Due Process Procedures*
*Adapted with permission from Nebraska Mental Health Centers procedures
Due Process for Responding to Concerns about Intern Performance
Ultimately, it is a matter of professional judgment as to when an intern’s behavior is considered problematic. However, common problem behaviors include one or more of the following characteristics:
- Behaviors that are in clear violation of the APA Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct and/or the accepted standards for psychologists in the State of Michigan as guided by the Michigan Board of Psychology;
- Behavior in violation of the MiSPPIC Internship Handbook;
- An inability/unwillingness or failure to continually grow, change, and make progress toward acceptable levels of competencies in all areas identified in the intern evaluation;
- An inability to control stress or other personal factors that conflict with the intern’s ability to reach expectations;
- Requiring an inappropriate amount of time and energy from supervisory staff to ensure professional functioning at a basic level;
- Repeated negative reports from intern’s patients for poor performance/conduct;
- Quality of the intern’s services are considered not helpful or detrimental to patients.
In circumstances in which problematic conduct has been identified, remediation should begin as soon as possible:
- The site and/or faculty supervisor documents and forwards his/her concerns to the Consortium co-directors
- Within 7 business days, the co-directors and supervisor(s) discuss corrective action required and agree on a plan for remediation
- The faculty supervisor meets with the student to share the concerns and present the documented remediation plan
- If the intern agrees with the recommendation, the action(s) is implemented
- If the intern wishes to challenge the recommendation, he or she may request an appeal in writing within 10 business days after meeting with the faculty supervisor
- The student must present the appeal to the Consortium co-directors no later than 10 business days after the meeting with the faculty supervisor
- A hearing will be scheduled with the Consortium Council within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal
- The intern reserves the right to present all evidence in his/her case at the hearing
- Likewise, the supervisor(s) filing the initial concern will present his/her evidence
- A decision will be made at the close of the hearing by popular vote (without the student present) to either uphold or abdicate the original decision; the Consortium internship program may institute one or more of the following options:
- Place the intern on Consortium probation for a specified time with certain expectations explicitly stated (Remediation Plan)
- Suspend the intern’s participation in certain professional activities
- Recommend remedial training, increase amount of supervision, and/or change the supervisor
- Recommend personal therapy
- Terminate the intern from the internship program
- Within 2 business days of this decision, the training co-directors may either accept the Council’s decision or provide an alternative solution; this solution must be accepted and signed, with revisions if necessary, by all members of the Council before being put into action
- Once a final decision has been made, the intern is informed in writing of the action taken
- The final decision is binding; interns who refuse to abide by the Council’s decision will be dismissed from the Consortium internship program
As many meetings as necessary may be scheduled by the Consortium Council to further evaluate the intern’s progress in addressing, changing, and/or otherwise improving problematic conduct. However, the intern must complete the internship within the specified timeframe.
Due Process for Responding to Intern Grievances against the MiSPPIC Training Program
Interns may file a grievance if they perceive problems with their supervision, training, or any other aspect of the internship experience. Interns are encouraged to speak with their faculty and site supervisors or the MiSPPIC co-directors about their dissatisfaction; if the concern is resolved through consultation or informal mediation, then no further action is taken.
If the intern is not satisfied with the response of the co-directors or supervisors, the intern may request, in writing to the Consortium co-directors, formal mediation, including specific reasons for the grievance and plans for resolution as seen by the intern:
- The Consortium Council reviews the documentation no later than 14 business days after it is received from the intern; any persons with a conflict of interest (e.g., supervisor complained against) will not be allowed formal participation in review of the grievance.
- The Council submits its resolution recommendations to the internship agency training director who may accept or reject the recommendations, or request further deliberations.
- The Consortium co-directors communicate the final resolution in writing to the intern.
If the intern wishes to appeal the final resolution, the MiSPPIC co-directors must be notified immediately:
- A formal written document must be filed with the co-directors and include specific aspects of the resolution that the intern rejects as well as any items the intern feels have been left out
- The document must include an amended plan for resolution as seen by the intern
- A second hearing shall be scheduled within 7 business days from the date the appeal is submitted; the second hearing shall include the members of the Council in addition to the intern and the agency training director
- A final decision must be made by conclusion of the hearing and will take one of the following courses of action:
- Resolution as amended by the intern will be accepted and instituted
- Resolution will be amended as seen appropriate by the Council, accepted for final approval, and instituted
- Resolution as decided upon at the first hearing will be sustained
- Final resolution will be provided in writing on the same day and signed by the MiSPPIC co-directors, intern and agency training director; the original copy will be placed in the MiSPP DCT’s file and a second copy provided directly to the intern
At time of internship placements students are required to sign a document attesting to their receipt and understanding of these due process procedures.