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The University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Master’s track in Clinical Development Psychology has become the first Dutch degree programme to be accredited by the International School Psychology Association (ISPA), the international association for school psychologists.

Student in the city

The accreditation is for a period of five years. Students who did an internship at a school or school counselling service, or had mainly school-related activities in their internship, will receive a special certificate with their Master’s degree diploma.

The ISPA accreditation is a formal recognition of the quality of the Master’s track in Clinical Development Psychology (KLOP). The track meets the international standards set by the ISPA for the teaching and training of school psychologists.

KLOP is a track within the Master’s degree in Healthcare Psychology. The track isn’t only a preparatory training for school psychologists, but also a broad programme that prepares students for the entire professional field of child and youth psychology. The programme’s chief focus is on both normal and deviant development. Students learn to recognise the way that deviant behaviour emerges and how it is maintained. In addition, they take courses in the area of diagnostics and intervention, and do an internship and graduation report.  

The importance of school psychologists

The ISPA was established in 1973 and is recognised by the United Nations as an important non-governmental organisation that speaks on behalf of children, adolescents and their families. One of its primary aims is to promote the application of sound psychological knowledge and techniques within education. School psychologists apply the knowledge and techniques in schools and thereby fulfil a crucial role in the mental wellbeing of children. This is important in light of recent changes in education, in which schools have a duty of care within the framework of tailored education. School psychologists can make an important contribution to the cognitive, emotional and social development of children and adolescents.

ISPA annual conference at UvA

The ISPA’s annual conferences are an important platform for international collaboration and knowledge sharing between school psychologists. The 38th conference will take place from 20 to 23 July 2016 at the UvA’s Roeterseiland Campus. Psychologists from the Master’s track in Clinical Development Psychology will take part in organising the conference and drafting the academic programme.