Program Policies & Procedures
Performance Evaluation, Feedback, & Advisement
Post-docs are evaluated by faculty supervisors in December and May of each year. Verbal and written feedback is provided by their primary supervisor, compiling data from all supervisor evaluations. The evaluation is drawn from the competency benchmarks in professional psychology “Readiness for Entry to Practice Level Form” designed by the American Psychological Association (APA) to assist programs in measuring students’ progress toward meeting training competencies noted in the core competencies section (link here). In addition, post-docs are evaluated using the Interpersonal Professional Relationships Rating Form, also developed by APA. For more information on the benchmark evaluation system by APA, please see: https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/benchmarks-evaluation-system.aspx?tab=1 Post-docs are evaluated relative to the benchmarks for “readiness for entry to practice” on the following items using a 5 point likert scale:
a. Professionalism: as evidenced in behavior and comportment that reflects the values and attitudes of psychology
- Concern for the welfare of others
- Professional Identity
b. Individual and Cultural Diversity: Awareness, sensitivity and skills in working professionally with diverse individuals, groups and communities who represent various cultural and personal background and characteristics defined broadly and consistent with APA
- Self as shaped by individual and cultural diversity (e.g., cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status) and context
- Others as shaped by individual and cultural diversity and context
- Interaction of self and others as shaped by individual and cultural diversity and context
- Independently monitors and applies knowledge of diversity in others as cultural beings in assessment, treatment, and consultation
- Applications based on individual and cultural context
c. Ethical Legal Standards and Policy: Application of ethical concepts and awareness of legal issues regarding professional activities with individuals, groups, and
- Knowledge of ethical, legal and professional standards and guidelines
- Awareness and application of ethical decision making
- Ethical conduct
d. Reflective Practice/Self-Assessment/Self-Care: Practice conducted with personal and professional self-awareness and reflection; with awareness of competencies; with appropriate self-care.
- Reflective practice
- Self-care (attention to personal health and well-being to assure effective professional functioning)
- Participation in supervision process
a. Relationships: Relate effectively and meaningfully with individuals, groups, and/or communities.
- Interpersonal relationships
- Affective skills
- Expressive skills
- Interpersonal Professional Relationships: Establishes, develops, and maintains effective interpersonal, professional relationships with clients, supervisors, supervisees, faculty, peers, support staff, allied professionals, organizations, and communities (e.g., effective working alliances/therapeutic relationships with clients, supervisory relationships that foster the growth and development of supervisees and facilitate client progress)
- Empathy, Compassion, & Desire to be Helpful
- Demonstrates accurate empathy for feelings that are covertly expressed by others or are outside the awareness of others, as well as in complex, challenging and/or novel situations
- Demonstrates compassion for others who are dissimilar from oneself, who express negative affect (e.g., hostility), and/or who seek care for proscribed behavior, such as violence, predation, or dangerousness
- Experience and use of affect
- Uses good clinical judgment regarding how to use affective reactions effectively in complex, challenging and/or novel situations
- Tolerates affect
- Demonstrates affect tolerance in professional relationships, contexts, and settings, even in complex, challenging, ambiguous and/or novel situations
- Effective boundary management
- Demonstrates appropriate and effective boundary management in complex, challenging, and or novel situations with others
- Recognizes Effects of Self on Others
- Monitors and evaluates the effects of own identities, behaviors, affects, attitudes, values, and beliefs on others in professional situations and contexts, and responds accordingly so as to further professional goals
- Respectful Interactions with Others [Across Difference]
- Adapts professional behavior in a manner that is sensitive and appropriate to the needs of diverse others
- Demonstrates Effective Interpersonal Skills in Challenging Situations
- Effectively negotiates conflictual, difficult, and complex professional relationships including those with individuals and groups that differ significantly from oneself
- Open to Providing & Receiving Feedback
- Evaluates, negotiates, and implements feedback from others
- Cooperation & Collaboration
- Collaborates effectively in complex, challenging, and/or novel situations and with others who have diverse perspectives; displays confidence in what one has to offer in collaboration with others
- Expressive Skills
- Verbal, nonverbal, and written communications are informative, articulate, succinct, sophisticated, and well-integrated, and demonstrate thorough grasp of professional language and concepts
- Awareness of & Commitment to Interpersonal Competence
- Demonstrates clear awareness of own level of interpersonal professional competence and limitations
- Demonstrates commitment to ongoing growth and development of interpersonal professional competence
a. Scientific Knowledge and Methods: Understanding of research, research methodology, techniques of data collection and analysis, biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, and development across the Respect for scientifically derived knowledge.
- Scientific mindedness
- Scientific foundation of psychology
- Scientific foundation of professional practice
b. Research/Evaluation: Generating research that contributes to the professional knowledge base and/or evaluates the effectiveness of various professional
- Scientific approach to knowledge generation
- Application of scientific method to practice
a. Evidence-Based Practice: Integration of research and clinical expertise in the context of patient factors.
- Knowledge and application of evidence-based practice
b. Assessment: Assessment and diagnosis of problems, capabilities and issues associated with individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
- Knowledge of measurement and psychometrics
- Knowledge of assessment methods
- Application of assessment methods
- Conceptualization and recommendations
c. Intervention: Interventions designed to alleviate suffering and to promote health and well-being of individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
- Intervention planning
- Intervention implementation
- Progress evaluation
d. Consultation: The ability to provide expert guidance or professional assistance in response to a client’s needs or goals.
- Role of consultant
- Addressing referral question
- Communication of consultation findings
a. Teaching: Providing instruction, disseminating knowledge, and evaluating acquisition of knowledge and skill in professional psychology.
b. Supervision: Supervision and training in the professional knowledge base of enhancing and monitoring the professional functioning of others.
- Expectations and roles
- Processes and procedures
- Skills development
- Supervisory practices
a. Interdisciplinary Systems: Knowledge of key issues and concepts in related Identify and interact with professionals in multiple disciplines.
- Knowledge of the shared and distinctive contributions of other professions
- Functioning in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts
- Understands how participation in interdisciplinary collaboration/consultation enhances outcomes
- Respectful and productive relationships with individuals from other professions
b. Management-Administration: Manage the direct delivery of services (DDS) and/or the administration of organizations, programs, or agencies (OPA).
- Appraisal of management and leadership
c. Advocacy: Actions targeting the impact of social, political, economic, or cultural factors to promote change at the individual (client), institutional, and/or systems level.
- Systems Change
Supervisors are also asked to provide an overall assessment of the post-doc’s current level of competence, including their strengths and weaknesses, whether or not the post-doc is performing at the expected level of competence, and if they are ready to move to independent practice (if applicable).
Due Process Policy
This Due Process Policy is in place to protect the rights of the post-doc and the postdoctoral fellowship training program, and carries responsibilities for both. This policy is discussed with post-docs during orientation and provided in written form. This process is implemented in situations in which a supervisor or other faculty or staff member raises a concern about the functioning of a post-doc or when a post-doc receives an average score below “3” on any item on their semi-annual evaluations. The Due Process procedure continues in a step-wise fashion engaging higher levels of intervention as a problem increases in persistence, complexity, or level of disruption to the training program. These procedures are not intended to be punitive; rather, they are meant as a structured opportunity for the post-doc to receive support and assistance in order to remediate concerns.
Post-doc Rights and Responsibilities:
The post-doc has the right to:
- be afforded with every reasonable opportunity to remediate problems.
- be treated in a manner that is respectful, professional, and ethical.
- participate in the Due Process procedures by having his/her viewpoint heard at each step in the process.
- appeal decisions with which he/she disagrees, within the limits of this policy.
The responsibilities of the post-doc include:
- engaging with the training program and the institution in a manner that is respectful, professional, and ethical
- making every reasonable attempt to remediate behavioral and competency concerns
- striving to meet the aims and objectives of the program.
Postdoctoral Fellowship Program:
The program has the right to:
- implement these Due Process procedures when they are called for as described below.
- have the right to be treated in a manner that is respectful, professional, and ethical (includes its faculty/staff).
- make decisions related to remediation for a post-doc, including probation, suspension and termination, within the limits of this policy.
The responsibilities of the program include:
- engaging with the post-doc in a manner that is respectful, professional, and ethical
- making every reasonable attempt to support post-docs in remediating behavioral and competency concerns
- supporting post-docs to the extent possible in successfully completing the training program.
Definition of a Problem
For purposes of this document, a problem is defined broadly as an interference in professional functioning which is reflected in one or more of the following ways:
- an inability and/or unwillingness to acquire and integrate professional standards into one’s repertoire of professional behavior
- an inability to acquire professional skills in order to reach an acceptable level of competency; and/or
- an inability to control personal stress, psychological dysfunctions, and/or excessive emotional reactions which interfere with professional functioning.
It is a professional judgment as to when an issue becomes a problem that requires remediation. Issues typically become identified as problems that require remediation when they include one or more of the following characteristics:
- the post-doc does not acknowledge, understand, or address the problem when it is identified;
- the problem is not merely a reflection of a skill deficit which can be rectified by the scheduled sequence of clinical or didactic training;
- the quality of services delivered by the post-doc is sufficiently negatively affected;
- the problem is not restricted to one area of professional functioning;
- a disproportionate amount of attention by training personnel is required;
- the post-doc’s behavior does not change as a function of feedback, and/or time;
- the problematic behavior has potential for ethical or legal ramifications if not addressed;
- the post-doc’s behavior negatively impacts the public view of the agency;
- the problematic behavior negatively impacts other trainees;
- the problematic behavior potentially causes harm to a patient; and/or,
- the problematic behavior violates appropriate interpersonal communication with agency staff.
When a supervisor or other faculty/staff member believes that a post-doc’s behavior is becoming problematic or that a post-doc is having difficulty consistently demonstrating an expected level of competence, the first step in addressing the issue should be to raise the issue with the post-doc directly and as soon as feasible in an attempt to informally resolve the problem. This may include increased supervision, didactic training, and/or structured readings. The supervisor or faculty/staff member who raises the concern should monitor the outcome.
If a post-doc’s problem behavior persists following an attempt to resolve the issue informally, the following process is initiated:
a. Notice: The post-doc will be notified in writing that the issue will receive a formal level of review, and that a Hearing will be held.
b. Hearing: The supervisor or faculty/staff member will hold a Hearing with the Training Director (TD) and post-doc within 10 working days of issuing a Notice of Formal Review to discuss the problem and determine what action needs to be taken to address the issue. If the TD is the supervisor who is raising the issue, an additional faculty member who works directly with the post-doc will be included at the Hearing. The post-doc will have the opportunity to present his/her perspective at the Hearing and/or to provide a written statement related to his/her response to the problem.
c. Outcome and Next Steps: The result of the Hearing will be any of the following options, to be determined by the Training Director and other faculty/staff member who was present at the Hearing. This outcome will be communicated to the post-doc in writing within 5 working days of the Hearing:
- Issue an “Acknowledgement Notice” which formally acknowledges:
- that the faculty is aware of and concerned with the problem;
- that the problem has been brought to the attention of the post-doc;
- that the faculty will work with the post-doc to specify the steps necessary to rectify the problem or skill deficits addressed by the inadequate evaluation rating; and,
- that the problem is not significant enough to warrant further remedial action at this time.
- Place the post-doc on a “Remediation Plan” which defines a relationship such that the faculty, through the supervisors and TD, actively and systematically monitor, for a specific length of time, the degree to which the post-doc addresses, changes and/or otherwise improves the problematic behavior or skill deficit. The implementation of a Remediation Plan will represent a probationary status for the post-doc. The length of the probation period will depend upon the nature of the problem and will be determined by the post-doc’s supervisor and the TD. A written Remediation Plan will be shared with the post-doc in writing and will include:
- the actual behaviors or skills associated with the problem; the specific actions to be taken for rectifying the problem;
- the time frame during which the problem is expected to be ameliorated; and,
- the procedures designed to ascertain whether the problem has been appropriately remediated.
At the end of this remediation period as specified in ‘c’ above, the TD will provide a written statement indicating whether or not the problem has been remediated. This statement will become part of the post-doc’s permanent file. If the problem has not been remediated, the Training Director may choose to more to Step D below or may choose to extend the Remediation Plan. The extended Remediation Plan will include all of the information mentioned above and the extended time frame will be specified clearly.
3. Place the post-doc on suspension, which would include removing the post-doc from all clinical service provision for a specified period of time, during which the program may support the post-doc in obtaining additional didactic training, close mentorship, or engage some other method of remediation. The length of the suspension period will depend upon the nature of the problem and will be determined by the post-doc’s supervisor and the TD. A written Suspension Plan will be shared with the post-doc in writing and will include:
- the actual behaviors or skills associated with the problem;
- the specific actions to be taken for rectifying the problem;
- the time frame during which the problem is expected to be ameliorated; and,
- the procedures designed to ascertain whether the problem has been appropriately remediated.
At the end of this remediation period as specified in ‘c’ above, the TD will provide a written statement indicating whether or not the problem has been remediated to a level that indicates that the suspension of clinical activities can be lifted. The statement may include a recommendation to place the post-doc on a probationary status with a Remediation Plan. In this case, the process in #2 above would be followed. This statement will become part of the post-doc’s permanent file.
4. If the problem is not rectified through the above processes, or if the problem represents gross misconduct or ethical violations that have the potential to cause harm, the post-doc’s placement within the fellowship program may be terminated. The decision to terminate a post-doc’s position would be made by the Training Committee and a representative of Human Resources and would represent a discontinuation of participation by the post-doc within every aspect of the training program. The Training Committee would make this determination during a meeting convened within 10 working days of the previous step completed in this process, or during the regularly-scheduled monthly Training Committee meeting, whichever occurs first. The TD may decide to suspend a post-doc’s clinical activities during this period prior to a final decision being made, if warranted.
All time limits mentioned above may be extended by mutual consent within a reasonable limit.
The Training Director, Division Chief, Department Chair, the Designated Institutional Official (DIO), the President of the Hospital, the Dean of the College of Medicine, or the Chief of Staff of the Hospital may suspend a post-doc from patient care responsibilities at any time. The post-doc will be removed from duty, informed of the reasons for the suspension, and given the opportunity to provide information in response within one week. During suspension, the post-doc will not provide patient care duties and access to the medical record and patient care areas will be suspended. The post-doc may be assigned to other duties as determined and approved by the Department Chair. If this occurs, procedures outlined above would be followed with the requirement that the post-doc will either be reinstated (with or without the imposition of probation or other conditions) or dismissal proceedings will commence by the University against the post-doc within thirty (30) days of suspension. Any suspension and reassignment of the post-doc to other duties may continue until final conclusion of the decision making or appeal process.
If the post-doc wishes to challenge a decision made at any step in the Due Process procedures, he or she may request an Appeals Hearing before the Training Committee. This request must be made in writing to the TD within 5 working days of notification regarding the decision with which the post-doc is dissatisfied. If requested, the Appeals Hearing will be conducted by a review panel convened by the TD and consisting of herself (or another supervisor, if appropriate) and at least two other members of the training faculty who work directly with the post-doc. The post-doc may request a specific member of the training faculty to serve on the review panel. The Appeals Hearing will be held within 10 working days of the post-doc’s request. The review panel will review all written materials and have an opportunity to interview the parties involved or any other individuals with relevant information. The review panel may uphold the decisions made previously or may modify them.
If the post-doc is dissatisfied with the decision of the review panel, he/she may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Department Chair. If the post-doc is dissatisfied with the decision of the Department Chair, he/she may appeal the decision, in writing, to the University Department of Human Resources. Each of these levels of appeal must be submitted in writing within 5 working days of the decision being appealed. The Department of Human Resources has final discretion regarding outcome.
A written copy of the grievance policy is provided to post-docs during orientation and discussed.
A grievance is defined as dissatisfaction when a post-doc believes that any decision, act or condition affecting his or her program of study is arbitrary, illegal, unjust or creates unnecessary hardship. In other words, this policy covers any and all complaints against any aspect of the training program. Such grievance may concern, but is not limited to, the following; academic progress, mistreatment by any University employee or student, wrongful assessment of fees, records and registration errors, discipline, termination and discrimination because of race, national origin, gender, marital status, religion, age or disability, subject to the exception that complaints of sexual harassment will be handled in accordance with the specific published policies of the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Prior to invoking the grievance procedures described herein, the post-doc is strongly encouraged to discuss his or her grievance with the person(s) alleged. This is not a required prerequisite to filing a grievance and does not act to extend the deadline to file a grievance, however good communication is oftentimes the best way to seek resolution as well as a good opportunity for practicing effective interpersonal skills in the learning environment. It is advisable to document such conversations in writing, and to seek the support and guidance of the training director and/or Graduate Medical Education (GME) Housestaff Director, as appropriate.
In cases where the situation remains unsatisfactorily resolved, the post-doc should proceed with filing a grievance. Each step of the grievance process must be filed within deadlines provided below. A grievance is considered filed at the time it is received from the person making the decision at each step of the grievance process. Failure to file a grievance within the time limits at any step of the grievance process shall be deemed a waiver of the post-doc’s right to the grievance procedure and render any prior action or decision the final agency action of the University.
A non-renewal or dismissal may be grieved through Step 3 of the grievance procedure. All other acts or omissions may be grieved through Step 2 and the decision of the DIO will be the final agency action of the University.
Step 1: Step 1 grievance shall be initiated by the post-doc filing a written statement of the concern and issues that are the subject of the grievance with the Chair. The grievance must be filed within 10 working days from the date the post-doc was notified of the act, or 10 working days from the date the post-doc acquires knowledge, or could have reasonably been expected to have acquired knowledge, of the act or omission.
If the grievance meets the timing and substantive requirements, the Chair will meet with the post-doc. The Chair will make best efforts to schedule this meeting within 10 working days of receipt of the grievance. At the meeting, the post-doc may present relevant information regarding the basis for the grievance. An advisor may accompany the post-doc during any meeting held pursuant to these procedures, but the advisor may not speak on behalf of the post-doc. The Chair will use his or her best efforts to present a written decision on the grievance to the post-doc within 10 working days of the meeting.
Step 2: If the post-doc is not satisfied with the Step 1 decision, the post-doc may file a Step 2 grievance with the Designated Institutional Official (DIO) within 5 working days after the Chair issues the Step 1 decision. The DIO will conduct a review of the action grieved, the Step 1 decision and other information relevant to the decision. If the DIO determines that a meeting with the post-doc is needed, he or she will use their best efforts to schedule the meeting within 10 working days of receipt of the Step 2 grievance. The DIO may uphold, modify or reverse the Step 1 decision. The DIO will use his or her best efforts to notify the post-doc in writing of the Step 2 decision within 10 working days following the meeting or 15 working days following receipt of the grievance if no meeting is held.
Step 3: If the post-doc is not satisfied with the Step 2 decision regarding non-renewal or dismissal, the post-doc may file a written Step 3 grievance with the Dean of the College of Medicine within 5 working days of the DIO’s issuance of the Step 2 decision.
The Dean will inform the DIO of the Step 3 grievance. The DIO will provide the Dean a copy of the decision, accompanying documents and any other material submitted by the post-doc or considered in the grievance process. The Dean will conduct a review of the action grieved, the Step 2 decision and other information relevant to the decision. If the Dean determines that a meeting with the post-doc is needed, he or she will use their best efforts to schedule the meeting within 10 working days of receipt of the Step 3 grievance. The Dean may uphold, modify or reverse the Step 2 decision. The Dean will use his or her best efforts to notify the post-doc in writing of the Step 3 decision within 10 working days following the meeting or 15 working days following receipt of the grievance if no meeting is held but failure to do so is not grounds for reversal of the decision. In addition to the post-doc, the Dean will notify in writing the Chair, the DIO and the Training director of the Step 3 decision. The decision of the Dean will be the final agency action of the University. The post-doc will be informed of the steps necessary for the post-doc to further challenge the action of the University.
 “Clients” refers to individuals, couples, families, and/or groups.