APA Action Papers

Are there problems you think the APA should address?  With a little effort, you can put your idea before the APA Assembly for consideration and possibly point the APA in that direction.  An Action Paper is the product of an idea about how the APA can work on behalf of its members.

Members of the Assembly, representing and informed by the members of their district branch (i.e. MPS members), formulate ideas into actionable tasks that the Assembly can review, debate, and vote on. The process for developing an Action Paper may first require determining what activities or policies are already underway at APA, or have been in the past.  As the idea is developed, the Action Paper is honed and parsed into a subject, intent, problem, alternatives, recommendation, and implementation. These sections outline the details being brought forth.

Once an Action Paper is submitted to the Rules Committee, it may be assigned to a Reference Committee or Area Council. The Reference Committee hears testimony about the paper and discusses it, potentially making changes. The paper is then brought to the floor of the Assembly at which time the Assembly may make additional changes. The Assembly then votes on it.

If the Action Paper is approved, it is then typically referred to the Joint Reference Committee. The Joint Reference Committee may then refer it to the Board of Trustees for consideration, or to the appropriate component for additional information and work, or for implementation.

To review the complete details on the APA website, please click HERE.  You need your member login to access the information.

Civil Liability Coverage for District Branch Ethics Investigations

Following her report at Council on September 12, 2017 MPS Ethics Committee Chair Dr. Joanna Brandt met with the committee the next night.  They discussed many of the issues raised during the Council meeting and agreed to explore the idea of an Action Paper to address some of the concerns.  APA Assembly Rep Anne Hanson, M.D. quickly drafted an action paper that she circulated to the APA for comments and endorsements. To read the Action Paper please click here.

At the November meeting, the Assembly voted to approve the paper, which asks that:

  1. The American Psychiatric Association shall make a copy of the APA Director & Officer Liability policy available upon request by District Branch.
  2. The American Psychiatric Association shall amend the APA Operations manual to include information regarding indemnification of district branches for liability related to ethics investigations.
  3. The American Psychiatric Association shall develop a written policy and protocol to provide expenditures to district branches specifically to support ethics investigations.

In 2018, the APA Joint Reference Committee recommended that the APA decline to make a copy of the its D&O policy available to DBs, but referred the remaining two items to the APA Board of Trustees.  In March, the Executive Committee of the Board approved amending the operating manual to include indemnification of DBs.  It also approved development of a policy of handling expenses related to ethics investigations.