Certification Standards

Certification Structures for Philosophical Practitioners

1. Certification Structures


Adjunct Members or qualified Affiliate Members in good standing may apply for certification. There are three areas of certified practice: client counseling, group facilitation and organizational consulting. The APPA offers two categories of certification in each area: Associate and Fellow. Within each category, there are two levels: Primary and Full Certification. An Associate or Fellow with Primary Certification may practice as a Certified Member with supervision from the APPA. An Associate or Fellow with Full Certification may practice as a Certified Member without supervision. All Certified Members are bound by the APPA Code of Professional Ethical Practice.

Certification in Multiple Areas

A Member certified in one area of practice may seek certification in another area of practice, but must fulfill respective requirements. Certification in one area of practice does not automatically confer certification in another. Members who become certified in more than one area do not pay multiple dues; they pay normal certified membership dues, independent of the number of areas in which they are certified.

Academic Credentials

The minimum academic requirement for certification as an Associate is an earned Master’s Degree or ABD in Philosophy (or Licensura in Hispanic countries). The academic requirement for certification as a Fellow is an earned Doctoral Degree in Philosophy.

Recertification from Associate to Fellow

A Primary or Fully Certified Associate who earns a Doctorate in Philosophy from an accredited institution of higher learning may be recertified, respectively, as a Primary or Fully Certified Fellow, by submitting official proof that the Doctorate has been conferred. There will be no charge for such recertification. All other conditions of certified membership apply.

Temporal Constraints on Primary Certification (from APPA operating procedures, section 13.2)

Primary certificates will normally be valid for a period of up to two years, during which the holder may renew the primary certificate by renewing annual certified membership. However, an implied condition of primary certification is that the holder seek full certification, which is attained by advanced education and training programs. Primary certificates held by persons who do not subsequently qualify or seek to qualify for full certification will normally expire after two years, and said holders will not be eligible to renew their certified memberships until such time as they qualify for full certification. Extensions are possible on medical or compassionate grounds.

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Application Materials

Qualified persons–that is, experienced philosophical practitioners–are invited to apply for APPA Certification. Applications should include:

• APPA Membership via the website–either Join or Renew, as an Adjunct member (see Adjunct criteria first);
• letter stating area, category and level of certification held (if any) and/or sought;
• current curriculum vitae;
• proof of advanced degree in philosophy;
• graduate transcripts;
• types and dates of APPA training programs completed (if any);
• summary and evidence of experience as a philosophical practitioner (include written case studies and/or relevant publications);
• three letters of recommendation from referees–SENT BY THEM–who can attest to your experience as a philosophical practitioner;
• $300 non-refundable processing fee, paid via the website as a donation (100% tax-deductible for US taxpayers)..

Applications will be reviewed by APPA’s Board of Professional Examiners, whose decision is final.
— Successful applicants will be granted Certified status.
— Unsuccessful applicants may apply $150 of the processing fee toward a future Certification program.

Supporting materials should be emailed as Word or PDF attachments to admin@appa.edu Hard copy materials should be mailed to:

P.O. Box 166
Monroe, NY 10949-0166

Your submission of fees and supporting materials entails your full agreement with the applicable terms and conditions.

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Certification Standards for Client Counselors

3. Certification Standards for Client Counselors

Certification as an Associate

Primary Certification as an Associate signifies basic competency minimally required for supervised practice with individuals. The minimum academic requirement for certification as an Associate is an earned Master’s Degree or ABD in Philosophy (or Licensura in Hispanic countries). Candidates must demonstrate evidence of appropriate competency in ethics (values analysis/clarification), logic (formal and informal reasoning), epistemology (belief justification), metaphysics (world views) and at least the major figures and themes of the history of western (and preferably also eastern) philosophy. While no particular philosophical orientation is expected or required, candidates should also be familiar with the basic principles and themes of both the analytic and existential/phenomenological traditions of recent philosophy. In addition, candidates must demonstrate practical knowledge of the principles of interpersonal psychology, psychopathology, experience and/or training in personal counseling, familiarity with the history of philosophy as a discipline of counsel, and evidence of personal stability and good character. Evidence of satisfactory demonstration of these requisites and skills may be established by successful completion of the APPA Primary Certification Training Program for Philosophical Counselors.

Private Practice

Primary Certified Associates may practice as Certified Members of the APPA under the supervision of an APPA approved Fully Certified Fellow in Client Counseling. Supervision is normally conducted by submission of audio cassette or written case study (with prior consent of the client) to an APPA supervisor. Recorded or written commentary on the cases will be provided by the supervisor for which a fee will be charged. Upon the submission of a minimum of ten cases over a period of at least one year of practice, or a one-year internship under APPA supervision, Primary Certified Associates will be eligible to complete an APPA Advanced Certification Training Program for Client Counselors. Upon the successful completion of that program, candidates will be granted Full Certification in Client Counseling.

Certification as a Fellow

Primary and Full Certification as a Fellow are identical to Primary and Full Certification as an Associate, respectively, except that the minimum academic preparation for a Fellow is an earned Doctorate in Philosophy. Fully Certified Fellows are eligible, by APPA invitation, to provide training and supervision of candidates for APPA Certification.


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