other populations (exercisers, performing artists, military service organizations, high-risk occupations, etc.) are considered “non-sport” populations

(1) A minimum of 200 hours of the total 400 hours must be spent in direct client contact:

  • Time spent in face-to-face contact with individuals (e.g., athlete, coach, exerciser, performing artist, soldier) or groups (e.g., sport team, coaching staff, fitness class, dance troupe, military unit) working on mental skills to optimize involvement, enjoyment, performance, and/or personal development. Activities include individual consultation, group facilitation and consultation, psychoeducational workshops, and team-building exercises.

(2) A maximum of 150 hours of the total 400 hours can be spent in support activities: 

  • Time spent in activities that pertain to individual or group clients, but do not involve direct client contact. Activities include on-site observation of individual or group clients, record keeping and report writing, reviewing case notes or video/audio recordings, researching and preparing materials for intervention sessions, assessment scoring and interpretation, and case management (e.g., referral, consultation with other professionals).

(3) A minimum of 50 hours of the total 400 hours must pertain to mentorship:

  • Mentorship is defined as a developmental relationship between a mentor and a mentee with the purpose of enhancing the mentee’s professional functioning and monitoring the mentee’s provision of services. Time spent in mentorship can include in-person meetings (i.e., mentee and mentor are physically present in the same location), distance meetings (i.e., mentee and mentor are not in the same location and interact through a synchronous audio and/or video format), electronic communication (e.g., email), and the mentor’s observation of the mentee’s skills.
  • A minimum of 40 hours of the total 50 hours must involve face-to-face and/or electronic mentorship. More specifically, a minimum of 30 of these 40 hours must be face-to-face mentorship, and the remaining 10 hours may be either face-to-face or electronic mentorship.
    • Face-to-face mentorship is defined as mentorship in which a mentee meets with a mentor either in-person or from a distance via synchronous video and audio technology (e.g., Skype, FaceTime) that approximates in-person contact (e.g., mentor and mentee are able to attend to verbal and non-verbal behavior).
    • Electronic mentorship is defined as mentorship in which the mentee and mentor communicate with each other in a manner that does NOT meet the definition of face-to-face mentorship above (e.g., telephone, email, texting).  
  • A minimum of 10 hours of live/video session observation, which is defined as mentorship in which the mentor observes the mentee’s skills and provision of services via onsite live observation, video recording, or distance video technology. Although more session observation is certainly encouraged, 10 hours must be counted toward the 400 total hours of mentored experience

In addition, since our last member update, members of the ICC have been contacted by a number of prospective applicants asking about the similarities and differences in coursework requirements between the original certification system and the updated certification eligibility requirements. To address these questions on a larger scale, please review the information below.

The Job Task Analysis AASP conducted in 2015 and 2016 revealed a number of knowledge areas in which practicing consultants should develop competence. They identified 8 areas:  K1: Sport Psychology Professional Ethics and Standards; K2: Sport Psychology; K3: Sport Science; K4: Psychopathology; K5: Helping Relationships; K6: Statistics and Research Methods; K7: Psychological Foundations; and K8: Diversity & Culture. In each of those areas, a single university for-credit experience is required. As with the old certification program, a number of those requirements must be fulfilled by graduate courses/experiences.

If you're comparing the old program to the new program:

  • C1 (Ethics) has become K1 - must be graduate level
  • C2 (SP) has become K2 - must be graduate level
  • C3 (Physio bases) and C4 (Historical/Cultural/Social/Motor) have essentially been collapsed to become K3
  • C5 (Psychopathology) has become K4
  • C6 (Counseling Skills) has become K5 - must be graduate level
  • C8 (Stats) has become K6 - must be graduate level
  • C9-C12 have been collapsed to become K7
  • K8 is a new requirement (taking effect June 2018), and must be graduate level

A minimum of one course/educational experience completed for university credit is required for each of the knowledge areas in order to be approved to sit for the exam. It is expected that the course/educational experience will be of sufficient length, breadth, and depth as that of a 3-credit semester course/educational experience in the U.S. higher educational system. However, it is likely that more than a single course in each area will be needed to adequately prepare you to pass the exam.

One other change will be the elimination of the provisional CMPC status. Master’s and Doctoral level candidates will no longer have separate paths for certification but will all be required to complete the same requirements mentioned above (coursework, mentored experience, and exam) to become a CMPC.

Finally, we understand that members may have additional questions regarding the new Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC) Certification Program and the information contained herein. This is an enormous undertaking and a significant transition for our organization. The ICC will continue to send out updates about the new certification program. Please feel free to contact members of the ICC at any time to discuss the new certification program using the contact information below.

Sarah Castillo (
Stephany Coakley (
Jack Watson (

Interim Certification Council