Doctoral internship represents a key period of growth, development, and change for interns as they move from student roles to increasingly independent professionals. Evaluation and feedback are essential to success of interns, supervisors, and the training program. In most cases, evaluation and feedback help to create synergy, excitement, confidence, and competence throughout the internship experience. Unfortunately, serious circumstances may arise in which additional action is necessary.
Our internship is dedicated to strict conformance with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists. The monitoring and assessment of compliance with these standards is the responsibility of the internship director, in consultation with members of the training committee, and all staff who provide clinical supervision to interns. The internship director and training director also bear responsibility for advising agency human resource personnel and facility directors of these standards, and of the internship’s compliance with them.
We wish to empower interns to effectively address situations through direct communication with supervisors, when possible. We welcome input from university internship supervisors at any point in the problem resolution or grievance process. Interns enjoy two levels of protection as trainees, the first being intern-specific, and the second associated with being a temporary employee of LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center.
- Except in the case of egregious offenses or safety issues, if an intern has a problem with a supervisor, it is preferable that the intern first addresses the problem directly with that supervisor. Mid-year evaluations will be conducted by the director to afford an opportunity to express additional concerns.
- If the intern needs support and guidance, the intern may seek advice from any member of the training committee (any clinical staff providing supervision to the intern), and the internship supervisor from their institution.
- If the intern has addressed the problem with the supervisor and has not seen improvement, then the intern should speak with the internship director about the problem. If the problem involves the internship director, then the intern can speak to another member of the training committee or to the executive director of LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center.
- If the internship director, and/or the executive director of LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center cannot resolve the issue of concern to the intern, the intern may request a conference between their university internship director and the internship director to attempt to forge an acceptable resolution.
- If the conference cannot resolve the issue of concern to the intern, the intern may avail themselves of their status as temporary full-time employees of LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center, and use LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center’s formal grievance procedure within 30 days of the original incident.
- In the case of egregious offenses or safety issues, the intern should immediately contact the internship director. If the problem involves the internship director, the intern should immediately contact the executive director of LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center. In the absence of the executive director of LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center, the intern may receive immediate assistance from the facility director at Western State Hospital, until the director of LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center can be reached. The university internship director should be involved in emergency situations related to interns as soon as possible.
Filing a Formal Grievance
- The intern should contact the LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center Human Resources Department for clarification and/or assistance in dealing with the issue of concern. Following contact and discussion with a representative(s) of the Human Resources Department, if the intern wishes to continue with the formal procedure, the intern should, under guidance of the Human Resources Department, state his/her grievance to his/her immediate supervisor, who should consult with his/her own supervisor if unable to resolve the grievance immediately.
- If the intern is not able to resolve his/her grievance with the immediate supervisor under the guidance of and with the assistance of the Human Resources Department, then the intern may continue to avail themselves of that assistance and take the grievance to the supervisor’s program director or director of clinical operations for resolution.
- If the grievance is not resolved following the above procedures, the intern may continue to receive guidance and assistance from the Human Resources Department and take the grievance to the executive director who may assign the director of quality management to investigate the grievance. The executive director will have the final authority to resolve the grievance.
- Any grievance directly involving the conduct of the immediate supervisor, providing that the intern has made reasonable efforts to resolve the grievance with the supervisor without resolution, should, after consulting the Human Resources Department, be referred directly to the executive director or his/her designee, who will have the final authority to resolve the grievance.
- Decisions of the executive director are not subject to appeal. However, if any grievance directly involves the conduct of the executive director and the intern has made reasonable efforts to resolve the grievance with the executive director without resolution, then it may be referred to the Chairperson of the Board of Directors with a copy furnished to the Board’s attorney. This process may only be initiated by contacting the Director of Human Resources, who will evaluate the situation and provide assurance that all other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted. If it is determined that this a grievance should be filed, the Director of Human Resources will assist in the process.
- When the executive director has received a formal grievance, within three work days of receipt, the executive director will implement Review Procedures and inform the intern of any action taken.
- When needed, a review panel will be convened by the executive director to review a grievance filed by an intern.
- The Panel will consist of three staff members selected by the executive director with recommendations from the internship director and the intern who filed the grievance. The executive director will appoint a Chair of the Review Panel.
- In response to a grievance, the intern has a right to express concerns about the training program or internship staff members and the internship program or staff has the right and responsibility to respond.
- Within five (5) work days, a Panel will meet to review the grievance and to examine the relevant material presented.
- Within three (3) work days after the completion of the review the Panel will submit a written report to the executive director, including any recommendations for further action. Recommendations made by the Review Panel will be made by majority vote if a consensus cannot be reached.
- Within three (3) work days of receipt of the recommendation, the executive director will either accept or reject the Review Panel’s recommendations. If the executive director rejects the recommendation, the executive director may refer the matter back to the Panel for further deliberation and revised recommendations or may make a final decision.
- If referred back to the Panel, a report will be presented to the executive director within five (5) work days of the receipt of the executive director’s request of further deliberation. The executive director then makes a final decision regarding what action is to be taken and informs the internship director. This decision is not subject to appeal.
- The internship director inform the intern, staff members involved, and necessary members of the training staff of the decision and any action taken or to be taken.