A Critical Review of Sport and Performance Psychology Certifications (pp. 201-219)
Authors: Steven T. Portenga
Abstract: Professional certification is a crucial element to the establishment, legitimization, and reputation of a profession. The Association for Applied Sport Psychology developed the first sport & performance psychology (SPP) certification in 1989. Since 1986 SPP has become more recognized as an academic field of study and starting, but struggling, to become a profession in its own right. In 2011 AASP created an ad hoc committee on the Future of Certification. These developments make timely a thorough review of all certifications in the profession. This paper will explain the purposes, standards, and best practices in establishing a professional certification as a basis for the review. Due to several insufficiencies, all but one of the certifications do not merit an in-depth review. Only the AASP certification warrants a thorough review because it is the largest SPP organization in the world and their certification program has more certificants than any other certification. The AASP certification is widely viewed as the best in the SPP profession. So it is unfortunate that of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (2004) 21 standards for certification programs, the AASP certification only meets 4. Implications of these limitations on the developing profession are shared.